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

NCAA Division II Breakout Session
Division II ADA Update
Monday, June 11, 9:00 - 9:30 a.m.


Howard Patterson

Good morning. My name is Howard Patterson from the University of Incarnate Word, for now. I would like everyone to introduce him or herself before we begin. Thank you and welcome. We're glad you're all here this morning for a first of a series of information sessions on Division II.

Speaking this morning on our session for Division II ADA Update will be Jim Battle, the director of athletics at Virginia Union University. Jim is also the president of the Division II Athletics Directors Association; and Mike Racy will be giving us an update. Mike, as you know, is our Division II chief of staff with the NCAA. He will be giving us an update on the NCAA legislation.

Jim Battle

Good morning. It's good to see the representatives from Division II. Their representatives will go a long way in determining the continued growth and viability of Division II athletics. When you're involved and your participate and your voices are heard, we can influence what happens in Division II.

First of all, I'd like to re-state the mission and objectives of the Division II ADA Association. The Division II ADA Association is four years old. The purpose of this association is to empower its membership in their roles as athletics directors. The objectives are as follows - provide a collective voice for Division II athletics directors; provide a forum to discuss issues that impact the role of Division II athletics directors; provide helpful information to Division II athletics directors including surveys, newsletters and meetings; provide and recognize a relationship with other athletics directors association and NCAA leadership groups. We encourage all of you to become active in the association. If you know of any other athletics directors not active, we want you to solicit their membership in the association and their active participation.

Some issues on the table of the ADA and, probably the hottest issue, is the pending proposal for five seasons of competition. We know many of you have questions about the pending proposal as a piece of legislation. This morning, we hope to address some of the questions you may have.

Another issue is graduation rate reporting. We have agreed the current format for reporting graduation rates at Division II does not give a true picture of the graduation rate situation in Division II. I received a note just prior to this meeting from Jim Fallis stating that it is recognized that the graduation rate reporting format does not give an accurate picture, but is not likely to change. That's one of the issues that the DII ADA will continue to work toward. We want a better format for reporting graduation rates.

Another is that we want to tackle and move forward on is enhancing the image of Division II athletics and the association. We want to promote continued growth in Division II athletics. There are a number of institutions in the provisionary program that coming online in Division II, so the membership is likely to increase in the near future. That's an issue that will have to be tackled also.

A couple of other issues, and Mike will speak on them this morning, are the sponsorship requirements of the NCAA and minimum financial aid requirements. There are three models that have been recommended and are on review. That is something that will impact athletics operations at all of our institutions. How you see that, your perspective on minimum financial aid requirements at Division II certainly will be important to this association. This association moves to address the issues that are important to Division II athletics directors and Division II athletics programs.

Again, we solicit your input. I will be leaving as the ADA president at the end of this date and Katie will be assuming the role and providing outstanding leadership. We ask for your support in helping Katie move this association forward and to tackle and address the issues that are important to you. If you have any questions about any of the issues, we'll do our best to address them. Thank you.

Mike Racy

I appreciate the opportunity to be before you and give you an update on a couple of issues that have been working through the Division II governance structure as it relates to membership requirements. Before I jump into that, there is a handout for you in the room. I'd like to comment on a couple of things that Jim mentioned that I think are important for this group to know.

One is the graduation rate issue. While it is true the NCAA, for both Division I and Division II, does not anticipate that the federal government will change the reporting requirement it uses to reflect the graduation rates for student-athletes, many of you know that the reporting requirement has you track only scholarship athletes. It penalizes institutions for transfer students away from your campus. It doesn't give you credit for transfers that come into your program. Those requirements will not change. The federal government has stated on many occasions that this is what they believe is the most accurate way to track graduation rates for their purposes. What can change and what the Management Council and the Presidents Council in Division II are working on is an opportunity for a supplemental report. It is an opportunity for both Division I and Division II to supplement the reporting requirements to the federal government to give a more accurate picture of the graduation rates in Division II.

The Management Council and the Presidents Council have authorized the creation of a project team for the study of this issue. I would encourage the Athletics Directors Association to recommend to the Management Council that we have someone from the Division II ADA on that project team so your views can be shared.

I also want to mention another issue, and Jim gets a lot a credit for this, and that is the issue regarding the degree completion scholarship program. This group was very involved in putting together the framework for a scholarship program that could exist in Division II that has been approved. The funding is available for that next spring. Jim has been asked to sit on the selection group that will consider applications for degree completion scholarships. Again, that is a program that this group started and we've seen some results.

The information we provided regarding the membership requirements is an issue that will be debated and discussed by the membership between now and when you gather for the convention in January. It is going to be a topic that interests a lot of presidents, a lot of ADs and will, hopefully, encourage some good debate and discussion if this is the appropriate way for us to deal with some very difficult issues in Division II.

I have couple of background items to describe. Division II is the fastest growing membership division in the NCAA. During the last 20 years, Division II's membership increased more than any other division. In the last five years, Division II's percentage increase has been at 20 percent and it keeps going up. The moratorium last spring, that all three divisions adopted, was an attempt for the divisions to stop membership growth while it analyzes the issue of how big can we get and how fast do we want to get there. Growth is inevitable in all three divisions. All three divisions understand that we will get larger and the moratorium gave all three divisions an opportunity to step back and figure out we can manage that growth once the moratorium is lifted in a way that does not disrupt services, programs, events, activities and benefits that our active institutions currently enjoy.

When the moratorium was implemented, all three divisions went out and established sub-committees or groups for project teams, as we have in Division II, to analyze the issue and to make some recommendations. What you have in your handout are the recommendations that came from the Division II membership growth project team. As I said, the key is to manage future growth in a way that it does not disrupt the benefits that you enjoy as active schools. You do this by making changes to membership requirements and the application procedure for provisional members that has a minimum impact on our current active schools, but creates a level of commitment that provisional schools or schools reclassifying from Division III must demonstrate to satisfy our active schools that those institutions are truly committed to the philosophy and mission principles that we enjoy. The key is to make sure that once the moratorium is lifted, all of the schools wanting to get into Division II are joining for the right reasons.

I've had an opportunity to have some calls with different Division III commissioners. They are not interested in going public with the conferences or institutions they represent, but there is some investigation that is taking place among Division III schools because their membership is so large. It's difficult to access national championships. They do not have an enhancement fund. They don't have some of the conference grant programs that we're rolling out. Some of the Division III conferences are looking at making a move to Division II without changing the model for their intercollegiate program. They want to make the move and continue to operate with the Division III philosophy. Our project team has convinced the Management Council and the Presidents Council that that should not be happening within our division. If schools truly want to join our division, they need to make the same type of commitment that all of you have made to the way you treat collegiate athletics and student-athletes on your campus.

The first page of the information I provided is a summary chart that gives you the membership breakdown for each division. As you see, Division II is the smallest division at 293 schools when compared to Division I's total membership of 321 and Division III's total membership of 423. However, as I mentioned earlier, Division II is the fastest growing membership division and has increased more than 20 percent over the last five years. The summary information you have following that membership breakdown is divided into three sections. The first section on pages one and two provides you with just a snapshot of what is required of institutions currently that want to re-classify or join as a provisional member or form a conference. The information that starts on the middle part of page two and runs to the top of page four provides you an overview of the recommendations that the project team has made and that the Management Council has endorsed and the Presidents Council has agreed to sponsor at next year's convention. The final page is the information regarding how some of these changes impact either potential members that want to join Division II and impact our current active member schools.

If you'll turn to page two, the proposed changes, I'll quickly walk through them. The first three items under provisional membership reference an exploratory period and a new fee. This is a determination by our Membership Committee that a lot of schools have made the jump from NAIA to Division II or Division III and haven't done due diligence or a thorough investigation of what is expected of them as a provisional member or as an active member. We've learned that some of those provisional schools regret their decision, but it's really too late to turn around and go back. They've crossed or burned the bridge with the NAIA and they feel stuck. This exploratory period is an attempt to allow a school to walk over a bridge but not make a commitment that they are going Division II and continue to learn about expectations and requirements. The exploratory period would exist where a school files a notice of intent that they will join Division II as a provisional member one year from when they file that notice of intent. During that year, they are expected to look into Division II membership and make sure it is indeed what they feel is in the best interest in their program and their student-athletes.

Item four references the application fee that is required for provisional membership. Right now, it's $2,500. It will go at least to $5,000. Division III is contemplating a $12,000 application fee based on the value of the education provided to provisional member schools. The Division II Membership Project Team wants to take a look at our application again in July and it may be more than the $5,000 figure you see quoted here.

Items five and six are the most important items that are referenced here that help guarantee that the schools wanting to join the division are committed to Division II and this will help the membership or active schools plan for future growth. We'll know exactly how many schools are wanting to join and plan to join the division each year and that will help us make some long-range plans regarding our budget, championship brackets, strategic plan priorities, enhancement fund and changes that need to take place.

Item five says that before a school is even considered to be a provisional member, that school must walk in and on their application prove they meet the sports sponsorship requirement for Division II and meet a minimum level of commitment to financial aid for student-athletes. Right now, our sports sponsorship requirement is at eight and right now the division has no minimum financial aid requirements for the division. In order to implement that type of a bar that provisionals have to get over, we also have to make some changes to the requirements or expectations for our active member schools. You see that listed on the top of page three.

The project team has recommended and, again, the Presidents Council has agreed to sponsor legislation to increase sports sponsorship requirements in Division II from eight to 10 sports. That can be satisfied by two ways -- five men's sports and five women's sports; or four men's sports and six women's sports. You notice the effective date of this. There's a four-year compliance period for active member schools and, there are about 27 of them, that are not yet at a 10-sport sponsorship rate on the campus. They would have four years to get into compliance.

Here are a couple of other things the Project Team has done to help institutions meet that requirement. Number one, they've agreed that indoor and outdoor track and field can now count as two separate sports. Under our current requirement with eight sports, you can only count indoor and outdoor as one, one male and one female. Now, you can count it as separate, indoor and outdoor track for both male and female student-athletes.

The other change is allowing institutions that sponsor a sport at the Division I level for your male and female athletes to also count that in meeting the minimum sports sponsorship requirement in Division II. Currently, that's not permitted. The current eight sport requirement can only be met by Division II sports.

The minimum financial aid requirement is in item three. Again, new provisionals would have to satisfy this once the moratorium is lifted. Once the moratorium is lifted, anyone wanting to join would have to satisfy this new requirement. For our current provisional schools and our current active members, there is a four-year grace period where you do not have to be in full compliance until August 1, 2005. Even then, there is a waiver opportunity for you to pursue.

That minimum aid requirement can be met in one of three options. Institutions retain autonomy on how you want to meet this financial aid requirement. You can satisfy it by at least awarding 50 percent of the maximum equivalency limit in four sports, counting at least two women's sports. Whatever the maximum equivalency is in a sport, if in four of the sports you sponsor, that you're meeting at least 50 percent of that maximum equivalency, you're able to satisfy this requirement. If you're fully funding men or women's basketball, you're half way there. You've got two of your four sports met. However, if you're fully funding men's and women's basketball, you don't need to worry about option one because you satisfy option two. Option two says award at least 20 total equivalencies with at least 10 in women's sports to meet the minimum financial aid requirement. The third option is an option that will assist a lot of private institutions, that is a total athletics aid contribution during the academic year of $250,000 with at least $125,000 in women's sports. The thing to remember about that requirement, and it's easy for our active members to meet, those institutions that may have problems meeting that now, that's going to be the same dollar figure you're shooting for in August 2005. Let's say you're $20,000 short of that aggregate aid number now, just from inflation and rising costs of education alone, institutions will be able to satisfy that.

These requirements, however, provide the division with a guarantee that if Division III institutions want to join Division II, they are going to come in and no longer try and do it on a non-scholarship model. They are going to adopt a model for intercollegiate sports similar to all of you in this room.

The other requirement to note for active members is the elimination of the scheduling requirements. That goes away, the bookkeeping you need to keep track of on scheduling issues, from compliance standpoint for membership requirements, is eliminated. Many of the sports committees will continue to have minimum scheduling requirements, however, in the factors they consider for national championships selection.

The conference membership information is spelled out at the bottom of page three. I don't have to get into that because I'm fairly confident the conferences that are represented in this room are satisfying those issues. Conferences not meeting them have a couple of years to come into full compliance. New Division II conferences that would come in a provisional process would have to satisfy that right away.

As I indicated, the impact of this change is on pages four and five. The impact of these changes significantly dwindles and reduces the perspective members that can look at Division II as an alternative from either the NAIA or from Division III. There will be institutions that are able to meet these requirements. That's why I'm confident to tell you that growth is inevitable in Division II. It's going to happen and we're going to get bigger. These changes significantly reduce the prospective schools that could even apply for Division II provisional membership. The cap being in place provides us with steady manage growth once those applications start coming in. As you can see on the top of page five, on item two, there are only 27 current active and current provisional schools in Division II that sponsor eight sports, both four men's sports and four women's sports. Of that number, nine are provisional.

On the financial aid rule, there was a survey done of Division II conferences. Sixteen of the 21 conferences responded. There were only three member institutions that would not satisfy at least one component of the new Division II financial aid rule. The goal of the project team to put in some barriers that would help us manage future growth, but have as little, if any, impact on our current active members is achieved by the information that you see on pages four and five.

There are a few individuals that are members of the project team that are in the room today and I'll be happy to entertain any questions you might have and the project team members will also join in.

Howard Patterson

Thank you Mike and Jim. We'll take a break and then start with our second session. Thank you.