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

NCAA Division II Breakout Session
Deregulation of Bylaw 17 - Playing and Practice Seasons
Monday, June 11, 11:00 - 11:50 a.m.


Jim Fallis

Those of you who were at the last session know that I'm Jim Fallis. I'm the director of athletics at the University of North Colorado and a member of the NACDA Executive Committee. Before we begin, we'd like to recognize Southwest Recreational Industries, again, for their audio-visual sponsorship. Our session this morning is entitled Deregulation of Bylaw 17 - Playing and Practice Seasons. As you know, as we go through the dereg process, we've taken a piece of the manual year-by-year and this year, the big one is Bylaw 17. Speaking with us today is Jim Johnson, a Division II membership services representative from the NCAA. Jim is going to let you know where we are here and what you're likely to see in terms of legislation in January. Without further ado, Jim.

Jim Johnson

Thanks Jim. We do have a couple of handouts going around. As Jim said earlier, we hoped to have some audio-visual here in the room. As we always start with any presentation we do as a staff on deregulation, we make sure everybody is up to speed on what the objectives of the deregulation projects are and that has driven this project since day one. Those objectives are on the third slide on your first page. In any proposal, whether it was Bylaw 11 and 13 or 15, or what you will see this year with playing and practice seasons, you can almost tie every proposal to one of these objectives. That's what the Legislation Committee has tried to do. Any concept they've developed, they tried to make sure it fit one of those objectives, either by just simplifying our legislation so that it's easier to understand and easier to apply or to simplify the monitoring activities you and your staff have to do on your campus on a daily basis. We can do it to simplify our manual, reduce the amount of legislation in the manual. We have and you've seen this in the rationale statement of previous proposals, a lot of legislation in the manual was adopted prior to federation by a paddle vote. It was really driven by Division I but ended up in our manual in Division II. Part of the process is to weed out some of that legislation that isn't necessary in Division II.

You guys always get this at a good point of time of the year. You get it in June when there is still a meeting left of the Legislation Committee at the end of July as well as the July Management Council and Presidents Council. You certainly have the opportunity to provide feedback to the Legislation Committee and they still have time to make adjustments in these proposals before the Presidents Council makes the final decision. If you e-mail that to me at the national office or get it to one of the members of the Legislation Committee, I can assure you that when they meet in July, they will review anything you send to them.

With that being said, this year we're moving with Bylaw 17. We had a summit on Bylaw 17 deregulation about a year ago. It was our biggest summit of the three that we'd had at that point. We did include coaches from every Division II sport, with the exception of a couple where we had people lined up who had to cancel at the last minute. We did have a coach there from any sport we offer in Division II championships. We also had the entire Student-Athlete Advisory Committee there as opposed to the two previous years when we just had two of their representatives. In addition to that, we continued with our regular participation by a representative from your group, from the Division II Commissioners and from NACWAA and the Division II Compliance Coordinators. It's a good exercise and that is what gets the committee started on developing proposals. They meet again the following November and put forth the first draft of their concepts.

This year was a little different. Bylaw 17 was a little harder to do. For no other reason, once you develop a concept in Bylaw 17, you have 27 different sections of the manual where you want to catch everything. We haven't had to deal with this in recruiting and financial aid. Some things you saw in the November legislation committee report and what you see this morning, you may see a few things a little different. Those are just some clean-up issues that have taken place during that period.

We have fewer proposals in Bylaw 17 than what we've had the past two years, but that's just the nature of what we're dealing with. The committee will tell you when they sat down with Bylaw 17, they didn't really see that there was that much legislatively that needed to be changed. The few changes that are being made affect a lot of people and a lot of different rules and a lot of different bylaws. It's more volume than anything this time as opposed to the actual number of proposals.

Let me give you a quick run through on the eight proposals. Before we go through these eight, there is a ninth concept. It really doesn't change any legislation, but it's a ninth concept as part of this package that we would take all of the legislation in Bylaw 17 that applies to emerging sports for women. We would move that to the Division II web site. All the legislation would still be in place. Nothing would change. It would just be taken out of the manual and reduce the size of the manual by about 30 pages. It would essentially create a playing and practice handbook for emerging sports for women.

Out of our five emerging sports for women right now we only have five Division II institutions that sponsor one of those five sports. To take up a big chunk of our manual, it seemed to make more sense just to put that on the web site, making it accessible for those people who need it. That's the ninth concept.

The intent statement for the proposal in on the slide. In some cases, there's another piece of information that may be relative to that proposal. On another handout, you'll see the rationale for the proposal and the proposal numbers do match up, so hopefully, it's fairly easy to follow.

Proposal One is to redefine what you consider accountable athletically related activity. As you've looked through those pages in the manual and tried to figure out what you're doing, where does it fit, is it on the list, can we do it, is it part of the 20 hours or not? The concept was to make an all-inclusive definition of what accountable activity is. If that's happening, it counts toward your 20 hours per week. There's no longer a laundry list, if you will, of activities. I can tell you that list is not all-inclusive. We get questions on a daily basis about activities that are not on that list.

There is one typo error on this handout you do need to know about. Look at the second slide and what the actual draft would look like. There is some language that is stricken through that should not be. That starts about halfway through that says any meeting activity or instruction involving sports-related information will still be there. That should not have a stripe through it. Basically, the definition of accountable activity would be accountable athletically-related activities, including any meeting activity or instruction involving sports-related information and/or having any athletics purpose held at the direction of the coaching staff. This would count toward your 20 hours. That's where they are trying to get to. That doesn't count study hall. We still have eight hours out of season that's weight training, conditioning, skill instruction. This relates to what would be included in your 20 hours a week and does away with that laundry list. Hopefully, it will make it a little easier to say what counts toward the 20 hours.

Proposal Two is to eliminate the requirement that skill instruction be requested while remaining voluntary. This may be, to some of you, a play on words. We heard from the student-athletes at the summit that it's voluntary, but our institution is not doing anything to track whether we request it or not. There's no sign-up sheet; there's no documentation. We go on compliance reviews and ask what type of form are you using to document skill instruction? There is nothing. Ninety percent of our institutions do not do that. If we're not doing it, again, back to the objective of why are we requiring that if it's not happening or not necessary. That's what this proposal does. You have to have some kind of sign-up sheet. The coach has to circulate a sheet, something. That doesn't mean that skill instruction cannot be voluntary. It is still voluntary and it's up to you to monitor whether it is voluntary and how that is structured. This would just remove the fact that there's required documentation as far a student actually requesting a skill instruction.

Proposal Three is pretty simple. It takes the 20-hour rule and says that for a multiple sport athletes you have 20 hours a week, not 20 hours per sport. Right now, theoretically, multiple sport athletes can do 20 hours in each sport they participate in. Student-athletes didn't feel like this was being violated. They didn't feel like they were being taken advantage of and, for the most part, if they were bridging over from volleyball to basketball season, they weren't expected to do 40 hours a week. In some cases, they would exceed 20 hours. Again, the intent of it was 20 hours a week. The rest of the time is set aside for academics and other activities. Let's just make it a 20-hour per week rule and not worry about how many sports you're playing. The simple change is that it's just 20 hours per week for each student-athlete period, regardless of how many sports they are involved in.

Proposal Four got a lot of discussion, especially with the coaches' groups, including basketball coaches. The proposal did go forward and it wasn't that the basketball coaches were opposed to it, they just wanted to make sure what the concept meant. Basically, this concept means that if you're having a scrimmage, that you treat it like practice. No more than four hours a day. Right now, our legislation allows you to have a scrimmage and treat it like a contest, meaning regardless of how long it lasts, you log it in as three hours of your 20 hours for that week. There is some concern, especially in the sport of basketball, there are a lot of all-day scrimmages going on taking up the entire day of the student-athlete's time and facilities, etc. It's only counting as three hours. So, this proposal said if we're going to exempt scrimmages from the total number of contests you can play and we're going to treat them like practice, then let's count them as practice. That would mean that for the actual duration of the event, but as you know, you can't be involved in more than four hours of activities per day anyway. There is a built-in limit of four hours with this proposal.

Proposal Five is one of those Division I rules that made it into our manual several years ago. The rationale for Proposal Five gives you all of the information you need on this one. Right now, like Division I, we have a prohibition against off-campus inter-squad scrimmages during a preseason practice period. This proposal would simply eliminate that. If, for fund raising or public relations, you want to do an inter-squad scrimmage somewhere in the local community off campus, you could do that. Basketball coaches really like that.

Proposal Six was one of those that took a while to figure out how to draft. This was one that you had to go through each of the 27 sections in Bylaw 17 and make sure that we caught everything. The Legislation Committee is trying to make your list of annual exemptions simpler to get to and understand and make it more consistent for all sports. You would see, if this proposal was adopted in your manual, just two lists of exemptions. Those list would apply to all sports. One list would be automatic exemptions and the second, discretionary exemptions. Automatic exemptions would be like NCAA or NAIA championships. Those things that you typically do on an annual basis would not count against you. Conference tournaments would also be on that list, even for basketball. Written into this proposal would be eliminating counting your conference tournament in basketball as one of your 27 games. That exists currently for basketball and not anything else. It would create those two all-inclusive lists. The automatic exemptions would be things we mentioned. The discretionary exemptions would be things like scrimmages, games against foreign teams. That list would not apply to football. That's one of the changes that was made in that interim period between meetings. We realized we didn't want football to have three additional exempted contests per year. They still have the spring game, they would still use the automatic exemptions for postseason play. The discretionary lists would apply to all sports except football.

They tried to come up with a number that was fair for everybody. That's one more than basketball allows now, but it's less than some other sports. For example, in soccer you have to count scrimmages as two of your 20. This would allow you to not worry about doing that anymore. The number they came up with was three. Whether that number is right or wrong, you can give us any input. The number is three discretionary exemptions per sport per year.

We just have those two lists. It eliminates a larger percentage of Bylaw 17. We would put these two lists right in the front of Bylaw 17 in the general regulation section. It would eliminate the exemption list that exists now in every single sport.

Proposal Seven was added to this package at the April Presidents Council meeting. You may not have seen this. Proposal Seven is to eliminate the prohibition against the Sunday practice during spring football. If you want to use one of your 15 days, that should be an institutional decision. That's a pretty simple one.

Then we get to Proposal Eight. Again, nine concepts in the package. One, not legislative in nature but that emerging sports issue, and then eight legislative proposals. No question, number eight is the big one. This is one in which they would welcome your input. I can tell you this is not just a fly-by-night proposal. They have spent hours and hours trying to come up with a model that works for everybody. The easiest thing to do is to look at the chart that's on the back of the rationale packet. It's on both handouts. You'll see this doesn't apply to winter sports. With the concepts they were trying to develop, it just didn't work for winter sports. Because of that, it also didn't work for indoor and outdoor track since indoor track is a winter sport. Right now everything in Bylaw 17 in the track section applies to both indoor and outdoor. In order to make this applicable to outdoor, but not indoor, we're going to have to write a whole new section of Bylaw 17 for indoor track. There were no changes made to basketball, ice hockey and other winter sports and no changes to outdoor or indoor track. This doesn't change any sport in which the only championship is a national collegiate championship. It only applies to championships where we have Division II divisional championships. It didn't seem fair for Division II to have a different set of rules than Division I when you're vying for spots in the championships against those Division I schools. They left those alone. They left alone the winter sports and indoor and outdoor track. They also left alone the emerging sports for women.

That leaves you with fall and spring sports, listed at the top of the chart. This was one of those proposals to try to simplify legislation, do away with having to worry about segments and whether you had more than one segment break and when you decided when those segments were. Do away with counting back on practice opportunities and making sure everybody was counting those the same way and starting on the right date. Do away with several different start dates, several different end dates. They used football as a model and said let's have rules when you're in season and let's have an out-of-season practice period. We won't worry about the number of weeks. There is just a start date, an end date and when you're out of season, just a window of opportunity for the number of days you can have your out of season. You have your window of opportunity and then you have a specific number of days within that window.

There are some good things. I know there are some things you're skeptical about and the committee is aware of that. The number one thing they have heard is the amount of time for out of season practices, especially in spring sports like golf and tennis. All I can tell you is that this number is bigger than when they started. They spent three hours for golf alone. Although some of you may still think it doesn't because there is not a lot of time there, without a doubt, the Presidents Council and other groups within the governance structure would vote for a proposal to eliminate out of season practice, period. This is somewhat of a negotiation before the fact, before it happens. You may be cutting back out-of-season practice a little bit, but that certainly is better than where we may end up in three or four years by not having out-of-season practice or competition.

There was a proposal to limit the number of dates in out-of-season for competition. That was eliminated totally. There just wasn't a number that worked for everybody. The number that worked for golf did not work for baseball. The number that worked for softball did not work for tennis. That was eliminated. Those haven't changed. You still have the same number of out-of-season dates that you have now. If this is adopted, that would not change.

I'm sure there are some questions on Proposal Eight. We can take some comments back to the committees. If you have any ideas, they would also be welcome.

Jim Fallis

Jim, I want to thank you. Before we leave, I also want to thank Mike and the NCAA staff for attending. Those guys are very helpful. Mike will be speaking again tomorrow. I'd like to thank everybody for coming and have a good day.