NCAA Division III


I hope this quarterly update finds you and your campus well as the spring semester commences. It is with great honor that I begin my service as the Division III Presidents Council chair.  It has been a privilege to serve with outgoing chair, President Jeff Docking of Adrian, and I thank him for his exceptional leadership the past two years. I also thank all departing members for their hard work and dedication to this Council.  This quarterly update highlights the recent 2019 NCAA Convention in Orlando, FL, including a legislative review and other items of interest.


The membership adopted the Association-wide proposal to add five independent members to the Board of Governors (BOG). The five independent voting members will not be salaried employees of an NCAA member institution, conference or affiliated organization. To assist with the nominations process, the BOG has contracted a third-party search firm, Heidrick and Struggles, to coordinate the nomination process and vet candidates. The BOG Executive Committee, which includes presidents and chancellors from all three divisions, is the nominating committee for independent board members and will make recommendations to the full board for approval. Nominations are currently being accepted.  If you have nominations, or know someone who would like to nominate themselves, the name and contact information should be sent to Review of nominations has begun and will conclude on February 22, 2019.


The Presidents Council discussed a letter and proposal from the Skyline Conference declaring that the current Division III governance process is “broken” and requesting that it be recalibrated. In their discussion, Presidents Council members noted that the 2018 membership survey results indicate the division is functioning well; the division’s current federated structure allows it autonomy from other divisions to control its bylaws and policies; and there is a process that permits for legislative change, which can be instigated either by the membership or the governance structure. As such, the Presidents Council determined that there is no need to call for a comprehensive review by the Division III governance structure that would dramatically restructure the division. The Council expressed gratitude to the Skyline presidents for their interest in seeking to improve Division III and issued a formal written response recapping its discussion and outcome. 


The Division III FAR Working Group recently created three resources to assist FARs in becoming better involved with student-athletes on campuses by taking additional steps to strengthen engagement. The Highly Engaged FAR, Recommendations for the Campus and Recommendations for the Conference include information for campus and conference leaders that detail the value a highly engaged FAR can bring to student-athletes. I encourage you to review and take advantage of these resources.


Division III delegates adopted six Division III proposals. The final voting results grid can be found here. In particular: 
  • Proposal No. 2 establishes the first permissible practice date, in the sport of football, as 23 days before the institution’s first regular-season contest or 23 days from the following Friday if the first permissible contest occurs on a Thursday of the opening weekend. The proposal additionally prohibits physical related activity one day per week of the preseason following the five-day acclimatization period.
  • Proposal No. 4 requires Division III institutions to report student-athlete graduation rates each year.  While the first mandatory submission date is June 1, 2020, staff encourages institutions to participate in the voluntary reporting this spring.
  • Proposal No. 7 permits athletics department staff members, including coaches, to publicly act on content posted by prospective student-athletes on social media, for example, “favoriting” or “republishing” a post. The new policy will also allow coaches to “friend” or “follow” prospective student-athletes on social media platforms.


Division III University, a new online learning platform, was recently launched. The platform contains educational modules related to an overview of Division III, student-athlete well-being and compliance. Division III athletics directors, senior woman administrators, head coaches and conference commissioners are the initial target audience, with other programming and audiences to come. Each chapter contains an interactive course that educates users on everything from compliance and governance to improving student-athlete health and safety.



It is my intent that the quarterly update provides the necessary and critical information necessary to assist you in the oversight of Division III athletics on your campus. You can find a more detailed recap of the January 2019 Presidents Council meeting here, and the Summary of Actions , which highlights all recent Council actions.  As always, I welcome any questions or comments. Good luck with the spring semester!


Dan Dutcher

Vice President for Division III
Managing Director of Division III
Associate Director of Division III
Assistant Director of Division III Governance Communications
Executive Assistant for Division III
Administrative Assistant for Division III
National Collegiate Athletic Association, 700 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204 US

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