NCAA Division III

This update is a tool to enhance communication between the NCAA national office and the Division III membership, with distribution to athletics directors, senior woman administrators, faculty athletics representatives, presidents, national SAAC, conference commissioners and the NADIIIAA list serve.  We encourage athletic directors to share this communication with their athletics department members.  Please contact Louise McCleary to include an item or share comments, and remember to check out the Division III governance homepage for the latest news and information.


UPDATE:  Eligibility Center's New Registration Process

Staff anticipates the redesigned Eligibility Center website to go live today (Nov. 1).  As previously communicated, this new site will include an option to create a free profile page for Division III prospective student-athletes.  Establishing a registration process for prospective Division III student-athletes will allow them to receive education and information on being an NCAA student-athlete during the recruiting process.  Registration will also provide them with an NCAA ID prior to their enrollment at a member institution.  NCAA IDs are required to use several of the free NCAA technologies (e.g. waiver requests, reinstatement requests and online compliance forms).  Additional information regarding the new registration process will be provided in the coming weeks. 

Woman of the Year

Congratulations Margaret Guo, the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year!  Guo is a former Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) swimmer with dual degrees in electrical engineering and computer science, and biological engineering. Guo received the award October 16 at the annual awards dinner in Indianapolis.  Since its inception in 1991, the Woman of the Year Award has recognized graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves in athletics, academics, leadership and community service. Guo is the first MIT student, 12th swimmer and fourth Division III student-athlete to receive the award in its 26-year history.  Click here for the full release, including a short video.


Hot Topics

CoSIDA Updates

FAR Updates

360 Proof Updates

SSI Updates

Diversity Spotlight

Special Olympics

AMA Updates

Educational Information

The NCAA Record

Committee Updates

Key Dates

2017 NCAA Convention Resource Page

Please visit the 2017 Convention Resource page for this year's convention resources.  Staff will post key information (e.g., the Official Notice, Legislative Proposal Q&A guide, education session PowerPoints), on this page as it becomes available.

Division III Student Attendees at 2017 NCAA Convention

Do you have a student from your institution that is planning to attend the 2017 NCAA Convention?  Please note that the student registration fee is $25 and students (except those students serving on the national SAAC or selected through the Division III Student Immersion Program) must register for the Convention and lodging in the same manner as all other delegates.  Click here for a chart that provides a sampling of the programming the Division III staff and national Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) believe will be beneficial to Division III students.

LGBTQ Working Group

At its October meeting, the Management Council endorsed a proposal to establish a working group to address LGBTQ issues.  The working group's charge is to examine the current and potential programming, resources, and recognition of the LGBTQ community and its allies in Division III, and increase the engagement and collaboration at the institutional, conference and national levels.  Possible outcomes include the examination of the current involvement and role of athletics departments related to LGBTQ resources and programming; development of a best practices resource; and collaboration with the Office of Inclusion; establish recognitions for meritorious administrators, coaches and student-athletes; and to develop programming, as needed.  If you are interested in serving on this working group, please email with your name, position, institution and a brief statement of why you want to serve.  Staff anticipates selecting members by the end of the month.

Grad Rate Reporting

The 2016 voluntary graduation rates data collection hit an all-time high with 193 schools participating - an increase of 47 from 2015.  Thank you to all those schools that participated in this important initiative.  Honorariums will be distributed in the coming weeks as a thank you to the participating schools.  Don't miss the NCAA public release of the graduation rates on November 15.  Questions should be directed to Eric Hartung.


Division III and D3SIDA Recognition Award

Congratulations Chris Boswell, Assistant Sports Information Director at Alfred University, on receiving the 2016 Fall Division III and D3SIDA Recognition Award!  The selection committee of D3SIDA members chose Chris' video that highlighted the university's celebration of Division III Week.   To view the video, click here .  Division III and D3SIDA applaud your work and efforts.  Award winners receive a $1,500 credit to attend Division III Day held in conjunction with the annual 2017 CoSIDA convention. The credit covers the CoSIDA convention registration fee, two nights in the convention hotel, travel accommodations, and two days of meal per diem ($75/day). 

The NCAA Division III and D3SIDA recognition award is a partnership between the Division III governance staff and the Division III College Sports Information Directors of America (D3SIDA) to recognize the best work by athletics communication directors portraying the Division III identity and student-athlete experience.  The recognition program is part of the Division III Identity Initiative.  It seeks to honor the best work - including news releases, feature articles, videos, blogs and other materials - produced by Division III campus and conference athletics communication offices.

The next submission period opens December 1 and closes February 15.  For more details on the recognition award, click here.  


Twenty-nine (29) Division III Faculty Athletic Representatives (FARs) gathered in Indianapolis in mid-October to attend the seventh annual FAR Fellows Leadership Institute.  Attendees participated in three days of relationship building, personal reflection and action planning.  The group generated and prioritized a list of ways to become more effective as an FAR at the campus, conference and national levels.  Click here for more details.  Further information about the Institute can be found here.


The next 360 Proof learning collaborative webinar session is scheduled for Wednesday, November 30, at 1 p.m. Eastern time.  The webinar will provide an opportunity to network with peer institutions and learn from national experts in the field of high-risk alcohol use prevention. An invitation to register will be circulated one week in advance of the webinar.  Additional questions about 360 Proof?  Email:

You also are invited to book a one-on-one appointment with a 360 Proof Alcohol Prevention expert at the 2017 NCAA Convention.  To schedule your session, email a request to  and include: (a) your name and institution, (b) your phone number, and (c) the topic or questions you would like to discuss.


Sexual Violence Prevention Tool Kit

The Sexual Violence Prevention Tool Kit, endorsed by higher education associations, NCAA association-wide committees and content matter experts, is now available. The publication features five major areas of commitment with checklists and implementation tools to support athletics administrators in their efforts to prevent sexual violence on their campuses. The tool kit is available here or by visiting . Hard copies of the tool kit will be mailed in November to Division III conference commissioners, directors of athletics, senior woman administrators and Title IX coordinators. 

NCAA CHOICES Application

The application for the 2017 NCAA CHOICES Alcohol Education Grants is now open. As part of an effort to educate students about the risks involved with the misuse of alcohol, NCAA CHOICES provides funding for NCAA member institutions and conference offices to integrate athletics into campus-wide efforts to reduce alcohol abuse. Proposals must be submitted through the NCAA Program Hub not later than 5 p.m. Eastern time February 15, 2017. For more information about NCAA CHOICES, including grant guidelines and a tutorial on writing a proposal, please visit

Online Mental Health Education Modules

This November, the Sport Science Institute will release web-based educational modules for NCAA coaches, student-athletes, and faculty athletics representatives to increase awareness for student-athlete mental health and well-being and to help promote mental wellness and resiliency in an environment that encourages and destigmatizes help-seeking for mental health disorders. Additional information, including instructions for accessing the modules, will be shared with Division III institutions upon release. For more information on the NCAA's mental health efforts, visit the SSI website at

Sport Science Institute (SSI) Workshop

Will you be attending the 2017 NCAA Convention? The Sport Science Institute welcomes you to attend its joint session with the NCAA Office of Inclusion, "Promoting a Safe, Healthy and Inclusive Athletics Community: Strategies from the NCAA Office". The workshop will be held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, January 18, at the NCAA Convention in Nashville and includes topics such as substance abuse prevention, sexual violence prevention and health and safety best practices. Click here to learn more about the 2017 NCAA Convention and instructions on how to register. 


The Pennsylvania State University at Abington is the recipient of the October Division III Diversity Spotlight Initiative. With a longstanding history of offering programs related to diversity and inclusion, Penn State-Abington offers a yearly event called the Diversity Leadership Retreat. The retreat provides an educational opportunity for students to grow as leaders and deepen their understanding of diversity. The activities offered vary from exploring individual and group dynamics, identity, social justice, ethics, communication, and many other topics. The purpose of the retreat is to not only learn about others but to encourage students to challenge themselves in the exploration of their own definition of diversity. Click here for the full story.

The Diversity Spotlight Initiative recognizes and promotes outstanding diversity related projects, programming and initiatives that are occurring on Division III campuses and in conference offices.  Each month, the program recognizes an institution or conference in regard to a diversity related event, program or initiative.   All recipients receive $500 towards their next diversity initiative.  To submit an initiative for consideration for October, please email Reed Fogle or Julian Jones, with a brief statement (no more than 500 words) as to why your institution or conference office deserves to be the spotlight recipient. Attach a video or photo if applicable. The nomination deadline is November 21


Spotlight Poll

The NCAA Division III Special Olympics Spotlight Poll is a story-telling initiative located on .  It features new stories each month that highlight a Division III and Special Olympics joint activity or event.  The story with the highest number of votes on the 25th day of each month is the winner. That institution or conference receives $500 to use for its next Special Olympics event. Both written and digital submissions are accepted.  Featured stories are selected based on inclusion of the student-athlete perspective and Division III messaging. To submit a story for consideration, please email

October Winner

SUNY Canton Hosts 2016 New York State Special Olympics Summer Games won the October Special Olympics Spotlight poll by garnering 77% (555) of the total votes! SUNY Canton will receive $500 to use for its next Special Olympics event. To submit a story for consideration, please email

November Nominees
Here are the stories for the November Special Olympics poll:

• Anna Maria football hosts Special Olympics teams from Seven Hills for skills clinic
• Hamline hosts unified basketball game with Special Olympics
• Wheaton College (MA) women's basketball starts season with Special Olympics of Massachusetts

Click here to vote starting Tuesday, November 1. The winner will be selected November 25, 2016..


Rule of the Month

Per Bylaw 16.3.1 (academic-based programming and services) and Bylaw 16.3.2 (support services and other programming), institutions are permitted to provide academic and other support services for student-athletes if similar services are available to students in general, or if similar services are available for segments of the student body that are not based on athletics ability. 

This legislation allows specific services such as career counseling programs and services designed to protect and enhance the physical and educational well-being of student-athletes (e.g., cultural diversity programming, time management programming) to be limited to student-athletes if there are similar programs that are available to other groups of students on campus.

To determine whether a service may be provided, an institution should be able to identify and describe an academic or support service on campus that is like the service they wish to provide to student-athletes.  Both services should have a similar intended benefit and provide that benefit on a comparable scale.

Finally, if the program involves sports related information and occurs outside the playing season, it would have to be open to more than one of your institution's teams to avoid being considered an impermissible athletically related activity.

2017 NCAA Convention Registration

Registration for the 2017 NCAA Convention is now open.  Early registration ends December 1.  Be sure to register before the fee for NCAA members increases from $325 to $450.  As a reminder, for purposes of meeting Division III membership requirements outlined in Bylaw (Convention and Regional Rules Seminar Attendance), each Division III institution is required to send a delegate who must cast a vote at the Convention business session. Failure to comply with the Convention attendance requirement will result in an institution being placed in probationary status for a three-year period. 

Second Publication of Proposed Legislation 

In 2013, the NCAA surveyed roughly 21,000 student-athletes regarding their substance use habits as part of an ongoing assessment conducted every four years. Excessive drinking among student-athletes is falling and they are using social drugs at lower rates than their peers on campus, but their use of prescription drugs is increasing. 

Legislative Timeline

The legislative timeline for the remainder of the 2016-17 legislative cycle is summarized below.

November 1 : Deadline for amendments-to-amendments and all resolutions. All amendments-to-amendments (which do not increase the modification of the original amendment/proposal) and all resolutions must be received in the national office not later than 5 p.m. Eastern time November 1. No amendments-to-amendments sponsored by the membership may be submitted after this date. The Presidents Council is authorized to submit further amendments-to-amendments at the Convention if it deems such action necessary, provided it is approved by two-thirds of the Council and copies are distributed before or during the business session.

November 15: The Official Notice will be available for distribution to the entire membership through a hard-copy mailing. The Official Notice includes all membership-sponsored legislation (as modified by a sponsor modification submitted by the September 15 deadline), all Presidents-Council sponsored legislation, all properly submitted amendments-to-amendments and resolutions (submitted by the November 1 deadline) and all position statements issued by the Division III Councils.

January 18-21, 2017 : NCAA Convention: All delegates receive the NCAA Convention Program when they register at the Convention. The Convention Program contains the most up-to-date meeting schedule and other helpful Convention information. Changes of an editorial nature to the proposed legislation (as it appears in the Official Notice) will be noted for the membership on the Convention floor at the beginning of the Convention business session and will be distributed in a handout (if necessary).

Staff Interpretation

Seasons of Participation -- Transfer from a non-Division III Institution (III). Date Issued: September 15, 2016. Date Published: September 28, 2016. Type: Staff Interpretation. Item Ref: 2b. The Interpretations and Legislation Committee confirmed that the Division III seasons of participation standard does not apply to a transfer student-athlete's previous participation at a non-Division III institution. The transfer student-athlete is subject to the legislation that applied to the previous institution during the term of participation. [References: NCAA Division III Bylaw 14.2.4 (criteria for determining season of eligibility) and a Staff Interpretation (3/8/2016, Item No. a), which has been archived.]

Official Interpretations

Promotional Activity Involving a Commercial Sponsor or Location (III) . Date Issued:  October 20, 2016. Date Published:  October 20, 2016. Item Ref:  2b. Type: Official Interpretation. The Interpretations and Legislation Committee determined that student-athletes are permitted to distribute information about institutional fundraisers, even if those institutional fundraisers involve a commercial location or sponsor, as information distribution does not constitute promotion of a commercial product or service. [References: NCAA Division III Bylaws (institutional, charitable, educational or nonprofit promotions) and (promotions involving commercial locations/sponsors)]

Out-of-Season Activities as Part of a National Team Development Program (III) . Date Issued:  October 20, 2016. Date Published:  October 20, 2016. Item Ref:  2a. Type: Official Interpretation. The Interpretations and Legislation Committee confirmed that institutional coaches who have been selected for coaching positions within an Olympic or national team development program are not permitted to identify their team as program participants to circumvent the prohibition on out-of-season athletically related activities.  Program participants who are from the same institution as the coach shall have been selected in the same manner as all other program participants. [References: NCAA Division III Bylaw (Olympic and national team development program)]

SAR Update

In addition to processing reinstatement requests, the student-athlete reinstatement staff also reviews season-of-participation waivers, extension of eligibility waivers, hardship waiver appeals, and hardship waivers for independent institutions. For waivers involving a student-athlete's injury or illness, institutions should submit contemporaneous medical documentation from a treating physician that establishes the student-athlete's inability to compete for the remainder of the traditional season because of the injury or illness. Absent extraordinary circumstances outside the control of the student-athlete that bar the ability to obtain contemporaneous medical documentation, the burden to meet the information and documentation standards regarding incapacitation falls on the student-athlete and institution.


DiSC Assessments Available

Use of the DiSC is strongly encouraged on member campuses. Participants gain personalized feedback on their specific leadership style, and student-athletes, coaches and administrators gain valuable understanding of each individual's unique behavioral style. Applying this knowledge can develop effective team dynamics, leadership, and communication among the group. 

In 2016-17, each Division III school interested in utilizing the DiSC resource will be provided assessments for up to 50 student-athletes, as well as 30 coaches or administrators, at no cost. Funding is limited and requests will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. To learn more about the DiSC resource, click here.

Division III Diversity Grants

Proposals are now being accepted for the Division III Diversity Grants: The Ethnic Minority and Women's Internship Grant and the Strategic Alliance Matching Grant. The internship grant provides grant funding for the salary and professional development of entry-level, administratively-focused positions. The Strategic Alliance Matching Grant likewise provides grant funding for the salary and benefits of mid-to senior-level, administratively-focused positions in addition to funding for both professional development and technology expenses. The deadline to submit a proposal is 5 p.m. Eastern time January 30, 2017.  

NCAA and NFL Coaches Academy

The 2017 academy will take place Feb. 10-12, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. Current full-time position coaches, coordinators and assistant or associate head coaches at NCAA member schools are eligible to apply. During the three-day academy, the NCAA leadership development staff and National Football League Player Engagement can educate and train selected participants in a variety of areas that encourage effective coaching and improve student-athlete well-being, at both the college and professional levels. Topical education and conversation during the academy may include: effective communication with campus and community constituents; the importance of building culture focused on the overall success of the student-athletes both on and off the field; budget management of a football program; coaching strategies and philosophies. The NCAA and NFL will provide lodging, meals, and program materials. The only costs to the participants shall be travel costs and hotel incidentals. The application for the 2017 academy will open at 8 a.m. Eastern time Nov. 2, 2016. The deadline to apply is noon Eastern time Nov. 30, 2016. For more information, go here


See the latest appointments, promotions and retirements in the NCAA Record.


Several committees conducted in-person meetings in October. 

Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct, October 3-4
Division III FAR Fellows Institute, October 14-16
Management Council, October 17-18
Presidents Council, October 26-27


Dates Meeting/Championships Location 
Nov. 7 Women's Volleyball Selection Show (12:30 p.m. ET) Indianapolis, Indiana 
Nov. 7  Men's Soccer Selection Show (1 p.m. ET) Indianapolis, Indiana 
Nov. 7  Women's Soccer Selection Show (1:30 p.m. ET) Indianapolis, Indiana 
Nov. 13Football Selection Show (6 p.m. ET)Indianapolis, Indiana 
Nov. 13-14   Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Meeting Indianapolis, Indiana 
Nov. 14-15 Financial Aid Committee Meeting Indianapolis, Indiana 
Nov. 17-19 Women's Volleyball Championship Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Nov. 19 Men's and Women's Cross Country Championship Louisville, Kentucky
Nov. 19-20 Field Hockey Championship Geneva, New York 
Nov. 30 - Dec. 1 Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement Meeting Indianapolis, Indiana 
Dec. 2-3Men's and Women's Soccer Championship Salem, Virginia
Dec. 11-14 Competitive Safeguards & Medical Aspects of Sport Meeting Los Angeles, California
Dec. 17Football ChampionshipSalem, Virginia
Jan. 17 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee MeetingNashville, Tennessee
Jan. 18-21NCAA ConventionNashville, Tennessee
Jan. 18Management Council MeetingNashville, Tennessee
Jan. 19Presidents Council MeetingNashville, Tennessee

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