A Different Kind of NCAA Action

January 9, 2007

As the National Collegiate Athletic Association finished its annual convention Monday, supporters of a plan that would have required colleges to create campus athletic boards suffered a setback.

The proposal, initiated by the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics, a faculty group, was defeated by the Division I Management Council over the weekend. The coalition intended for the boards to set athletics policies on their campuses, but the council was concerned about the accountability of such boards and the one-size-fits-all prescription.

In other action, the Division I Board of Directors passed legislation that allows institutions to pay expenses related to a student's participation in one national team tryout per academic year.

The NCAA finalized plans to place long-term sanctions on Division I programs that regularly don’t meet academic standards. The “historical” penalties, measured by a college’s Academic Performance Rate score, will include postseason bans and practice limitations.

Division II passed a similar measure. And division leaders scored a victory as a major component of a recently announced re-branding campaign passed the final step on Monday. As a result, students and staff members can now make contact with recruits during activities considered to be "community outreach." The final vote was nearly unanimous, but Charles Ambrose, chair of the Division II Presidents Council, said "caution was raised because this is a significant decision." 

In Division III, more than 75 percent of its members supported a proposal to limit acceptance of new members and to hold current members more accountable to division standards. A proposal to limit the use of male practice players in women’s sports was referred to the Division III Management Council for further study.

NCAA officials also voted for the first time to allow Canadian colleges and universities to join the association. Two Canadian institutions -- the University of British Columbia and St. Clair College, in Windsor, Ont., have inquired about becoming members.

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