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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 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, conference commissioners and the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators electronic mailing list.  We encourage athletics directors to share this communication with their 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.


Football Preseason Proposal Survey

At its April meeting, the Division III Presidents Council voted to sponsor 2019 Convention legislation to amend the football preseason legislation as follows: (1) The first permissible practice date shall be 23 days before the institution's first regular season contest; and (2) A day off from physical athletically related activity shall be provided during each week of the preseason following the five-day acclimatization period (e.g., two days total).  Therefore, there would be no more than 21 practice opportunities.  The proposal originated with the Division III Football Committee and the Management Council's Playing and Practice Seasons Subcommittee. The Management Council is seeking feedback from the membership to determine if there are any needed revisions to the proposal.  Last week, a related survey was sent to commissioners of conferences that sponsor football, and all athletics directors, head football coaches and athletics trainers at institutions that sponsor football.

Commission on College Basketball

Last week, the NCAA Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors unanimously endorsed a series of recommendations from the Commission on College Basketball. These recommendations will help ensure integrity in the game, strengthen accountability in college sports and demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of student-athletes.


Hot Topics

FAR Updates

Sports Information & Athletics Communication Updates

360 Proof Updates

SSI Updates

Diversity Spotlight

Special Olympics

AMA Updates

Educational Information

Committee Updates

Key Dates

Weather-Related Competition Concerns

The NCAA staff and the Division III Membership Committee are aware of the significant concerns related to this year's spring weather.  We understand that through the snow and subsequent thaw, some institutions are facing a legitimate challenge in meeting minimum sports-sponsorship requirements for their outdoor spring sports.  The committee and staff will work with member schools at the conclusion of the spring season if waivers are needed.  At this time, we recommend that institutions continue working toward completing all their scheduled contests.  In doing so, please be conscious of issues impacting student-athlete wellbeing.  If you think your institution is likely to fall short of the minimum requirements, carefully document cancellations, reasons for cancellations and your efforts to reschedule, in case an individual waiver needs to be filed.  At the conclusion of the season, the Membership Committee will consider a 'blanket waiver' in order to address the concerns if it becomes apparent that a large number of schools have fallen short of the requirements.  Because the weather-related challenges do not impact our entire Division III membership, and because those institutions not impacted must continue to meet the legislated sports-sponsorship requirements, it is best to address the potential for a blanket waiver at the completion of the spring season.

For concerns related to championships eligibility, commissioners (or athletics directors for independent institutions) should follow the same protocol for documenting cancellations and contact the respective NCAA staff championship manager regarding the conference automatic qualification or at-large bid consideration for conference members.  Sport committees will review the number of contests completed by teams at the time of the final published ranking and will address each situation on a case-by-case basis before championship selections.

Division III Membership Survey Results

Approximately 70 percent of Division III institutions recently completed the 2018 Membership Survey.  Click here for an executive summary and visit for the institutional and commissioner survey results from 2018, 2013 and 2008.  Sincere thanks to each member institution and conference that completed and submitted this important document.

Division III Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) Program

The past two years, the NCAA governance staff has partnered with Women Leaders in College Sports to offer a professional development opportunity for Division III SWAs.  Annually, Division III provides funding for 30 SWAs to attend a division-specific program. At the request of the membership, the program will alternate being held in conjunction with the annual Women Leaders in College Sports Convention (Fall) and the NCAA Inclusion Forum (Spring).  Next year, the program will be held in the spring in conjunction with the Inclusion Forum.  Applications will become available, via NCAA Program Hub, in October, and final selections will be announced in late-November.  For additional information, contact Louise McCleary.

Podcast with Management Council Chair

To some, the NCAA's many committees and councils are little more than nameless, faceless entities. But they are composed of athletics administrators, coaches and student-athletes who volunteer their time to help the Association and college sports continue to evolve. What does that committee service entail? Listen to the recent podcast with Shantey Hill, assistant vice president and senior director of athletics and recreation, at St. Joseph's (Long Island) and chair of the Division III Management Council discuss this fundamental topic.

NCAA Division III Webinars

The next Division III webinar will be 1:30 to 2 p.m. Eastern time, Tuesday, June 5.  Participants must RSVP by emailing Debbie Brown not later than 5 p.m. Eastern time Friday, June 1.  The topic will be an overview of the Division III diversity grant process and an identity initiative update. 

A future webinar will be conducted on the following date from 1:30 to 2 p.m. Eastern time:  

  • Aug. 7 - Gameday the DIII Way
Each webinar is limited to the first 250 participants. Additional webinars and/or recordings, will be provided if necessary.

Identity Initiative Purchasing Website

Have you used your $500 purchasing website credit? As of May 1, the Division III Identity Initiative purchasing website now features new Gameday the DIII Way items. To view, click here . Do not forget that a $500 credit is available for each institution and conference through August 2018 for purchases from the site.  Access the site by entering the email address of your institution's director of athletics (or for conferences, the commissioner's email address) as the username, and the password you created. For assistance, contact Amy Byrnes at Source One Digital.

Division III Week Recap

Seventy-eight (78) percent of Division III member institutions and conferences (420 total) celebrated the seventh annual Division III Week, April 2-8.  Many of this year's activities featured the division's partnership with Special Olympics.  Division III raised $6,700 for Special Olympics North America by encouraging schools and conference offices to follow @NCAADIII on Twitter.  For the second year straight, the division hosted a DIII Week video contest.  After 21 submissions, Earlham College was selected the winner.  To view the video, click here. The Earlham Quakers will be awarded $500. The eighth annual Division III Week will be April 1-7, 2019. While planning for next year's event, remember to use resources and check for updates at the Division III Week website.

Recipients Announced for Division III Diversity Grants

Twenty-nine schools and conference offices will receive diversity grants for the upcoming cycles of the Ethnic Minorities and Women's Internship Grant (23 recipients) and the Strategic Alliance Matching Grant (six recipients and two deferrals). Committees consisting of membership representatives select the grant recipients.  Successful grant applications encourage access, recruitment, selection and the long-term success of ethnic minorities and women in athletics administration and coaching. The full list of recipients can be found here

ACTION REQUEST:  Graduation Rate Collection

The Academic Portal for the federal graduation rates and enrollment data is now open. The submission deadline is June 1.  Institutions can access the site through the NCAA's Single-Source Sign-On (SSO) system.  In addition to the required student-body reporting, Division III members are strongly encouraged to provide the voluntary graduation success rate data for the 2011-12 student-athlete cohort.  Please contact Maria DeJulio or Eric Hartung with any questions.

ACTION REQUEST:  Sport Sponsorship and Demographic Form

The Sport Sponsorship and Demographic Form will open May 7.  The completed form, which is a membership requirement, must be submitted no later than Aug. 1.  Access to the site is through the NCAA's single source sign-on (SSO).  The instructions and frequently asked questions documents found within the site will guide the user through each area of the form.  If you have additional questions, contact Maria DeJulio, 913-397-7668.


New 2018 Faculty athletics Representative (FAR) Orientation

Division III is launching a new FAR Orientation from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 in Baltimore.  The program is being held in conjunction with the FARA Annual Meeting and will focus on understanding the Division III model of athletics, exploring the role of a Division III FAR and enabling participants to get the most from the FARA Annual Meeting.  Funding for the institute is provided by the Division III budget and covers all attendee expenses. 

The program is open to FARs with two years or less experience in the role, and priority will be given to those who are attending the FARA annual meeting for the first time.  Selections also will focus on accommodating the greatest possible number of Division III conferences and on maximizing diversity in personal and institutional demographics for the class. The 2018 class will include 25 to 30 participants.

Applications will be open in the NCAA Program Hub from May 1 through Sept. 1, with selections announced Sept. 7.  This Orientation will take place in alternating years (2018, 2020, etc.) with the FAR Fellows Leadership Institute (2019, 2021, etc.).  See the event web page for further details on the program's purpose, objectives and application. Any questions about the Orientation may be directed to Leah Kareti.  


2018 CoSIDA Convention Registration

Online registration for the 2018 CoSIDA Convention, taking place June 27-30 in the Washington D.C. area in conjunction with NACDA and Affiliates Convention Week, is now open.  A day featuring Division III specific programming will occur Thursday, June 28.  Similar to past years, additional dollars were added to the Division III Conference Grant specifically for campus Athletics Communication Directors and Sports Information Directors to receive funding for this professional development opportunity.  Ask your conference commissioner for details. 


Prevention Tip

It’s the end of the academic year!  Take stock of what went well, what went less well (and therefore what you might want to try differently next year).  Start planning for the subsequent academic year by considering the end-of-the-year activities discussed in the webinar from April 29, 2015, posted on the 360 Proof’s Center Point.

Program Support

Want to talk to an expert as you reflect on last year and get ready for 2018-19?  360 Proof offers phone consultations to discuss either general prevention strategy or use of 360 Proof tools.   To schedule this call, send an email request to and include:

  1. Your name and institution. 
  2. Your phone number. 
  3. The topic you would like to discuss.

Please contact Leah Kareti with any questions about 360 Proof.  Don't miss us on Twitter for 360 Proof highlights, tips and tutorials: @Real360Proof


Sexual Violence Attestation Form

The NCAA Board of Governors Policy on Campus Sexual Violence Attestation Form is due Tuesday, May 15. The attestation form requires signatures from the school's president or chancellor, athletics director and Title IX coordinator. A school must submit the form via the NCAA Program Hub

Football Helmets

The SSI sent out an email last week regarding football helmets to inform the NCAA membership that the NFL released helmet laboratory testing performance results. The NFL is prohibiting 10 helmet models from being worn by NFL players.  NCAA Football Playing Rules mandate that all football helmets must be certified by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), which uses a different testing methodology than that of the NFL. NOCSAE is re-examining its standards in light of the NFL results and will provide a report back to the NCAA.


The University of Wisconsin-River Falls is the recipient of the April Division III Diversity Spotlight Initiative. The Wisconsin-River Falls athletics diversity council, Falcons United, hosted two workshops that focused on supporting transgender student-athletes. The athletics department has adopted a policy of inclusion for transgender student-athletes, and one component of the policy is to provide education to the coaches, staff and student-athletes to better understand how to support transgender student-athletes. Click here for more information and a photo gallery. 

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.  All selected recipients receive $500 toward their next diversity initiative.  To submit an initiative for consideration for May, email Louise McCleary, 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 May 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

April Winner

After 3,344 total votes, UChicago's WAA Hosts "Slam Dunk for Special Olympics" Fundraiser won the April Special Olympics Spotlight Poll by gathering 40 percent (1,329) of the total votes. The University of Chicago will receive $500 to use for its next Special Olympics event.

May Nominees

Here are the stories for the February Special Olympics poll:

Click here to vote starting Tuesday, May 1. The winner will be selected May 26, 2018.


Rule of the Month

Permission to Contact and Structural Change.  Division III recruiting regulations are applicable to any student-athlete currently enrolled at a four-year institution. That legislation includes the permission-to-contact requirement, under which Division III institutions are required to receive permission from a student-athlete's current NCAA or NAIA institution before making athletics recruiting contact with that individual. 

The permission-to-contact requirement continues to apply in a scenario where the student-athlete's current institution plans a structural change. In situations involving impending closures, mergers or the discontinuation of an institution's sport, the affected institution may choose to issue a blanket permission-to-contact statement for all of its impacted student-athletes to facilitate the process for those individuals to begin speaking to other institutions. Such a release is made at the discretion of that institution, however, and is not automatically applied. In the absence of a verified release statement, Division III institutions should assume that permission to contact is still needed and proceed accordingly.

Last, the exceptions to the permission-to-contact legislation also continue to apply. Specifically, current Division III student-athletes are allowed to issue a self-release if they are interested in speaking to another Division III institution; and Division III institutions do not need permission from another four-year institution to contact any individual who officially has withdrawn from that institution.  [NCAA Division III Bylaw (four-year college prospective student-athletes), Bylaw (self-release) and Bylaw (student-athlete withdrawn from four-year college)]

Recent Interpretations

Official Interpretation - Permission to Contact for Graduate Student Participation (III) .  Date Issued:  March 16, 2018. Date Published:  March 21, 2018. The Division III Interpretations and Legislation Committee confirmed that an athletics department staff member may not contact a student-athlete at another Division III institution for purposes of participating as a graduate student without obtaining a written release from the institution or a self-release. An athletics department staff member does not need to obtain the release if the student has officially withdrawn or graduated from the previous institution and the student's sport is no longer in season. [References: NCAA Division III Bylaws (four-year college prospective student-athletes), (self-release), (student-athlete withdrawn from four-year college) and 14.1.9 (graduate student/postbaccalaureate participation)]

Official Interpretation - Enrollment Requirements for Postbaccalaureate Eligibility (III). Date Issued:  March 16, 2018. Date Published:  March 21, 2018. The Division III Interpretations and Legislation Committee confirmed the following enrollment requirements for participation as a postbaccalaureate student-athlete: 

  • The student shall be enrolled in a baccalaureate or graduate degree program. A student who is only enrolled in a certificate program would not satisfy this requirement.
  • The student seeking a graduate degree is not required to be enrolled in 12 semester or quarter hours but rather must only be enrolled in the credit hours required for full-time enrollment for that graduate program at that institution.
  • The student seeking a second baccalaureate degree must be enrolled in at least 12 semester or quarter hours and be considered enrolled full-time at that institution. 

[References: NCAA Division III Bylaws 14.1.8 (full-time enrollment), (requirement for practice or competition), (enrolled in graduate program - practice or competition) and 14.1.9 (graduate student/postbaccalaureate participation)]

Official Interpretation - Postbaccalaureate Eligibility: Continuous Enrollment (III). Date Issued:  March 16, 2018. Date Published:  March 21, 2018. The Division III Interpretations and Legislation Committee confirmed that participation as a graduate or second baccalaureate student is not predicated upon continuous enrollment. A student does not need to be enrolled in the semester immediately before postgraduate participation. [Reference: NCAA Division III Bylaw 14.1.9 (graduate student/postbaccalaureate participation)]

Official Interpretation - Application of Institutional Staff Members to Student Employees (III) . Date Issued:  March 16, 2018. Date Published:  March 21, 2018. The Division III Interpretations and Legislation Committee confirmed that for the purposes of the academic misconduct and impermissible academic assistance legislation, a student employee is an institutional staff member if he or she has institutional responsibilities to provide academic services to student-athletes or engages in academic misconduct or provides impermissible academic assistance at the direction of a nonstudent employee, institutional staff member or representative of an institution's athletics interest. The following are examples of the application of the legislation: 

  • If an institution's academic support services for student-athletes are provided by a unit that reports directly to the institution's provost, outside the athletics department, then the student employees would be considered "institutional staff members." Because the student employees' responsibilities include providing academic services to student-athletes, they would be considered institutional staff members, regardless of the institution's reporting structure.
  • If an institution's athletics department directs its student-athletes to use the tutoring services made available through its general nonathletic student support services center, then the student tutors would be considered institutional staff members.
  • If a student employee offers general tutoring to all first-year students, then unless the student employee's responsibilities specifically include the provision of tutoring services for student-athletes the student employee would not be considered an institutional staff member.
[References: NCAA Division III Bylaws 14.9 (post-enrolment academic misconduct), 14.9.1 (institutional staff member - defined) and (student-employee)]

Official Interpretation - Frequency of Educational Materials for Outside Entities Involved in Promotional Activities (III) . Date Issued:  March 16, 2018. Date Published:  March 21, 2018. The Division III Interpretations and Legislation Committee confirmed that an institution must provide educational materials to an outside entity for each promotional activity to ensure that the student-athlete's name, image and appearance will be used in a manner consistent with NCAA legislation. If the outside entity is part of an ongoing promotional activity, educational materials are only required once per academic year. [References: NCAA Division III Bylaws 12.5 (promotional activities), 12.5.1 (permissible) and (institutional, charitable, educational or nonprofit promotions]

Staff Interpretation - Outside Organization Providing Free Admission to Camps, Clinics and Other Athletics Events (III) . Date Issued:  April 10, 2018. Date Published:  April 10, 2018. An outside amateur youth sports organization (e.g., Boys and Girls Club, YMCA) may pay for underprivileged prospective student-athletes to attend an institutional or noninstitutional camp, clinic or other athletic event. If the outside amateur youth sports organization is also the sponsor or administrator of the event, then institutional staff members would not be permitted to work the event unless the payment of admission is based on objective criteria unrelated to athletics ability and available on an equal basis to all who qualify. [References: NCAA Bylaws 13.02.7 (prospective student-athlete) and (sports camps and clinics and other athletics events)] 

SAR Update

The Division III Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement will meet in Indianapolis May 15-16, 2018. The committee will review existing guidelines, policies and procedures and make modifications and amendments where appropriate. The committee also will provide feedback and guidance regarding cases the student-athlete reinstatement staff previously has approved.

Institutional Self-Study Guide (ISSG) Reminder

Constitution 6.3.1 requires all Division III institutions to conduct a comprehensive self-study and evaluation of their athletics programs at least once every five years.  Click here to see which schools are required to complete this year's ISSG and supporting documentation by June 1 .  The full Institutional Self-Study Guide (ISSG) and requirements for supporting documentation are now available for completion.  Click here for the user manual.  This information must be entered into the electronic ISSG by all institutions; fax, hard copy or email submissions of the ISSG will not be accepted. The ISSG can be accessed via the My Apps link on (if access has been granted by the institution's single-source sign-on administrator).  Institutions that need technical assistance are asked to send questions via email to


Pathway Program

The Division III Pathway Program participants spent three days in Dallas visiting with different institutions and conference offices. Participants engaged in discussions surrounding culture, diversity and inclusion, and cohesion with multiple entities across campus. These visits served as the last of three meetings until the group graduates at NACDA in June. To date, several of the participants have accepted athletics director positions.

Regional Rules Seminars

Constitution requires all Division III institutions to attend a Regional Rules Seminar at least once every three years. Click here to see which schools are required to attend in 2018.  Registration for the 2018 NCAA Regional Rules Seminars is now open. Seminars will be conducted June 4-6 in Atlanta and June 25-27 in San Antonio.  The Regional Rules Seminars registration link, daily schedule, grid and session descriptions are available on the Regional Rules Seminars web page.

Woman of the Year

The 2018 Woman of the Year application period closes at 5 p.m. Eastern time Monday, June 11. The application is available through NCAA Program Hub.  Click here to learn more about the Woman of the Year Award, and click here to learn more about the nomination and award process.  To be eligible, a nominee must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport, must have completed eligibility in her primary sport, and must have earned her undergraduate degree by summer 2018. 

Honors Awards

The NCAA Honors awards recognize current and former student-athletes who have brought distinction to themselves, their schools and intercollegiate athletics. The awards will be presented at the Honors Celebration during the 2019 NCAA Convention in Orlando, Florida. Submit your nominations for the following awards by 5 p.m. Eastern time Friday, May 4, through the "Applications" tab on the NCAA Program Hub:

Questions about the awards? Contact Sharon Tufano, NCAA committee coordinator.


Sportsmanship Awards

The Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct (CSEC) is accepting nominations for the 2017-18 NCAA Student-Athlete Sportsmanship and Bob Frederick Sportsmanship awards.  The Student-Athlete Sportsmanship Award honors student-athletes and teams who have distinguished themselves through demonstrated acts of sportsmanship and ethical behavior. The Bob Frederick Sportsmanship Award honors coaches, administrators and staff who display the utmost respect for NCAA intercollegiate athletics by upholding a demonstrated history of sportsmanship. The committee will select one male and one female recipient and or group of recipients for each division. Of the divisional award recipients, one will be recognized as the overall NCAA Student-Athlete Sportsmanship Award winner. The committee will announce the Student-Athlete Sportsmanship and the Bob Frederick Sportsmanship award in August 2018. 

Please review the award criteria below for both awards. Nominations for both awards are being accepted now through Friday, July 6, on the NCAA Program Hub.


Several committees conducted in-person meetings in April. 

Management Council, April 9-10
Committee on Women's Athletics, April 12-13
Minority Opportunity and Interest Committee, April 12-13
National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, April 14-16
Presidents Council, April 24-25


Dates Meeting/Championships Location 
May 6   Men's Lacrosse Selection Show at 9 p.m. Eastern
May 6Women's Lacrosse Selection Show at 10 p.m. Eastern
May 7 Softball Selection Show at 1 p.m. Eastern
May 8-11 Postgraduate Scholarship Committee Indianapolis, IN
May 8-11 Women's Golf Championship Howey-in-the-Hills, FL
May 14 Rowing Selection Show at 7 p.m.
May 15-16 Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement Indianapolis, IN
May 15-18 Men's Golf Championship Greensboro, NC
May 21-26 Men and Women's Tennis Championship Claremont, CA
May 24-26 Men and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championship LaCrosse, WI
May 24-29 Softball Championship Oklahoma City, OK
May 25-26 Rowing ChampionshipSarasota, FL
May 25-29 Baseball Championship Appleton, WI
May 26-27 Women's Lacrosse Championship Salem, VA
May 27 Men's Lacrosse Championship Foxborough, MA
June 5-6 Regional Rules Seminar Atlanta, GA
June 13-15 Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport Meeting Indianapolis, IN
June 14 Conference Rules Seminar York, PA
June 18-19 Championships Committee Meeting Indianapolis, IN
June 20-21 Membership Committee Meeting Indianapolis, IN
June 26-27 Regional Rules Seminar San Antonio, TX
July 9-12 Postgraduate Scholarship Committee Meeting Indianapolis, IN
July 12 Student-Athlete Engagement Committee Indianapolis, IN
July 14-15 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Meeting Indianapolis, IN
July 16-17 Management Council Meeting Indianapolis, IN
July 23-24 Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Indianapolis, IN

This email was sent to all Division III chancellors and presidents serving on NCAA committees; directors of athletics, faculty athletics representatives; senior woman administrators; sports information directors; athletics direct reports; compliance directors, commissioners; National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee; conference assistants; and provisional and reclassifying member institutions.

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