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
Membership Committee, May 14
Discussed providing two years of relief relative to contest minimums.
Discussed relief to contest minimums.
Discussed relief to sports sponsorship minimums.
Championships Committee, May 19
The committee discussed a potential adjustment to the minimum contest requirements for championships selection purposes. The committee acknowledged the correlation between competitive requirements for championships and sports sponsorship, and a desire to align the requirements. It recommended that the minimum contests required for championship selection be reduced by a minimum of 33% for the 2020-21 academic year based on the following:
Any reduction should allow conferences to play a conference-centric schedule (e.g., competition among only conference members, or a schedule that includes conference and in-region competition).
A 33 percent reduction accommodates conference-centric scheduling in almost every sport, and therefore aligns with the Division III philosophy’s emphasis on conference and regional competition.
The committee will be open to considering waivers from schools that are unable to meet the new minimum standards and still want to be considered for championship selection.
COVID-19 Playing and Practice Seasons Internal Working Group
Mandatory Medical Examinations. A subcommittee of Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport is working to inform the COVID-19 Playing and Practice Season Internal Working Group. The CSMAS subcommittee believes that, in light of the applicable regulations and unique nature of institutional health care structure and student-athlete needs, the determination regarding the use of telehealth to accommodate health care needs should be made at the institutional level. It also identified that the telehealth model was designed to supplement, not replace, the broader point of care structure and is more difficult to use with new incoming student-athletes.
The core principles of resocialization of collegiate sport are the guidelines to assist member institutions regarding practice opportunities for this fall. If states have a different rephasing approach, institutions may choose to follow state guidelines.
If an institution is using the resocialization guidelines, it would need to start Phase 1 when it brings its SAs to campus. This means if the campus successfully goes through Phase 1 and 2, it will be four weeks before the institution can begin repetitive handling of common objects such as game balls and other shared equipment can occur, and contact activities can begin.
Anticipate SSI will issue an updated version of the principles late next week.
Conference Grant Updates
Membership dues for Women Leaders in College Sports (Campus Senior Woman Administrators) and Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (Ethnic Minorities) is now permissible under Tier 1 effective immediately.
As a friendly reminder, no warning letters will be issued this year for failure to meet the requirements in any tier due to COVID-19 impact.
For rollover usage plans, please provide a general plan for the rollover funds and the constituent groups the funds will support.
UPCOMING MEETINGS AND ANTICIPATED DISCUSSIONS
Interpretations and Legislation Committee, May 21
Discuss virtual recruiting.
Discussion regarding student employment in the athletics department.
Playing and Practice Seasons Subcommittee, May 22
Will review appropriate parameters for summer virtual interactions with student-athletes.
Will hear a presentation from the Sports Science Institute regarding the Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Sport document and how it aligns with Division III preseason practice opportunities.
Review several playing season issues to provide guidance to the governance structure.
Membership Committee, May 27
Continued discussion of sport-sponsorship minimums. Action anticipated.
Continued discussion of contest and participant minimums. Action anticipated.
Administrative Committee, May 28
Anticipated actions on recommendations from the governance structure, including contest minimums and sports sponsorship.
Updates on other key topics.
Championships Committee, June 2
Guidelines for condensed fall championship seasons, if needed.
Discuss reduced brackets and selection criteria adjustments, if needed.
Discuss additional relief waivers (e.g., AQ eligibility).
Tues., June 2 Division III webinar on COVID-19 Impact: Playing and Practice Seasons from 1 to 2 p.m. Eastern time. Email Debbie Brown to RSVP.
With every communication, we also anticipate additional questions. Please send all questions to email@example.com. Stay healthy and safe and thank you for your continued collaboration and leadership.
This email was sent to the NCAA Division III Commissioners Association