NCAA News Archive - 2000

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Football Issues Committee reviews legislative proposals

Mar 27, 2000 11:43:50 AM

The NCAA News

The Division I Football Issues Committee reviewed several current legislative proposals and put the finishing touches on a new football recruiting calendar during its February 7-8 meeting in Dallas.

The committee reviewed three legislative proposals currently in the legislative cycle, including one that would rescind legislation passed last year allowing for a 12th regular-season game in years when there are 14 Saturdays from the first permissible playing date through the last playing date in November.

The committee did not support the proposal to rescind the legislation, noting that the 12-game legislation (along with the elimination of exempted contests after 2002), which the football issues committee supported when it was proposed, was designed to address the proliferation of exempted events and the resulting loss of revenue. The committee also noted that the 12-game seasons would occur only six times during a 20-year period.

The group also reviewed Proposal No. 2000-15, which would permit football student-athletes to view up to two hours of film per week as part of the permissible eight hours of required weight training and conditioning activities during the academic year outside of the playing season. However, the committee noted that Proposal No. 99-112 regarding skill instruction in Divisions I-A and I-AA football was still under consideration by the Division I Management Council (the Council tabled the proposal in October and will consider it again in April) and has been supported by the football issues committee. Accordingly, the committee deferred action on Proposal No. 2000-15 until the Council makes its final decision on Proposal No. 99-112.

A third proposal, No. 2000-07, which would permit a one-time transfer from a Division I-AA institution that offers athletically related aid to an institution that does not offer athletically related aid, was not supported by the Division I-AA members of the football issues committee.

As for the newly created recruiting calendar, the committee made some final adjustments in preparation for the calendar's debut August 1, 2000. The new calendar, which the committee calls a more streamlined, efficient and cost-effective recruiting model, will be implemented after two years of study and review by the committee and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).

Some of the benefits of the new calendar include full-week segments rather than partial-week segments for contact periods, more non-contact time during the holidays and a reduction in the total number of days allowed for recruiting.

One bit of fine-tuning remains regarding evaluation periods in the spring, however. The AFCA has asked for clarification regarding whether the academic and athletics evaluation could be conducted during the same visit, and if so, whether that would be counted as two evaluations. The football issues committee has forwarded this request to the Division I Management Council's Administrative Committee for an official interpretation, which is expected to be issued this spring.

Committee role

The group also spent much of its meeting discussing its mission and purpose. Committee members noted that since the group's inception in 1997, the committee has been instrumental in moving several important legislative changes through the structure, including the passage of the six-win rule in Division I-A, off-campus contacts and evaluations for head coaches, the addition of a 12th regular-season game in certain years and the new recruiting calendar.

The committee also noted its viable role as a liaison between the AFCA and the NCAA governance structure.

The committee also discussed several future issues in which it will play a valuable role, including skill-instruction legislation, and legislation that might be proposed regarding the "20-hour" rule and voluntary summer workouts. In addition, the committee discussed its role in ongoing marketing efforts for college football, postseason contests and increased representation within the governance structure.

In another action, the committee dealt with an emerging issue regarding Division I-AA football. The group was informed that three Division I-AA conferences are considering the possibility of establishing a second tier of Division I football that would group institutions of like programs in a marketing effort that would result in postseason opportunities other than the Division I-AA Football Championship.

Related to this issue is the committee's concern with the migration of Division I-AA programs to Division I-A. The committee noted that the Management Council had appointed a membership subcommittee, chaired by Greg Sankey, who also chairs the Division I-AA Football Governance Committee, to study several membership-related issues, including movement among Division I schools. Accordingly, the football issues committee appointed a six-member subcommittee to study similar issues. That group will review these issues and make necessary recommendations at the full committee's June meeting.

Other highlights

Division I Football Issues Committee
February 7-8/Dallas

* Noted that during its January meeting, the Division I Board of Directors had directed NCAA President Cedric W. Dempsey to continue to discuss a written proposal he had received from an external entity regarding a Division I-A postseason football opportunity administered by the NCAA. Further, the Board directed Dempsey to keep it informed of the status of these discussions and related issues.

* Reviewed proposed legislation regarding Division I basketball, specifically a proposal regarding summer financial aid to entering college students during the summer term before enrollment. The committee discussed the proposal from the perspective of whether it should apply to all sports.

* Supported proposed legislation to permit strength and conditioning coaches who perform department-wide duties to design and conduct voluntary workout programs for student-athletes, both within the academic year and during the summer, without such workouts being considered as a countable athletically related activity.

* Reviewed television ratings and attendance figures for the 1999-00 bowl games and noted that four Bowl Championship Series games had received a 4.8 percent increase in ratings from the previous year. In addition, four bowl games were sellouts and 13 others had increased attendance figures from the previous year.

* Met with Dave Parry, supervisor of officials for the Big Ten Conference, and discussed issues related to the college football officiating program.

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