» «
36th NACDA Convention
Salt Lake City, Utah
June 10-13, 2001

NCAA Division II Breakout Session
Amateurism - Clarification of the New Legislation
Tuesday, June 12, 9:00 - 9:50 a.m.


Dick Young

I'm Dick Young, director of athletics at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. I'm here to present the program. Before we begin, I'd like to recognize Southwest Recreational Industries, who is our audio-visual sponsor. Our morning session is entitled Amateurism - Clarification of the New Legislation. Speaking again to us this morning is Jim Johnson, who we enjoyed hearing from yesterday. He represents the Division II membership services of the NCAA.

Jim has been with the NCAA since 1997. It is a pleasure to present to you, Jim Johnson.

Jim Johnson

That's way too formal Dick. Again, we had a neat power point presentation for you, but we're going to have to wing it here. Dick wanted me to cover a few case studies just to give you an example of some of the questions we have had at this point and how the new legislation is applied. There are four or five case studies that are available in handouts that we've used at the regional compliance seminars. We've also used this at some conference meetings. The power point presentation is available on the NCAA web site. If you get back to campus, you can pull it off and print it out. It is under the membership section under the 2001 Regional Rules Compliance Seminars. The information is there.

I want to make sure that when Jim said to do a clarification, I took that to mean to give you information on where the majority of questions have come from up to this point since this Convention. I will use that information to work through some of these case studies and answer any questions you have. We did set some ground rules at the regional seminars and we should do that this morning as well to get you the information you need as this goes into affect August 1 will probably take an hour. That doesn't give us time to debate whether this is good or bad legislation. We've done that for two years and 88 percent of the membership said it was good legislation.

From here on out, we need to make sure we all understand it. The Amateurism Project Team is still working. That group has not been disbanded. They are going to stay together for at least another year to assist with the implementation of this and to cover issues that come up that we probably didn't think about. One of these issues has occurred and we're going to talk about that as we work through this information. With those ground rules and answering questions about the application and not whether it's good or bad, let's move forward.

The first thing we need to talk about to help you and your coaches understand what we've done is talk about how this legislation has changed the philosophical approach to how we look at eligibility of student-athletes now. When you think about it this way, the legislation makes more sense and it's easier to apply. We've always had problems with trying to determine whether somebody was ineligible or not because we didn't know if they received money. We didn't know if a team they played on was a pro team. Those types of things were hard to track and find out. We always assumed somebody was eligible and we had to try to find information to find out if they were ineligible. \

I think Proposal 12 has changed the way you need to look at that. It will make it easier. One of the fears of the membership is how to track this stuff. How have we made life any easier? You've made it easier because you've really changed how you look at eligibility now. If you have somebody that wasn't enrolled, hasn't been enrolled prior to August 1, 2001 in a collegiate institution and has delayed enrollment since graduation from high school, you need to make the assumption that they are not eligible. They have used maybe one or more seasons. If your coach says he doesn't know how to handle this student, the assumption is they probably aren't. Then, it's up to them to bring you information to say that here is what I've done, here's the type of team I played on and I haven't triggered the season of competition rule. That makes it a little bit easier to put the responsibility on the student to bring you the information you need to determine they didn't use a season. That has changed the philosophical approach a little bit to how we determine eligibility.

The next thing you need to get into is an understanding of the effective date and whom this legislation really applies to. Everybody understands the season of competition rule fairly well based on the feedback from the regional seminar. You understand pretty well that now we've said you can receive pay for play, you can sign a contract prior to collegiate enrollment. All of that is pretty well understood. Surprisingly enough, what most people are struggling with is whom this applies to. That's dictated by the August 2001 effective date, but the pool of recruits that this applies to is not as big as what your coaches are worried about. We've gotten a lot of calls at the national office that I'm recruiting a junior college student-athlete and now I've found out that before they went to junior college they played a year on some team. Nothing has changed for that recruit because they were enrolled in a collegiate institution prior to August 1. The old rules apply, nothing has changed.

The only way this new legislation applies is if you were not enrolled in any collegiate institution. A junior college, a foreign institution, whatever it is, if it's a collegiate institution and you were enrolled as a fulltime student prior to August 1, nothing has changed for you. That narrows the pool down a lot. When we explain that, you can see a lot of people's faces change. We've had the question that somebody had been in a school for two years and we've found out that before they came to us they did something that was covered in that season in competition rule for two years, so they're out of eligibility. No, they are not because they were in school before August 1, 2001.

With the compliance folks and the faculty reps that attended the regional seminars, we tried to talk about narrowing your pool of recruits to decide if you have anybody that Proposal 12 applies to this fall and in future falls. First of all, is what we just talked about. You have to have not been a fulltime student at a collegiate institution prior to August 1. If you were, nothing has changed. It doesn't apply to you. You have a pool of recruits that have not been in school prior to August 1, 2001, then it could apply to them. It will only apply to them if they delayed enrollment. If they graduated from high school or finished the academic program they were in and then did not enroll in a collegiate institution at their first opportunity or the next regular academic term, this could apply to them. Most likely, most of the students you are recruiting are incoming freshman, graduated in May or June, are enrolling this fall and this doesn't apply to them. They haven't delayed enrollment. You have to have been not a fulltime student in college prior to August 1 and you have to have delayed enrollment.

This will make the pool even smaller. The recruits in that pool have to do something to trigger the rule. Just because you delayed enrollment, maybe you did nothing during that delay in enrollment, if so, you don't have a problem. It's not as scary as most people think.

Because of that, you're probably not going to deal with it this fall as much as you think. You are going to have some situations where you might have to deal with it. You may be recruiting somebody that graduated high school in 1999 or 2000 and has delayed enrollment, hasn't gone to college yet. You're recruiting him and during that time you discovered they delayed enrollment, they did something to trigger the rule. How many of those will there be? Nobody knows, but probably not a whole lot.

The other situation this is happening more regularly than that are the students who are from international academic programs, went to high school internationally in some type of academic program where they graduated in December. If they graduated in December of 2000 or January 2001 and did not enroll in college during the spring 2001, that would have been their first opportunity to enroll and if they did not and during that period from January through July, they did something to trigger the rule. They have used a season. They would have to sit out a year when they come to you unless you go to ARS and get a waiver for them. That may be the most common thing that happens this year. Any questions about the effective date or whom this may or may not apply to? Does it make sense?

The other things we spent some time on at the regional seminar were three issues that were inherent in the way that the legislation was drafted. They are not huge issues, may not be issues you would ever have to deal with, but are probably worth mentioning. If you didn't compare the old rule to the new legislation, it might not jump right out at you. One of those, and the most important, is the involvement with agents. This is where there was a lot of philosophical discussion, both with the project team and within the membership. We've now said that you can sign a contract prior to enrollment. You can be drafted. You can receive pay to play on a team. You still cannot employ an agent. Philosophically, is that right or wrong? Again, we're not going to get into that this morning. That's been batted around quite a bit. There is part of the new legislation that says you jeopardize your eligibility if, at any point in time, either prior to or subsequent to enrollment, you employ an agent. The agent rule hasn't changed. You can do all of those things prior to enrollment, but you cannot employ an agent to help you negotiate a contract. You cannot employ an agent to do that. That's an important point you probably want to make sure your coaches are tracking on.

The second issue is a tryout with a professional team. We had legislation that allowed you to tryout with a professional team prior to enrollment. If the professional team was paying the expenses, you were limited to 48 hours. If you were paying your own expenses, that 48-hour restriction didn't exist. We had a great question after the convention and we had to stop and do some research. If you looked in your current manual and you see the legislation regarding tryout prior to enrollment with a professional team, then if you looked at your convention notice, you'll see that that legislation is gone. The question was the season of competition rule says you if you tryout with a professional team, you trigger the rule excluding that 48-hour tryout, but the legislation that set the parameters for those tryouts is gone. What do we do? Does it matter who's paying the expenses? The answer is you can have a tryout with a professional team like you could before and it would trigger the seasons of competition rule in Proposal 12. You still get that 48-hour tryout. The key is now it doesn't matter who is paying the bill. If you're paying your own expenses, you're still limited to 48 hours. If the pro team is paying the expenses, you're still limited to 48 hours just like you were before. The key for you and the coaches to know is that you don't trigger the seasons of competition rule during a time that you delay enrollment if you tryout with a professional team. You get that 48-hour tryout regardless of who's paying the expenses without triggering the rule. As soon as you're on the court with that professional basketball team in a tryout with that 49th hour, you burn a season. Again, no matter who's paying the bill, if you're there past that 48 hours, you lose a season at that point.

The other one you probably won't deal with, but it is part of the legislation. Make sure you look at this when you get your new manual. There is a new bylaw, 12.512, and it relates to prospective student-athletes doing advertising spots for commercial products or services, promoting commercial products and services. We said that now, prior to enrollment, you can receive pay for your athletics reputation or your athletics skill. But, in this new 12.512, there is a little restriction. If you are receiving pay for your reputation or your skill while promoting a product or services, that pay is limited to only necessary expenses. You can't receive $10,000 to promote Coca-Cola while you're shooting baskets. You can do it and you can get paid without jeopardizing your eligibility, but that payment is limited to actual and necessary expenses.

Those three things are things that don't jump out at you. Everybody is focused on the seasons of competition rule and how that applies. These are three issues that are in the new legislation and in the new Convention notice as part of Proposal 12. You may want to make a note of that for your coaches.

On the seasons of competition rules, there are some things worth pointing out. One thing we refer to for lack of a better term, is the summer grace period. We're going to see this in one of the case studies. There is a grace period in the summer. We didn't include a grace period for a year in the actual legislation. There was a lot of debate on that, so calling the summer a grace period is not exactly what we want to do, but there is nothing else that better describes it. It refers to delaying enrollment and not enrolling in your first opportunity to enroll. That doesn't count the summer. That's been confusing for some people. If you graduate in May, you can basically do anything you want to during the summer as long as you do enroll in the fall. You can sign a contract, be drafted, receive pay to play on a pro team during the summer months and that is all okay now. You get the best of both worlds because you don't burn a season because you haven't bypassed your first opportunity to enroll yet. That is the summer grace period concept. You get a freebee in the summer.

We've also had questions on what is the normal high school graduation date. The language that's in the legislation is that on your normal high school graduation date is the date your work from to determine if you have delayed enrollment. We don't have much of a problem with that from domestic student-athletes. We know that you enroll, you get four years and five years in some situations. We do run into this with international students that may be in a program that is five or six years or three years. It varies and you know that if you've dealt with any international students. The Foreign Students Records Committee has done a tremendous amount of work. There is an issue of the NCAA News with a center section where the Foreign Student Records Committee laid out for 52 international programs what the expected date of graduation is. It gives you the country, the name of the program. It tells you how long it would take to complete that program. If you knew they enrolled on date X, they should finish in six years. If the end of that six years, they delayed enrollment, you would know that they may be subject to the rule.

They went to the Clearing House and asked for any international program that had come through the Clearing House in the last three or four years that had more than 10 students. If a program in England had 11 students that came through the Clearing House, that program got evaluated. This is how they found which 52 programs to include in this article for evaluation. They are not going to stop there; they will continue and eventually have everything done. It will be in your international guide for student-athletes eligibility. As they continue to do their evaluations, they will be included in the NCAA News. They got a lot of work done in a short period of time.

The one thing that is not part of the proposal that will be in your manual is what do you do with somebody that discontinues high school enrollment. We hadn't really covered that base. The answer to that is that if somebody discontinues high school enrollment and begins participation that is covered in the seasons of competition rule, they trigger the rule then and begin using a season at that point in time. They don't get the luxury of not burning a season until their expected date of graduation. That was the question. If they discontinue enrollment as a junior, do they get basically a free year then and they don't trigger the rule until their expected date of graduation. The answer now is, no. If you discontinue your enrollment to begin participation that's covered in the new legislation, you start using seasons right then.

The one issue still not covered by the Amateurism Project Team is on their agenda for their next meeting. What do we do with somebody that triggers the rule prior to high school enrollment? It can happen. It has happened already with a Division II school that's recruited a tennis player who, prior to high school, played on a professional tennis circuit. She did it before she ever enrolled in high school, at the age of 12. We don't have an answer to that yet. Hopefully, we will have one after the July Management Council Meeting. Right now, there's nothing in the legislation that holds them accountable. It's all predicated off starting high school enrollment and then finishing that or discontinuing it. We can't answer that right now.

We know the academic year in residence is also part of this. If somebody triggers the rule, has used seasons based on the rule, when they come to you, they have to do an academic year in residence. There is an interpretation. The legislation was not drafted to say that had to be at your school. That was the intent, but it was not in the legislation, so there is an official interp that says the academic year of residence has to be done at the certifying institution. The Project Team, in recommending that interp, wanted to avoid recruiting a student-athlete who was a non-qualifier and has triggered the rule. Instead of coming to you, they had to sit out a year under Proposal 12 because they triggered the seasons of competition rule. Since they are a non-qualifier, they couldn't practice or receive aid. Some people figured out they could recruit this student-athlete, plant him in a junior college, do their academic year in residence in a junior college getting aid and practicing. They could then meet the two-four transfer requirements and come to you the next year. They would have done their academic year in residence, satisfy the two-four transfer, but would have had the ability to practice and receive aid during that year which they couldn't have done as a non-qualifier at your school. They did not want that to happen. This interpretation will be worked into the manual once we work through that process. It won't be in there until the 02-03 manual.

The only other point I would make before we do the case studies is to remember that it says, in the legislation, on triggering the seasons of competition rule, that whether you're involved in a team sport or on an individual sport, if it's a team sport situation, basketball, soccer, and somebody has not been enrolled prior to August 1, has delayed enrollment, and your found out they have played on a team, you will assume they've used some seasons. You will assume that somebody on that team received expenses. Remember, in the team sports, it's not just whether that individual received any expenses, it's whether anybody on that team received any expenses. They use a season if they paid their own bill, but somebody else on their team received payment either in expenses or a salary.

That is different in individual sports because the actual individual has to receive that payment. Remember, too, we don't need to know what the difference in actual and necessary expenses is because it's all-inclusive. We don't have to worry about the definition of actual and necessary expenses because it includes actual and necessary expenses, it includes anything.

We've had one question that is probably the best example. A soccer player met the rule, isn't in school yet, has delayed enrollment, has been on a soccer team for the past year, paid their own way, bought their own uniform, but this team went out and secured a corporate sponsor to give $10,000 to cover 10 entry fees at $1,000 per tournament. That person has triggered the rule because they had something paid on their behalf that they would have had to pay otherwise. They have used a season. They would have to go to ARS to get that season back even though they paid their own way. Somebody else paid the entry fee for the tournament so they had an expense paid on their behalf. They have used a season under the new legislation.

Other than that, we can take a couple of questions now. Dick, you want to go into the case studies?

Let's look quickly at the handouts. They illustrate how the rule applies and it would be helpful for you. The first one says that Debbie graduated in spring of 1998. After graduation, she worked fulltime in order to make money to pay for college. During this time, she competed for a local YMCA softball team. Nobody on the team received any money or travel expenses. She now will enroll for the fall 2001 at a Division II institution. What's her eligibility status?

Based on what we talked about, she's fine because she was involved in a team sport, she did delay enrollment for two years, so she's possibly subject to the rule. She hasn't been enrolled prior to August 1, so she's possibly subject to the rule. She has delayed enrollment, but based on these facts, all she did was play on a local YMCA softball team, paid her own expenses, so she's okay. Assuming she's a qualifier, she can play immediately and still has four season left.

Prior to high school graduation, Sam discontinued his enrollment to compete on a professional tennis circuit. He competed in various tournaments in 1999-2000, earning minimal amounts of prize money, returned to high school in the fall of 2000 and graduated in spring 2001. He now enrolls in the fall of 01. This gets at our non-controversial proposal that covers what happens to you if you discontinue enrollment to participate in something that triggers the rule. He did come back and end up graduating but he discontinued enrollment for a year to play on a team where he received money. He can receive the money, that doesn't make him ineligible, but he does get charged a season for that and he would have to do an academic year in residence at your institution. We've had some questions about practice, receiving aid, if you do trigger the rule and have to do the academic year in residence. That just reverts back to our qualifier legislation. If you're a qualifier or a partial qualifier, you can practice, you just can't receive aid. If you're a non-qualifier then, obviously, you couldn't practice, receive aid or compete. The year in residence refers to outside competition. Whether you can practice or receive aid depends on your qualifier status.

The third case, Michael graduated from high school in May 2001. He played professional baseball during the 2001 summer, signed a contract with the team and accepted a salary of $12,000. He competed but did not sign a contract with an agent. He seized competition during the 01 summer prior to his first opportunity to enroll, then spent the 01-02 year traveling abroad with his family. His plan was to then enroll in a Division II institution in the fall 2002. He's okay. He's got the summer grace period. He played, signed a contract, got $12,000, didn't employ an agent, so he has delayed enrollment, but he gets the summer grace period. During that year that he delays enrollment, assuming he doesn't do anything then to trigger the rule, he hasn't lost anything. The key there is to focus on that summer grace period.

The last one, Andy graduated from high school in December 2000. He joined an AAU team for spring of 2001 and received training and travel expenses. He plans to enroll in the 01 fall semester at a Division II institution. This is the situation where you could get caught. This may happen. It has happened. We've had some questions on this. In this situation, his first opportunity to enroll was spring of 01. He bypassed that, played on this AAU team and received training and travel expenses. He has used a season. He would have to do a year in residence during 01-02. There is some debate on the fact that this doesn't make sense. Just because of when they graduated high school and played is no different than the guy who graduates in May, plays on the AAU team during the summer and receives expenses. The guy that graduated in December plays January, February and March, he gets caught by the rule. They both played three months. They both have the same advantage. One gets caught because of when he graduated. That certainly is a viable issue and one that the Project Team will continue to talk about. The way the legislation is written now, yes, that one guy is subject to the rule. To get that season back, right now, you need to go to ARS. Watch the Management Council reports in the next two or three meetings to see if there is something that addresses that.

You will see something to address competition prior to high school enrollment, but some of these other issues the Project Team will continue to discuss. Ed is on the Project Team. Carol Dunn was planning to be here this morning but had an earlier flight. She is the chair of that Project Team. Are there any other ADs on the Project Team here? Any issues you have that you would like that group to address, e-mail it to any of those people or to me. We'll make sure that any of the issues you've run up against are on the agenda.

We have made a change on the financial aid squad list. It's on this compliance assistance software that, hopefully, will help your compliance folks working with this rule. There's a new column on the squad list that says date of first-time collegiate enrollment, date of first enrollment at your institution. Beside that, we've added a date of high school graduation or date of expected high school graduation. You're going to be able to look on the squad list and see when their expected date of graduation was and when the first date of enrollment was at any collegiate institution. You're going to be able to look at those two columns and tell immediately if they've delayed enrollment. That's one little thing that will be a big help.

The other compliance activity that is going on that you'll see is the international student-athlete form was revised to help you. We only had one eligibility form for international student-athletes. Now, we have a Division II form different from the Division I form. This has incorporated all of the information from Proposal 12. We are also developing a form to help you with domestic student-athletes. That's just a form that's required that you do for internationals. There is no required form for domestic students who may have triggered the rule. Whether that becomes a requirement or not remains to be seen. As a tool, we are going to develop a form to help you use, whether it's required or not.

The other project that is in the works that we hope is done by the fall semester is a pocket guide for your coaches similar to what you have with the recruiting guide that we send you each year. This will be a pocket guide specific to the amateurism rule. Your coaches can stick that in their briefcase and if they have any quick questions about the application of the amateurism, they'll have that as a quick reference guide.

Dick Young

Please help me in thanking Jim Johnson. We appreciate your presence. We will take about a five-minute break and there will be a training seminar following the break.