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. Please share this communication with your conference members.
RECENT GOVERNANCE MEETINGS AND KEY COVID-19 DISCUSSIONS AND OUTCOMES
Administrative Committee, June 10
Preseason practice period for fall sports. Approved the first permissible practice date for all fall sports shall be August 10 or the first day of class whichever is earlier for 2020-21.
Administrative days. Approved that institutions shall have unlimited administrative days in 2020-21 to conduct non-athletically related activities (i.e. those days in which the institution may provide housing and meals expenses to student-athletes prior to the start of practice).
Strategic Planning and Finance Committee, June 11
2020-21 and future budgets. Recommending annual championship ($1.5M) and nonchampionship ($600K) supplemental budget cuts effective 2020-21 through 2023-24. Specific championship cuts include the following:
Eliminate local group transportation for individual sports.
Eliminate local group transportation for team sports.
Suspend pilot program to separate conference opponents in the first round of competition.
Conference grant policy revisions. The committee approved the following requests from the Division III Commissioners Conference Grant Subcommittee:
Allow the use of Tier Two funds for personal protective equipment effective immediately for 2019-20 and 2020-21 only.
For 2020-21, allow the use of Tier Two funds for medical testing/screening equipment for COVID-19.
Allow the use of Tier One senior woman administrator (SWA) funding for attendance at WeCoach.
Playing and Practice Seasons Subcommittee, June 17
Maximum contest limits. Reviewed current contest maximums and did not recommend any changes.
Fall 2020 nontraditional segment. Reviewed waiver requests regarding a more robust fall 2020 nontraditional season (length, competitions, etc.). The PPSS did not endorse any waiver but indicated the following for the Subcommittee for Legislative Relief’s consideration:
Health and safety should be the priority.
Any additional competition should be minimal.
Greater flexibility should be considered in applying existing standards (e.g., allow nonconsecutive weeks, allow spreading out the 16 days of participation over a longer period or with smaller groups).
SLR will review and either make a final decision or forward a recommendation to the Management Council.
COVID-19 Playing and Practice Seasons Internal Working Group
Fall calendars. Click here for sport specific fall calendars that detail the first permissible practice opportunity, first competition date, championship selection date and national championship. The calendars also include recent key Administrative Committee actions (e.g., minimum contest reductions) and the Resocialization of Sport guidelines.
Transitions to return to play
. A subcommittee of the Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport is working to inform the COVID-19 Playing and Practice Season Internal Working Group. The subcommittee agreed that there are numerous COVID-specific factors that will necessitate careful consideration by institutional leadership, athletics and medical staff before and as part of the return of student-athletes to campus. These considerations will undoubtedly warrant changes to the traditional schedules of activities. Each student-athlete is physically and mentally unique and schools should assume that each has encountered distinct COVID-specific challenges since leaving campus. This means
each student-athlete will adjust to re-entry differently. Because of COVID-related factors, planning for pre-workout screening, transition and acclimatization period activities will require increased and intentional focus. [NOTE: While this summary is written for the entire Association, some recommendations are Division I specific.] [REQUEST: Staff encourages commissioners to share this resource with campus athletic trainers and athletic healthcare administrators.]
UPCOMING MEETINGS AND ANTICIPATED DISCUSSIONS
Interpretations and Legislation Committee, June 18
Virtual team meetings. Will discuss involvement of prospective student-athletes, who have deposited, in virtual team meetings. Any recommendation will go to SLR.
Championships Committee, June 22-23
Championships access. Will continue to review sponsorship levels by sport (focus on fall), and the related need and method to adjust championship access (e.g., determining how many schools are sponsoring the sport and then applying the access ratio). Staff believes that ultimately the committee will set up guiding principles.
Receive initial information on how health and safety considerations might affect the administration of 2020-21 championships (especially fall).
Membership Committee, June 24-25
Discuss the potential for additional waivers and establish guiding principles.
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.
This email was sent to the NCAA Division III Commissioners Association