The NCAA Division III staff has created this bi-weekly communication for the Division III Commissioners Association in an effort to provide up-to-date communications on the constantly evolving impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Division III membership. The communication is divided into the following sections:
Recent Governance Meetings and Key COVID-19 Discussions and Outcomes.
Upcoming Governance Meetings and Anticipated Discussions.
Please share this communication with your conference members.
Interpretations and Legislation Committee, April 16
No direct discussions regarding COVID-19.
Membership Committee, April 16
2019-20 ISSG: Deadline moved to May 31, 2021 (one-year extension).
Will discuss potential changes to sports-sponsor rules for 2020-21 during its May teleconference. The committee will examine the total number of sports required by gender, the 1,000 enrollment threshold, required sports per playing season, team/individual sport minimums, participant minimums and constant DOC minimums. The committee will discuss how to position Division III to address immediate concerns (2020-21), as well as potential long-term criteria.
SAAC Meeting, April 18-19
COVID-19 issues emerged throughout the agenda. In partnership with the NCAA Sports Science Institute, the committee finalized its plan for the May 4-7 #BreakTheStigma mental health social media campaign. Information and resources for the campaign can be found here. The committee discussed the importance of the campaign in light of the current global pandemic and impact of the personal, academic and athletic lives of the Division III student-athletes.
SAAC also discussed their individual COVID-19 experiences so far. The senior SAAC members shared that many still haven't heard about plans for their graduation ceremonies and other commencement events. SAAC members also voiced concerns about still having their belongings at school and when they might have the ability to officially move out from campus.
The committee agreed they are receiving a lot of information from campus, conference and the national office about COVID-19 and ask that all groups continue to provide student-athletes with information. They stated that transparent and consistent communication is appreciated, even if there are no specific updates to share.
Management Council, April 20-21
The Council members had an opportunity to discuss the impact of the coronavirus on their campus and in their conference and shared their concerns. Every Division III institution is impacted uniquely, with the shared need for clear and concise communications at all levels (i.e., campus, conference and national office). The Council expressed interest in further opportunities to discuss this issue.
The NCAA national office has a COVID-19 Action Team that includes senior staff. The team meets daily. Dr. Hainline also engages frequently with a COVID-19 Advisory Panel of independent health experts, as well as the CSMAS chair and a student-athlete representative from each division.
The Council noted that it is critical for the NCAA to provide timely updates on actions related to preseason and fall practices and competitions. The Advisory Panel is developing sport resocialization principles that align with recent federal guidelines.
COVID-19 Playing and Practice Season Working Group
To date, this group has held three weekly meetings. It is an internal, cross-department staff working group that is looking at all coronavirus issues related to summer conditioning, preseason, fall practices and competition. The working group is not a decision-making body, but it will forward research, data and recommendations to the COVID Action Team.
Budget reduction options and priorities for next year and beyond. Recommendations will be shared with Strategic Planning and Finance Committee in June.
Spring 2020 effect on 2021 automatic qualification - review of two-year waiting period and grace period issues.
Presidents Council, April 29
Resocialization of sport principles developed by Dr. Hainline, Chief Medical Officer, will be shared with the Board of Governors and the divisional presidential bodies.
With every communication, we also anticipate additional questions. Please send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay healthy and safe and thank you for your continued collaboration and leadership.
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