NCAA to I-A Members: Put Up or Shut Up
In a move that has the potential to shake up the landscape of college
football, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors has given its final
approval to new legislation which will force many programs to either pony up
or step down.
The board finalized new minimum standards for Division I-A membership
that will go into effect August 1, 2004.
Higher thresholds will be required in the number of scholarships granted,
the number of sports sponsored, the number of home games required against
other I-A opponents and the actual number of warm, paying bodies in the
seats for those home games.
East Carolina appears positioned to leap the new hurdles with room to
spare, but many institutions will have to light a financial fire under
boosters, attract more fans to home games and make significant changes in
their scheduling philosophies in order to cut the mustard.
The new criteria for Division I-A membership, as outlined in an NCAA news
release, specifies the following minimum standards:
- Provide an average of at least 90 percent of the permissible maximum
number of football grants-in-aid per year over a rolling two-year period
(76.5 is 90 percent of the current 85 grants-in-aid limit in football).
- Annually participate in a minimum of five regular-season home contests
against Division I-A opponents.
- Sponsor a minimum of 16 varsity sports, with a minimum of six varsity
sports for men and a minimum of eight varsity sports for women.
- Annually offer a minimum of 200 athletics grants-in-aid or expend at
least $4 million on athletics grants-in-aid to student-athletes. Service
academies are exempt from the financial aid regulations.
- Annually demonstrate an average actual attendance of 15,000 for all
"The recommendations for Division I-A criteria were developed by groups
within our structure who are most familiar with football," said William
"Brit" Kirwin, president of Ohio State University and chairman of the board.
"The legislation provides clarity to the commitment necessary to be
classified as a I-A institution," Kirwin noted.
Additional rules in the hopper, if finalized, may rock the current
conference alignment structure to its foundations. Proposed legislation
which would go into effect August 1, 2005, would require that any conference
classified as I-A must be comprised of at least eight Division I-A members
that satisfy all I-A requirements.
NCAA also active on other legislation
The board took final action on some pieces of a long-debated amateurism
legislative package for prospects, but tabled one proposal until the
Division I Management Council completes further review.
The Board adopted proposals that will allow prospects to enter a draft
and be drafted, accept prize money based on place finish when the prize
money does not exceed actual and necessary expenses, and receive educational
expenses to attend a high school or preparatory school if the funds are
disbursed by the school and not provided by an agent, athletics
representative or professional team.
Members also approved a new definition of a professional team, which
states that a professional team is one that provides any of its players with
more than actual and necessary expenses or declares itself as professional.
These new bylaws become effective August 1, 2002.
S&C coaching rules relaxed; Moratorium on bowls
lifted; 6-6 OK
In other action, the Division I board of directors:
- Finalized action to establish requirements for new members that join
Division I or for current NCAA members to reclassify to Division I. The
Board also acted to lift the current membership moratorium in Division I,
effective May 1.
- Approved emergency legislation for the summer of 2002 that addresses
health and safety issues related to out-of-season conditioning activities
for prospective football student-athletes. Strength and conditioning
coaches with department-wide duties will be permitted to conduct voluntary
workouts on campus for prospective student-athletes who have signed
national letters of intent (or for those institutions that do not
subscribe to the national letter of intent, those who have signed offers
of admission or financial aid). Currently, strength and conditioning
coaches can supervise those workouts but are not allowed to conduct them,
as they can with currently-enrolled football student-athletes. In
addition, institutions may finance medical expenses for those prospects
who sustain injuries while participating in the summer voluntary workouts
conducted by the strength coach.
- Finalized a proposal that will permit a Division I-A football team
with a record of 6-6 to be bowl eligible for the 2002-03 season.
- Approved a proposal that lifts a moratorium that was to extend through
the 2002-03 season on the number of postseason bowl games that are
permitted in Division I-A. The maximum during the moratorium was 26.
- Approved recommendations from the Division I budget committee for
2002-03 championships initiatives. Those initiatives include expansion of
the women's softball championship to 64 teams; expansion of the men's ice
hockey championship to 16 teams, expansion of the men's lacrosse
championship to 16 teams, and establishment of predetermined sites for the
first and second rounds of the women's basketball championship.
[ This report includes information from an NCAA news
02/23/07 01:37:19 AM----