The most recent NCAA Convention held last week in Indianapolis was possibly the most important meeting of intercollegiate administrators, presidents, and chancellors since the creation of the NCAA. As has been widely discussed, intercollegiate athletics is evolving and changing and there is clearly a desire for NCAA legislation and practices to do the same. As such, the following matters of importance were addressed and discussed:
1. Stipend: The board delayed implementation of a $2,000.00 stipend, instead opting to ask the working group to make a modified proposal in April.
2. Multi-year Scholarships: The board approved the multi-year scholarship legislation. The rule will now be submitted to the membership for vote in February.
3. Foreign Tours: A ban on foreign tours was rejected.
4. Limitation of Scholarships: The reduction of scholarships in football and women’s basketball was rejected.
5. Definition of Agent: The definition of agent was expanded to include third-party influences (i.e., contract advisors, financial advisors, marketing representatives, and brand managers), including family members, who market student-athletes’ athletics ability for financial gain. The rules include individuals who either directly or indirectly 1) represent or attempt a prospective or current student-athlete in the marketing of his or her athletics ability or reputation for financial gain; or 2) seek to obtain any type of financial gain or benefit from securing a prospect’s enrollment at an institution or a student-athlete’s potential earnings as a professional athlete. This closes the so-called “Cam Newton Loophole,” but it is important to note that parents are not prohibited from marketing a child’s athletics ability as long as it is not for financial gain.
6. Moratorium on Adding Games: The board placed a moratorium, up to 10 years, on adding athletics contests in any sport.
7. Non-Coaching Staff Limits. The board tabled a measure aimed at reducing non-coaching staffs in football and men’s basketball and requested a stronger proposal in April.
8. Changes to Enforcement. Multiple thoughts and plans were discussed relating to changes to the enforcement process. Some of the changes are as follows:
a. Infractions would be categorized as egregious, serious, solid secondary, and technical.
b. Institutions and coaches could face more serious charges and penalties for aggravated circumstances such as repeat violations. However, mitigating factors could be institutional control, self-reporting, and self-discovery.
c. The infractions committee could add members to 18 or more from 10, which would allow panels to meet more often. Additional members may include presidents, athletics directors, and coaches.