The NCAA Division III staff has created this bi-weekly communication for the Division III Commissioners Association 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
Interpretations and Legislation Committee, July 15
Virtual recruiting. Recommended to the Subcommittee for Legislative Relief the extension of the blanket waiver allowing virtual recruiting presentations. The waiver would be extended while the governance structure explores potential legislative change for a vote at the 2022 NCAA Convention. Anticipate the waiver coinciding with this process.
Championships Committee, July 15
Championships access. The committee continued discussing contingency scenarios for managing championships in the event the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 crisis significantly impact sports sponsorship this fall. The committee analyzed championship brackets and formats based on varying sponsorship percentages by sport to determine how best to provide a quality championship experience under compromised circumstances (e.g. determining how many schools are sponsoring the sport and then applying the access ratio). If the fall championships are conducted, the committee will plan on fewer preliminary round sites and assign them as predetermined in order to accommodate for enhanced
health and safety measures.
Playing and Practice Seasons Subcommittee, July 15
Playing season regulations. [See Management Council]
Membership Committee, July 16
Governance committee updates. The committee received an update on recent actions taken by the Division III Administrative Committee, the Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement and the Subcommittee for Legislative Relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and noted how the actions may tie into the committee’s future discussions.
Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, July 18-19
Mental and physical health. SAAC established its working groups for the coming year and the Mental and Physical Health working group will focus on the impact of COVID-19 on student-athletes.
Playing-season regulations. SAAC was in full support of the 114 day model to provide flexibility for institutions, athletic teams and student-athletes. [See Management Council] The group, however, did share concerns regarding the time demands with virtual meetings and virtual recruiting and how they could negatively impact the student-athlete experience.
Management Council, July 20-21
Playing season regulations. The Council approved a request from the Playing and Practice Seasons Subcommittee that revises the playing and practice seasons model for 2020-21 to address concerns in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. The subcommittee’s proposal converts the existing weeks model to 114 days to be used at any time during the academic year. The start date and maximum number of competitions would not change. The proposal also allows basketball, ice hockey and wrestling have an earlier practice start date of October 1 but maintains existing competition start dates in those sports. Presidents Council subsequently ratified
the action via email correspondence.
Statement regarding fall championships. “Out of concern for the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, athletics administrators and communities in which our Division III athletics programs are located, the Division III Management Council urges the NCAA Board of Governors to take immediate action to cancel the 2020 NCAA Division III Fall Championships. Moving forward, we, as members of Management Council, commit to continue to monitor and assess the evolving conditions surrounding COVID-19 and making recommendations in the best interest of Division III students-athletes, coaches and staff.”
At this time, no changes have been made to the Division III 2020 fall championships schedule or capacity. The NCAA continues to monitor the ever-changing conditions surrounding COVID-19 and ultimately the Board of Governors will make the determination on the status of fall championships at one of its upcoming meetings (July 24 and August 4). We will communicate with the membership as soon as more information is available.
COVID-19 Playing and Practice Season Internal Working Group
The third publication, Developing Standards for Practice and Competitionregarding the resocialization of collegiate sport, updates two prior documents and provides new guidance to assist NCAA members with their efforts to provide a healthy and safe athletics environment. Plans are to issue an updated Q and A document in the coming weeks.
UPCOMING MEETINGS AND ANTICIPATED DISCUSSIONS
Championships Committee, July 30
Sport sponsorship for championships eligibility. The committee will review the status of school and conference competition plans and finalize the necessary sponsorship threshold by sport that merits a championship in 2020-21.
Fall championships. The committee will discuss the recent Management Council statement that recommends that fall championships be cancelled and any subsequent action from the Board of Governors. Further, the committee will receive a report from staff about the feasibility of and expenses related to conducting fall sport championships in the spring semester.
Playing and Practice Seasons Subcommittee, July 28
Alternate playing and practice seasons. The subcommittee will review potential developments and questions regarding its approved alternate 114 day playing season model.
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