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NCAA Division II - Breakout
Deregulation - What is it All About
(Tuesday, June 17, 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.)

Phil Roach:

My name if Phil Roach and I'll be the moderator for this discussion this morning. Today, we're going to talk about deregulation and what that's all about. By the time you arrive back to your campuses, you'll probably have received in the mail the Division II manual. We're all very hopeful that it's much thinner. It will still be thicker than we want it to be, but certainly, will make our referencing chore one that is more palatable. With the deregulation, probably, more will come as we grow through this process. So that we can better understand that, when we planned the committees and programs for this Convention, this session certainly seemed appropriate.

With us today is Dave Schnase. Dave is a graduate of the University of Nebraska. He completed his law degree at Kansas University, his masters in sports administration also at Kansas. He served as an intern at the National Association of Basketball Coaches. He was a compliance officer at Marshall University and, currently, works in legislative services at the NCAA.

One of the exciting things we talked about this morning and I know he'll share with you are the possibilities of what could happen with further deregulation. He even has been so bold as to talk about doing away with the Clearinghouse of Division II. With that kind of excitement, let me introduce Dave Schnase.

Dave Schnase:

Thanks Phil. I know, as some of you are aware, the initial publication that came out with the agenda had the name of the person, Steve Mallory, who should have been here. I apologize to those of you who flew out to Las Vegas just to hear him speak, but you're stuck with me.

I'd like to start out by talking about the purpose of deregulation and the goals of deregulation and what we can hope to accomplish. I'd like to then talk about some of the past efforts in deregulation and, hopefully, that discussion will lead to ideas of future areas of deregulation. After that, I want to spend a few minutes talking about specific ways in which we can accomplish deregulation in the new federated structure. I'd like this to be an informal presentation, so if you have any questions or comments along the way, please feel free to raise your hands. At the end, hopefully, we'll have some time left to talk about some specific ideas about deregulation.

Phil mentioned the Clearinghouse and that is only one area that I'll throw out as an example. We have hundreds of areas we can talk about. We're looking at a manual that has 580 pages. Anytime that you have a document with 580 pages of rules, that gives rise to the question of, are we over regulating our industry? It's a fair assumption to say we may be. We're looking at a massive manual here that's bigger than the tax code. In the past few years, it seems to be getting bigger and bigger in spite of our deregulation attempts. The first purpose of deregulation is, basically, to simplify this thing. Knock off a few pages, make it more user friendly and knock it down to a more manageable size.

The next purpose of deregulation, in my mind, is to actually decrease the amount of paperwork we're faced with on our campuses. Anytime you have a manual of 580 pages of rules, you know that's going to generate some specific monitoring systems. We have a monitoring system for the number of phone calls our coaches make during a week. We have a monitoring system for the amount of hours we practice in a week. We have a monitoring system that monitors the length of our playing and practice seasons. Every time you have a different monitoring system, you have go generate a form to make sure you're complying with these monitoring systems. In effect, we're creating this monster of compliance forms that we have on our campus.

Unfortunately, not a lot of our institutions have the resources to effectively monitor 40 or 50 different systems. Some of us spread our monitoring out throughout the entire athletics department staff. We may have a track coach do part of compliance in one area. We may have an SWA do it in another area. We may even have some athletics directors who have a major role in the compliance efforts. When you start to spread yourselves that thin, you're not only talking about lack of communication, you're also talking about trying to deal with conservative resources.

The next thing you want to think about as an institution is to actually try to figure out how to monitor your systems effectively. When you have all of these systems in place, you start to worry about am I starting to spread myself too thin, or do I have enough resources to effectively monitor all of these systems. I know a lot of you are not like Michigan State who just hired three full-time compliance people. Michigan State has now dedicated three full-time salaries to handle just compliance. We don't have those resources. We don't have the ability to dedicate three full-time people for these efforts. Those are, basically, some of the purposes or goals of a deregulation effort.

Let's talk for a few minutes about the history of our deregulation efforts. We start off by looking at the Legislative Review Committee which, in the past, has been a committee that has been association-wide. By that I mean, it had representatives from Divisions I, II and III. That committee takes a look at a particular bylaw every year, and with the help of different constituencies around the country, coaches associations, student-athlete advisory committees, the NCAA staff, etc., get together and think of ways to make a particular bylaw more user friendly and to actually decrease the amount of legislation of a particular bylaw. The committee then recommends that the NCAA Council, at least they have in the past, a particular deregulation package. That package is then voted on at the NCAA convention, either as a package or individually item by item.

At the 1994 convention, the committee, the Council and the membership focused on Bylaw 13, which, as you know, is the recruiting bylaw. We used to have a particular set of rules that said this is what a recruited prospective student-athlete is. We also had another list that said this is what is not a recruited student-athlete. So, you had two big long lists to find one little definition. The Committee recommended creating an all-inclusive list that tells you exactly what a recruited prospective student-athlete is. Now we know that if you provide a prospect with an official visit, if you initiate a telephone call for the purpose of recruitment on more than one occasion, or if you arrange for an off-campus encounter, you've triggered the definition of a recruited prospective student-athlete. So, you've taken 15 or 20 different issues and combined it down into an all-inclusive list of three. That's one way to deregulate. Take a list of things and combine them down into a manageable size.

Another thing they did at the 1994 convention was they eliminated the restriction against coaches contacting parents at a prospect's competition site. Before, you could not contact a prospect or a prospect's parents at the competition site. That put the coaches in an unenviable position of being up in the stands and maybe sitting right next to a parent and not being able to say a word to that parent. Now, common sense tells us to do away with that. Let's not worry about sitting next to a parent as long as it's during a contact period and as long as we're counting it as a contact, that shouldn't be a problem.

There's a couple of areas in 1994 that the committee looked at that the membership didn't feel comfortable accepting. The first of those, is that the committee proposed we eliminate the one call per week restriction in all sports except for football and basketball. Obviously, your high profile sports are the sports that are being monitored and have to be monitored more effectively. The committee felt the other sports we can take a look at deregulating them and say, let's not worry about how many calls we have to make during a week. That decreases the amount of monitoring systems by one if you decrease that particular piece of legislation. That was defeated by the membership. They felt it was important that all sports be treated the same in terms of the calls per week.

The second thing that was defeated was a proposal that would have eliminated the restriction on publicity about prospects. You know you can't comment about a prospect's ability until that prospect has signed. The committee said to do away with that regulation in sports except for football and basketball. Again, that was defeated. So, you can see the types of efforts that were going on in the early '90s about which types of legislation the membership was willing to embrace and which types they were not.

In 1994-95, the committee focused on Bylaw 14. At the 1995 convention, there was only one piece of legislation the membership adopted that pertained to Division II and that was the simplification of the definition of intercollegiate competition. Again, we have this big long laundry list of what constituted intercollegiate competition and another laundry list of what did not constitute intercollegiate competition. They combined these and now we have the definition that we know today and that's if they use the uniform of the institution, they receive expenses for competition and if they represent the institution in outside competition, they receive expenses. That was the only piece of legislation that pertained to Division II directly.

The next year, 1995-96, was a significant year for deregulation in that the committee looked at Bylaws 12 and 16. They went through the whole employment package and took out a lot of stuff. For example, we had a piece of legislation that said a student-athlete could be a coach. We had another piece of legislation that said a student-athlete could not officiate professional sports contests. We finally got a piece of legislation that even said that a student-athlete could be employed as a member of the ski patrol. We had the big list of things that told us what our student-athletes could and could not do with regard to employment.

The committee took a look at this list and said it was unnecessary. We don't need that. We have a lot of other employment legislation that would take care of all of the other stuff. Basically, as long as a student-athlete is getting the going rate, getting paid for the skills commensurate for their experience in that locality, we don't really care what types of work they do as long as they meet those types of general employment threshold issues.

Division II did take a look at one piece of legislation and adopted it and Division I did not. That piece of legislation was allowing the student-athletes to give lessons for pay. Division II felt it was appropriate to allow student-athletes to do that, but Division I didn't allow that. So, you can see there are types of legislation that Divisions I and II may not agree upon. That's fine. We're looking at a new federated system now, that Division II can come up with a whole new set of rules. You're not bound by what's in this for Division I. We can take these 580 pages and knock it down to 100 pages, if you want. It's a matter of you feeling comfortable with what types of legislation you want on the books and what types you don't. No longer do we have to see what Division I does. What did Division I-AA do on this? It's up to you to decide whether you even care what they do with a particular piece of legislation.

The next thing they did in the 1996 convention with regard to Bylaws 12 and 16, was take away the restriction that said awards had to be properly personalized. The rule said that in order for the student-athlete to get an award, that award had to be properly personalized. Well nowadays, if a student-athlete wants to sell the award, if it's personalized, it's going to get them more money. The rationale in the past was they not be personalized so the student-athlete couldn't sell them, but that rationale doesn't hold true. You can see another justification for deregulation is to take a look at some legislation that the rationale no longer exists. This regulation doesn't make any sense anymore as it's written. Let's do away with it.

Let's skip up to 1996-97. This past year, we took a look at Bylaw 17. In my mind, this is one of the more dramatic results of the deregulation efforts we've seen. We've taken that bylaw and knocked off 125 pages. If you look at the Division I manual now, you'll see it's about one-third the size of the old manual. Part of that is because we took out the Division II and III legislation, but part of it is because we took out 125 pages of Bylaw 17. We established a consistent starting date for each of the sports. We established a consistent end of the playing season for each sport. We eliminated the weekly option in favor of a daily option. Now, when you count your playing and practice season, you count total number of days instead of total number of weeks. It allows you a little more flexibility.

We also eliminated the distinction between traditional and non-traditional. In the past, when you opened the manual to Bylaw 17 and you saw the preseason practice date, you had one day for the traditional, one day for the non-traditional. If you looked at the first date of competition, you saw one day for the traditional and one for the non-traditional. This went all the way down through Bylaw 17. So, we took away that distinction between the two and now you see one date for the starting season, one date for the end of the season and one date for the first day of competition. You can see how much sense it makes to compact Bylaw 17. Just by doing away with that one simple thing between traditional and non-traditional.

Let's spend a few minutes talking about how we accomplished deregulation. We have this new structure where we're federated. We have Division I, II and III in charge of their own legislation. We have these new manuals that pertain only to legislation in your particular division. Phil said you should have copies of these when you get back to your campus. I hope that's true. It took a lot longer this year because when we separated into three different manuals, we had to take all of the title references that have changed and make the changes. We had to change all of the references to the NCAA Council to Division I Management Council to Division II Management Council, etc. We had to take away the title, Academic Requirements Committee in Division I and replace it with the Academics Eligibility and Compliance Cabinet. There were more than 5,000 references to those different titles in the old manual. We had to take each one of those and make the change. That's why you haven't gotten these as soon as you had hoped. We hope to get the Division I and II manuals out at the same time because of the Coaches Certification Test. Unfortunately, we lost someone in our publishing office to another corporation and that set us back for another week or two for Division II. You should be getting these soon.

How do we accomplish deregulation? How do we get this ball rolling? The ball starts rolling in this room right here. You are the folks that can come up with the ideas to figure out what we can get rid of in this manual. You're the ones who see this on a day-to-day basis. You know the practical effects of eliminating a particular piece of legislation. There are two primary ways we can deregulate. The first is actually through the committee process. If you have an idea for deregulation, you can send your ideas to the Legislation Committee. You can do that either through me or through Nancy Mitchell or Mike Racy of the governance staff. That's the first way.

The second way is to go through the actual legislative process. You know that process has changed a little bit for Division II in the past year. We now have to have 15 sponsors for a particular piece of legislation. If you don't get the 15 sponsors, you can get the two conference offices to do it. So, you can see that it's a big change from going from eight sponsors to 15 and it seems, in my mind, to be more efficient to go through the committee process. If you can get the Legislation Committee on board for your ideas, it's a lot easier than trying to round up 15 sponsors. That's up to you. You can figure out what is the more appropriate way to attack that.

That's it in terms of the summary that I wanted to give you. I'd like to spend a few minutes now to kick around some ideas about how we can deregulate this thing. Phil mentioned that we look at the Clearinghouse. We look at thousands and thousands of kids going through this Clearinghouse process. Let's think about, can we eliminate this? Can we save money? Can we conserve our resources? Can we eliminate some of our monitoring systems? If you don't want to eliminate it for all sports, you may think about eliminating it for sports other than football or basketball.

At this time, I'd like to open it up and talk about the Clearinghouse.

From the Floor:

What excites me about these kinds of issues is that we can do what best meets the needs of our group. As I listened to this process, we might establish some parameter that will eliminate all but 20 percent of the student-athletes we recruit just by sending a standard test score and class rank. That would save so much paper, so much time and still maintain the evenness how schools describe. It's an exciting thing in this one area where we can save ourselves and the student-athletes we recruit so much.

Dave Schnase:

You could go so far as to say, let's do that on an institutional level. Let's let the institution certify an obvious qualifier. If a kid scores in the 90 percentile, let's not even send it into the Clearinghouse. That's a good point.

From the Floor:

All questions and comments were inaudible.

Phil Roach:

Let me interject something that can be very meaningful for all of us. First of all, you're asking a question that's hard to identify because it's just happening and it's just forming. All of the committees and all of these positions have not been announced publicly, so we're on a cusp of something. Most of you know that the athletics directors are attempting to organize to meet the very need that I think you're talking about to develop an empowerment process where we, the people in the trenches that have to deal with these issues every day, have a way to get this information in a focused manner to the Legislative Committee. While it's true that it would be terrific if every person who held a Management Council position or a legislative position in our structure be here, we cannot require it. Most of them will be here because they are leaders in our profession. This morning I met with Jim Fallis, Ron Prettyman and Dave Coffey and I met to put together more of what most of us have asked for and that is, some real concrete objectives and a mission statement for the Division II athletics directors so that we can be empowered to do the very things you want.

Dave Schnase:

Let's talk about the recruiting process. We talked about recruiting calendars, quiet periods, dead periods, evaluation periods. Does Division II need to comply with these recruiting calendars? We can talk about the number of evaluations you get, the number of contacts, the contact time periods. All of these things are designed to protect the prospective student-athlete.

There's another issue that has primarily been a Division I issue and that's the monitoring of your sports camps and clinics. Almost all of the regulations in that area have been designed to protect student-athletes in institutions against these major shoe and apparel companies. Then, the question arises, does Division II have that same problem? Do we need that same type of regulation in that area?

From the Floor:

Further questions were inaudible.

Phil Roach:

Dave, it's been very helpful and we appreciate you taking the time to be with us today on this important issue for us. It was interesting to me yesterday to be sitting with one of the major institutions in this country's athletics director and having him reflect about the position they're in as opposed to the position we find ourselves in as we go forward in intercollegiate athletics. He was envious of where we are, envious of what we're about and how we've maintained some integrity with regard to the mission of higher education. I would tell you that I took that as a terrific challenge and I think that's the sense that we have in this room.

We are at an interesting time and our challenge is to maintain the integrity of intercollegiate athletics as it relates to higher education, where we all work. We can do that through the legislative process, through deregulation and through our own inertia to make the intercollegiate athletics experience for student-athletes an educational one.

Thank you for this. We'll take about a two minute break and Ron Prettyman will be the next moderator.