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NCAA Division II Breakout
The New Structure of College Athletics
(Tuesday, June 11, 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.)



Jerry Hughes:

My name is Jerry Hughes. I'm the director of athletics at Central Missouri State University. I've been a member of the NCAA Council and a member of the Executive Committee and chaired the Championship Committee for a number of years. I'm currently a member of the Transition Team and the Project Team that looked at the new structure.

Up here with me, I have to my far left, Bob Becker, the athletic director at Saginaw Valley State; Lynn Dorn, the director of women's athletics at North Dakota State University; Doug Echols, the commissioner of the South Atlantic Conference; and to my right is Nancy Mitchell, the Division II chief of staff. Also with us, in the audience is Mike Gracey, the assistant chief of staff. Mike and Nancy are assigned to Division II, as Ced outlined in our earlier meeting, so if you have any questions on Division II, those are the people you should call.

We're going to give you a little overview of how we got here. Lynn is going to give us that. Doug and Bob are chairing two of the transition teams and they're going to tell you where their teams are. Nancy will give you an overview of the other two transition teams, as well as some information on the survey that went out. We've got some preliminary information we got back from the survey that we found very interesting. We have a meeting next Tuesday in Dallas to go over some other information. Without any further ado, we'll get moving with Lynn Dorn.

Lynn Dorn:

Good morning. Thank you Jerry. I suspect you're a little familiar with the restructuring issues at hand, but I thought what might be important for you is to try to help in assisting understanding the basic principles and policies, if you will, and decision rules we've attempted to follow and adhere to as we began to look at the federated model under the restructured association.

As Ced alluded to this morning, Division II has been very positive. We've been very enthused, and in fact, very excited about the opportunity to come forward as a member of the association and all be a federated member. The input from the membership, the energy and feedback has been very positive. For that, I personally thank you.

As you know, the 13 members of the Presidents Council and the 24 members of the Management Transition Teams were established to review issues that need to be resolved related to the overall Division II procedures and operations within the restructured association. The Presidents Council and the Management Transition Teams committed themselves to basic operating principles. Without regard to any priority, or without regard to any order, generally, these are the following principles we've attempted to use as we guide ourselves through in establishing this new framework. The first one is, certainly, the continued commitment and adherence to the reform agenda. We wanted to keep in mind the ideals of the reform agenda with priority and focusing of all of our attentions and energies to that of the student-athlete. So, the reform agenda certainly has been kept in mind.

The next is that we have begun to operate as if the new legislation were in place. Right now, the presidential involvement and the presidential authority is very much heightened in Division II. The working relationship the Management Council has enjoyed with President Herbert has been tremendous. He's been very responsive to the immediate needs of helping and assisting and overseeing the behaviors of the Management Council. I am very confident the Division II leadership, that being the presidents, will be very positive and they will continue to articulate their role. As we move forward, it will become all the more strengthened under their leadership.

We are beginning to move forward, interacting very comfortably, with the presidents being very involved. The Presidents Council, comprised of 13 members, as you know, were determined through a weighted, regionalized representation in terms of the composition of the membership. Those 13 members are geographically dispersed throughout the country representing, again, the regional concept. Adam has been very committed to working and assisting with Mike and Nancy. He's been very committed to making certain the other 12 members of his council are up to speed on the day-to-day activities, as well as the long-range decisions of Division II.

Another principle we've talked about under the federated structure is one Ced alluded to earlier this morning. That was to have a more simplified, efficient and streamlined association. As project teams begin to move forward, they're trying to very concisely define for the membership how we might become more effective, more interactive and more streamlined. Most of us resist change. We tend to be very absolute. We win. We lose. We're right. We're wrong. As we began to look at new models, it feels to me that we want to stay at a comfort level of status quo. Part of that reason in Division II is because we're very solid. Part of that reason in Division II is because we are very comfortable with the direction of where we're going. All along we have said, let's not create changes for the sake of change in Division II. Let's not disrupt for the sake of disruption. If it's not broken, let's not try to break it. We've been very prudent and very cautious. One of our principles has been to evaluate with creativity, vision and future direction.

The fourth principle, one we're very sensitive to, is the finance and budget situation for Division II. The former leadership of Division II was very prudent in using judgements in terms of the enhancement dollars and how they were to be distributed. The leadership has been very prudent in how we were going to expand our dollars and opportunities to championships. Those have been the two primary focus areas we have given our attention to as far as budgetary concerns. However, underneath the new structure, we know for the first time, that Division II will be held fiscally accountable and responsible for a budget. Future directions, future planning, what might we want to look at? What type of model might we want to have out there? The principle of financial management, fiscal responsibility has come to the forefront. As we began to develop our project teams again, we've talked quite freely and openly about what direction might be best to serve the needs of the membership in terms of spending those additional dollars we have opportunities for.

Another principle we've tried very hard to adhere to is the model that Division II will be very committed to diversity, both in terms of ethnicity and gender. In fact, Adam has repeatedly said he would like to see Division II be the model for Division I and Division III in terms of ethnic and gender diversity. We are very proud to see as a Management Council Transition Team that 50 percent of its members are women while 50 percent are men and 24 percent represent ethnic diversity. Under the Presidents Commission, we have five out of 13 women while five out of 13 individuals are minority representatives. It is right. It is not an obligation, but rather I believe, it is an issue of integrity, commitment and a principle that we are going to be very committed to in Division II.

The other piece we have listened to repeatedly is that of institutional representation. We've heard very clearly that Division II wanted to retain one vote per institution. As we move forward in describing ourselves, we've kept that very clearly in focus. Because of that, we've tried very hard to have a lot of inclusion, input and feedback from our membership. It all began, I think, with the concept of having the conference being represented through the Management Council model. We have 24 individuals that will serve as voices to go back to educate and to inform.

Another example that we have are the Regional Compliance Seminars. Mike and Nancy have had the opportunity to go out and get feedback for the Division II membership as they went to the Regional Compliance Seminars listening, again, to the membership. The membership survey which Nancy will talk about gave us directions to what priorities you might have in terms of a variety of initiatives over the course of the 18 months.

We know very clearly that each of the 24 members are very responsible to listen to individual, institutional, and specifically, to their conference needs. We are very pleased to know the principle of institutional representation is going to continue to be a priority for us.

Intertwined with that is the whole concept of education. We have now got a restructured association in the works. But, what does that mean in terms of how it might procedurally function? What processes might we have to evaluate as we go forth? Over the next couple of months, once again, we want to make certain you understand the new legislative process, that we're comfortable as a group on the direction we're going. We thought about using the NCAA and having just a legislative process for the Division II membership under the restructuring. We're hoping to give you samples of information your conference leader will take back and disseminate to you at the conference level, so that you have a full working group and ideas of what is being shared. We want a lot of inclusion and a lot of participation as we have the opportunity to chart new waters.

Those are the principles we've tried to work our model through. After those principles were established, we came together as a working group. There are approximately seven or eight of us that visited informally in Kansas City about the creation of the next direction. We came up with ideas of project teams and areas of immediate attention within those project teams that would need our assistance. I believe Nancy will take it from here discussing the project teams, their composition and some of their goals on behalf of the membership.

Nancy Mitchell:

Thanks Lynn. Ced already talked a little bit this morning about the various project teams in Division II. We've got the chairs of a couple of the project teams here. I wanted to go over a lit bit in more detail about what those project teams are going to be considering and the priorities, if you will, for the different project teams. All of the project teams are actually subcommittees of the Management Council Transition Team, so they are made up of members of the Management Council Transition Team. A couple of them have some outside members on them and I'll tell you about those in just a minute.

One of the project teams is a Championships Project Team. That's the one Bob Becker is chairing. Doug Echols is chairing the project team related to governance issues, the committee structure and the overall governance of Division II. Another one is the financial aid project team being chaired by Karen Miller at Cal Poly Pomona. That's the project team that does have some outside representatives. A couple of Division II representatives on the Financial Aid and Amateurism Committee are on that project team. We thought we needed the expertise of those folks. We also added a few folks to balance out regional representation on the project team. That's the project team that's going to be considering the resolution that was adopted at last year's convention. I think is was Proposal 29 that charged the Steering Committee, the Transition Groups and anybody in the governance structure to review alternative financial aid models for Division II, possibly to look at need-based or partial need-based financial aid models. That resolution called for a progress report to be made at the 1997 convention. That's why you probably won't see legislation coming out of the Steering Committee or the Presidents Commission for the 1997 convention related to financial aid, but you will have a report from the project team on what direction they think they might be going. They have had one conference call. They're really in an organizational stage right now. They are having an in person meeting on August 5 and, hopefully, their work will start progressing at that point. I also wanted to mention we are bringing in a representative from the sponsors for the Proposal 29, the West Virginia Conference and the Rocky Mountain Conference, to get an idea of their perspective and what they were looking at in relation to that particular resolution.

The other project team is a Membership Project Team. That's being chaired by Clint Bryant at Augusta College and that project team will look at membership requirements for Division II and sports sponsorship requirements. One challenge for that project team is going to be looking at the provisional members. As you know, we've got a lot of schools in the Division II provisional pipeline that are going to become active member institutions within the next few years. They will all be in Division II. One issue Division III is taking is that they are going to sponsor legislation, or they have recommended to their governance groups to sponsor legislation for the 1997 convention to increase the provisional membership period from three years to four years. If Division III does that, it could have an impact on Division II. That would be effective as of August 1, 1997. If Division III has a longer provisional membership period, that could potentially steer some folks thinking about coming into the NCAA toward Division II instead of Division III. So, something that the Management Council Transitional Team is going to have to look at during its meeting next week is whether they want to recommend that type of legislation be sponsored for Division II at the 1997 convention as opposed to letting the Membership Project Team work its way through that issue. The Membership Project Team has not gotten together yet. They are going to have some folks outside the Management Council Transition Team on that group. As Ced mentioned this morning, it will probably be late fall before they actually start getting together. We want to have a little bit more deliberate review of the membership requirements. I don't think there's any need to move quickly on a change in membership requirements for Division II. We want to look at the overall picture and make sure we get feedback from the Division II membership before going one direction or the other.

Another group we aren't really calling a project team, but I wanted to mention to you is more of a subcommittee is the Budget Finance Subcommittee. This group will be reviewing the development of a budget schedule, a budget cycle, a fiscal policy for Division II. Again, Division II has never had to deal with a finite amount of money and much of that is going to be surplus. It doesn't need to be spent on championships or the enhancement fund. It's going to be a lot of extra money for Division II every year. There are some very significant decisions that need to be made and this Budget Finance Subcommittee is going to start looking at possible ways to spend the extra money. This committee has a lot of interesting challenges ahead of it. It is going to be made up of members of the Presidents Council Transition Team and members of the Management Council Transition Team. It will be chaired by Tony Ceddia of Shippensburg University and will consist of four presidents and three athletics administrators from the Management Council Transition Team. Hopefully, in July or August, they will start their work.

You're probably aware of the membership survey that went out around the first of May. The survey responses were due back May 24 and, including the 20 or 25 that came in after the deadline, we really did get over an 80 percent response rate which, I think, is very encouraging. We have done a preliminary compilation of the results. The Management Council Transition Team members do have the preliminary results and they can share them with you at conference meetings or informally. It will be up to them as to how they share them. We haven't done a mass distribution of the results yet simply because we're going to do further analysis. We're going to break down some of the responses further. For instance, who responded first? It might make a difference if the president responded to the survey as opposed to the faculty rep.

It might make a difference depending how many sports they sponsored. So, we're going to try and get a little more information out of the survey. We also need a little bit of time to add the surveys that came in late. Hopefully, we'll get that information out to the entire Division II membership by the end of this month. We're going to publish it in the NCAA News and send it to all Division II institutions and conferences.

If you haven't seen it, the survey asks for information in all of the areas that the project teams are working on -- Division II governance, championships, membership requirements, money, how to spend the surplus. It also talked a little bit about academic requirements and the results are going to be helpful to the project teams and to the transition teams in figuring out the direction they want to go in these various areas. Again, because of the surveys that came in late, we thought it would be best not to do a mass distribution at this time. We really appreciate the input we got from Division II. Eighty percent is a very good response rate.

Doug Echols:

As has been indicated to you, I'm working with the project team to look at governance for the Division II membership. Ced Dempsey's comments this morning regarding Division II being in front of the wave that's hitting us regarding restructuring is a credit to Lynn Dorn and the leadership she has provided and also to Adam Herbert, who is chairing the Presidents Commission for Division II. Additionally, we're extremely fortunate to have Nancy Mitchell working with us, so we're moving ahead and I think it's going to be extremely good for the membership. This is truly an exciting time.

Let me tell you a little bit about the Governance Project Team effort and some of the charges that we were given as we tried to look at how this model, which was approved at the '96 Convention, was going to be implemented for the entire membership. We wanted to try to hold on to the very positive current structure, and yet, at the same time, open up the window of opportunity to look at new ways to do whatever needed to be done to make sure the governance process was functioning appropriately.

All of the work the Governance Project Team is doing right now is leading up to the development of and the presentation of proposals for consideration at the 1997 convention, and certainly, there will be additional proposals after the new structure is in place for the '98 convention. I would encourage each of you, through your representative on the Management Council and also directly either to me or other members of the Project Team, or to anyone involved in this whole process, to feel comfortable in making recommendations and suggestions as to how this all should work. This is not a closed process by any means. We want to make certain everyone has input. One of the things that provides a direct avenue of that input is the Management Council structure that's already been shared with you.

Briefly, let me give you the overview of what we had to look at from the current structure. We wanted to make sure that some of the problems which were inherent in the current system were reviewed. The overlap, the duplication of tasks, where the system was complex and created confusion in the process, where independent divisional action is limited, or where it stands by itself and how the accountability is structured were all reviewed. We had to review the old system in regards to some of that thinking.

In regards to the new governance structure, we wanted to make sure there were three feature principles there. First of all, that we maintain this institutional chief executive officer authority. It looks simple when you look at an organizational chart, but when you talk about some of the project team membership and other things, you have to be certain that is included in the development of the system.

We also wanted to try to make sure that whatever was done in the governance process, that it was simplified. If you look at the current organizational structure of the NCAA, it's a rather complicated maze and it's been cumbersome to many of us in the membership, particularly in Division II. If we could somehow simplify the whole organizational structure, that would be good. One of the featured principles had to do with greater autonomy and federation. With every opportunity comes a real challenge to make sure you are able to accept the responsibilities which you've been provided and that is to have a federated model of governance.

In all of this, there were issues that got more basic to the substructure of the federated organization for Division II. We had to consider whether or not additional committees needed to be recommended for the association-wide structure, or whether fewer committees were necessary. We had to look at in the federated model where we've had committees that had Division I, II and III membership. Now, we're going to have this federated opportunity and which of those committees perhaps in the current model needed to be combined or eliminated or did there need to be new committees formed? We also had to review the charge of these committees. What were their responsibilities? Are those responsibilities still going to be needed in the new federated structure?

It was necessary to look at the composition of all of these committees. What were the length of terms, the representation by position or district or region, the involvement of Management Council persons on the various committees? We've reviewed the committee nomination and selection process. If you recall, in the current structure, we have a nominating committee, we have a Men's Committee on Committees, a Women's Committee on Committees. How could that perhaps function better on behalf of the membership? We've had extensive discussion on the inclusion of student-athletes and coaches, assistant and associate directors of athletics and how those roles can be included in the system as well. We had to identify the body or bodies which would act between meetings of the Management Council and the Presidents Council. What would be the composition of those, etc.?

In all of those discussions and through the work of the Oversight Committee for the transition to the new restructured model, there have been 11 current committees identified as association-wide. Those include the Basketball Officiating Committee, the Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports, the Honors Committee, the Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee, the National Youth Sports Programs Committee, the Olympic Sports Liaison Postgraduate Scholarship Committee, the Research Committee, the Walter Byers Scholarship Committee, the Committee on Women's Athletics and the Special Committee to Review Implementation of the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearing House. Those were the association-wide committees which are going to be recommended to be maintained by the association and we, of course, have had some input regarding some recommendations relative to the composition of those committees and how they will function in the new federated structure.

Additionally, the Governance Team has looked at combining some of the committee work and looking at a more federated model and, at the present time, the consideration is for the following committees to be federated which would be all Division II membership on the committees -- an Academic Requirements Committee, Committee on Infractions, Eligibility Committee, Championships Committee, Legislation Committee, Membership Committee, Nominating Committee and a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

In all of this, I would say the Project Team has worked very hard and diligently to try to maintain this principle of a greater access and opportunity for Division II people to look after Division II issues. The rough numbers on all of this are that there will be, probably, somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 plus new opportunities for Division II people to be involved in the committee structure for Division II. That's just with the basic committee work. As Lynn said, there will probably be project teams and other subcommittee work, etc., that will need to be federated. I think, for the first time, or at least with the new model, there's going to be a greater opportunity for a Division II membership inclusion in all of the business and operations of Division II.

Bob Becker:

If you ever wanted to be on a committee that doesn't have to do anything, you should have gotten on this one. Seriously, the Championships Committee has not met. We will be meeting and getting organized as soon as we can garner a little bit of Mike and Nancy's time. That is done by design because they are up and running. They had to be because of a time commitment. We don't have that time commitment. It's my understanding that we don't have to be prepared to present anything until much later in the transition period.

I can guarantee you one thing. It will be an active committee and we will be soliciting more and more input from the membership all of the time. We are interested in what you think about things that have to be changed. However, just to reiterate what Lynn said, there's no sense trying to fix something that doesn't have to be fixed. We're going to look at the whole process, solicit recommendations on areas that need to be looked at a little more seriously than others and then attempt to take some action on those.

Some of the issues have been identified for us. One is, what is the intent of the championships in Division II which would include access versus quality of competition versus quality of competition versus cost containment? That was addressed a little bit in the survey.

Secondly, the selection criteria. I know in talking to some of you from time to time, this has been a thorn in our sides for a long time. I'm not sure it can be changed a whole lot, but we sure can look at it.

Regionalization. What is our position on that? Has it changed? Is it something we ought to stay with? Automatic qualification. Regional championships versus national championships. Input from our sports committees. The manner in which our sports committees function, the make up of our sports committees. All of us can sit back and think of horror stories on why we didn't get selected. We want to take a look at that and do something about it. I promise you that as soon as we can get Nancy and Mike's attention, we will be up and running and it will be a very active committee. We'll be back to you at the convention with a better report. Thank you.