NCAA Division III Breakout
What we are, what we might be
and what we should be. . .
(Tuesday, June 20, 10:50 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)
Good morning. My name is Tony DeCarlo and I'm the athletic director at John Carroll University. Continuing along the line of restructuring, our specific theme this morning is "What we are, what we might be and what we should be." Before I get started with that, I'd like to tell you a short story about two golfers. This theme reminds me of this story. These two golfers, growing up together as young caddies playing golf every day off, go on into their particular lives. For namesakes, we'll call one Tony and one Tim. Tony was the athletic director at John Carroll and Tim was the commissioner of the Ohio Athletic Conference. They continued their friendship and played golf on a regular basis. They would play on Saturday and Sunday mornings after church and had an automatic tee time at their particular course. They made a pact going through life saying, whatever happens down the road, going into Heaven, whoever gets there first has to let the other one know if there's a golf course in Heaven. So, they continued their friendship and played time and time again. Unfortunately, Tony went to Heaven first. To his surprise, there is a beautiful golf course. It was outstanding. The greens that take the hit, the fairways are as plush as they could be. He takes notes while he's there and then decides to go back down to Tim and tells Tim that it's a good news, bad news situation. He said it's the greatest golf course I've ever seen in my life. The bad news is you have a tee time tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. This reminds me of what we are, what we might be or what we should be or what we should have.
Our session is a little different from some of the previous sessions. Yesterday, our session with our four great speakers was so good it didn't need any comments or questions. But this session does need input from you. As Dan mentioned this morning, we need to hear from you, your concerns, your needs and what you want to know more about. These three people will give us their overview. Dan will give the overview of the restructuring itself. Judy will speak on governance. John will talk about the championships. When we conclude with their particular views, we'll open up the floor for questions and give comments.
To get us started, Dan Bridges will be our first speaker. Dr. Dan Bridges received his doctorate in philosophy and administration of physical education in intercollegiate athletics with a sub-specialization in business administration and higher in post secondary education. He attended California State-Long Beach. From 1989 to the present, Dan has been the director of athletics at California Institute of Technology. He is a current member of the NCAA Council, NCAA Championship Committee, NCAA Oversight Committee on Restructuring and is presently the chair of the NCAA District 8 Postgraduate Scholarship Selection Committee. He's a current chair of the NCAA Division III Task Force to review membership structure. Dan Bridges.
Thank you Tony. Since this is the second time you will have heard me today, I'll try to be brief. My role here is to give an overview of how we got to this point from where we were at the last NCAA Convention. If you'll remember, at that last convention, we had a business session where we discussed restructuring and many of the issues that were on the table at that time. It was fortunate because we had an initial proposal from Division I on restructuring that we could respond to. As you know, we responded in a very firm fashion. I'd like to review that with you to give you the background as to how we got where we are today.
First of all, as I said this morning, clearly we had to have the guarantees of the championship participation opportunities, the continued NCAA member services and the catastrophic insurance coverage. As far as the Division I proposal, we took issue with a number of items that the original proposal included. Those items included the role of the executive director. If you'll remember, the executive director was originally proposed to be hired, evaluated and report to the Division I Board of Directors and we said no. No, we would not accept that.
We also said no to the proposed responsibilities of the Division I Board of Directors, besides the authority to hire, fire and direct the executive director, the Division I Board of directors also wanted to approve the annual budget of the association, initiate and settle all litigation, select the association's principal place of business, establish the strategic plan for the association and oversee all national office operations.
The other area where we expressed considerable concern, and it came up again this morning, was the committee structure and the proposed federation of committees. John Harvey asked the question in our first session -- what is the Division I position on the federation of committees? I don't think any of us in the room were satisfied with that answer, but that's the best we have at this point. Prior to that question, I did report that considerable progress has been made. They have acknowledged that there might be some committees on which we should jointly serve. We haven't gotten much beyond that, however. When we present to them such things as minority opportunities and interests committees, postgraduate scholarship committees and the committee on women's athletics, it's very difficult for them to make an argument that they don't share common values and objectives as Divisions II and III in those areas. There are other committees that your Division III Task Force will be pushing and will be fighting for joint representation on. That's something that still needs to be determined and we hope to have that determined before we go to convention in January. We'll be able to report out on that.
We also circulated a written survey and the key items that came out of it were that we found that 94 percent of our Division III membership favored retaining as much of the current membership structure and legislative process as possible and, overwhelmingly, supported the concept of one institution, one vote. We further learned that 69 percent of the Division III membership favored retaining the current championship structure provided our membership numbers remain fairly stable. On the other hand, if our membership numbers rise dramatically, 62 percent of the membership favored the investigation of other options in terms of membership -- subdividing Division III-A, III-B, or whatever. Once again, that seemed to be a last resort type measure. As I reported, 94 percent of the membership told us they really like the current format and, provided we don't grow by many more members in the near future, they would prefer that we stay with that.
What you'll hear when Judy and John come up and discuss some of the specifics of the package, is how some of these issues have been addressed. We feel that the Division III Task Force has played a major role in getting from where we were at convention time to where we are now. The proposal that was distributed earlier is quite different from the first Division I proposal that you had in January. That has been because of your feedback, we have been able to go forward and draw the lines that needed to be drawn. As I said this morning, our objective, just like we assume everyone else's is, to try maintaining the feel of an association, try to retain all of us under the same umbrella and find a way that we could all coexist efficiently underneath that umbrella given our diverse philosophies.
This morning, Chuck Lindemenn reported that the Division II guarantee for championships in this new plan will go from a current level of about $8 million to $13 million over the term of this contract in the year 2002. Our guarantee will, likewise, increase. Ours will go from approximately 5 ½ million to 9 ½ million over the next two years. We, too, will be getting a substantial increase. We feel that will accommodate a large amount of movement, perhaps of the institutions from the NAIA, into our division, but it wouldn't handle all of the movement if we had a huge number of NAIA members come over. Once again, the fail safe there is we can go back to the association. The association does recognize it as an association-wide problem, not just a Division II problem, not just a Division III problem. We can only take this on good faith, but they claim they will take responsibility if, in fact, there is a huge NAIA migration into Divisions II or III.
Lastly, I'd like to emphasize that the current restructuring package is simply the best that can be negotiated at this time given all of the factors and conditions present. While the various members of the Division III Task Force are out there communicating, discussing, listening to your suggestions regarding this package, I want to be clear that this is not a done deal, nor are we, members of the Task Force, necessarily advocating acceptance of this proposal. We've worked hard to put together the best package we possibly could. We are now out there trying to communicate the positive aspects of that. There's a lot to be done between now and January when we get to convention. That's one of the things we hope to achieve at this session. We do want your feedback. It will help us tremendously in the work we have ahead of us. If the objective is to go to convention and have a package on the floor that all three divisions can accept, then we have a responsibility to work with the Oversight Committee and with the other task forces between now and January to give them our input, to tell them what we will accept, what we won't accept. Hopefully, we'll be able to further negotiate this to a point where we're all perfectly comfortable with it or at least reasonably comfortable with it and able to go into January with no questions about it. That's not a done deal, as I said before. That's why your input is so important. We don't speak for Division III. We're just working for you. We're not going to cast the votes. You're going to cast the votes. We want this to be a Division III effort and not just a Task Force effort. Please help us out now or in the future.
Judy nodded and told me to keep this short. It's difficult to keep it short when we have a person of her background. Dr. Judy Sweet has been the director of athletics at the University of California-San Diego since 1975, when she became one of the first women in the nation selected to direct a combined program for men's and women's intercollegiate athletics. San Diego has won 15 NCAA Championships under her direction. Judy is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she majored in physical education and mathematics. She earned a master's degree from the University of Arizona-Tucson and also a masters of business administration from National University-San Diego. Prior to her faculty appointment at UCSD in l973, she taught at the University of Arizona and Tulane University. Judy was elected to a two-year term as president of the NCAA in January 1991, and was secretary/treasurer of the NCAA from 1989 through 1991. She was the Division III vice president from 1986 to 1988. She has chaired the NCAA Budget Committee and the Special Advisory Committee to review recommendations regarding distribution of revenues. The committee was formed as a result of the successful negotiation with CBS worth one billion dollars.
Judy has been involved in just about every committee and I could go on and on. We're just privileged to have a person of her background here to speak to us.
Thank you Tony. I really appreciate the opportunity to be with you this morning. As Dan has indicated, we hope to share some information with you, but more importantly, we hope to get feedback from all of you. One of the things that Tony didn't reference in the experiences I've had with the NCAA, which may be most significant given what we're discussing this morning, is that I had the opportunity to serve on the NCAA Structure Committee between 1990 and 1991 when Fred Jacoby, who was the chair of that committee, unfortunately, because of medical reasons, was unable to continue as chair. So, I have a little bit of perspective.
With that in mind, before I talk about the governance proposals that are before us currently, I would like to share with you some comments from some leaders in our field. I think they help to set the stage for our discussions this morning. First leader, structure has always been a problem. In the early 70s, when we devised the concept of Division III, we produced a success. We have a sense of whom we are. We run our own show. We tend to say a plague on both your houses on a lot of things that go on in the other divisions, but there is no question about the fact that we have developed a cohesive, integrated sense of whom we are and how we operate. That is not true of the other divisions, and particularly, Division I. Division I covers all sorts of different people trying to do different things and trying to get along with each other. That is the fundamental concept from which restructuring comes. It is an attempt to find a way to have each of the divisions have an identity and a sense of similarity so that they can be supportive of one another in a philosophical way.
Speaker number two. When we talk about federation, there are basically four questions that we need to deal with. One -- are the current memberships of the divisions and subdivisions properly constituted. Two -- what is the appropriate level of autonomy for each one of these divisions. Another question is what would be the impact of greater Division I autonomy or more federation for Division I and Division I-A. How would it impact Division II and III? Obviously, there is a concern by some that with greater autonomy for I-A or Division I, they might take the money and run.
The final question is probably, can we have more federation without destroying the umbrella structure? To me, it is very important that we do maintain an umbrella. We should not become so divided that there are not the opportunities to share the common philosophies and the common understandings. Each division adds to the other divisions and the weakness of one might be the strength of the other. There needs to be some continuity and some common umbrella structure regardless of how much we refine the overall federated concept.
Third speaker. I don't believe that we can ignore the facts. Those involved in the highly visible athletics program operate in a competitive arena and are confronted with a variety of problems and concerns that those involved with a less visible program may not experience. This is not to say that those involved in major athletics are right and others are wrong. It is just that there is a place for a variety of colleges and universities in an educational system and there is a place for different types of athletics programs within the NCAA.
The last speaker, I put a tag on my remarks, federation - proceed with caution. Discussions of federation in recent years have provided two faces. Most evident has been the polite, somewhat abstract face of the public forum, but there also has been the practical face of the hotel corridors and the smoked filled rooms. We have talked publicly about the issues of dividing Divisions I, II and III when you have known that concrete tensions, the frustrations and the suspicions really divide Division I. With that in mind, there are certain things that we must pay attention to.
It seems clear that our attempt to define groups with similar interests must include educational as well as athletics characteristics. Federation should provide a system for identifying and widening the involvement in those issues that, in fact, affect all of higher education. It must be done, however, without infringing on the rights of each division to run its own affairs. The Presidents' Commission should take major responsibility for this delicate task.
Although there are great advantages to be gained from increased federation, it should be approached with caution. We must be sensitive to the interests of all of our members and build on a careful analysis of our long-range goals as educational institutions, not as opportunistic responses to the power politics of the moment. The first speaker was at the 1991 Convention, a former Division III vice president, Ken Weller. The second speaker was at the 1988 special Convention in Orlando, the former executive director of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Dick Schultz. The third speaker was also at that special forum, the executive director of the College Football Association, Chuck Neinas. The last speaker, also at this special forum, again, former vice president of Division III and former president of Central College, Ken Weller.
So, what does this all mean? We've been there before. We've had discussions on what makes sense for the association. We've had discussions based on what makes sense for our institutions. Now, we are at a point where we need to confirm that whatever decisions are going to be made, make sense for our institutions and for Division III.
The previous discussions that took place in 1991 emphasized that there needs to be some changes. There needed to be increased federation. The question that was asked repeatedly was, how far are we going to go with federation? There were some compromises that were made in 1991. There was some recognition that not everybody was going to be happy with the final package. The fact that this question is back before us in less than five years, suggests that not everyone is happy. Those that are driving the push for restructuring are coming from Division I. What has become increasingly clear to me is that there are going to be some changes. We just need to make sure that the changes are the right ones for Division III. We probably don't have a lot of control or influence on the decisions that are going to be made at the Division I level. The debate that will take place within Division I is going to be far more dynamic and certainly far more influential in the direction that college athletics, at least as it's known by the public, will go in the future.
I feel that Division III is on solid ground, but we need to make sure that our place within the association is a solid one. Believe that the task force for Division III has worked very hard to ensure that they are, in fact, bringing to you the best possible alternative. Underline the word alternative because this is an option. One option is, obviously, to stay the way we are as an association. It is unlikely that that's going to happen. Given that there's going to be change, how can we, as a division, ensure that this change is right for us?
I would like to refer you to a May 22 memorandum that was sent to your institutions that outlines the proposals coming from Division III. John will be talking about championship issues. Dan has already set the stage on some of the guarantees that Division III felt were important. We've tried to be responsive to what we heard from you at the convention in January. If you will allow me, I would like to highlight some of the key components in the memo and at the end of our presentations today, encourage you, as was done in the previous session, to point out what the strengths are and what some of the weaknesses might be. Those of us who have been working with this document are so close to the information, what may seem obvious to us may not be obvious in the reading of the document, or there may be some oversights. As was pointed out in the last session, even though everybody who has been working on the composition for the management council understood that athletic directors and senior women administrators would be the key players in the composition of that council, the document does not make that obvious. That's something that the Task Force needs to review to ensure that everything that is important to us is not assumed, but is clearly articulated, so that those that follow us in the future will understand the intent.
Under governance principles, the Task Force believed that the Oversight Committee's proposal would effectively enhance the presidential control and federation of the association in an appropriate manner. Specifically, the presidents will be the ultimate decision makers. I believe that's the way it is on most of our campuses and when decisions are being made that impact our institution, rightfully, the responsibility should be with the chief executive officers.
Under the governance structure, the Presidents' Council will be composed of 11 members serving four year terms, as was discussed this morning. The specific duties and responsibilities include implementing policies adopted by the Executive Committee, resolving Division III issues on a federated basis, making budgetary recommendations to the executive board on a federated basis related to Division III matters, including championships, based on the recommendations of the Division III Management Council. That is a very significant part of this proposal. Having had an opportunity to be a part of the Division III Steering Committee, having had the opportunity to work with the Division III Presidents' Commission, there are very well intentioned, sincere, dedicated professionals that are involved in those groups. At the Presidents' Commission level, that group looks to the Division III Steering Committee to provide them with the facts, to help them have a better understanding of what the real issues are and, ultimately, to help to make the best decisions possible. I believe that piece will be preserved with the plan that is before you.
Further responsibilities of the Presidents' Council are delegating the resolution of management issues to the Division III Management Council, sponsoring Division III legislation and identifying Division III proposals for roll call vote. The Management Council, also as discussed in the previous session, will take a little bit different form than the Steering Committee that we have had in place. There will be 16 members. It will primarily consist of athletic administrators. There will be representatives from the chief executive officer positions, faculty, athletic directors and conference commissioners. The responsibilities of this group include implementing policies adopted by the Executive Committee and the Division III Presidents' Council, resolving Division III issues on a federated basis, making budgetary recommendations to the Division III Presidents Council, including championships, on a federated basis related to Division III matters, delegating the resolution of Division III issues to subordinate committees on considering relevant committee reports and recommendations and, finally, recommending legislative proposals for sponsorships by the Division III Presidents' Council.
The key to all of this is communication. The only way that we are going to be able to control our future is by having effective communication. It's important that we understand what the advantages of this new proposal would be and what the disadvantages are. What are the tradeoffs and what are our options? We look to you for some feedback on what you like about the proposal, where you see weaknesses and where you would like to see us go in the future. Thank you very much.
Thank you Judy. She's always a tough act to follow. Dr. John Harvey has been the director of athletics at Carnegie-Mellon University since 1989. He's in his sixth year. After receiving his degree from William and Mary, he stayed on there to teach physical education and had coaching responsibilities. From 1970 to 1980, he was a member of the athletic department at Harvard University where he served in many capacities, both in coaching and in advising. Prior to his appointment to St. Mary's, John served as an assistant athletic director and a coach at Grinnell College in Iowa from l980 to 1983. He was at St. Mary's College in Maryland from l983 to 1989. He's a member of the NCAA Council presently, since 1990 and is the past NCAA vice president for Division III. John is going to speak specifically on championships.
Thank you Tony. I am going to speak on the championships' portion of this proposal as well as the membership portion. However, I want to make a few comments to lead into that. That's party because the memberships and championships portion of this proposal is incomplete. We haven't gotten into that much, as yet. As Dan and Judy both said, this whole restructuring effort has been driven by Division I-A and their interest has been in the governance area. In dividing the whole restructuring effort, we knew there were two major portions -- restructuring as it relates to governance and restructuring as it relates to memberships and championships. The document that you have deals with the governance portion which Judy has outlined for you. The memberships and championships' effort are still to be done. That's part of the next phase. Division I will not continue in that effort. They've got the governance portion much as they want.
What we need to do now, is to go forward in the next phase in Division III with discussions of the memberships and championships' issues. I'll get into those in a few minutes. I want to reiterate a couple of things that Dan said. This isn't a perfect package. It's incumbent upon all of us to critically analyze what you have in front of you, to look at the various elements that you have here on the governance portion and to bring up points and difficulties. I'm worried about the umbrella effect that we want this association to have. I'm worried about the increased fragmentation of the association if we become too federated. That's a concern that we all need to have. How much federation is good and how much federation is desirable for the association, but how much can we retain. As I see it, there are two retention areas are through the joint committees that I hope we will still have, also, at the Presidents' Council level, the joint efforts of those presidents where we join with Division I and II. I hope we can maintain the cooperative effects that we have had in the past and are very desirable for the association. It is going to be our responsibility in Division III, and I hope Division II is doing some of the same things which are looking very critically and very analytically at what we have in front of us.
I'd like to say this without knocking Division II, but frankly, Division III all along has been the more outspoken division in maintaining various principles, policies and procedures that we think are desirable for the association. Sometime Division II has been caught in the middle and hasn't been as outspoken as we are. Again, it falls to us, if there are difficulties here, to be the outspoken division, bring those up and keep our effort going toward the cooperative benefits of the association that I think we augment.
Some of these conditions that brought us to the point of restructuring are the great differences that have been developing over the last years between the divisions and the great differences in budgetary concerns and commercial aspects that Division I-A has which we don't have. This has caused this push for restructuring by Division I-A. There are a lot of things going on in Division I-A of a magnitude that's difficult to comprehend. Marketing, licensing and all of those things are some of what motivated the restructuring. The changing conditions that Division I-A has faced and their feeling of a need to separate further to federate further from Division II and III. We need to be concerned about the ways in which we can retain the benefits of the joint interaction that we have that benefits both Division I-A and ourselves.
Another condition pertaining to the budget has been the developing television contract, as you know. The contract that we're presently under averaged out at $143 million a year to the association. That is an average year and that is a significant amount of money out of a total budget of $183 million. One hundred eighty-three-million dollars were mentioned this year as this year's budget in the NCAA and $143 million of that comes from the basketball television contract. That's a significant influence in the whole association. That will jump, as you saw, to well over $200 million per year on the average input into the association's budget when the new contract goes into effect. There are many other sources of revenue, but that is the key one.
There's been a growing difference among the divisions in other ways. There are the expenses that come to all of us, but more to Division I, in the expenses that we have to put into better gender equity programs in improving that situation. There are many differences that we recognize, to a degree, among the divisions that have caused this need for restructuring. Especially, Division I-A's feeling that they had to move out and get their programs improved and progress without too much of a deterrent from Divisions II and III. We can understand that and be sensitive to that, but we also have to show the benefits of the joint association.
I'll read a couple of portions from the restructuring documents that we have. The Task Force emphasized that additional work must be completed regarding restructuring and related issues that will affect Division III. Much of this work will occur during the upcoming transition period described in the Oversight Committee's report. Division III membership and championship requirements have been cited as a significant source of concern to the Division III membership. The Task Force has spent a significant amount of time focusing on this issue including the recent influx of members, etc. More specifically, increased sports sponsorship requirements, the Task Force notes that the current Division III sports sponsorship requirements per NCAA By-Law 20.11.3, four sports for men and four sports for women, appear to be minimal. Accordingly, the Task Force is considering proposing an increase in sports sponsorship requirements for membership and further increase in sports sponsorships for championships eligibility. That had been discussed, too, that it may desirable to have one level of sponsorship for membership in the association in Division III and another level of sports sponsorship to be eligible for championships. For example, you might want to retain the four and four for membership in the association for new members coming in, but have something higher than that to qualify for championships. That is one proposal that was discussed.
The Task Force believes that these proposals would be more consistent with the Division III philosophy of broad-based athletic programs and student-athlete participation. There's also been proposed a possibility of an initiation fee, as you see if you are following in the document.
Concerning Division III championships enhancement, as noted in section four, the establishment of a 3.18 percent revenue guarantee for Division III in the NCAA Constitution, together with the increased scope of the new CBS television contracts may create an opportunity for Division III to enhance its existing championships. Dan Bridges, on the committee, faced a tough road at certain points in meetings with the other two divisions in trying to assure that not only our present championships were safe, the funding of those championships was safe, but that future increases in our membership, future increases in expenses for championships would be covered. He was able, and I know this didn't come easily with the Division I interest being represented as strongly as they were, to get an increase of approximately one-half million dollars in the agreement from 2.93 percent of the association's budget to 3.18 percent of the association's budget. That helped significantly and it will be even more significant when we get to the 1.7 billion dollar television contract when we still have the same percentage. We never had a percentage before. We were given money as needed to run our championships, etc., but there was never a guaranteed percentage. Now, we have a guaranteed percentage which has increased and will increase, of course, with the revenue. What Dan and his group have done was very significant for the future, not just for the present. That was Chuck Lindemenn's answer from Division II's standpoint in the previous session. Chuck was noting that we already have built in, not only the possibility, but the assurance of increased revenue in our division to cover championships concerns.
That's all I'll say about championships and the memberships issues because they are all ahead of us. They haven't been covered. As you know, Dennis Collins and others on the Steering Committee have been very much involved in this and that all is in the future for us as to what we put into our own particular package of championships and membership issues.
I might suggest one or two things to follow up some of what Judy started. Concerns that you may have and, as I mentioned, my own concern is how much increased federation is desirable and what might we lose if we get too federated. That's been on ongoing concern. We want to be sure that Division III's good influence and good benefits are continued to some degree. We want to be sure that our financial guarantees are included in this proposal and that they are sufficient for whatever changes may come about up the road. We want to be sure that the presidents have enough time to properly and intelligently handle the issues of joint concern. That was another question this morning. I have confidence in the presidents. The presidents will be deeply involved in this issue and they are facing increased responsibility and they're going to put increased time into this effort when we get the new structure.
There are several concerns that we all should have in being analytical and critical and insightful about this whole structure. This isn't a done deal. This isn't a perfect package and we have to point out the differences through our questions about what we feel are questionable in our minds as far as Division III's interest. Again, it isn't only Division III's interest. If I had to predict what Art Eason and others yesterday were trying to predict as to the future, I think we could see, in quite a few ways of processes and principles, some parts of Division I-AA and parts of Division II are coming back to the Division III way of operating.
Our position on many things is solid enough in a practical way and a moral way so that we'll find the trickle down effect and people reaching to us to find out how we do things rather than us always looking up to Division I-A. We have the right way of doing things and the principles and procedures that we have are practical and good ways to do things and we'll find more institutions down the road looking to us for that type of guidance. Our efforts in what we do here are a good example of leadership for the whole association.
Thank you, John. You've heard the views from these three outstanding people. Now we want to hear from you. Before we do that, I thought we might want to take a moment to recognize some of the people that have done a terrific job of representing Division III, not only at this Convention, but in the NCAA and NACDA. We've had great representation year in and year out. I'd like to recognize Dennis Collins from the North Coast Athletic Conference, Tim Gleason from the Ohio Athletic Conference, Jack Schwartz from the Illinois Conference. Everyone does a great job of, not only representing their own particular concerns and interests, but Division III in general. How can we forget to recognize Betty Kruczek from Fitchburg State. We're so proud of her work and of her award and again, congratulate her. She represented, not only herself and her family, but she represented us in Division III and she did us proud. Let's give this panel a round of applause along with the people that have been representing us.