NCAA Division III

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It is hard to believe that the end of the traditional academic year is upon us and with it commencement celebrations.  I trust this academic year has been full of positive experiences for your students and accomplishments on your campus.

The following summary highlights the April 25-26, 2017, Presidents Council meeting.  I encourage you to review and discuss relevant issues on your campus and at your next conference meeting.


Based on emerging medical research and consensus published in the "Year-Round Football Practice Contact for Student-Athletes Recommendations ," the Division III governance structure acted to eliminate traditional two-a-day practices in football.  For 2017 only, the Presidents Council approved a one-time waiver that will permit Division III schools if they choose, to conduct athletically related activities in football during the two already existing legislated administrative days that precede the first permissible practice date.  The waiver allows additional practice opportunities while minimizing the financial impact on institutions and applies to the 2017 football season only.

Additionally, the Association's Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports conducted a teleconference to clarify allowable activities during the second practice session (e.g., walk-throughs) and the recommended day off per week as well as weight lifting activities.  To access the recent division-wide mailing summarizing this topic, including common questions and answers, click here.


The Presidents Council approved several items related to the division's next two-year budget cycle.  Division III members will receive a one-time credit to offset the membership dues increase slated to begin this coming year, which was adopted at the 2016 Convention.  Thanks to an unanticipated one-time gain from the NCAA's investment portfolio and a change in championship team travel budget forecasts, the Presidents Council concluded it was appropriate to credit the amount of the dues increase for next year. The Council also amended the division's mandated reserve policy to require that an amount equal to 50 percent of the annual operating budget be kept in cash reserves and approved additional spending for championships and nonchampionships initiatives.  Additional details can be found here.


At the 2017 NCAA Convention, delegates participated in a Q&A session during the Division III Issues Forum.  NCAA staff has provided answers to questions the forum presenters did not have time to address. Documents are available related to the Sport Science Institute (SSI) strategic initiatives and the Independent Medical Care legislation, in addition to the Presidents Council update.


Beginning in July, Jeff Docking, president of Adrian College, will succeed me as Presidents Council chair. Also in July, the Presidents Council will gain three new members: Mary Beth Cooper, Springfield College; Stuart Dorsey, Texas Lutheran University; and Robert Lindgren, Randolph-Macon College.


There are four areas of potential legislation for the 2018 Convention I would like to highlight: 

  • Football :  The Management Council's Playing and Practice Seasons Subcommittee is reviewing the Presidents Council's one-year waiver for allowing athletically related activities during the two administrative days, as well as other rules pertinent to preseason football practice in light of the new consensus recommendations. It will recommend to the Management and Presidents Councils legislative changes to be considered by the full membership at the 2018 NCAA Convention.

  • Graduate Student Transfer Eligibility :  The Management Council's Subcommittee for Legislative Relief is discussing potential revisions to the current policy, including potential legislation for the 2018 Convention that would focus on permitting Division III to Division III graduate transfer participation only.

  • Academic Misconduct:  Division III has begun to vet academic misconduct legislation similar to that passed by Division I and Division II.  The Presidents Council will review a legislative draft during its August meeting.

  • Sports Wagering :  It is anticipated that legislation will be put before the membership regarding sports wagering penalties and the appeals process.  Legislation would eliminate specific mandated penalties in some cases of sports wagering.


There are few activities on our member campuses that engage as many students as our respective intercollegiate athletics programs.  I encourage all of you to consider becoming involved in NCAA governance activities, as it is critical that our voices continue to shape the future of Division III. The challenges to our efforts to protect the primacy of our academic programs, balance athletics activities with full campus engagement, and the promotion of student-athlete and campus health, safety and well-being are tremendous.  Your engagement and your voices matter, perhaps more than ever.  It is our intent that the quarterly update provides the necessary and critical information you need to assist you in the oversight of Division III athletics on your campus.  

You can find a full recap of the April Presidents Council meeting here, in addition to the Summary of Actions  that highlights all recent Council actions.  As always, I welcome any comments or questions.  I hope you will welcome and support Jeff Docking as he becomes our chair on July 1.


Dan Dutcher

Vice President for Division III

Louise McCleary

Director of Division III

Jay Jones

Associate Director of Division III

 Adam Skaggs

Assistant Director of Division III Governance Communications

Debbie Kresge

Executive Assistant for Division III

Debbie Brown

Administrative Assistant for Division III

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