LEGISLATIVE BREAKOUT - DIVISION I-A
(Monday, June 8, 10:00- 11:45 a.m.)
Let's look at the size of the coaching staff and grants in aid. A committee of the NCAA Council was formed to study this issue, and we met for two days in Atlanta. During those two days we had
14 different coaches' associations come in and make their appeals on grants in aid. We had some very interesting ones. We sent a letter out saying we have been charged by the presidents to develop something that will save money and we are going to look at the grants in aid. The first guy that came in said, "Well, we are now allowed 11 grants in aid and we are willing to concede that what we really need is 14." That started the day. Sometimes it didn't get any better.
Different people on the committee had different feelings about cutting grants in aid. My feeling was that I wasn't sure that we ought to cut anything because we are cutting the kids out. We always tend to want to save money. There's a lot of ways to save money, so why take it away from the opportunities the kids have? There were people on the committee who felt like I did. There were other people who felt this was one thing we absolutely had to do and not only was it our charge, it was something that if we didn't do it, it would be a significant loss for the committee and for the Presidents Commission. So we stayed there and for two days we hammered away at various sports. The results of those deliberations are Proposition 18 on page 47.
One of the great disputes we had came from the women, who argued that we cut, percentage-wise, more of the women's grants in aid than we did of the men's, and that was absolutely true. There were sports like tennis where women were allowed eight grants in aid and the men were allowed five. We felt that five was less than you needed to have a team, so we weren't going to cut the five for men but we did
cut the women from eight to six. I also heard from everyone of the ice hockey people because we cut hockey by three. That was the determination of the committee, it wasn't a Gene Corrigan determination, I can assure you. Our feeling was that this was what we were asked to do and this is what we came up with.
The next issue they asked us to work on was coaching staffs. Again, in dealing with a number of people, one of the problems was that if we took the advice of the people who were there, we would
be taking the advice of the people who had the best program. In other words, if a guy with a great baseball program said, "What we really need to win a national championship is a full-time head coach, a full-time pitching coach, a full-time hitting coach and then two grad assistants and a volunteer." I'd think, "My God, if we put out something that said that's what a coaching staff in baseball ought to be, we will get shot." Not only that, that maximum will become the minimum for people and then we are dead.
So we made one recommendation to the Presidents Commission, if there were a lot of things that
had built up over the years in athletic departments that just weren't there before. Ten years ago how many people had a weight coach, a full-time weight coach? How many of us now have three? Every time there has to be a cut somewhere, you keep them in the department so you end up building a whole cadre of people there who we haven't looked at. My suggestion was that everybody take a look at their department and find out whether they have a problem. A lot of times when you say you are working at dealing with problems you're dancing with windmills. You don't know where the problems are.
We found that within Division I-A there were a certain number of schools that were having
severe financial problems but there were certain schools at the other end who had no financial problems at all. At least they didn't seem to, because any time we would talk about any kind of cut in any
way, they would say, "No, you are not talking about us. Don't tell us how to run our program." So we try to come in between those two extremes. Our suggestion to the Presidents Commission was that if they wanted to put legislation forward it would be in sports other than revenue sports --in most cases football and basketball and in some cases ice hockey. For example, there might be one
full-time person, and that is the head coach. The other people would be part-time. They might teach physical education and coach or be involved in some other activity within the athletic department.
Those were the things we talked about during those two days. As you notice, there is very little legislation on coaching staffs. There is the one on football coaching staffs, which the Presidents put forward, and the reduction in grants in aid. The Presidents did not put anything forward in football but they did on the other sports, which surprised me. That's the background of that issue.
In dealing with the Presidents Commission. they were as fair and as good to me and our committee as anybody could have been. They allowed us into their meetings and stayed through all the meetings.
They were very good about that. I, like most of you, tried in every way I could to get them not to
have the Convention in June because I didn't think we needed another Convention. I wasn't sure that
we really had enough to go to that the people were really excited about. I don't find great excitement over what is in the proposed legislation. I don't find people angry or upset over too much, and I wonder if anything is going to pass when I think about it. The savings, we think, in the long run are just minimal.
I do think the Presidents are sincerely interested in the debate over the value of intercollegiate athletics at the major college level. I don't think there is any question about that. I think they all want to see that debate, and hopefully, that will end up being something positive for all of us. And
it could be. I think we could all stand an examination of what we are doing, how we are doing it and why we are doing it. Certainly the people involved in it at that level, the Presidents, are determined to have an impact, and they realize that saving a dollar here and saving a dollar there may not be the impact that they can have. What they want us to do is review what we are doing. I think, as you
know, different people have different criteria for a successful program. There are some Presidents
who feel very, very strongly that major college intercollegiate athletics are just a little bit out of whack. So I think that is the thing that is going to be debated, and everything that we do in our programs we should be willing to defend. I am proud to be involved in intercollegiate athletics at
the Division I-A level. We do so much good and there is so little that is said about it, and this is going to present us an opportunity to talk about the things we do well.
Thank you, Gene. The other area besides scholarship cuts and coaching staffs that was really investigated thoroughly was the length of the playing season and practice. Again a committee was appointed from the NCAA Council to investigate this issue, and I have asked Vern Smith, director of athletics at the University of Toledo, a member of the NCAA Council and a member of NACDA's Executive Committee, to come and speak on this matter.
Thank you, Joan. She gave me a restriction of five minutes. I can barely say hello in five minutes. If you are all confused about the length of playing seasons, I am sure that I can increase your confusion. I generally have that result. As Joan mentioned, the Council appointed a sub-commi chaired by Mickey Flowers and I was a member of that committee. They did meet a number of times and worked hard to attempt to make a recommendation for the length of playing seasons in all sports, and some other related items such as the grants in aid and number of contests in some other areas.
As all of you know. football and basketball are the only two sports that have any on the length of their seasons. They already have these limits and this committee rea] like doing anything with those two sports. It is a very difficult problem. when you st about what you are going to do about the length of seasons. We needed to provide a staI a finishing time for each sport. All sports were to end at the NCAA championships. so backwards from there.
The focus was on a six-month or 26-weeks period. You can divide the length of the season and
have two months in the fall and four months in the spring, or three months in the fall and three months in the spring. Practices, contests, recruiting, everything that they do is supposed to be done in
those six months. That is a major concern, when you start thinking about it. School generally goes for a nine-month period and a lot of athletes right now believe they have to stay in shape over a
12-month period, and a lot of them do. That legislation is going to be in doubt, some estimate, and I think that savings are going to be minimal unless you eliminate staff. If you have a six-month program you might go to part-tim~ and there are other ways that could be handled.
The major cost, in the non-revenue sports are probably in staff, travel and the grants in aid and we got into all of those. The proponents of shortening the season said that would provide time for activities for athletes to participate in when they weren't practicing. How many athletes are going to enter into other activities though? That's a big question. I thought that Mr. Ueberroth brought up a real critical point this morning when he said we are responsible for training people for the Olympics. If you have them for only six months, you have a real problem.
That was the problem most of the coaches' organizations and others have been focusing in on. In almost any non-revenue sport individuals who may qualify for Olympic competition are not going to do it in just a six-month period. So we had lots of opposition from the coaches' organizations. No plan is ever going to be accepted easily. We talked about other lengths of seasons. None of them were very good and yet we were asked to come up with a recommendation. That was done, you heard it, and you probably have a lot of questions about it. I am not sure I presented this the way it needed to be
presented. but I hope that this has confused you more than before and ~ow I have done my job. Joan.
Thanks. Vern. Gene's committee faced cost containment. Vern's faced the balance of athletics
and students and that is what the Presidents Commission asked the Council to do. Our next part of
the program will have Home Rice as our leader. He is going to tell us a little bit about the Division I-A Directors Association meeting and what they are doing. He will also divide us into roundtables. Homer.
Thank you, Joan. We Division I-A athletic directors met yesterday and we did get into these issues, so we have some information. Bill Hunt was here from the NCAA Legislative Services and he was very beneficial, and Gene Corrigan again helped us. Basically, we are looking at about seven or eight resolutions by the Presidents Commission to be voted on by the general membership. When it gets down to just Division I-A we are talking about the playing and practice seasons; that was Proposal No.2. Proposal No.8 deals with spring football practice, Proposal No. 18 with financial aid maximum awards, and Proposal No.20 is regarding reduction of football staff. Those are the major issues. A few others were presented by others besides the Presidents Commission that we probably need to look at.
What we are planning to do for the next hour is divide into groups. We have table leaders and
I will announce those and where they will be in just a moment. We are supposed to have ten chairs at each table, but we have a larger group than we anticipated. This has to be the largest Convention we have ever had. We have 54 new members this year; so we've grown by leaps and bounds. These leaders will be conducting your table and will allow you to speak up and discuss these issues.
We will be dealing with the legislation proposed for this special Convention and also, if time permits, any recommendations from you regarding 1988 convention legislation. At 11:30 we will come back here and the table leaders will report from their table as briefly as possible as to what took place at their tables. At 12:00 noon we will all go back to the Atlas Ballroom to hear reports from all the NCAA divisions. We will have an opportunity to hear what others are doing about some of these issues so we can get a better readout. So now we will divide up into the table groups, just go to any table you want to. At Table No. I there is Bill Byrne of Oregon, Table No.2 is Dick Shrider of
Miami of Ohio and Table No.3 is Tom Butters of Duke University. At Table No.4 is Doug Single of Northwestern, and Table No.5 is Charlie Carr of Mississippi State, and Table No.6 is T. Jones of Texas Tech. At Table No.7 is Donnie Duncan of Oklahoma. Table No.8 is Jim Copeland of Utah,
Table No.9 is Ed Carroll of Cal State-Fullerton, and Table No. 10 is Charles Theokas of Temple, and Table No. II is Ken Karr of East Carolina. If everyone will join a table and enter into the discussion we will report back here at 11:30.
Let me have your attention. We need to move on rapidly here to get through by noon. We will all
go to the Atlas Ballroom from here. to hear summaries from all divisions. I will speak for this division. I would like Ken Karr to come up and give his report at this time. Ken.
Homer really knows how to fake a fellow out. I had it all planned that I was going to be number eleven. I think that all of us have done an outstanding job of doing our homework. We have read this legislation from the left side to the right side, from the top to the bottom, we are excited about some of it and some of the rest of it we are not very excited about.
I think that we have to go to the convention with our eyes and ears open and do the very best
we can to keep up with the stances that will take place and that will be evidenced in the forum because the forum should do something for us. It should polarize the issues and identify for the ACE where the enemy truly lies, and we can attack if we wish to attack.
Beyond that, I would say that our table did not reach any particular conclusions on the legislation. As a table we are concerned with doing everything we can to preserve the integrity of our primary revenue-producing sports, to keep those as revenue-producing sports and to maximize the revenue to
assist us with the balance of the programs. We also think that if we are honest with ourselves, there are areas of our programs that are unot unlike the alligator pond story. We have allowed our friends and neighbors in particular sports to expand their coaching staffs form one to two to seven to nine
or whatever, and that we can, if we seriously look at portions of our programs, reduce costs. With that brief summary I will turn it over to the learned leader of Table No. 10. Thank you.
Thank you. One thing we all agreed on, that is we had Stan Sheriff with us from Hawaii. We're all moving to Hawaii next year, that's number one. We got into a philosophical discussion and I think it is safe to say we all agreed that the essence of the convention in June really isn't to talk about cost containment. The reality is there are not a lot of dollars.
There is a hope that, rather than vote on some of the issues, we are able to bring back to our
people a philosophy that says, "Let's bring it back to the Council and look at it one more time." Because the difference between eight coaches and nine coaches isn't the problem in Division I. The problem in Division I football is, should you be playing Division I football? Should you try to compete, should you be at that level? If you think about that, I think the meeting in June is going to bring that to
a head. Whether you have eight coaches or nine coaches isn't the problem. it's like buying a Cadillac - if you have to worry if it doesn't get good gas mileage, you shouldn't be driving a Cadillac. That is the essence of what we talked about. We did not get into any real specifics. We talked about cost conta~nment. We talked about length of seasons but again, shortening the seasons is not necessarily to reduce the dollars spent. Our belief was that it would be more to allow the student-athlete to participate more in campus life. In leaving, I will say one more time that the meat of the meeting in June is really going to be where we are going individually as an institution, and should I be playing with the big guys, because that is what I have to base my decision on.
Our table group did talk about some of the specific issues. particularly number two. which is on the playing seasons. We found a number of concerns with that especially with the injury factor of an unsupervised practice week. We feel our students will continue to practice in sports such as gymnastics and others where there will be an injury factor if they don't have proper coaching. It is a benefit maybe to the trainers and equipment people because they wouldn't have that burden of year-round practice. but other than that it seems very difficult to enforce. Obviously. it would be difficult for our Olympic movement and we felt it should be an institutional decision as to how much you are going
to allow the individuals on the team to practice. The limit on the number of competitions is fine; it's the practices where we have to be concerned.
We were pretty much in favor at our table of reduction in all the cost containment areas. There
were a few issues, where we would save some money, that we were really in favor of. However, on No. 18, which is a limit on the number of scholarships, even though we were pretty much in favor of reduction as a concept it seemed like the way scholarships were cut were somewhat arbitrary. There didn't seem
to be too much of a relationship between the number of scholarships offered and the number of athletes
you would need to successfully compete in the sport. We also talked about the resolution calling for the possibility of limiting scholarships aid in non-priority sports to that of a need basis. The number of full scholarships allowed would then be about 110 for men and 25 for women. We felt the need basis would definitely be hurting the women's programs and also, since it would be determined on a need basis, it
may vary from institution to institution and there might be a lot of potential concerns about violations there. That was about it. Thank you.
Table No.8 voted unanimously to cancel the special convention. Beyond that, we agreed pretty much with that was said about maintaining the competitiveness of sports and, therefore, would resist
the reduction of staff. We did discuss at length the playing seasons and the six-months limit, as well as the maximum awards for the sports. I thought there were some good points brought up. Our best students, the ones that are in the individual sports, are the ones who are going to have the hardest time keeping in college if we limit the season, because they are the ones who feel the need to
compete year-round and who are able to handle their studies even though they do compete. We questioned how much cost-saving there would be with the six-months season as opposed to what we are doing right now. In addition, the students seem to be the greatest beneficiaries of the scholarships. By cutting out those one or two scholarships for certain sports, how much are we saving and who are we hurting? We are hurting the kids, but we are in business to help at this point. Other than that, our biggest discussion was on Number 43, the five-year eligibility rule, which most people at our table felt had a lot of merit. There is a cost-saving factor to it. We think it will help with our graduation rates and that deserves a great deal of scrutiny by people at the convention.
Table No.7 was a good representation and indication of how a broad base of knowledgeable people can come together and discuss this convention or any other convention. I don't believe the issues discussed are the major focal point that I should bring to you regarding Table 7. They were the same things that you have been talking about. But the point for me, in regard to anything that is coming
up in June at the convention, is that these people at our table and the people that are knowledgeable at your table need to have impact when they go back home. I am attempting to do that at Oklahoma and
I am making progress. I encourage you to do the same thing. I think we have moved from a cost-containment agenda to one that concerns me, and this is capital momentum. I believe you should make a decision
with your people at home as to what it is you want to achieve, where you want to be. Lastly, one of the things that was discussed, and those of you who were at the CFA meeting probably remember, was a newly-created presidents' group that met for the first time at the CFA. The point was that the agreement of these presidents was that athletics cannot be defended on a purely academic basis,
that it really has no academic value per se. My charge, and what I would like to encourage you to do, is to think about the values that we do have because within the next 18 months that is going to be very important. Ueberroth mentioned the competitive aspects of athletics, all the things that are pluses.
We'd better get our ducks in a row and get ready to defend. I don't think we can say that we give them the same value as an English course does, but maybe we give them some intrinsic values that make them fight harder and be able to use English and affect things more than just writing books of poetry or reading same. Our table was really a wild one.
Homer, we too had an interesting group at our table and I would like to ensure we do this at future meetings. What really came out of that table was the opportunity for each of us to be able to sit with people who are doing the same job, to hear their expressions and ideas and opinions on how they feel about their university. We are all different, and we understand that. The things we have to do is get a little bit closer in our thoughts and ideas and expressions regarding how we are going to do this, versus some of the things that are coming out of maybe the Presidents Commission, which may be decisions that might be made for us unless we take care of our own business and get together as athletic directors. We need to go in with a strong vote and let them know exactly how we feel.
It is wonderful for all of you to have the rare opportunity to meet directly with your president and be totally responsible to him directly. What a great relationship that is. I doubt that any of us could tell any president of our universities how to run their academic world and I question their abilities to tell us how to run our athletic departments. If we could come to a common ground some way, then I think we are better off. Certainly, we'd be better off if each of us could manage to know, and we do know, our own budget, to have that strength and ability to control how many people
we have in certain areas. There's where the control needs to come from within your own institutions.
We didn't even hardly scratch the surface of Proposition 8, where we talked about the length of spring practice. I think overall we agreed we could go to a 30-day period with 20 days of practice, 15 days of contact, 5 days in shorts, etc. We talked a little bit about Proposition 19 which would reduce the maximum number of awards from 95 to 90 and there were some split decisions on that issue. Again, I think it depends geographically on what part of the country you're from. I know the CFA coaches overwhelmingly wish it would stay at 95. Also, some of the individual conferences and schools are proposing these cuts versus the Presidents Commission's on cost-containment. On Proposition 28 regarding the coaching staff size, that's been discussed and we didn't get into that fully. Most of you heard that at the recent meeting of the CFA there was a strong opinion that we retain the nine coaches and consider maybe going to four graduate assistants and no volunteers. It would be a decision we could make mostly because if we don't do something the presidents are going to do it for us. I think each of you have a very strong personal opinion right at this moment about how you would like to do that. We also discussed the playing season regulation of six months or 26 weeks. I thought some very good points were made. For example, is it an indiviual sport or is it a team sport? The study committee, Homer, would be very wise to look at those sports that need extra time for athletes to hone their skills and keep them highly competitive.
I think everyone agrees we wish we weren't going to Dallas for that special meeting. I don't really know what is going to be accomplished there other than a waste of expense and maybe some hard feelings here and there, but I encourage each of you. if you can, to sit down again with your
president and bring him up to date. Let him know your opinions and make your recommendations and let's all hope for the best. I do encourage'the roundtable discussions in the future so that we might learn from each other. Thank you.
I am not sure exactly what we got out of Table 5 other than a lot of good discussion. I want to reiterate what T. said, that probably one of the greatest things we can get from a convention of this sort is to be able to compare notes with people across the country and to share ideas and, in my specific case, to figure out that problems aren't in only one place. We get a chance to share some of our feelings.
We discussed at great length the Division I-A proposals. As many of my predecessors said, we
doubt very seriously there will be a lot of legitimate things to come out of the special conventions. The concern at our table was, in fact, that we not be embarrassed by the lack of momentum or the lack of ability to get something concrete done, and that certainly is a possibility at this June
situation. Pertinent to the specific legislation, there was a great deal of discussion about playing
and practice seasons and the opportunity for our individual athletes to continue playing and participating in some way shape or form. There was a concern that these young people would not be supervised and that they might become, in effect, products of club systems or something other than the coaches we feel so
good about. The spring practice thing is obviously a less pivotal kind of thing and we all agree that spring practice could be cut back. Regarding the reduction in grants-in-aid from 95 to 90, there was
a consensus that we did not want to cut our scholarships for football from 95 to 90. A more heightened argument was regarding reduction of football coaches from nine to eight. Four of our 10 people felt
that was a good idea and we should do that. As to cutting the official visits, there was a nine to one consenses that we should go from 95 to 85.
In summation, I echo what other people have said, that there is a great feeling that this
convention and what we are doing right now is more atmospheric in nature as opposed to true cost-contain- ment and getting some things done that we really need to do in college athletics today. I echo what T. said, that these kinds of opportunities to share ideas and come up with ways that we can all grow and get better are very important. We need to all pull together and be sure we do that, and I for one, appreciated the dialogue that went with this hour's idea.
Homer, our table included a variety of what I would call high-visibility institutions and those with less visibility. We actually didn't go through many of the specific issues as much as we discussed the kinds of issues that a difference of philosophy between I-A institutions might bring up. We came
up with some interesting consensus items. Most of our discussion focused on financial aid and looking not so much at Proposition 18 and what that would mean to our overall program, but looking at whether there was any kind of general support for aid based on need in all non-revenue programs. There was, other than one dissenting voice, a very strong consensus despite the fact there are programs such as Ohio State's, with 31 sports and tremendously funded, all the way down to schools like Northwestern
and the American Conference schools. That bodes for the future that aid based on need in non-revenue programs is something that a lot of us are starting to take a hard look at.
The other major issue that we feel will be somewhat controversial at the convention, and may indeed be a watershed issue as it relates to I-A, is the coaching limitations. Again, it's not so much what removing one coach would do to our football staff, but really the entire philosophical and cost issues that are surrounding it. Interestingly enough, there wasn't much support for removing a coach either from, again, the Northwesterns of the world or from the Illinois or Washingtons of the world. That, may be for different reasons, but essentially, we came out saying that while the institution may vote for it because of our president, the faculty may look at is as a watershed issue. As directors of athletics we were more concerned with what that may mean in the long term for what we need to do to get some drastic cost control. Generally, I think it was very interesting to be at
a table with such diverse assembly of institutions and come up with some fairly good concrete ideas on at least those two items.
Homer, I am not sure how I feel about this. In spite of having been at Duke University for 20 years, never before have I taken this podium, never before have I spoken from the floor of an NCAA Convention and my record today is broken. One thing that we would like if we have time after we get through here, is to take a straw vote and see if we could have another convention in August because some of us have a little bit of time and we would like to do that.
We did talk about Proposal No.2 regarding the playing season, and we were concerned about liability, missed class time, different starting times of schools, different calendars of schools, and the fact that track is competitive in all three seasons. Geographical location also makes a big difference. Another great concern was that the athletes of today have no time to do things on campus that they would like to do. Se we came to the conclusion that we do not support the limitation of the
practice season but we would support the competitive season being limited to six months. Fred Schaus suggested, and I think it is a good idea, that each sport have a cap on the number of days that they can be away from campus. As to spring practice, we would like to see the calendar days left at 36 and have 15 days of contact.
Regarding maximum awards we don't think the proposal is perfect but we will support it. The convention will probably be divided on the issue and it will take a semester to decide. On football coaching staff reductions, we had three supporting the proposal and five against. The three supporting the proposal said they were influenced greatly by their chief executive officer. One thing that we do agree on, this is a table resolution from the famous Table 2, we urge the NCAA to initiate legislation that would alter the distribution of the NCAA championship monies in basketball, which is currently 60/40. The NCAA should request that an outside management group review the present distribution. Thank you.
We had a humdinger of a group and also a bit of frustration that I sensed. The first question I was asked was, "Why are there no women moderators?" One of the things that stood out was the idea that we are all busy people and why the hell are we going to Dallas? Our group thinks it is a waste of time, a waste of money and that we aren't really attacking any problems. Those were the mildest comments that were made about it. We went over the various Propositions, first Number Two on playing and practice seasons. Institutionally our vote would be six yes, two no. But, we thought there are some other issues that should be addressed, for example, limits on practice time and the number of practices, because there was some feeling that we are just going to condense the number of practices and the number of contests we have now. We would end up with just as many as we had before, but just crowd them into six months.
If we really want to slow this down we should limit the coaches' requirements that our coaches make on our athletes. One of the questions raised was with the "voluntary workouts" and the
point was made that if we really want them to be students and get involved in the campus community maybe we should reduce the number of requirements our coaches are making on our student-athletes. There also was a strong feeling that I got from some of the members that we are not here to support the Olympics, we are here to support our student-athletes and that there are other avenues for people who want to be Olympic athletes to pursue. That was a divided issue at our table, but those were some of those comments made.
Moving on to Proposal Number Eight on spring practice, there was a vote 8-0 in favor of that. On Number 18 regarding reducing grants-in-aid to non-revenue sports, we had a number of discussion
items there. First, there was a consenses that there should be additional cuts in football if there were going to cuts in non-revenue sports. Our vote came out 6-2 in support of Number 18 on reducing grants-in-aid for non-revenue sports and for Number 19, which is reducing grants-in-aid for football, there was a 7-1 vote in favor there. Then Homer called us and we had to leave so we couldn't move
further along on it, but it was an interesting group. I really like the idea of doing this. Let's do it some more.
Thank you very much. We are just a few minutes behind. We are scheduled now to go to the Atlas Ballroom and meet with the entire group. all NCAA divisions.