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LEGISLATIVE BREAKOUT - DIVISION I-AAA
(Monday, June 8, 1987 10:00 A.M. -11:45 A.M.)

DENIS LAMBERT:

I have a few comments to make before I get started going over any individual ones. I was reading the official program, and at first, I must admit I came away with the idea, "Why are we spending all this time going down to Dallas for this convention?" It seems to me that there is very little going on and the more I read it, the more I became aware that maybe a lot more will be going on than many of us realize. Tom Hansen made a comment that we have a serious obligation to our institutions and especially to our students to take this very seriously. Not only do we need to consider what effect it might have but we also must vote with integrity as to what is best for the student-athlete. I don't necessarily mean what is best or necessary regarding whether we are going to win or lose and that sort of thing, but what is best for athletes and for athletics in the United States. We playa very important role and what made me come to that conclusion, and it might be worthwhile if you get a chance to read them,are the resolutions. The resolutions we are talking about here could have a major impact on collegiate athletics in the future. I think you better read those very, very carefully because in my experience, resolutions pass very readily, but they are very important to all of us.

What I would like to do with this session is try to find out what you are thinking so the rest of us may become enlightened about the different issues. I took some notes so that I would not have to read the regulations and I'll just try to go through some of the proposed amendments. I am going to touch on just Division I and I am not going to touch on anything dealing with Divisions I, II or III football.

The first item that is going to be considered is really like a preamble to the other resolutions. It calls for a national forum during the next 18-month period. At the 1989 NCAA convention there will be a series of meetings and extensive studies. I know another resolution here today will deal with those. The one that is probably the most controversial because it has to deal with specific regulations, is Number 2. I have tried again to summarize that. If anyone has any discussion or any different view than what might come out of this group, you might want to have a discussion on this. If you want to take a straw vote on how people feel about these issues, we can certainly do that. If you do want to make some particular reference to by-laws and want to get a straw vote on a particular by-law or a section of a by-law, then we can do that.

I will just go over quickly what it really says. We are going to be looking at limiting our playing season for the next six months to 26 weeks in two segments. We will have a traditional and non-traditional segment and it can be split only in two. It also says that if you take a break during an academic period in the traditional segment it doesn't count for vacation as part of the 26-weeks. Have any of you found that that's going to bother you. that 26-week segment? That it will decrease any of your programs? It pertains to every sport. I'm concerned about gymnastics. soccer and volleyball especially. I think there will be a serious impact on those sports.

I've talked to a lot of people who feel you're not going to prevent people from being fanatics who want to practice year-round, to keep their skills. Their opinion is, it will drive a lot of these kids underground, meaning that they will continue to practice and work out. Often times a lot of colleges will have people who are not coaches on their staff and use them to continue training programs. I don't know if that is going to happen or not, but I know in the last few days I've talked to probably eight or ten different "quality" people who have worked on swimming programs, and they feel that this is what will happen.

Any other comments? There are schools in the Northeast that play baseball and this resolution can have a tremendous bearing on baseball. Let's assume you start February lst the traditional season. In the Northeast you're sitting at home February, March and April, maybe a couple of weeks in May. So it seems even if you are playing in September or October in the Northeast you still have four months to deal with in the spring session; I don't think that will change much from what is occuring now for the Northeast.

It makes a difference if you're'in Arizona or someplace like that, where you might start January lst. You'd play in January, February, March and April and not really have much of a fall. If you have that extensive of a spring program when you get out of doors, I'm not sure how much you need that fall competition in comparison to the Northeast.

FROM THE FLOOR:


What determines the starting date?

DENIS LAMBERT:

The first day of practice. I don't think soccer really has much of a problem. either. I was mostly concerned about the starting date for volleyball. and I do have the same concern with gymnastics. The problem with gymnastics is that you can't send kids to practice on equipment without supervision. The liability factor is tremendous. In swimming. you have the same kind of thing. With basketball you can open the gym; with swimming. in theory I suppose you could. for instance. if you had a period open in the morning from six to eight and anybody could go. If you could convince your swimmers to go at six. obviously you would probably own the pool by yourself. With most other sports you can work around the 26-week limit. Skiing is another problem. Cross-cou~try skiers can train on roller skis. which is very hazardous, even though there's a man going in front of them. That means that period of time they train on cross-country roller skates in the fall you've got some very serious problems; there is a sort of safety factor involved.

There are too many ways to circumvent this particular rule and regulation by simply getting an outside person to take your entire swim team and work with them. They are not a coach and they are not a member of the institution. There are many ways to circumvent this. The tentative rule, as I understand it, was to cut back on the length of the season and practice time and that kind of thing, so the student can study a little more, etc. It is not going to happen with this rule. This rule is going to be circumvented by bringing an outside agency and outside people in to have control of our athletes for a portion of the year. So what's going to happen to your program?

Again, if this passes what will happen is that there will be a declaration from the season's students on file in the AD's office; apparently you will not have to have it filed with the NGAA. You'll have to have it in your files, and it will have to be dated. I'm not sure if you will have to have a notary sign that or whatever because you could change the date, obviously; you could play games with that. It should certainly be on file prior to your starting of that practice season, so I can't imagine, other than having it notarized or having a copy sent to the NGAA, that there is any way to verify that kind of thing. So you may want to notarize those. If you wanted to change it, for example, if you sent it for a starting date of September 15 for the swim team and then you wanted to change it to September 8, you would have to refile another one. You could do it, providing you did it before September 8. Also, a partial week will count as a full week, which I interpret this way: if you started on a Wednesday, the first week you counted would be from Wednesday to the next Wednesday. If you started on a Wednesday and at the end of the season you went through a Thursday, you would be adding another week. All practice and competition in the school segment should conclude in the last regular scheduling segment, including championships. The traditional segment should conclude after the championship of the NGAA championship period not counted. I don't know how to interpret that, but I am just assuming that if your conference champion is in the NGAA tournament, it won't be counted as part of the period. That makes sense, because I don't think you can plan for that. Let's assume that you would use the whole 26 weeks and then you made the championship; you can't plan on whether you are going to go on to several other games. That would be very difficult. There is one other thing --the non-traditional segment must occur during the regular academic year, which means that you can't have a non-traditional segment during the summer. You could not do it in the summertime, during vacation time, holidays or final exams.

There is another thing that has come out. In the past the NGAA has allowed you to compete through the NGAA championship or the national governing body's championship. Therefore, you could continue to compete even after the NGAA championship. For example, the ski championship, where three weeks after the NGAA championship you could compete in the last national championship. Now they do not allow that. It doesn't affect skiing because it gives you the option of either the NGAA championship or the end of your academic year, but I don't know what happens in a sport like track. There is the TAG national championship but that's not connected with theuniversity; is there a national governing body's championship after the academic year? So, apparently, track is not affected. In golf, is there such a thing as a national amateur championship? There are not any connected with any institution. I think that's the rule.

What we're talking about is like AAU national track championship, or skiing. We have a national championship of skiing as an event during the spring and that concludes after the NCAA championship. With the current regulation you can continue up to then and train your kids and go to that championship. That would be eliminated. In skiing that's not bad, because there is the national championship during the academic year, but what I was wondering about is in other sports that I might not be familiar with. I guess that's really not a problem.

The NCAA has their national championship in March, and in Ap~il they will have the national championship. In that national championship all the Americans from allover, whether they are in .college or not, are competing. That means that your collegians can go and compete in that; in the past ~they could not. If that should occur after the academic year they no longer could do that. Swimming and water polo might be a good example of sports no longer under the current rule, but the new rule could affect swimming and not water polo. That's maybe a question to ask.

August 15 is the earliest starting date proposed. Does anyone have a problem with that? Football may start earlier because of the Kickoff Classic. It really doesn't apply to P.E. courses. September 15, if you just wanted to have your team there, you could do that and let them practice on their own.

Now, if you only opened it for the players, I don't think that is legal, it has to be opened for anybody, with no coach there, no supervision. It really makes a difference, if you're making a practice football area where people go in there in August, where the quarterback throws the ball to the general student. The question would be regarding you doing that in the summertime. I don't know the answer to that. Obviously if that is allowed now and it won't be allowed then, that creates a problem. When you see Morgan, ask him to come in and maybe we can ask Steve that question. I hope he will come in and visit with us. There may be a single day for issuing equipment and physicals that may not count as part of this 26-weeks.

All sports are limited to periods to this particular section of this regulation. The first contest or scrimmage with outside competition must be conducted within a six-month playing season; the last contest shall not take place after the last day of classes.

The next item regards contact between student-athletes and coaches outside the six-month period. Although there is no organized practice, you may have individual consultations and it must be voluntary. You can tell the kids to come in and meet with you, but it would have to be on a voluntary basis. You can't say to someone, "1 want to see you every Tuesday to discuss such and such". I don't know how you can control this. Who is going to be monitoring it? The only way those things get out is if a kid transfers from a particular institution to another and he says, "We have to meet with the coaches every Wednesday night after the season". That would be the only way that someone is violating that.

The next issue is use of facilities. This is the one we were talking about. If you want the basketball team to be in there using the gym, it has to be open to all the students and at a regular time. This is my current understanding, but maybe I am wrong. This is new and it will be more a restriction on strength conditioning. Maybe a student's involved outside an established playing season. I think maybe that will take further interpretation from the NCAA. Anybody who has strength coaches or traditional coaches, see if you might not be at a disadvantage. If you happen to be a I-A school, you may be able to develop programs that fit within these guidelines; those what aren't, you may find it very difficult to control what happens.

The next proposal may affect some people in this room. We know the NIT people and the people in Alaska and Hawaii and probably in Puerto Rico are not going to be happy with this one regarding participation for four years. In other words, you can go to Alaska and be in a tournament there and not count it as part of the 27 total in basketball. The reason is to help these people. I think you can go once every three years now, and it's going to every four years. It is going to make it more difficult for those schools. For the NIT I think this might be kind of good because it will allow more schools to particpate in the NIT who normally don't get a chance to. The flip side of that coin is that if you don't have good teams in the NIT, it goes down the tubes and you're not going to have a NIT. So you have to be very careful about that; that would be my judgement on that.

I don't see any reason why one school can go to the NCAA tournament year after year after year and miss a hell of a lot more school than teams who go the NIT. That applies to just the pre-season NIT, not the regular NIT. You can go to the NIT 10 years in a row but you can't go to the pre-season NIT ten years in a row. Since you don't know if you're going to the NIT, you've got your 26-weeks figured so that it ends after your conference championship. It would be the same as the NCAA tournament; that's not a problem.

Soccer is staying at 22 weeks and not going to change; golf is going from 30 to 28 and tennis from 35 to 30. If you are in a three-day tournament, so it counts as one day. Indoor and outdoor track are going from 29 to 24 and volleyball is going from 35 to 32. Bylaw F, I think, is pretty self-explanatory. Anyone else have any further discussion about Number two?

Let's go back to the facility question. There are a lot of summer baseball programs using our own facilities; that will be coming to an end. Basically. the rule says you can use that facility but you're limited to a certain number of players. We've never been able to change baseball or softball in the spring, but you're competing before the national championship ends, so that doesn't change. I think that's a legitimate question that we should be asking. That's why we are having this session, to clear up some of the things that may pose problems for you, looking at your own situation. I hope that Steve will come in and I think we can ask him several of those questions on the facility.

Should we take a straw vote? Ok, let's take Proposition One. How many are for it? How many are against it? I guess there is a series of imbalance here on this Propostion One. How about Proposition Two, how many are for it? How many are opposed? Ok, nothing seems very clear. How many of you who are opposed to it are going to vote for it because your president wants- it? Anyone here from the Big East? Let's see if we can't move along here. Number Three on the playing season; it says that the traditional segment commences prior to September 1 and I'm not sure what that means. Is that practice? The only reason that I can see them wanting to do that is it eliminates what is very costly to a lot of institutions, the pre-season. If you started September 1, which is probably close to your starting date at school, you don't have the cost factors of room and board during that period of time. That's the only rationale that I can see for them splitting that. In our particular institution we do not have dorms on campus, we have apartments that we rent. So if school starts around the 23rd our rents start on August 15 anyway,so that doesn't help us. We're paying anyway, and if we wait for school to start, we pay for two weeks anyway. How many are in favor of that? I might vote for that. How many are opposed to that? That's sort of a split down the middle.

Thirteen is the next one. That resolution is simply asking that every institution establish a policy for missing class. Apparently, through a lot of their surveys, they've found a lot of institutions do not have definite policies on when you can miss and so on and so forth. Most institutions have policiel about exams but not about missing classes. I think that resolution just encourages the development of the policies. Number Fourteen is self-explanatory. That excludes anything from the NCAA request for the youth sport program. Number Fifteen is on fall championships. Gary Cunningham, who is going to be the president-elect for our organization, was at Wyoming and has always lived in California. He said he never appreciated what the northern schools had to do about trying to get a baseball program or a golf program until he got to Wyoming. He has a deep appreciation now because had he stayed in California that was an issue he could never have been sympathetic about. This proposal is saying we really want two championships, one in the fall. You can choose whether you want to get one group in the fall and one in the traditional season. The sports that we are talking about are golf, baseball, softball and tennis.

Say you have 16 teams in the spring and another 16 teams in the fall; potentially there are 32 teams to participate in the national championship. You will not have any more teams than you have now, because you have to decide which will be your traditional season. I can't imagine how you can have two national championships at the same level. Who are the national champions if Iowa wins the northern and Arizona wins in the southern? It seems that they would have a great deal of difficulty. On the other hand it might have a lot of merit, because the state of Vermont's best season is in September and October for playing baseball; it sure isn't March and April.

To just inject a little levity here. I will relate a little story. Maine was coming up to play us in baseball and we were trying to warn them that it looked like the weather was going to be bad. so please give us a call. Well. they enter New Hampshire and they are about 230-240 miles away and it start to snow. and you can imagine what is happening up in our quarters. We said to call and they didn't call. they continued. Not only that. they made reservations at a ski area with the highest elevation in the state of Vermont and it took them three hours to get up the hill. By the time they got there. there were about 20 to 21 inches of snow. How did the game go? They won! We had 16 inches of snow in Burlington and the power went out and we didn't have food and it was a total fiasco. but it was kind of humorous and yet not so humorous. They asked us if we would pay for their expenses because they came up. That's just to illustrate what can happen in the spring.

I have some difficulty with Number Sixteen. I don't know if it is more important to have restrictions for academic purposes for women than for men. This escapes me why they are doing this. unle they are trying to say that the women's program is not as important as the men's program in a particular school. and therefore. they want to keep some restrictions. Briefly. it says that you have to give everyone of the student-athletes written notification of the regulations. the length of the playing season and so forth. and in the pre-season you can only practice a maximum of two hours per day per player. or ten hours a week. In season. the limit would be three hours a day per player. 18 hours a week assuming some may go to Saturday classes. During post-season the maximum would be two hours per day per player. with three days per week of court practice. That's the problem that I see with the NCAA. they have so many rules today that they can't even enforce. How are you going to enforce this rule?

Resolution Number Seventeen, again, is one of those on practice and playing limitations, and trying to do a study and come up with some specifics for the 1988 convention. Anybody have any comment about that? You just have to look in your book and you know what is happening there. Let me just try to tell you an areas that seems to be a little out of sync. Perhaps just for discussion purposes you may be able to explain why, for instance, baseball is going from 13 to 12 and softball II to 10. You use the same number of players, don't you? I don't know the rationale of some of this, For instance, men's tennis is going from five to six and women are staying at eight to eight; the question again begs itself, why two more scholarships in the women's programs? The other one is gymnastics; I don't know why men's gymnastics is moving from seven to six and women, I think, is 10. Why four more women than men on the gymnastics team? Any other comments on this?

Proposal Number Twenty-One, is on scholarships going back from 13 to 15. How many are in favor of that? I'd just like to get a straw vote. How many are opposed? Looks like it gets pushed back to 15. How many hockey schools are here? Well, you can bypass that one alright. My feeling is that I don't have the numbers anyway, if we go to point four. Number Twenty-Six is another study, this one on financial aid. They want to look at giving a grant for tuition and fees, and then if you were to give anymore it would be based on need. Resolution Twenty-Seven is in regard to an in-depth study of graduation rates and I can't see that anybody would be opposed to that. Number Thirty is on the basketball coaching staff. If I read this correctly, you can currently have one head coach, two assistants and two volunteers or a graduate assistant, but no part-time assistant. That is supposed to be effective August I, 1987. This proposal is really to change the dates so that you can stay with any staff that you currently have for 1989. Anybody have any comment on that? Can we have a straw vote on that? All those in favor of Proposal Thirty? Those opposed?

Proposal Thirty-one now says to add a part-time assistant you need two assistant and two volunteers or grad assistants. One concern that I have, and that I would hope that other people would have, is there are part-time assistants that currently exist in our country that are probably making more money than some of the full-time student coaches, and it scares me a little bit. This Proposal is plugging in that part-time assistant, and there's a way to do that so you can have a part-time assistant and they are in fact, really full-time people. I would eliminate the part-time position and go with the volunteers. There is a difference between a part-time assistant and a graduate assistant: the graduate assistant goes to class and the part-timer gets paid. A graduate student gets paid about $5,500; a part-time assistant can make $40,000. A grad assistant can only make an amount equivalent to tuition. I know a guy that left a full-time assistant coaching job to take a part-time job. Any further discussion on that?

Number Thirty-three is a resolution on personnel and mandates an NCAA council study on the number of coaches and administrative and support personnal. It is asking that the study present legislation for the 1988 annual convention which takes place in January. Does anybody have any problem with that? Here's a resolution on the evaluation and contact period; they want to limit the evaluation period. The subcommittee has already been involved in this. If you think you have problems with keeping track of your segments of the playing season, try it when you have multiple times when different people can go out recruiting. If you are going to monitor travel adv8nces, obviously it is going to be very difficult for people to keep up with. We have twenty-six varsity sports and if I sign a travel voucher for the wrong date, I am as vulnerable as anyone else. I think that is going to be difficult, but I have a feeling that there will be some legislation on that. The next resolution is on permissible paid visits. Theyare asking council to grant specific legislation. I want to go through these fast, but if you have any questions or you want to discuss them, it's time to do it. This resolution, Number Thirty-six, is on paid visitations to the institution by athletes. Obviously, most of these are passed. There is nothing threatening in them. The convention had asked for a study on reducing recruiting opportunities.

Number Thirty-eight is on recruiting contacts in basketball, especially Division I women's basket- ball. In other words, no more than three contact per prospect should be permitted. The problem is that you are not sure that how people feel about why you may be more restricted or less restricted; I think right now we have three contacts for men, is that what it is? Probably this is just trying to get the women to be the same. The next one, Number Thirty-nine is on women's basketball evaluation dates. Again, I'll just try to summerize: July 10-July 31, December 11-31, and February 8-28 (or 29). Also, you could evaluate during the National Junior College Athletic Association or Amateur Athletic Union championships. A particular high school in a particular state may have a fall high school basketball, July 10-31 and November 8-28, but if they have spring high school basketball, it's July 10-31 and Apri18-28. If staff members are limited to three observations, what came to my mind is the amount of recruiting that someone can do if you don't know if they have spring basketball or fall basketball?

Number Forty, on official business at meals --that is a propostion for meals to take place off campus, except for breakfast and th~.prospect's initial meal. But you can't spend any more than you would on-campus. I don't know why that is in there; obviously, it would be nice to have some of these people who wrote the proposals tell you maybe what some of the uses are. As the rule is now, you are supposed to feed a student in the on-campus dining areas, if they are available. The questions on this is if I bring a kid in from Washington State and put him in a hotel and the initial meal is there, and it is not going to cost me any more than the cost to feed him on compus. What iŁ you don't have on-campus facilities?

There are some more resolutions pertaining to academic performance an in-depth study on academic progress in 1988. Anybody have any problem with those? Number Forty-three is the last one, on seasons of competition. They want to change the limit from four seasons to five. They say Proposal Number Forty-three will cut costs, reduce recruiting and increase graduation rates. It eliminates the need for redshirting and the hardship rule and makes the participation rule, Bylaw A-l, be consistant with the 12-hour per term rule. But the reality is that you will have to be more precise in your recruiting when you have fewer numbers here that you are recruiting in a particular year. Like I said when someobdy asked me about ice hockey, I had fewer ice hockey players and, therefore, the turnover doesn't make any difference. If I can only replace two scholarships with only two kids, those guys out there recruiting are trying to find the two best and they are not sitting there saying, "Well, this year we are recruiting four so we will spend more on the road". I don't think the reality is that you really save on the road and if you save it would be mimimal. If you reward your students for superior performance then I think you are going to have more people performing at that level. A five-year proposal will be a good one because you will have more time to develop marginal students. On the other hand, it also leads to taking weak students, kids that are ineligible now but you still have them for four years. That's one of the arguments against it. I thinks there is some merit in looking at it.

We are going to be meeting again as a large group, all of Division I and see what is going on. I will be summarizing your feelings and seeing if I can get some kind of answer from Steve Morgan on a couple of the issues. Can we have a show of hands if those who are in favor of freshmen being ineligible for central practice? There is going to be a study about the freshmen. You may find that freshmen do better than sophomores, academically, now. What does that mean? You keep them out? It would make a difference in how I would think, if they did better. Given that situation, how many are in favor of freshmen not playing? How many would still be in favor, assuming that you could still play for four years and that in your freshmen year you are ineligible and could not practice? How many in favor? How many opposed? I would like to see us adopt a scholarship program and give 12 semesters per scholarship. That would give you two to four years to participate and gives you summer school for freshmen. Right now we don't have a limit for the scholarship program and the number of semesters in a scholarship.