AUTONOMY -WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
(Monday, June 10, 11:30 A.M. -12:30 P.M.)
I'm particularly grateful to two panelists who agreed to come here today. Of course, Jack Davis gave his keynote message which I personally thought was great. Speaking for the entire membership, we thank you very much. Thanks, also, to Dr. William Sangster, Faculty Athletic Representative of Georgia Tech, for giving of his time to this meeting with athletic directors. There is another reason that I'm personally grateful to Bill Sangster for coming here. The NCAA developed its federated approach to governance. His president, Dr. Joseph Pet tit, was one of the first three Division I presidents to voluntarily accept the nomination and election to the first Steering Committee in Division I. Dr. Pettj was instrumental in bringing about a federated approach. So we are delighted to have them here.
We are here to discuss autonomy and just what's it all about. When the NCAA divided into three divisions in 1973, for philosophic and championship reasons. Then in 1978 following much unrest, Divisi< subdivided itself for football. There are ongoing efforts to seek more and more autonomy, which is
now included in special summer meetings for I-A and I-AA and other interested groups. It's obvious thai autonomy and the federated approach to governance in the NCAA has some unfinished business.
Now, the three of us met earlier and discussed how we were going to attack this issue today, and fortunately for us, we've got Jack Davis here who in his role as an architect of the autonomous design. Now we have an interested party improving upon it. Jack is going to update us on where we are regardin! the ability of each of the three divisions to legislate for itself and for each of the subdivisions of Division I to do the same thing. And, I would like to ask Jack to include in his remarks any other are. of autonomy he thinks the officers and the council of the NCAA are contemplating. Then we will listen 1 Dr. Sangster and his overview of what he thinks has happened and what he thinks should happen. Jack wi:
you start us off.
Legislation passed at the last NCAA convention significantly affects the ability of Division I m6 to act with more self-determination than ever before. I think that represents a giant step toward the
federated approach and application of the bylaws of the NCAA. So perhaps, in our line of what can be
enacted autonomously, this would be informative and revealing to you. Later I will try to outline what
cannot be done by Division I-A separately from Divisions l-AA and I~AAA, and what can and cannot be done by Divisions I, II and III acting separately.
First of all, amendment 29 at the last convention amended the constitution to provide that legislation pertaining to only a single division of the association may be enacted upon by a separate legislative
session of that division. Such actions must be reported to the joint session of all three divisions and the rescission provisions of the constitution and bylaws can be applied at that time. For the 1986 convention, therefore, we plan to eliminate divisional roundtables. Instead, on Monday morning, January 13, immediately after the opening business session, we have scheduled separate but concurrent business sessions for
Divisions l-A, l-AA, l-AAA, II and III. Five separate sessions with each division acting autonomously. Division l-A, and I'll mention this a little bit later, can enact almost everything separately. l-AAA
acting by itself cannot doauythingby itself. It must pass legislation in joint session with l-AA and l-AAA. After the Honors Luncheon, Division I, II and III will conduct separate but concurrent business sessions, if necessary.
Obviously, the vice presidents of each division will chair their respective business sessions and we'll need a parliamentarian for each session. The general business session then is scheduled for Tuesday, from 8:00 to 6:00 p.m. and Wednesday, from 8:00 to 12:00. At the time of the business session, the chair will announce the results of the divisional voting and if any divisions wish to consider rescinding the actions of other divisions, that would be the time. So much for separate meetings. Regarding legislation, which can be considered by divisions acting separately, let me identify the following bylaws that are known as divided bylaws, and which can be adopted by any of the four divisions if it wishes. Those four divisions
are I, I-A, l-AA, l-AAA. As I mentioned before, it's with the understanding that l-AA could act on a piece of legislation separately and autonomously if it's football only. These are the things that all four divisions can enact separately and autonomously.
All of bylaw I, which deals with recruiting offers, inducements, contacts, evaluation period,
publicity, use of funds, buyouts, highschool all star games, tranportation, visitations and entertainment, precollege expense, specialized sport camps, coaching schools and clinics can be adopted autonomously.
Same way with bylaw 2, extra events. This includes postseason football contests, college all star football and basketball contests and gymnastics and track and field meets.
Bylaw 3 can be adopted autonomously by these four divisions as playing and practice seasons, limitations on preseason practice, limitations on playing seasons, limitations on number of contests, limitations on out-of-season practice, playing rules and competition.
Bylaw 4, could be amended by each of the four divisions operating separately. That's the five-year rule.
Bylaw 5, ineligibility rules for NCAA championships, cannot be acted upon totally by divisions operating separately, but most of it can. The parts that can be acted upon by the four divisions separately will be
all of bylaw 5-1 dealing with individual eligibility, including the 2.0 rule, progress rule, all the transfer rules and all the rules regarding eligibility. Other parts of bylaw 5 include drugs, waivers, protests and ineligible participation. The exception of bylaw 5 which cannot be acted upon by Division I in separate subdivisions is section 6,which authorized specific championships, either national collegiate or divisional; and section 7, dealing with conference eligibility, mainly automatic qualification. These can be amended separately by Division I or by Division II or by Division III, but Division I must vote as an entire
division, not by subdivisions. The major reason for that was to protect, on behalf of Divisions l-AA and l-AAA namely, the championship in basketball and indeed in other sports; so that l-A, l-AAA and l-AAA schools, which now compete with each other, do not split into separate championships unless the entire division wishes to do so.
Bylaw 6 is a bylaw which can be acted upon by the separate four divisions. That's a limitation on financial aid awards and squad limits. Division I has to act as a group on the maximum awards for
basketball of men and women. Otherwise, the definition of multiple sports participation changes in participation and squad lists can be done separately.
Bylaw 7, personnel and squad limits and all of section 1 dealing with the number of coaches, can be enacted upon by the separate four divisions, except for that one which specifies limits for basketball coaches. Division I has to act as a separate total division on that without subdivisions. But otherwise, limitations on scouting and extra compensation can be enacted upon by the four separate divisions. Anything in bylaw 7 dealing with basketball would require a vote of all of Division I acting together.
'Bylaw 8, football television, which deals with football television plans and regulations, can be enacted upon by all four divisions acting separately.
Bylaw 11 deals with division membership criteria and it is not a common bylaw. But section 1 on
criteria Ior Division I membership can be amended only by Division I acting together, as is section 4 in
other sports sponsorship criteria. That lists the number of contests and the number of participants requj for meet-sport sponsorship. So bylaw II is one that can be enacted upon by Division I, II and III acting separately, but it is required that Division I act together to affect any change in Division I membership criteria.
The other bylaws 9, 10, 12 and 13 are common bylaws and require approval of each division acting separately for adoption of any amendments. Now these are bylaws dealing with membership, membership divisions, committees and amendments. Executive regulations which deal in detail with administration of the association and of championships include budgets, finances, approved extra events, the national statistic service, as well as other sections. Recommended policies and enforcement procedures all are adopted by a majority vote of the entire membership. So in that instance if they were a part of any enforcement regulation or recommended policies, or any of the executive regs, it could be acted upon by l-A acting separately, if there was a l-A matter only. All constitutional matters require two-thirds vote of the entire membership. Divisons do not vote separately. There is, therefore, no divisional autonomy regarding principles of amateurship or student participation, and that includes matters dealing with professional tryouts, awards, extra benefits, financial aid limitation, principles of institutional control, principles of sound academic standards, principles governing financial aid and principles governing eligibility of student-athletes. Otherwise, other articles of the constitution deal with memb. ship and organization.
If the financial aid limitation currently in the constitution were moved to the bylaws, divisions could vote separately to adopt amendments to those limitations. However, Division I is required to vote as one single division on the definiation of commonly-accepted educational expenses, and that would be in accord with the legislation that was adopted last January.
In summary, autonomy means that the three divisions, I, II and III, can vote separately on all bylaw matters except membership issues, division criteria and amendments. Division l-A, as one separate division, l-AA and l-AAA combined, can vote separately on all of those bylaws issues, except for championships, automatic qualification and squad size and personnel limits in basketball. All four divisions can meet separately to vote on those separate issues and Division l-A and Division l-AA are authorized to have an annual legislative meeting during the summer. For Division l-A then, there is essentially the same autonomy that would be offered by a separate division except for matters dealing wit] Division I, basketball, and of course, on matters dealing with the criteria for membership of a separate division.
The association has advanc~the concept of federated organizational approach to a considerable exl over a period of just a little over a year. Many of us believe that this will be a continuing process that the membership will continue to exercise its interest in self-determination. Not necessarily to exploit differences between divisions, but to strengthen those institutions that have common goals and objectives. Thank you John.
Well, thank you very much, Jack. Later on we'll have plenty of time for questions. I might even have one or two questions myself. We are extremely privileged, as I mentioned earlier, to have Dr.
Sangster with us; thanks to Homer Rice. Homer provided me with some biographical facts about Dr. San! that I think would be interesting to this group. He has been dean of the College of Engineering in the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta since 1974. In this capacity, he oversees nine separate schc with a staff of 500 and a student body of 8,200. The instructional and research activities of this co] are currently budgeted at over $25 million. And, in addition to all of this, he has long been a particj in activities of the engineering profession. He served as president of the 80,000-member American SociE of Civil Engineers in 1974 and 1975. Internationally, he has had visits to more than 125 communities at countries around the world. He had done academic consulting for a number of foreign universities and h, developed cooperative education and research programs with other foreign institutions. All three of hiE degrees come from the University of Iowa, and he has also studied at the Naval Academy and the Universit Missouri. In addition to all of the academic duties, Dr. Sangster has been active in the athletic affaj of Georgia Tech. He has been the school's faculty representative in the National Collegiate Athletic
Association. While at Tech he was a member of the Metropolitan Collegiate Athletic Conference and was president of that conference in 1976 and 1977. Now that Georgia Tech has joined the Atlantic Coast
Conference, Dr. Sangster is a Georgia Tech representative and served as president of the conference dur: 1983 and 1984. I am sure that I am speaking for everyone here, Dr. Sangster, in thanking you for givinl some of your time and expertise to the world of athletics. Dr. Sangster.
Thanks John. I couldn't have written that better myself. As a matter of fact, I think I did. It would be a good thing, Jack, if the very nice discussion of what autonomy really means could be put down on paper. It would save us the trouble of trying to pick it out from each of the individual places in t! constitution and bylaws where it might be found.
I have found in the past that deans are held in awe on college compuses, and I think probably the
first thing I will do is tell you what deans do at Georgia Tech. The dean of engineering at Georgia Tech serves the same purpose for the faculty and the student body that the fireplug does for a dog. No more, no less. And I probably also should tell you that you should not expect a lot of profundity from me
today because there isn't a lot of profundity in me. Secondly, however, some years ago when I was President of the American Society of Civil Engineering, and I had to make speeches allover the country during that year, one of the places that I ended up was Walla Walla, Washington. They had at that locality a very interesting idea with an attitude adjustment session which involved drinking bourbon renewels. With those drinks, a couple of them and the whole neighborhood looks better. There was one guy in the audience who had had a lot more of these bourbon renewals than he could handle, and he sat there shaking his head. As I talked on and on and on and on, he would just shake his head, and shake his head and finally he couldn't stand it any longer. He got up and he finally said, "thanks to you, I had one lousy speaker." I said, "that's o.k. Charlie, you're one lousy drunk." He said, "yes, but tomorrow I'm going to be sober and you're still going to be a lousy speaker." So, that's that.
After having attended a College Football Association meeting a li~tle over a week ago in Dallas, I am not sure Division I is ready for autonomy. The discussion there seemed to revolve primarily around suits of conferences against conferences and associations against associations and there was a general preoccupation for television and the revenue therefrom. I'm not sure that was exactly what I would like to see coming out of self-rule or federation or whatever you want to call it. I'm reasonably sure that our president, Dr. Pet tit, would be very pleased to learn, John, that he had something to do with the beginning of the idea of federation. Even though I can't tell you what was in his mind then, or what's in his mind today, I'm reasonably sure that he wouldn't pick me to tell it. If I could read his mind, the fact still remains that he felt very strongly that in order to get the attention and retain the attention of the presidents, there had to be a restructuring of the meetings of the NCAA. There had to be some way that the agenda'could be shortened and that the focus could be sharpened. I think if there is any real benefit from the autonomy move, and I hope that there is, that will be it. We'll give the president some
opportunity to spend a reasonable amount of time in preparing for those meetings and still be able to participate profitably. I think we have to understand, however, that even after these initial steps
toward autonomy, which have been going forward over the past 10 or 12 years, the NCAA meeting still provides for those of us in Division I, to some extent at least, an annual lesson in frustration and in humility.
It seems that we are able to figure out ways that well-crafted amendments can be negated or circumvented. This is something that will have to be continually watched as time goes on.
We are getting closer to the real federation concept, but our current state of evolution is still somewhat imperfect. We have to continue to work and to be very alert. A good example of what I mean by imperfection, the first couple of years of the separate and larger council with the larger membership, with the specifications on the qualifications of the individuals, we would hear that this particular
position was opened, but it was available only to a woman faculty athletic representative from District 5. I think this will require a good deal of work over the years to make sure that in a given district, in a given conference, the position does not become one which is always a faculty representative or always an athletic director or always a woman's administrator.
I see some problems with where we are today. The first one is that when you think about it, the so called large football playing schools really control no tournament. There is no l-A tournament in anything. But, we are involved in a lot of Division I tournaments and I think that we have reason to be interested in what goes on with those tournaments, as we do with the ones in Divisions II and III. Over the years, we certainly have been the ones who have funded those programs.
A second problem area, I believe, is one that Jack eluded to in his presentation, which is that the members of l-A can't really control who becomes a member of Division I. I believe there will be a tendancy as time goes on for various members of Divisions II and III to slip across the boundary into Division I for lots of different reasons. This may create some interesting difficulties in the years ahead. I think
it's important for us to recognize too that the so called big football schools have been viewed primarily as wanting to dilute the numbers. My feeling has been that the real frustration of these large schools
has come primarily with respect to academic standards. Some progress has been made here, Proposition 48, but I see the need for some injections of stiffening into a lot of peoples' spines in order to make sure that what gains we've made are not lost in the days ahead.
Another current trend that I think is quite interesting, but also one that should be worked on
by us, is that the presence of our institution for the most part, are much more interested in athletics than they've ever been before. My experience is that the attention span is relatively
short. They are always in the business of putting out the current large configuration and today that happens to be athletics in the minds of many of them. I know our president, when be came to Georgia Tech from Stamford, intended to make a good academic institution out of Georgia Tech, and felt that that would take probably 150 percent of his time. The fact of the matter is, he has found that something like 40 percent of his time is spent on athletics, which is far more than he ever anticipated it would be. His statement is, he gets all of the flack when something goes wrong and, therefore, he would like to be involved to the extent that he can make sure that whatever can be done by an individual institution, will
be done by Georgia Tech, so that things will be easier for the college presidents to understand and to control. I think the current level of interest by a college president could be a very constructive thiJ I also think that it could be very disastrous if we are not careful. They tend to apply a lot of logic philosophy to the athletic program, and I think most of us have experienced the fact that logic and pholosophy don't work as well in the athletic arena as they may elsewhere.
I worry about the return to simple rules that are often called for by college presidents and by pe, in the media. I know in Atlanta the NCAA catches all hell from the local newspaper people about the
complicated rules. The t-shirts and things like that seem to get all the headlines. I think all or us who have been in this business know the return of the 3Os and 4Os will leave us with many of the problel the 3Os and 4Os had with one additional one. A whole host of people who know how to get around all of
the rules of the 3Os and 4Os will make it much easier for violations to take place. So, I have a suggel If we are going to have the presidents involved, let's make sure they know what they are talking about. Most of them have come from academic backgrounds. They have learned a good deal about the things that I on in the classroom; the things that go on in the research laboratories. Most of them have gone througl some kind of administrative position where they know about personnel policies and management and they ~ about financial management. But, almost none of them, not exactly zero, but almost none of them, has h, any real experience with athletic programs. And, I think it would be wise for NACDA, NCAA, the America1 Council on Education or all of the above to put together some sort of a program which would provide us 1 an annual seminar on the management of athletic programs for college presidents. It may be particularl: good for a new college president, but I believe some who have been in it for a while could benefit from learning more themselves. It seems to me that there's a place that the athletic profession could fill , void on the college campuse that really needs to be filled. Because to my way of thinking, educating tl presidents gets us to the point where they will recognize as most of us do, that one of the most import; aspects of education is to know when you don't know something, and when you go looking for the people w] do, and how to find the people who do. I think that would be a very decided service for our college
campuses and for the athletic programs thereon.
We are going to entertain questions at this point, and I thought that to kick the questions off, 11 ask at least one. We are going into a special convention in a few more days and with a very small agen, in the introduction of role-call voting. I would expect that by next January we'll be making determinal on perhaps more extensive role-call voting. I wonder if in our search for autonomy, and our search for determining for ourselves by division what's best for ourselves, what about the accountable voting
procedure of role-call voting? Will it be a plus or a minus for those who feel they are not getting a . shake because people in other divisions or subdivisions are determining what a particular interest grou] really wants to get done. And, I ask that Jack Davis, who has done quite a bit of work in this search , this electronic or role-call voting approach, speculate on that question.
A role-call vote can be accomplished two ways. One is for the Presidents Commission to require it on a particular proposal and the other is for the membership to decide if they want to have a role-, vote. At the New Orleans convention, the P~esidents Commission did identify all of its proposals deal" with integrity for role-call votes. We will, hopefully, have electronic voting so that we can use a m, sense card or optical scanning sort of card for getting a quick count on the votes and then later on hi a printout which will identify the name and the vote for each institution. But, we have felt, and so c the Presidents Commission, that that's really not the way to conduct a convention, bya lot of role-ca: votes. You lose a lot of the dynamics of a convention and certainly a lot of time, so I think, John, : the long run, what will happen is that only those measures of very high importance to either the membeJ or the Presidents Commission will have a role-call vote.
I think there will be a higher degree of reluctance, even with the Presidents Commission, after tl New Orleans meeting to require a role-call vote. But, that's going to be more up to the membership,I
think, than the Presidents Commission. I think they will feel that they have accomplished a great deal this time, and particularly they wanted to test the system, test the water on a role-call vote. Most ( the presidents, who find it difficult to get there in June, wanted to be sure that their delegates wou. vote the way they were instructed. I think the accountability associated with role-call voting is a VI positive thing and I would hate to see it disregarded simply because it takes time. I can't really
believe that electronic voting on every issue would take a lot more time than our current system, wh~cl frequently requires that someone go through an actual count, hand by hand, or paddle by paddle, with Pj that are raised which uses up a great deal of time. I believe in the past we have voted against role- votes simply because we didn't want to see the time used that would be required with calling the role
and having the answer given. But, the electronic one would seem to solve both of those problems. I wc be surprised if we didn't end up with less time being used than we do with our current system.
I just wanted to follow up with that first question with my second and last question, Jack and I both have been given comments from the NCAA membership that "somebody else beat him out in the voting procedure," Well, then you are sitting up front and you're looking overl,7OO delegates and all of the different
colored paddles, you really do get a pretty good look at whose voting for what. For example. we had a lot of complaints last year that removing the financial aid amendments from the constitution and putting them into the bylaw structure could be voted separately by division. It was a defeated constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds vote. and several times. several different people commented that some public group really knocked out the chance of enabling that legislation an ability to be more federated. And yet.
looking out from the dais. it appeared that the vote was defeated by almost an equal vote in all of the subdivision of I and. of course. in II and III. And, so the role-call voting on those critical issues
~ybe important in the future. One other thing that one notices from the dais. when you have a vote that's too close to count. and you call for a count, when the counted vote is being conducted there is an obvious difference in the "yeas and the nays." I think that my personal observation is that role-call voting on critical issues may really determine an awful lot more about autonomy than we've had an ability to do. I don't know if either of you want to comment on that. but that's been one of the things that has been bothering me about the whole issue. The second part is the rescision vote. There have been very few issues of the NCAA council where they have met separately and have been rescinded by the full council. Likewise, there have been very few amendments passed by either of the three divisions or by the subdivisions of I that have been rescinded. but there is a history of resentment.
Now, as we approach the federated concept of running conventions, do either of you think that the process is going to still lead us and hold us up in the future?
I doubt it seriously, John. As we move toward a more federated approach, no one division will attempt to rescind the action of another division. On matters dealing with most of the bylaws or even some constitutional things that ought to be moved into the bylaws, I just don't get a feeling for overwhelming interest on the part of one division to subvert the interest of another division. There are three distinct sizes or types of competition within institutions and it seems to be working. So, I don't think we're bogged down with that, John.
Well, I've got my two off. Does anyone else out there have a question or any kind of a comment about autonomy; where we are, where are we going to go?
Dr. Sangster, I was interested in your comment about the presidential seminar yearly, or at least occasionally. Would you think that the presidents would take the time to attend one of those, and secondly, would it be, should it be, a program within some measure of its organization? Maybe have a seminar connected with our group here because you are right. Most of us directors are working directly with presidents, and it seems reasonable to put the two groups together in some manner. I suspect that the average college president has a good deal of confidence in his own athletic director and in his own faculty athletic representative, but very little in anybody else's. My belief is that such a seminar would be of interest to college presidents, at least many. Perhaps it wouldn't catch all of them who need it the most, but it would catch a good many of them; particularly if it could be made part of something that they don't
recognize as being a group with an axe to grind. It might be,for example, offered as a part of the program of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, which most of these people attend anyway. I suspect that many of them would be interested in attending.
Are there any other questions? I know Jack Davis has a comment to make. Let's hear from Jack befQre we adourn this meeting.
John mentioned earlier that Division I does not have the ability to determine who becomes members of Division I. I think that will become a critical issue in the general issue of autonomy and let me express it. Now there is l-AA and l-AAA sport sponsorship requirements in six sports, and that could be achieved
by having basketball, three track sports with the same athletes in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track, tennis and golf, and thereby have a Division I program with less than 50 students in the program.
Now, an institution with 800 students and those six sports with less than 50 kids in the program could become members of Division I and thereby get their transportation paid to all of the Division I championships. We do not have a l-A championship, as John mentioned. This is what reminded me of this comment. I'm just
expressing a higher degree of concern. At this stage of the game inDivisionsl-A and l-AAA and Divi! there could be an influx of Division II schools moving toward Division I simply because of economic j of those institutions. Now how Division I or l-A, with whatever autonomy it has, can further define issues of self determination, and continue to move toward competition with students in institutions ( the same size and the same goals and the same objectives, I think will be a continuing problem; one I NCAA is going to have to address forthwith.
Thank you, Jack. Thank you, Bill. I would like to remind all that in just 10 minutes our scheduled to begin. Hope we see you all there. Thank you very much.