NCAA Division II - Breakout|
The Future of Division II Athletics
(Tuesday, June 20, 10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.)
My name is Chuck Lindemenn and I am the moderator for this group. The object of this session is to talk about some of the issues that are coming up that will affect Division II. We intend not to try to do what we've been doing earlier in the Convention setting, which is to basically tell you what's going on, but we hope that this will be more of an interactive session. The people we have with us today are going to talk about some of the issues that are going to confront us, and they're fairly controversial in nature. They want to get feedback from you about what kinds of issues you have relative to these things.
Our session will be divided into three segments. The first will deal with athletic certification, which is something that the Presidents' Commission is pushing pretty hard for in Division II. We have three people who are prepared to speak about what they're talking about doing and we want you to provide them, in return, with as much feedback about what you're thinking about the issue. They are Clint Bryant from Augusta College. He has served on the council and the special committee to study Division II certification. Next to him, Don Cook from Sacred Heart, who has had the experience of going through the Division I pilot certification project, so he understands certification from an up close and personal standpoint. On my extreme right is Kevin Lennan from the NCAA staff, so he's prepared, as well, to help with that particular issue. Next to him is, Kurt Patberg. Kurt, as you may remember, was the individual who represented the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in putting forward legislation last year on fee- and tuition-based financial aid. As you may remember, it was referred to the Special Committee on Financial Aid and Amateurism, which has now come forward at the last council meeting with a proposal that both Division I and Division II vote at the next convention on a financial aid package that involves tuition only or fee only financial aid. He'll fill us in on what has happened since last year on that issue. The third issue, and this is at a time specific and it'll be in about one hour from now, the folks will be coming in from the Sears Directors' Cup Program to fill you in on the extension of the Sears Directors' Cup to Division II, which is a very exciting program and is going to mean about one-quarter million dollars, I believe, in funding for Division II, along with all of those nifty trophies that they give to Division I.
So, that what's our session is about, but the object here is not to try to persuade you that either certification is a good idea or need-based or tuition only financial aid is better, but rather, to provide you an opportunity to give feedback on those issues and for us to have a good exchange. If we have time, I thought we would ask all of you if you have particular issues that you think NCAA governance ought to consider. If you do, I would be happy to serve as a scribe. You write those things down and make sure that our council representatives get that information and can move forward with it. So with that, I'd like to introduce Clint Bryant.
Thank you Chuck. I got the obvious duty of talking about certification which has been said among athletic administrators to be a very bad word. I understand that the commissioners have a big concern about it also, but I'm here this morning just to inform you about what the special NCAA committee to study Division II certification has been doing, and more than anything else, educate you on what's happening. I ask you to have an open mind and to listen. Then Don will come in and give you some answers to questions that we, as a committee, have been dealing with which we thought need to be answered in a timetable for implementation. This is something that we have to deal with because the presidents see it as something that is definitely a part of Division II's future. They are very adamant about getting the certification process started and on the way. I'm not here to convince you one way or the other if you should support certification or not support certification. I can only speak from a personal standpoint. I went onto this committee very skeptical about certification, not sure that we needed it in Division II, but after serving on the committee now, for nine months, I feel it is very much needed in our division.
First to give you some background, the special committee was formed during the summer of 1994 at the joint subcommittee of the NCAA Presidents' Commission and the NCAA Council issued its report and support of the concept of athletic certification for Division II. The special committee was charged with the responsibility for designing the framework for legislation to be considered at the 1996 NCAA Convention. The special committee feels that the benefits of going through the self-study process is to educate the campus community about the athletic programs, it's goals and purpose, reveal many of the positive aspects of athletic sponsorship and participation and to identify areas for improvement.
The Division II certification concept is an extension of the existing self-study requirement in Division II as by Constitution 631. Once every 10 years, each institution would complete a comprehensive evaluation of athletics. The year-long study would focus on four topics and those topics are governance and commitment to rules compliance, academic integrity, fiscal integrity and commitment to equity, including student-athlete welfare, gender related issues and minority opportunities. In each of the four areas, an institution will evaluate the athletics program in comparison to national standards called operating principles, adopted by the Division II membership. A series of specific self-study items contained in a published self-study guide would lead the institution through its evaluation. The special committee proposes that the existing institutional self-study guide, the ISSG, used in Division II, be replaced by a new guide that is consistent with these operating principles I stated above.
The proposed self-study guide is patterned after the Division I self-study instrument, but it has been simplified to reflect the interests of Division II institutions. The Division II version contains 26 specific self-study items as compared to 35 items in Division I and reduces significantly, the amount of printed information institutions would be expected to provide. I think that's important to note that.
There's been a lot of discussion about peer review. Two or three member peer review teams would visit each institutional campus at the conclusion of the comprehensive self-study. Whenever possible, teams would be chaired by chief executive officers. Peer review teams would be responsible for one, verifying that the self-study was accurate and complete and that it was characterized by campus-wide participation; two, evaluate the self-study in terms of the operating principles and the institution's missions and purpose.
Certification decisions. Written self-study and peer review reports would be reviewed by a 10-member committee responsible for overall administration of the Division II certification program. Members of the standing council-appointed committee would include three CEOs, one of whom would serve as chair; two faculty athletic representatives; two athletic administrators; one conference commissioner and two at-large representatives. The committee would be obligated to choose from among three options in determining an institution's certification status. Those three options would be certified. This category means that the institution is operating its athletic program in substantial conformity with the operating principles and that any problems identified by the institution doing a self-study or by the peer review team were not considered serious enough to affect the institution's certification status.
Two, certified with conditions. This category means that the institution is operating its program in substantial conformity with operating principles, but that problems identified by the institution or the peer view team were serious enough to cause the committee to withhold full certification until those problems have been corrected.
An institution that is not certified is considered to have problems that are so serious that action must be taken by the institution before it can be conditionally certified. When problems are identified, the certification committee will require that the institution correct them in a reasonable specified period of time. The length of time outlined for correcting problems will vary depending on the nature of the problems. The amount of time necessary to improve graduation rates, for example, would be far greater than the time needed to revise specific policies or procedures. Institutions will have ample time to address problems. An institution that fails to take appropriate action, however, faces serious consequences. Failure to take meaningful action in a reasonable period of time can lead to ineligibility for championship competition and, eventually, loss of active membership in the association.
Interim self-study. As is the case in most regional accreditation, an interim self-study would be conducted at the mid point between comprehensive institutional self-studies. The interim self-study would afford each institution an opportunity to consider significant changes in athletics since the last self-study and to access this program in comparison to the Division II operating principles. The interim self-study would be similar to the current self-study requirement in Division II, except that the format of the self-study guide would be revised to be consistent with the new guide developed for the 10-year self-study and a copy of the interim report would be forwarded to the Division II Certification Committee for review and comment. The interim self-study would be an abbreviated version of the comprehensive 10-year self-study and will not include a peer review team visit.
The costs of the association means to the NCAA are projected to be between $300,000 and $400,000 during the first year. The cost to an institution to host a peer review team is estimated at $2,500 to $4,000 and that's once every 10 years. We need to break down that cost as to would that include transportation, hotels, meals, etc. We need to spell that out. Like any other substantial committee activity on campus, the resources necessary to conduct the self-study would be significant, but the variety of approaches that may be taken in completing the work on each campus precludes development of a reliable cost estimate in this regard.
You're going to hear from Don Cook from Sacred Heart University; Rita Castagna from Assumption College; Anthony Ceddia, the CEO from Shippensburg University; Arend Lubbers, the CEO from Grand Valley State University; David O'Toole from Bellarmine College; Marjorie Trout from Millersville University; Kent Wyatt, the CEO from Delta State University and Asa Green, who serves as a consultant. Along with myself, they are all on the special committee.
Therefore, I hope I gave you some information that might be helpful. I think it's very important that, no matter where your stand is on certification, you visit with your president and be well informed and well educated about where certification is and what the issues are. You're going to have to convince your president that it's not a good thing. Presidents are very committed to it. They have told us to move as quickly as possible.
Now, I'd like to bring up Don Cook, who will talk about the timetable of how it's going to take place.
Thank you Clint. At the risk of being redundant, I'd like to cover just a couple of pieces that Clint didn't cover comprehensively with respect to his presentation. After that, perhaps we can have a dialogue because we do have three other items to cover this morning.
The most fundamental question that we've been hearing is what is the certification cycle? That is to say, how will institutions be scheduled over the 10-year certification period? We have approximately 300 Division II institutions throughout the country. So, when you do the simple arithmetic, we're talking about 30 institutions a year that will be going through the comprehensive review and then, as Clint alluded to, there is the interim review. We're really talking about 60 institutions that will be in some phase of the certification cycle in anyone given year. Therefore, the interim process is every fifth year. That will not involve a formal peer review visitation, however. At the interim stage, each institution is to take a look at its program and how it has functioned and how it has enhanced itself since the last time they were reviewed. They would need to submit a documented report to the NCAA Certification Committee.
The comprehensive review, of course, is every 10 years. You all know that the Division I institutions will be doing theirs every five years. So, it's a much more intense process and much more frequent.
Another question that has come up is, how will Division II athletic certification be coordinated with regional accreditation processes. The Commission Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has established a formal agreement with the NCAA to conduct self-studies and campus visits for Division I member-institutions that wish to do so. The NCAA will work with the Southern Association to do a similar type of process for Division II. There is no other regional accrediting association that has expressed an interest in establishing a formal agreement with the NCAA.
Another question that comes up often is the question of cost. The cost is not as monumental as perceived. The costs are directly related to what it would cost to bring the peer review team to the institution for its visitation. Different from Division I, there will only be three, and in some cases even fewer, peer review people coming to your campus, perhaps two, maximum four. In each case, an attempt is going to be made to make sure that one of the representatives is a CEO. We're trying to get that done in every instance.
How will peer review people be selected? You, first of all, must have at least five years experience working on a college campus and three of those years should be working and functioning in a Division II environment. Obviously, those people who are chosen will have to have recognized skills in areas addressed in the certification program. A sufficient number of women and members of ethnic groups will also be a part of that selection process.
Another thing that has come up and has become so controversial with the Division I group, is the concern that the evaluation process is going to be consistent from one institution to the next. Or, will the institution find itself with a peer review group that will come in and have an ax to grind with that particular institution, therefore, not be as fair as they could be in their evaluation? One of the things being done to help minimize variations in those reviews is that each participating institution will be expected to send representatives to an orientation session at the beginning of its self-study. All peer reviewers will receive formal training related to their responsibilities as members of the group. Chief executive officers will chair peer review teams wherever that is possible. Peer review team members will prepare written evaluations using a standard report form provided by the national office. Recommendations of peer review teams must represent a consensus of all team members.
The Certification Committee will review all peer review team reports and will be responsible for making the final certification. In each instance, an NCAA office representative will accompany the peer review team for each campus visit.
We also have a handout. Rather than read through a lot of this for you, in the back of the room, you'll see a couple of handouts that outline the presentation Clint gave you and on another are some of the questions that we, as a committee, have heard raised. There is also a graphic timetable over a 10-year cycle so you know at what point at each interval you're expected to do in terms of preparing yourself for the next phase of the certification process.
We ask you to give us any questions or concerns you might have. We are primarily the messengers here. While we have learned a great deal through the process and I have been through this in the Division I pilot phase, and I can assure you that this particular certification review is much shorter in length and far less comprehensive than what's required in Division I now, never mind the pilot certification that I was involved with three years ago.
You will be responsible for paying for the visitation of the peer review teams. That will be a direct expense. In addition to that, if you're not fully equipped in terms of staffing, my experience was, when I did this in Division I at the University of Hartford, that it cost in and around $7,000, even beyond that to provide for the secretarial staff and to do all of the work with detailing the report.
I would like to add that this is going to provide us an opportunity to ask for additional help, since the presidents are so supportive of this. One of the things talked about is campus-wide participation, not only in your institutional self-study guide, but when the peer review team comes to your campus. In talking to your individual presidents, which I've personally done, ask for a budget to make sure it's included like any other certification or accreditation process and ask for additional help from the normal campus community to assist in those efforts.
One of the things we did at the University of Hartford during my time there, was that the president's office set up a zero-based budget and assigned those expenses that were unique to the certification pilot review to his budget so that it would not result in the sacrifice of any of your sport specific activities and be a hardship on the operating budget within your department.
From the Floor:
Given the fact that there is a feeling in Division II, I believe, that deregulation is something that needs to come about, don't you think that putting the brakes on here, this might be an appropriate time to start slowing this process down so that our coaches don't have to get certified, so we don't have so much unnecessary paperwork? Is that a possibility? Or, do we just go along with this the way we've gone along with everything else?
Me personally, as I look at it, I think the certification process is not necessarily a Division I concern, because we're looking at it from a Division II perspective. We spent a lot of time in the Special Task Force making sure that we weren't just considering it because it was a Division I problem. A number of presidents want to have our institutions certified because a lot of them lay awake at night, just like we athletic directors, hoping something is not happening on our campuses that we don't know about.
I don't think any of us are going to have a lot of problems with governance and commitment to rules compliance, academic integrity, fiscal integrity. The sticky part, as I see it, is when you get to deal with commitment to equity as it deals with gender-related issues and minority related issues. We're still not comfortable as a society in discussing those areas and concerns. Yet, we've made sure from our committee's standpoint that we're not going in and trying to tell you how to handle those issues, but at the same time, we're going to look to see if you have a plan to deal with those issues.
From the Panel:
Let me put another spin on this as well, from my firsthand experience. One of the benefits that I felt that our department of athletics achieved from this experience was that we were able to validate our credibility to the rest of the university community. There were people on our campuses that did not have a clue as to what was involved with initial eligibility, continuing eligibility, declaring a major in the fifth semester and all of those other compliance related matters. The more we enveloped the rest of the institution and we dug deep into the bowels of the institution to get participation from the trustees right down to the equipment man, we found that they learned a great deal about us. I think we did a lot to enhance our stature on the campus. As we all know, we have been perceived historically to be just a group of people that play with funny balls and funny sticks and they understand us beyond that. That too, was a big help.
As I said to you, it's across the entire institution and it has to be validated that way. The Peer Review Committee will not accept a report that is not campus-wide in its input.
Thank you gentlemen. One of the things to bear in mind is the number of presidents that are actually involved and have embraced this approach is relatively small. As you know, there are only about 60 presidents at our conventions. Those are the presidents that have basically shrugged their shoulders and said, "yes, it sounds like a good idea." You also know that this has certain motherhood and apple pie aspects to it. If you have views that may differ, you're going to want to speak with your president. If you're supportive to the notion, you're still going to want to speak with your president because, certainly, you're going to want to deal with the funding ramifications of a proposal like this. The important thing is that interaction is going to have to start and if we move forward with restructuring, it's going to become critical to our well being as professionals.
Now, it's time to get Kurt up here and remember, the intent is not to kill the messenger.
He just said what I wanted to say, don't shoot the messenger. I know this is a very controversial issue. Anything as radical or anything that would allow this type of change in Division II would be controversial and should be. We expect that. I hope you are all very open in expressing your concerns.
In 1994, there was a resolution passed by the membership to study tuition fee scholarships, need-based financial aid. The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and a few other schools knew that a potential proposal would come forth for the 1996 Convention. We were concerned that the issue would be viewed as a combined Division I and Division II issue. We felt, at the time, that this was a specific Division II issue and did not want to have it be tied to Division I, so we sponsored legislation a year ago. At the time we were sponsoring this legislation, we knew that our chances of having this legislation passed on something as controversial as tuition fee scholarships would not fly, but we viewed our role as the rabbit. We viewed our role as, throw it out there, get feedback and, as you all know, at the 1995 Convention, we referred our piece of legislation back to the Financial Aid and Amateurism Committee for 1996.
I'm going to briefly go over some of the details that the Financial Aid and Amateurism Committee has come forth with. I'm sure a lot of you have read these. Then, I'm going to present some issues that have recently come up. Our group was asked to meet with the Financial Aid and Amateurism Committee to discuss their proposed legislation and give our input into their proposal. We had a great back-and-forth conversation where we learned some things and they learned some things. It was a good feedback session.
Back to the Financial Aid and Amateurism Committee and what they've concluded, this should apply to all sports. We should give this a number of years to be implemented, that it retains the current NCAA rule permitting a student-athlete to receive Pell Grants in combination with institutional financial aid. It requires institutional financial aid beyond tuition, fees and books to be on a need basis. They then calculated cost savings and you've all heard what the potential cost savings would be. For athletes on scholarships, a savings of approximately $500 per student-athlete. So, you all are going to have to figure out yourself what type of savings you would have. You're going to have to sit down with your own people when this proposal comes through and see what kind of cost savings there will be. But under the Financial Aid and Amateurism Committee proposal, the cost savings will be drastic. That's where we differ a little bit with their proposal. I'll get to that in a minute.
They discussed a need for a needs analyzing processing center. That's been another controversial issue that I'll come back to. They studied gender aids in sports groups and said that the analysis indicated that blacks and females would not be disproportionately affected under the new proposal. This is very important. Legal issues were studied and the committee has directed the staff to ask legal council to update this report on the basis of a specific model being outlined by the committee as well as to provide an analysis of the model under our federal legislation. It was deemed that no major legal issues were apparent to date.
They asked themselves many questions. I'm not going to go through all of the questions and answers. They'll probably come up individually here later. They did a nice job of summarizing what are some obvious questions on your behalf. This is the March 13, 1995 submission of the Financial Aid and Amateurism Committee report. You all need to get a copy of this. Look at it closely.
I've been given the task of leading this venture and I've had to learn a lot about financial aid in a hurry. I apologize in advance if I can't answer your questions that come up. The committee members that met with the Financial Aid and Amateurism Committee are two experts who are very good.
I'm going to jump to another topic where we were talking about restructuring. A perfect example of the uniqueness of your restructuring has come about with the Financial Aid and Amateurism Committee. Look at that committee which consists of 13 people. Two on that committee represent Division II; only two and it's a Division II issue. Division I is going to bring this to the table and it's going to be so silently defeated. They're not worried now with the new television package about money. They're not worried about going to tuition fee scholarships. Yet, the Financial Aid and Amateurism Committee consists of 13 members, nine of which are from Division I, two from Division III, who do not have scholarships, and two from Division II. Of the two members from Division II that serve on that committee, one is adamantly opposed and one is adamantly in favor. You see the problem and uniqueness of restructuring? If that committee was a Division II committee and dealing with Division II issues, it would help us all. This is why we, as a league, have taken this upon ourself to perhaps be a leader in formulating tuition and fee scholarships. I'm going to try not to be biased in my presentation here, but as you can tell, if we presented this legislation one year ago, my presentation may slightly favor tuition and fee scholarships and start hissing if it gets too blatant. It's not that way yet.
Our meeting with this group, the Financial Aid and Amateurism Committee, brought up five major issues that we disagreed upon. Now, we're disagreeing with the proposal that they're going to bring forward. We're not disagreeing with the philosophy. Our philosophies and theirs are the same. There are five issues, one is the concern over a needs analysis center. They feel it needs to be monitored. We don't feel that way right now. We feel that with tuition and fee scholarships, if they are implemented, you would need to gradually see if there's a problem and if there is, then implement it. It's a big issue and it's one that we'll probably make an amendment to their proposal asking that there not be one.
The second issue was the use of the term tuition, fees and books rather than the value of tuition, fees and books. The key element we thought, and this is one we did not want to lose coming out of this meeting, was we don't feel that the only scholarship that should be able to be offered is a tuition, book and fee scholarship. We want the value of a tuition fee scholarship. If I'm at an institution with empty dorm rooms, we want to be able to give a room waiver or a meal waiver, whatever we want, as long as it does not exceed a tuition, fee and books value. They agreed with that.
We did not originally have books in our proposal, but it's a great idea because it increases the value of the scholarship slightly.
Limits on scholarships. Their proposal is going to be (A), that we retain the current limit as we now have with a full scholarship, but make them tuition fee scholarships. That would drastically save institutions money, whether you're a private school, whether you're a public institution. But, our group feels that would have too much of an impact on Division II. It would put us too much in the motive of the Division III philosophy and we're afraid of that. If their proposal comes through at the same current limits, we will amend their limits and have a different structure - same structure, different limits.
A minor topic was, should the money be able to come from the athletic department or, need-based financial aid? Should it come from the institution and/or the athletic department? They want it to come from both. We felt that need-based aid should just come from the school. That does not mean determining the need, as we all know, this has to come from across the campus. It has to come from your financial aid office. We mean, once the need is set, can the athletic department give athletic aid to meet that need? That's something we discussed for a long time. Their proposal will be that you can finance the need through the athletic department, not determine. That's a key point.
Another minor factor was the implementation year. Our proposal is slightly longer in implementing the tuition fees structure. Theirs is slightly shorter. We probably will not make an amendment to that issue. I can already see by your reactions that there's going to be some controversy centered around tuition fees scholarships. I would expect that. In talking to the vast number of people a year ago, it seems like there's a group of about 30 percent of the membership that are very much in favor of the tuition and fees scholarship structure. There's another group at the other end of the spectrum that is very much opposed to tuition fee scholarships. I'm looking at a lot of those today because usually the schools that can afford to send people to NACDA are usually the ones with the larger budgets. I'm aware of that and that's probably good because I can take back to the Financial Aid and Amateurism Committee some of your feedback on this controversial topic.
We were talking about cost containment last year. If you all truly want to contain costs, there's only one major way to do that. Sure, the steering committee and the council did some great things a year ago in trying to contain costs. Some of them passed and some of them failed, but their attempts were noticed and appreciated. They were all fringe type of cost savings. If, in Division II, we truly want to contain costs, it has to be done through a scholarship structure. Even the people who are against tuition fee scholarships, but are in favor of cost containment, will agree with that. If this doesn't pass this year, I hope that Division II takes a hard look at how we can contain costs in scholarships. There's a special reason why this needs to pass, if it's going to pass this year, in so much that financing for the needs analysis center would be financed through the NCAA. After this year, it probably will not be.
Questions From the Floor were Inaudible Chuck Lindemenn:
Ladies and gentlemen, we'll come back to this, but we have a large contingent of people here from the Sears' group to make their presentation. I'd like to invite them in now, but we will come back to these issues.
I had a chance to hear a little bit about this program yesterday. I know you've all heard about the Sears Directors' Cup program in Division I. I know you've seen it in USA Today. The notion that this could be provided to Division II on the same basis that it's being provided to Division I is a very exciting prospect. I would like to introduce Elaine Dreidame who is a member of the NACDA Executive Committee and the chair of the Sears Directors' Cup Committee. She will, in turn, introduce the staff.
First, I want to say that it gives me great pleasure, and I'm very proud, to be able to announce that starting with next year, Sears is expanding the Directors' Cup Program and each division will have their own Directors' Cup trail. There will be a mirror of the Division I program for Division II, another one for Division III and another for the NAIA. So, they've been saying all along, from the inception of the program, that they believe in sport equity, gender equity, program equity. We're really thrilled to have the opportunity for each of the divisions to aspire to the same thing. Again, there will be exposure in USA Today and all of the frills that go with it.
I'd like to take a few minutes to explain the overall program. Many of you probably received the conference champion award. Currently, Sears has provided those to all levels for anyone who wins a conference championship in an NCAA sport. Starting next year, not only will they continue to do that, but they will provide a Waterford crystal vase which will go to the champion in each of the Division II sports. Along with this vase comes $1,000 postgraduate scholarship for your institution. This is for a student who is involved in your athletic support services. The Sears program is founded on that and it can be a trainer, a student manager, sports information assistant, somebody in the band, a cheerleader, what have you, will get $1,000 postgraduate scholarship.
So, we have that crystal and the scholarship and then we have the Sears Directors' Cup. This is for the institution that accumulates the most points. Shortly, Laurie will tell you how you do that. That institution will be able to select an individual who will receive a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship. Again, it's for one of your support staff people.
Also, open to the division, every Division II institution will get a letter during the winter giving them the opportunity to nominate one or more of their support staff students to receive a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship. Four of those will be awarded. So, overall, just in the scholarships, we're talking about $1,000 scholarship for each of your champions for that institution and five, $5,000 postgraduate scholarships. We know that Sears has made the commitment and they've made it to all of us and we're pleased with that.
I'd like Brian Kelly from Sears to tell you a little bit about their objectives and goals for the program.
Thanks Elaine. Good morning. I'm very honored and pleased to be here today. We've been working with NACDA now for two years. We really feel that the news we have to share with you today is the culmination of those efforts for those two years. Thank you very much.
Elaine talked about some big numbers in terms of trophies and scholarships, but what we're here to talk about now is small. What we want to talk about is not national, but local. The objective of the Collegiate Champions Program and, in particular, the Directors' Cup, is really the opportunity that conference trophies present to allow our store managers to become more involved in their community. Sears, you might know, over the last five years has gone through a variety of changes. Fortunately, the last couple of years have been good for us. Along the way, what we've identified is that while we went from a very decentralized organization, to a centralized organization that our stores really lost their focus on the local trading area. You're all business people in those same trading areas and you understand and know the importance of a direct contract with your constituents. We're in the same situation.
Retail, like politics, is all local. A store manager can't be successful running a store in a local market if he relies exclusively on programs that come from headquarters. This program, the Collegiate Champions Program, has many parts. But, the part that's probably the most important, is really the opportunity to engage the community on a local level. Involvement at NCAA Division I is fine. It really helps us drive national levels of awareness of the program. But, where the rubber meets the road is really on a local level. If we remained exclusive to Division I, we wouldn't be reaching out to all of our customers. We feel that all of our customers are equal and it's that recognition of equality between customers that really drove us into the notion of school equity, sport equity and gender equity.
The whole idea of recognizing participation and celebrating achievement is one we feel is very important. Not only do we feel that the program can help us establish a relationship on a local trading area basis, but we also feel that recognition of participation and celebrating achievement will help us identify those positive role models, those people with whom you work, both the athletes and those people who support athletes and providing positive role models for the American family. In the end, all event marketing at Sears is designed to have the consumer understand that we, hopefully, can provide her an additional benefit to shopping with us. It's more than to just come in and make a purchase. We really want to make sure that we are something special. We're not just another store in the mall or on the street. We feel that this program helps us to achieve that.
We want to drive it into the marketplace in three ways. The primary way is through public relations. It's really on the local level. The opportunity presented by conference championship trophies to really get the names of your program into the marketplace, in front of your constituents and in front of our customers.
We see that as the win-win opportunity. Wherever possible, we hope that our store managers are able to support you in the presentation of trophies. But, this year, we want to work harder to make sure that public relations component is supporting the effort. To that end, the folks from AdCraft, Bob Roller, Joyce Myers, Roy Hamlin, Doug Norwood are our partners insuring that our message gets into your local communities through public relations.
Secondly, it's through advertising. We have an ad that will run in USA Today indicating Stanford's success this year in winning this year's Directors' Cup. Going forward, we look at advertising at all levels of participation in the Directors' Cup. To that end, we look at advertising to help drive awareness of the program, both nationally and again, most important, locally.
Finally, it's through sales promotion, the third element in the marketing mix and the most underdeveloped. Right now, I can't share with you any specific plans, but we definitely want that component of it to work as well. Again, it engages the consumer in a very special way.
That sums up my thoughts. I do want to reinforce that we feel that this program is NACDA's program. It's not really a Sears' program. We're provided the opportunity to become involved in it, but these are your trophies. The equity you develop in these you can transfer to your P and L. They're positive equity, they're marks that are established that provide value to NACDA. We hope to build awareness of them with the consumer so that they enhance in value, but at the end, you're really the keeper of it. To that end, where you see that this program needs help, perhaps needs to work harder for you, please don't hesitate to contact Elaine or Laurie or your representatives on the Directors' Cup Committee to insure that we are exceeding your expectations with this program.
Again, I'm honored to be here and I'm very proud of our relationship with NACDA. Thank you very much.
Before I ask Laurie to go over the nuts and bolts, I just want to make a couple of comments. One, at the conclusion of the presentation, we will be giving you a handout that has all of the details on it and ask that you take a look at it. Tomorrow, we'll be available at a Round Table so that if you come up with any questions or suggestions or thoughts, I want you to feel free to stop by there and chat with us. I also want to point out that the two Division II representatives that are serving on the Sears Directors' Cup Committee are Lynn Dorn and Chuck Lindemenn, so they are also sources of input for you. Without further ado, we'll ask Laurie Garrison from NACDA to go over the system.
Thanks Elaine. We have set up all four of the scoring structures for all four categories to be very similar. The only differences will come in which sports are included and the number of sports that are included. For Division II, there will be six core sports for men, six core sports for women and two wild card sports for each gender. The committee determined these numbers based on the participation numbers from the most recent statistics. This will all be included in the handout you will be receiving. So, the top six for men and the top six for women, based on participation, were the sports chosen as core sports. Anytime you are competing in a national championship in any of these core sports, you automatically receive points toward the Directors' Cup.
For men, the core sports will be baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf and tennis. For women, the core sports will be basketball, cross country, softball, tennis, outdoor track and field and volleyball. Each time you compete in a national championship in any of those sports, you receive points. In addition, for the other sports, they will be awarded points based on a wild card basis. For men, that would be ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, indoor and outdoor track and field and wrestling. For the women, that would be field hockey, soccer, swimming and diving and indoor track and field. Now, those are all of the divisional championships.
In addition, if you have any schools participating in any of the National Collegiate Championships, those teams would be awarded points based on a wild card basis. For men, that would be gymnastics, water polo and volleyball; for women, golf, gymnastics and lacrosse; and the coed sports are fencing, rifle and skiing. Indoor track and field is only counted as one sport. If you compete in nationals in both indoor and outdoor, we take the higher of the two and award you points for that. For the men, they cannot use indoor and outdoor as their two wild cards. We would take the higher of the two. With women having outdoor track and field as a core sport, the women would automatically receive their points for outdoor track and field. However, if they score higher in indoor track and field, that can be used as a wild card if they haven't already used their two wild cards.
We automatically give points for all the wild cards. It's not something that the schools have to call and say we want to use this sport as a wild card. The first fall sport that you score in and is a wild card sport, it will be added to your total. The second sport will be added to the total, and then if you score in a third wild card sport for one of the genders, we take the higher of the two. If you score in outdoor track and field for the men as a spring sport and it is higher than what you scored in for the fall, we just subtract your fall points and give you your spring points. It's something we do automatically so you don't have to worry about calling us.
To keep everything consistent, for Division I, the highest bracket is 64. So, first place receives 64 points. This is already established for the National Collegiate Championship, so we have continued the scoring throughout. First place for any sport will be 64 points. Wherever the bracket ends, that's where the number of points end. So, if there are 32 teams in a bracket, then 33 is the last point awarded. Where there are ties as in basketball, we take the points from nine to 16 and split them evenly among all of those schools that went out of the tournament at that point.
The sports which are not included are those in which the NCAA does not sponsor a championship. The sports that will be on this sheet will be the only ones that count toward the Directors' Cup. We will be publishing these standings periodically in USA Today and we will also be distributing them to the membership when they're published. Before fall starts, we will be redistributing the scoring structure to you. It will have more detail in it and it will also have a schedule of when the results will be updated and distributed.
In concluding, I would like, on behalf of NACDA, to publicly thank Brian Kelly and Sears for including Division II in this program.
After that presentation, I've come up with a plan. I thought what we might do is to allocate financial aid on an institutional basis based on your finish in the Sears Directors' Cup. What do you think?
On a more serious note, at some point, it may make sense to consider an approach somewhat similar to the Sears Directors' Cup situation in terms of how we would distribute enhancement money because the enhancement money would be distributed more in line with our philosophy and would treat all sports equally, rather than focusing on a single sport. That may be food for thought down the road. I would certainly be happier if we were more consistent and what we did in that regard.
We're back to one of our favorite topics, financial aid. Let's consider this topic from the point of view that if a proposal is to be brought forward to the convention, what would make that proposal more comfortable for you? It's going to come forward and it could pass. It may make sense to put this in a positive vein and to consider what would make it a better proposal from your point of view.