NCAA Division III Committee Update (3/19/20)
NCAA Division I Council Coordination Committee
Summary of Actions and Key Informational Items
March 18, 2020
Actions Approved by the Division II Administrative Committee Related to Regulations and Policies Impacted by COVID-19 March 13 and March 18, 2020
Recruiting Issues Action Approved Decision Date Recruiting dead period affecting all sports. Adopt emergency legislation to immediately implement a dead period in all sports through at least April 15. Institutional staff members are permitted to write or telephone a prospective student-athlete during a dead period, but cannot engage in in-person recruiting contact on or off campus. 3/13/20 Reimbursement of costs associated with previously planned official and unofficial visits. Issue a blanket waiver to permit institutions to reimburse prospective student-athletes with any costs associated with canceled official or unofficial visits. Such reimbursement would not trigger use of a prospective student-athlete’s one permissible official visit. 3/13/20 Offering of institutional athletics aid agreements. Adopt a resolution to specify that institutional athletics aid agreements cannot be issued until at least April 15 to align with the recruiting dead period. 3/18/20 Recruiting contact for signed prospective student-athletes. Although legislation provides flexibility, institutions are not encouraged to engage in in-person recruiting on or off campus. 3/18/20 Adjust the deadline for coaches certification. Issue a blanket waiver to extend the 2019-20 certifications through August 31, 2020. 3/18/20
Reinstatement Issues Action Approved Decision Date Season-of-competition waivers – spring. Allow institutions to self-apply season-of-competition waivers for student-athletes whose 2019-20 spring season was canceled, provided all of the following criteria are met: (1) The student-athlete used a season of competition in a spring sport during the 2019-20 academic year; 3/13/20
Actions Approved by the Division II Administrative Committee Related to Regulations and Policies Impacted by COVID-19 March 13 and March 18, 2020 Page No. 2 _________
Reinstatement Issues Action Approved Decision Date (2) The student-athlete was eligible for competition when he or she competed during the 2019-20 academic year; and (3) The student-athlete’s season was ultimately canceled for reasons related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Extension requests – spring. Allow institutions to self-apply extension of eligibility waivers for student-athletes whose 2019-20 spring season was canceled, provided all of the following criteria are met: (1) The student-athlete used a season of competition in a spring sport during the 2019-20 academic year; (1) The student-athlete was eligible for competition when he or she competed during the 2019-20 academic year; and (2) The student-athlete’s season was ultimately canceled for reasons related to the COVID-19 outbreak. 3/13/20
Criteria amended 3/18/20 Application of extension requests. Clarify that the self-application of extension of eligibility waivers: (1) Only applies to student-athletes who would have exhausted eligibility after the spring 2020 term; (2) The student-athlete would not have needed to use a season of competition during the spring 2020 term; and (3) The extension would be for the entire 2020-21 academic year, as opposed to one semester. 3/18/20 If blanket waiver is self-applied, discuss application of Bylaw 188.8.131.52.1.1 (application of waiver). Issue blanket waiver to permit a student-athlete to enroll at any point during the 2020-21 academic year (as opposed to next available opportunity). 3/18/20
Actions Approved by the Division II Administrative Committee Related to Regulations and Policies Impacted by COVID-19 March 13 and March 18, 2020 Page No. 3 _________
DIII schools granted extra flexibility for spring sports in response to COVID-19 situation
Moves include additional eligibility, removal of sports sponsorship requirements, and assistance with travel, lodging and meals
March 18, 2020 5:43pmRachel Stern
After the NCAA announced the cancellation of all remaining winter and spring championships in response to the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, the Division III Administrative Committee approved measures giving schools additional flexibility when it comes to student-athletes, as well as participation and membership requirements.
Along with its decision to cancel the winter and spring championships, the NCAA Board of Governors last week directed all three divisions to enact legislative modifications and waivers to provide relief to student-athletes and schools impacted by COVID-19.
The Division III measures approved on Friday, March 13, include an additional semester and season of eligibility for all student-athletes participating in spring sports, the removal of a minimum threshold of sponsored spring sports, and the flexibility for schools to assist students with travel, lodging and meals as a result of campus displacement.
No actions were taken with regard to additional recruiting restrictions, as Division III does not have specific recruiting periods.
“While these measures won’t cover all circumstances, they were taken with the best interest of student-athletes in mind,” said Tori Murden McClure, president of Spalding University and chair of the Administrative Committee. “During these extraordinarily difficult times, conferences and institutions should not focus on the application of NCAA legislation, but rather the health and well-being of student-athletes.”
On eligibility, the committee approved a blanket waiver for all student-athletes participating in spring sports. The waiver will be in effect even if a school continues or restarts its spring season. In Division III, student-athletes have 10 semesters or 15 quarters to get in four seasons of participation. With this move by the committee, the 2020 spring semester will not count toward their 10 semesters or four seasons.
On sports sponsorship, the committee waived the requirement that Division III schools must sponsor a minimum number of sports each year, including at least one sport each season. Typically, if a school cancels all spring sports, it would not reach the minimum threshold, but with this action, there will be no repercussions if schools fail to meet that minimum based on the cancellation or suspension of spring sports.
On assisting student-athletes with travel, lodging and meals, the committee said that during these unprecedented times, institutions should apply flexibility in the best interest of their student-athletes with respect to provisions and extra benefits. The committee said specific questions, as needed, can be addressed by staff or sent through the governance structure.