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 SAAC, conference commissioners and the NADIIIAA listserv. We encourage athletics directors to share this communication with their athletics department members. Please contact Adam Skaggs
to include an item or share comments, and remember to check out the Division III governance homepage for the latest news and information.
The return to championships guidelines have been finalized for all sports and are located here. These documents have been prepared such that each sport will be able to select the appropriate guidelines for each championship event based on guidance/direction from the NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group, along with local and state oversight at the site of the preliminary and final rounds of the championship event.
The documents are intended to be consistent with guidance published by the federal government and its corresponding health agencies and otherwise reflective of the best available scientific and medical information. These documents will be used in coordination with applicable federal, state and local laws, policies and guidelines. The documents are subject to further revisions as available COVID-19 data and information continue to emerge and evolve.
2021 NCAA Convention
The 2021 NCAA Convention was held virtually Jan. 11-15. At the recommendation of the Division III Presidents Council, delegates voted to withdraw the proposal on name, image and likeness. All Division III PowerPoints and resources from the Convention also are located in the 2021 Convention resource webpage on the Division III homepage.
NCAA Vice President of Division III Dan Dutcher said goodbye to the Division III membership at his final NCAA Convention, capping a 25-year career leading the division. Dutcher, who has served as the Association’s Division III vice president since January 1996, retired effective Jan. 29 after 34 years with the NCAA. He began his career at the national office in 1986 as a legislative assistant before becoming director of legislative services from 1991 to 96. Click here to view the tribute video.
Division III recognized its inaugural LGBTQ of the Year recipients during a virtual ceremony. Click here to learn more about this year’s recipients: Kenadeed Gilmour, former men’s basketball player at Hamilton, the LGBTQ Student-Athlete of the Year; Hillary Arthur, the women’s soccer coach at Willamette, the LGBTQ Coach of the Year; and Bridgewater State, the LGBTQ Institution of the Year.
Before the business session, Lenora Billings-Harris, a nationally recognized speaker, provided a presentation titled “Turning Barriers Into Bridges by Disrupting Bias To Accelerate Results.” The presentation focused on the leadership role institutions have to model behaviors and dialogue that can help campus leaders at all levels understand, appreciate and capitalize on differences as well as similarities. The presentation provided a platform for participants to discover how and why unconscious bias impacts decisions and daily interactions; and then how to strengthen cultural intelligence leading to positive relationships in
the office, in the classroom and during campus events. Click here for the presentation workbook and
hereto watch Billings-Harris address questions that time didn’t allow her to answer during her presentation. For more information about Billings-Harris, please visit her website.
Don't Bet on It
With the Super Bowl this coming weekend, the NCAA offers a reminder for you and your student-athletes: Don’t Bet On It. Betting on a pro sporting event is a sports wagering violation that risks eligibility. For additional resources, click here.
Nominate Now: LGBTQ OneTeam Recognition Award
The annual LGBTQ OneTeam Recognition Awardnomination and application is now open. The recognition award is an opportunity to recognize those who foster inclusive environments. Celebrate student-athletes, coaches and staff who self-identify as members of the LGBTQ community, as well as athletics departments or conference offices that make collegiate athletics a welcoming space for everyone. Visit the NCAA Program Hub to submit nominations until June 1. The recipients will be announced at the 2022 NCAA Convention.
Division III Webinars
Future webinars will be from 1:30 to 2 p.m. Eastern time on the following dates and topics:
Feb. 2 — NCAA Convention Recap.
March 2 — SAAC Student Voice Presentation.
April 6 — Mental Health Resources.
All past webinar PowerPoints are on the Division III website.
It’s the Super Bowl! This, too, tends to be a potentially high-risk weekend related to a range of behaviors (even more so if a local team is playing in the game). Consider what needs to be done on- and off-campus, if anything, to prepare for this weekend.
With the Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day all within a few weeks of each other, rewatch the outstanding webinar from March 19, 2019, with national expert Byron Zamboanga on pregaming, drinking games and implications for work with student-athletes.
Why do college students “drink too much and party so hard?” Rewatch the webinar from April 11, 2018, with author and researcher Tom Vander Ven as he provides insights from a sociologist’s perspective with implications for 360 Proof campuses. Follow it up with Zamboanga’s March 10, 2020, webinar on why student-athletes drink.
Next Webinar Feature
360 Proof offers a monthly webinar series to bring current prevention research to a Division III and NASPA Small College and University audience. Remaining sessions for 2020 include:
1 p.m. Eastern time Feb. 10: “Late Night Programming Ideas,” Kari Eckheart, Gustavus Adolphus.
1 p.m. Eastern time April 14: “Beyond Compliance: Honest Conversations With Students About Alcohol & Sex,” Jen Jacobsen, Macalester, and Amaura Kemmerer, Northeastern.
All 360 Proof account holders will receive an invitation to attend these webinar sessions. Please contact Leah Kareti with any questions about 360 Proof.
You can find the latest COVID-19 updates related to the return-to-sport here.
NCAA Catastrophic Sport Injury Reporting Reminder
Per Association-wide legislation adopted in 2014, all member schools are required to report annually on all fatalities (that occur during athletically related and non-athletically related events), near-fatalities and catastrophic injuries sustained by student-athletes. For more information and for answers to frequently asked questions about fatality and catastrophic injury reporting, visit the NCAA website at
ncaa.org/injuryreporting. To report a catastrophic event through the online reporting tool, visit sportinjuryreport.org/ncaareport.
NCAA Freshman Experience Curriculum
As a reminder, the NCAA Freshman Experience curriculum is still open for registration for freshman and first-year transfer student-athletes on a first come, first serve basis at no charge to the membership for the 2020-21 academic year. The program can be implemented at any time during this academic year. To sign up for, or to learn more about the Freshman Experience go to: thefreshmanexperience.org. The Freshman Experience curriculum modules include: alcohol and other drug prevention; hazing prevention; mental health; sexual violence prevention; sleep wellness; sport nutrition; and time management.
COVID-19 Media Coordination and Statistics Policy Adjustments
COVID-19 NCAA statistics policies are included here and are available on the main statistics page on ncaa.org.
Division III Week
The 10th annual celebration of Division III Week, scheduled for April 5-11, is a great opportunity to call attention to the unique student-athlete experience enjoyed at our member institutions. Division III members are asked to highlight the activities and achievements of their student-athletes through scheduling an academic, athletics, co-curricular or extracurricular/community service activity. The Division III Week Communications Kit serves as a planning guide, and further information about Division III Week is available online. Please let us know, in advance, all planned Division III Week activities, either by submitting information via the online form or sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Providing this information in advance will assist the NCAA national office’s promotion of the full array of planned activities. If you have questions, please contact Adam Skaggs.
Action Request: NCAA and D3SIDA Recognition Award
The next submission round for the NCAA Division III and D3SIDA recognition award is now open. All submissions must be received not later than Feb. 15. Click here for more details. The recognition program seeks to honor the best work — including news releases, feature articles, videos, blogs and other materials — produced by Division III campus and conference athletics communication offices. Each top honoree will receive a $1,500 credit to attend DIII Day at the annual College Sports Information Directors of America convention. A panel of Division III Sports Information Directors of America members will select the recipients, with winners publicized through ncaa.org and social media platforms. Participants can self-nominate or be nominated by peers. Entries should be submitted via email to email@example.com with “NCAA Division III and D3SIDA Recognition Award Nominee” as the subject.
Division III Identity Initiative Celebration
The 10-year anniversary celebration of the Division III Identity Initiative is now underway. Division III will continue to recognize the impact of this initiative with the help of the membership from mid-January to the conclusion of Division III Week in April. To find out more about this initiative and its history, click
here. For ways to celebrate, click here.
The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the Middle Atlantic Conference are the recipients of the December/January Division III Diversity Spotlight Initiative. The conferences co-hosted two town hall events for administrators, coaches and student-athletes to listen to and learn from one another on the topic of race and social justice. The town halls offered an opportunity for participants to explore their identities, perspectives and experiences relating to race and social justice. Click here for more details.
To submit an initiative for consideration for February, email Louise McCleary, with a brief statement (no more than 500 words) as to why your school or conference office deserves to be the spotlight recipient. Attach a video or photo if applicable. The nomination deadline is Feb. 21.
Diversity Tip of the Month
Click here to learn more about the NCAA’s identified eight action items to address racial justice and equity at the national office and among the membership. The goals of these action items are to provide tools that foster a culture that advances racial equity and improves ways to engage student-athletes, particularly student-athletes of color.
Special Olympics Virtual College Championship Week will challenge schools to complete a series of virtual and socially distant activities the week of April 12-16. You can register through the link below.
If you want to connect with your local Special Olympics program in other ways, please email firstname.lastname@example.org information and assistance.
The NCAA Division III Special Olympics Spotlight Poll is a story-telling initiative on ncaa.org/D3SpecialOlympics
. 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 school or conference receives $500 to use for its next Special Olympics event. Written and digital submissions both are accepted. Featured stories are selected based on inclusion of the student-athlete perspective and Division III messaging. To submit a story for consideration, email
There were no submissions for the February Special Olympics Spotlight Poll.
As the spring term begins, let’s review a couple of items from the 2020-21 academic year COVID-19 Question and Answer Guide.
The proactive waivers (season of participation and extension of eligibility) only apply to student-athletes who are Division III student-athletes during the 2020-21 academic year. Blanket waivers provided by other divisions or organizations regarding the use of a season or 10-semester/15-quarter period of eligibility during the 2020-21 academic year, however, will follow the undergraduate student-athlete upon transfer to a Division III institution. Graduate student-athlete eligibility will be reviewed through the waiver process on a case-by-case basis.
For student-athletes serving a year in residence during the 2020-21 academic year, the student-athlete could practice with the team (beyond the first contest) and qualify for the season of participation blanket waiver even though they are not eligible to compete. The same student-athlete, however, would not be eligible for the extension waiver. For the year in residence to be satisfied, the semesters/quarters would need to count, and therefore the student-athlete would not receive the benefit of the extension waiver.
A summary document that will be helpful for navigating the effects of the proactive blanket waivers on student-athlete eligibility can be found here.
The updated 2020-21 Division III Academic Year COVID-19 Question and Answer Guide is always available on the Division III Compliance page
on ncaa.org. Updates will be made on a continuous basis as necessary. On release of subsequent editions of this guide, newly approved questions and answers will be highlighted in yellow.
Annual NCAA Regional Rules Seminar Will Be Held Virtually June 7-9
The Regional Rules Seminar
provides an opportunity for the membership, affiliate members and others across all three divisions to discuss NCAA rules, policies and procedures; share best practices; and connect with peers. Participation in the 2021 virtual Regional Rules Seminar is open to all NCAA member schools, conference offices and affiliate members. Registration for the seminar will be released in the coming months. Further, the NCAA Division III Membership Committee will determine the criteria for the Constitution 184.108.40.206 once-in-every-three-years attendance requirement at its February meeting.
The NCAA Leadership Collective, a new initiative, serves as a tool to progress toward an environment of diverse representation in collegiate coaching and athletics administration. It is an interactive and user-friendly platform, which highlights the vast professional accomplishments of ethnic minorities within college sports through customizable, in-depth personal profiles. It features two designations: “members,” who will populate the system with public profiles, and “searchers,” who are those with the ability to search and view profiles within the system. The “searcher” category is populated by
directors of athletics, conference commissioners, member school presidents, search firm executives and others with hiring authority for senior-level athletics positions.
Members must submit an application to gain access to the Leadership Collective. Once the application is reviewed, assessing whether the applicant meets all eligibility criteria, the applicant will receive an approval granting the ability to create a profile in the platform. Full-time administrators and coaches at NCAA member schools or conference offices fulfilling the criteria may apply to upload their information in the Leadership Collective. All individuals who apply to the Leadership Collective must identify as ethnic minorities. For additional information, access the frequently asked questions, and for questions, please contact email@example.com.
Leadership Development Programs
Applications for four leadership development programs open at 8 a.m. Eastern time Monday, Feb. 8. The four programs include the Career in Sports Forum, the Pathway Program, the Basketball Coaches Academy and the NCAA/NFL Coaches Academy. All programs will have application deadlines of 5 p.m. Eastern time Monday, March 15. A brief description of each program is listed below:
Basketball Coaches Academy — The Basketball Coaches Academy provides full-time intercollegiate basketball coaches an opportunity to expand their knowledge and insight into the world of intercollegiate basketball coaching. Participants will be trained in a variety of areas that encourage effective coaching at the intercollegiate level, with a focus on the holistic well-being and development of the student-athlete.
Career in Sports Forum — The Career in Sports Forum brings together selected NCAA student-athletes to learn about and explore potential careers in sports, particularly college athletics. This unique virtual programming experience will help student-athletes chart their career paths, while presenting copious opportunities for attendees to learn from current industry leaders.
NCAA and NFL Coaches Academy — As a participant at the academy, full-time college coaches will engage with industry experts and valuable peers across a wide variety of topics that will enhance their capabilities to serve as an effective coach and leader of student-athletes both on and off the field.
Pathway Program — The Pathway Program is designed to elevate senior-level athletics administrators to the next step as directors of athletics or conference commissioners. This yearlong program is an intensive, experiential learning opportunity for selected participants who work at an NCAA school or conference in any division
Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports
Committee on Women's Athletics
Interpretations and Legislative Committee
Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee
Convention Planning Subcommittee
Strategic Planning and Finance Committee
Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
Committee on Women's Athletics
Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee
This email was sent to NCAA Division III presidents and chancellors that serve on Division III committees, athletics direct reports, directors of athletics, faculty athletics representatives, senior woman administrators, sports information directors, directors of compliance, commissioners, assistant/associate commissioners, national SAAC, provisional, reclassifying and exploratory members based on contact information in the NCAA Directory.
National Collegiate Athletic Association, 700 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204 US