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DIVISION III PRESIDENTS QUARTERLY UPDATE - AUGUST 2020

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR 
President Tori Murden McClure

This update highlights the August 2020 Division III Presidents Advisory Group (PAG) and Presidents Council virtual meetings. Since early March, our worlds have been significantly impacted and altered by COVID-19. Please know that the Division III Presidents Council and the entire divisional governance structure is working tirelessly on your behalf to respond to this challenge.  I encourage you to review and discuss relevant issues included in this update with your presidential colleagues and commissioners.

BOARD OF GOVERNORS ACTIONS

On August 5, the NCAA Board of Governors directed each division and its member schools and conferences to safeguard student-athlete well-being and eligibility and to meet specific requirements if they conduct fall sports.  The Division III Administrative Committee recently conducted a videoconference and acted on these directives.

DIVISION III FALL CHAMPIONSHIPS CANCELLED

The Presidents Council voted to cancel Division III championships in fall sports for 2020-21.  With the health and safety of the division’s student-athletes, coaches, athletics administrators and communities as its priority, the Council made the decision to cancel the championships due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related administrative and financial challenges. You can read more about the decision here.

COVID-19 RESOURCES

Key resource pages include the following:

BUDGET REDUCTIONS

The Presidents Council approved a recommendation from the Division III Strategic Planning and Finance Committee for championship and non-championship budget cuts of nearly $2 million annually to offset budget shortfalls due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The cuts are necessary as a result of this year’s budget shortfall of approximately $9 million.  The Council also approved a recommended change to the mandated reserve policy starting in 2024-25.  Instead of a percentage of the annual revenue, the mandated reserve will target a flat amount of $15 million plus a $5 million financial insurance policy. 

 

STUDENT-ATHLETE WAIVER

The Presidents Council ratified a proactive blanket waiver permitting Division III student-athletes whose teams complete 50% or less of the sport’s maximum contests/dates of competition during the 2020-21 season, due to the impact of COVID-19, to receive a season-of-participation waiver.

The waiver was first approved by the Administrative Committee and was initially recommended by the Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee. It is intended to provide institutions and student-athletes appropriate flexibility given the uncertainty surrounding the 2020-21 academic year. The proactive blanket waiver allows student-athletes to make informed enrollment decisions prior to the 2020-21 academic year.

ALTERNATIVE PLAYING AND PRACTICE SEASONS MODEL

The Council received an update on an alternative playing and practice season model for the 2020-21 academic year.  The waiver eliminates defined segments and weeks of the playing season and allows institutions to conduct their season at any time during the academic year provided they do not exceed 114 days of athletically related activity.  The 114 days do not have to occur in consecutive weeks. In addition, the sports of basketball, bowling, ice hockey and wrestling would maintain their current first competition dates but could start practice as early as October 1. Click here for a FAQ.

2021 NCAA CONVENTION: PRESIDENTIAL LEGISLATION-STUDENT-ATHLETE NAME, IMAGE AND LIKENESS

The Council voted to sponsor two legislative concepts on student-athletes’ use of their name, image and likeness (NIL) for the 2021 NCAA Convention.  The first concept would allow student-athletes to use their status as athletes to promote their own work product or service.  The second concept would allow student-athletes to use their status as athletes to endorse third-party products or services, provided there is no institutional involvement in procuring promotional opportunities for student-athletes (except to the extent the school is involved with assisting students generally).  The division’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee endorsed the concepts.  Click here for more information on the new name, image, and likeness legislation and here for additional NIL resources.
 

2021 NCAA CONVENTION SCHEDULE

The 2021 NCAA Convention will take place virtually from January 11-15 due to the impact of COVID-19.  Staff will provide the presidential delegate schedule in the coming weeks.

CONCLUSION

It is my intent that the quarterly update provides the necessary and critical information to assist you in the oversight of Division III athletics on your campus.  You can find a full recap of the August Presidents Council meeting here, and the Summary of Actions, which highlights all recent Council actions.  As always, I welcome any comments or questions. 
 

DIVISION III GOVERNANCE STAFF

Dan Dutcher
Vice President for Division III

Louise McCleary
Managing Director of Division III

Ali Spungen
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
This email was sent to NCAA Division III presidents and chancellors; conference commissioners and athletics direct reports based on contact information in the NCAA Directory.
National Collegiate Athletic Association, 700 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204 US



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