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Archive for September 18th, 2020

College AD Nightcap News for Friday, September 18, 2020

Fri, Sep 18, 2020

Big East Looking at Mid-December Start for Basketball with Conference Games At Campus Sites

“We are considering a bubble but it’s [one of] a number of considerations right now. We have different sites that are possibilities. It’s an option but I don’t think it’s an option that we’re leaning towards.” - Jay Wright, Villanova Head Basketball Coach

The Big East Conference is targeting a mid-December start with 20 conference games per team at campus locations, a league source told Forbes.

The NCAA announced Wednesday that the college basketball season will begin Nov. 25 instead of Nov. 10 due to the pandemic, meaning that Big East teams would have a couple of weeks to play non-conference games before the season begins in mid-December.

“We had a [Big East] conference call at 8 o’clock [Thursday] morning and we’re trying to first put together our conference schedule given these new parameters,” Wright said. “We’re working on that, we have another conference call [Friday]. And once we put together our conference schedule, then we can see how does that overlay on the old non-conference schedule.”

Wright said there had been discussions about having “a portion” of Big East games in a bubble situation, but that the conference was not leaning that way. The Big East league source added that it was “not very” likely that games would be played in a bubble.

The Big East source said games would be played at normal campus and pro sites “with normal 24-hour charter travel” for games. With UConn returning to the Big East this season, the conference will play a 20-game schedule, playing each opponent twice. The league source said that would “probably” still happen.

“We’re all scrambling and trying to figure out the schedule,” Wright said.

and now on to the day’s news…

The Day’s News


  • The 2020 Maui Invitational is moving to North Carolina, sources told ESPN. The college basketball tournament will be held at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in Asheville, North Carolina, from Nov. 30-Dec. 2, sources told ESPN.
  • The field is still expected to include Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV. An official announcement is expected soon.
  • The Maui Invitational is normally held in Hawaii the Monday through Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It was relocated this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and rescheduled due to the NCAA deciding to start the season on Nov. 25. The tournament will be hosted at the ExploreAsheville.com Arena, where the Southern Conference tournament was played in March.

Iowa Will Not Revisit Sports Cuts Despite Return of Football

  • The University of Iowa says the Big Ten’s decision to have a fall football season will not impact its decision to eliminate four sports programs. Athletic Director Gary Barta last month announced the elimination of men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis, and men’s gymnastics. He said the cuts were “100% driven by” the coronavirus pandemic, which caused the postponement of football for safety reasons and tens of millions in lost revenue.
  • On Wednesday, the Big Ten announced that Iowa and the other teams in the conference would have a fall football season beginning in late October. Within hours, alumni of the Hawkeye programs that were cut held a news conference to again call for their reinstatement.
  • On Wednesday night, Iowa’s athletics department issued a statement rejecting that call. The department said that football’s return will cause increased costs for coronavirus testing and other safety protocols and that any remaining revenue will be used to help finance its operations.
  • Former University of Tulsa athletic director Rick Dickson has been tabbed to run the athletic department on an interim basis, the university announced Friday.
  • A Tulsa native and a TU graduate, Dickson was the Hurricane’s athletic director in 1990-94 before leading athletic departments at Washington State (1994-2000) and Tulane (2000-15). He fills a vacancy created by the departure of Derrick Gragg, whose final day was Thursday.
  • Bowling Green State University’s athletic director and football coach have taken pay cuts due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Athletic Director Bob Moosbrugger, effective Sept. 1, will reduce his gross monthly pay from $22,950 by 20% to $18,360 for the remaining Fiscal Year 2020 only.
  • If university furloughs or other salary reductions are mandated for intercollegiate athletics during FY 2021, Moosbrugger’s salary reduction will be equal to the salary reduction of furloughed employees of his classification and salary level, whichever reduction is greater.
  • Scott Dolson will earn a base salary of $480,000 as Indiana’s athletic director and vice president, according to the terms of his appointment letter obtained via a record request.
  • Dolson will also earn a yearly deferred compensation beginning next year. He’ll earn $75,000 in each of the following two years, $100,000 in 2023 and $125,000 in each of the two years after that.
  • While the deferred compensation terms offer a five-year timeline, Dolson’s appointment does not have a set length — similar to his predecessor, Fred Glass.
  • In documents released this week before the Big Ten Conference announced plans for a shortened football season, Iowa projected a loss of nearly $97.9 million in income compared to a year ago.
  • Iowa State, which began a 10-game football season with no fans in the stands last weekend, anticipates a revenue decline of $41.6 million and Northern Iowa, expecting to play four home football games next spring, is budgeting for a revenue decrease of just over $625,000.
  • Iowa director of athletics Gary Barta said on Aug. 24 that the program he oversees anticipates seeking a loan of around $75 million to counter what he has budgeted to be a shortfall of $74,751,566 in its athletic budget for the current fiscal year.
  • Barta said Thursday television and radio broadcast income from the nine-game schedule Big Ten officials announced a day earlier will provide Iowa with additional revenue.
  • The Pac-12 Conference has not announced a return to football yet, but commissioner Larry Scott is optimistic and so are the Colorado Buffaloes.
  • On Friday morning, Scott was a guest on the Dan Patrick Show and said, “At this stage, it’s promising,” that the conference would bring football back this fall, despite continued challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Scott is set to meet with the Pac-12 school presidents and chancellors this afternoon, although there may not be a resolution Friday.
  • With the first Southeastern Conference’s football games just over a week away, the conference office announced policies and parameters for cancellations, rescheduling games, and no-contest declarations for the 2020 season.
  • In order to play a game at least 53 scholarship players available to participate and the following minimum number of position scholarship players available to begin a game: seven offensive linemen (which includes one center), one quarterback, and four defensive linemen.
  • In addition, should an institution determine there are compelling reasons why it cannot begin a contest regardless of the scholarship and position minimums above, the institution may request to have the game rescheduled or if the game cannot be rescheduled, for the game to be considered a no-contest by presenting data (including total number of players not available to participate) outlining reasons why the game should not be played as scheduled
  • Penn State’s athletic department added nearly $2.4 million to its reserve fund this year, a helpful measure as it faces budget constraints due to COVID-19. Athletic Director Sandy Barbour told the Board of Trustees’ Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning on Thursday that the department ended fiscal year 2019-20 with a reserve fund of $15.7 million. That represents a 17.5 percent increase over the previous year.
  • Barbour said the reserve would help Penn State budget for projected losses based on the shutdowns of the spring and fall seasons. Barbour has said that the athletic department could face a $100 million revenue loss without a 2020 football season.
  • It’s unclear how the Big Ten’s planned football restart will affect those projections.
  • Penn State’s athletic department reported revenues of $164.6 million in fiscal year 19-20, which ran from July-June. Barbour said the revenue total was $3 million lower than projected. The department also reported $158.3 million in expenses for a year-end surplus of about $6.3 million.
  • The Pac-12 university presidents and chancellors will meet Friday and be presented options for staging a fall football season, but Commissioner Larry Scott says a vote by the CEO Group is not expected.
  • A day after the Big Ten changed course from its decision to postpone fall sports because of the pandemic and set a late October start for football, the Pac-12 appeared headed toward a similar move.
  • The Pac-12′s medical concerns about playing through the pandemic have been eased by the conference earlier this month securing rapid, daily COVID-19 testing for all its schools. This week brought more good news.
  • There is still work to be done with health officials, but things are moving quickly enough that the Pac-12 is hopeful it could start a season that allows its teams to compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Baylor Season Opener Postponed for Third Time

  • Baylor’s newest opener against Houston at McLane Stadium has been postponed because of COVID-19 concerns, the two schools announced Friday.
  • A source familiar with the discussions indicated that Baylor had a position group unexpectedly fall under the minimum threshold required by the Big 12 to play. SicEm365 reported that contact tracing played a key role in the decision to postpone the game.
  • Previously, Baylor had seen openers against Ole Miss (in Houston) and Louisiana Tech bite the dust.
  • FAU Athletics has announced that the football program’s first game of the season on the road against Georgia Southern, which was scheduled for this Saturday, has been postponed.
  • According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, the Owls received more positive tests this morning and had an entire position group unavailable to play.
  • Both FAU and Georgia Southern are working to find a date to play later this season, per the statement given from FAU Athletics.
  • Wagner College Director of Athletics Walt Hameline announced the addition of men’s swimming & diving as Wagner’s 26th intercollegiate sport on Wednesday.
  • In a corresponding move, current women’s swimming & diving head coach Colin Shannahan will take over the head coaching duties for the newly formed program.
  • The Seahawks’ men’s swimming & diving program will begin competition in the 2021-22 season as a member of the Northeast Conference (NEC). The NEC announced on September 8th the addition of men’s swimming & diving as a league sponsored sport beginning this academic year. The program will be Wagner’s 11th men’s varsity sport.
  • A two-time NEC Coach of the Year, Shannahan guided the Seahawks to the 2014 NEC Championship and four NEC sportsmanship awards, as voted on by fellow NEC coaches and competitors.

Brown, Attorneys Reach Settlement Over Dropped Women’s Sports

  • Brown University and attorneys for student-athletes who challenged the Ivy League school’s decision to reduce several women’s varsity sports teams to club status announced a proposed settlement Thursday.
  • In addition to restoring the women’s equestrian and women’s fencing teams to varsity status, the sides also said that a 1998 legal agreement ensuring gender equity in varsity sports at Brown would end on Aug. 31, 2024. The school would still be subject to the federal Title IX law requiring equal opportunities for women in sports.
  • Until that date, the Providence, Rhode Island, school will continue to comply with the 1998 agreement’s maximum 2.25% difference between the percentage of female varsity athletes and full-time female undergraduates, will not reduce the status of or eliminate any women’s varsity teams, and will not add any new men’s varsity teams, the sides said in a joint statement.

Nearly 12 Percent of MSU Student-Athletes Test Positive for COVID-19

  • According to MSU’s athletic department, 400 COVID-19 tests were given to student-athletes and staff between Sept 7 and 14.
  • 45 of the 376 students tested positive, about 11.9 percent. 24 staff members were also tested, and one had a positive result.
  • Department officials said those with positive results have daily check ins with athletic training staff and remain in isolation. Additional medical services are given if needed.
  • Citing “disappointing behaviors by some,” the University of Oklahoma has announced changes to student seating at future home games.
  • When the Sooners take the field on Sept. 26 for their Big 12 Conference opener against Kansas State, OU will issue “explicit designation of seating sections on student tickets to eliminate any previous confusion about the proper location for student attendees,” according to an athletic department press release on Friday.
  • OU also will have “clearer concourse signage at the entry ramps for the student sections; establishment of student seating clusters in groups of 2 to 10; and clearly delineated prohibited seating sections marked by flagging tape.”
  • The University of Tennessee Foundation has announced the hiring of Julius McNair, who will fill the role of UT Martin’s assistant athletic director for development.
  • McNair is no stranger to Skyhawk Athletics as the 2013 alum spent a decade at UT Martin as a student-athlete and an assistant football coach. He played on the Skyhawk football squad from 2008-12 before transitioning into an administrative role on the coaching staff for five seasons.
  • In commemoration of a four-decade long friendship, UNLV Athletics and Findlay Automotive have entered into a multi-year, philanthropic partnership dedicated to student-athlete success.
  • The commitment will also boost the newly formed Runnin’ Rebel Basketball Legacy Campaign, which is dedicated to the re-emergence of UNLV men’s basketball as one of the nation’s elite programs. Launched in the fall of 2019, the campaign is highlighted by an endowment that is now close to $4 million.
  • The Momentum Fund Campaign is also a focal point, with a percentage of the funding to provide essential scholarships to deserving student-athletes demonstrating need.
  • The gift from Findlay Automotive and the Findlay family comes at an especially strategic time for UNLV Athletics, as the department works to overcome the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Loyola University Maryland announced a long-term partnership with LifeBridge Health, where the health system will serve as the Official Healthcare Provider of the Greyhounds.
  • Under the partnership, which was secured by Van Wagner, the multimedia rights holder for the Greyhounds, LifeBridge Health will oversee care for Loyola’s 18 NCAA Division I sports teams.
  • LifeBridge Health and Loyola are working together to address the changing needs of student-athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic, including supporting the Greyhounds as Loyola student-athletes return to workouts and competition.
  • The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced on Thursday that Letty Hernandez, who has worked with the department since 2008, has been promoted to Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Services.
  • Hernandez initially started as a University advisor assisting Athletics programs before transitioning full-time to UTRGV Athletics in 2016. She manages the department’s tutoring program for student-athletes and has enhanced the program over the last year with virtual tutoring.
  • Hernandez was a key part in helping to guide student-athletes through the transition to virtual learning, helping them to achieve what is believed to be a department record 3.38 cumulative grade point average (GPA).
  • UCLA Athletics has announced a multi-year partnership with Ready® Nutrition, one of the fastest growing sports nutrition companies in America. As the Official Protein of UCLA Athletics, Ready® will be the exclusive provider of protein products to nearly 700 student-athletes in all 25 Bruin sports.
  • Those products will include Ready’s all-natural, complete line of performance products including their well-known Ready® Protein Water, Bars, Powder and Plant-Based Functional Snacks.
  • UCLA Director of Football Performance Frank Wintrich first became aware of Ready® Nutrition in 2019, when he had his student-athletes sample the products.
And that’s that.

Stay up with the latest industry happenings throughout the rest of the evening by visiting ADNews and following @CollegeAD on twitter.

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PUBLICATION WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF COLLEGE AD NEWS

 

 

 

 

Top 30 honorees announced for NCAA Woman of the Year

September 17, 2020

Honorees selected from pool of 161 conference nominees

The Woman of the Year Selection Committee has announced the Top 30 honorees for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

Selected from a record 605 school nominees — a group that was then narrowed to 161 nominees by conference offices — the Top 30 honorees include 10 from each of the three NCAA divisions. All have demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. The honorees competed in 14 sports and studied a broad range of academic majors, including nursing, mechanical engineering, biochemistry, criminal justice, kinesiology, accounting and advertising.

“The 30 honorees selected this year excelled in the classroom and in competition while also remaining committed to serving their peers and communities,” said Suzette McQueen, chair of the Woman of the Year Selection Committee and senior associate commissioner for external relations and strategic marketing/senior woman administrator at the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association. “These outstanding women represent the thousands of diverse and talented women competing in college sports each year, and we’re proud to recognize their achievements on and off the field.”

The selection committee will announce the nine finalists, including three women from each NCAA division, in mid-October. From those finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year. The Top 30 will be celebrated, and the Woman of the Year will be named this fall.

Nominee Name School Name Division Conference Sports Major
Charlotte Luise Ahrens Arizona State University Division I Independent Triathlon Supply chain management
Nia Akins University of Pennsylvania Division I The Ivy League Cross Country, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field Nursing; Nutrition science
Emily Berzolla Massachusetts Institute of Technology Division III New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Soccer Mechanical engineering
Cassidy Boensch Grand Valley State University Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Basketball Biochemistry
Addison Cantor Florida Southern College Division II Sunshine State Conference Cross Country, Outdoor Track and Field Biochemistry and molecular biology
Maddi Chitsey-Crisler Lubbock Christian University Division II Lone Star Conference Basketball Exercise sport science: health promotion
Gina Dello Russo Stevens Institute of Technology Division III Middle Atlantic Conferences Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field Mechanical engineering
Raena Eldridge Texas A&M University, College Station Division I Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Genetics; Animal science
Brittny Ellis University of Miami (Florida) Division I Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field Nursing
Alelee Figueroa Florida A&M University Division I Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field Criminal justice: pre-law studies
Aly Fowler Spring Hill College Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Softball Biology; Psychology
Alison Gibson University of Texas at Austin Division I Big 12 Conference Swimming and Diving Advertising: media and analytics
Emily Hageboeck Washington and Lee University Division III Old Dominion Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving Accounting
Kierstin Hensley West Virginia State University Division II Mountain East Conference Tennis Psychology
DeAnna Hernandez Texas Lutheran University Division III Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Softball Biochemistry
Jaime Jacob California State University, San Marcos Division II California Collegiate Athletic Association Golf Global business management: marketing
Arielle Johnston Salisbury University Division III Capital Athletic Conference Field Hockey Community health
Stasia Mallin University of Memphis Division I American Athletic Conference Soccer Biomedical engineering
Annie McCullough Tusculum University Division II South Atlantic Conference Tennis Chemistry: mathematics and solar energy research
Faith McKie Claflin University Division II Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Cross Country, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field Sport management
Audrey Miller Loras College Division III American Rivers Conference Cross Country, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field Chemistry
Emma Morgan-Bennett Swarthmore College Division III Centennial Conference Volleyball Medical anthropology
Sophie Nick Vassar College Division III Liberty League Basketball Biochemistry
Erica Ogwumike Rice University Division I Conference USA Basketball Health sciences; Policy studies
Mikayla Pivec Oregon State University Division I Pac-12 Conference Basketball, Outdoor Track and Field BioHealth sciences
Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda Emmanuel College (Massachusetts) Division III Great Northeast Athletic Conference Basketball, Softball Criminal justice
Asia Seidt University of Kentucky Division I Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Kinesiology – exercise science
Lexi Thomeczek The College of St. Scholastica Division III Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Ice Hockey Nursing
Juah Toe West Chester University of Pennsylvania Division II National Intercollegiate Rugby Association Rugby Psychology
Laura van der Doorn Southern New Hampshire University Division II Northeast-10 Conference Field Hockey Sociology

 

WRITTEN BY Meghan Durham; COURTESY NCAA COMMUNICATIONS

NCAA mourns loss of Tom Jernstedt; issues Statement

 

September 6, 2020

Tom Jernstedt (file photo)

“The NCAA community is deeply saddened to hear of Tom Jernstedt’s passing. As a significant architect of March Madness and the Final Four, Tom built an enduring legacy that continues in the national and international experience we all know and love today. He leaves a timeless impact on basketball and college sports for which we are grateful. We extend our thoughts and deepest sympathies at this time to his family, friends and colleagues.”

FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

Thomas Walter Jernstedt (November 24, 1944 – September 6, 2020) was an American basketball administrator, working for the NCAA from 1972 until 2010. He was enshrined into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor in 2010 and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017. Jernstedt died in Tequesta, Florida.

NCAA

The NCAA hired Jernstedt in 1972 as a director of events. He is credited with guiding the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship to what it is today. Jernstedt oversaw his first Final Four in March 1973. He was promoted to assistant executive director in 1974. He held a number of senior-level management positions over the next 29 years, culminating in his appointment in 2003 as executive vice president. Jernstedt’s duties included everything from managing events and overseeing branding to negotiating TV and corporate-sponsorship contracts. Jernstedt was let go after new NCAA President Mark Emmert took over in 2011.

In 2013, Jernstedt was selected to be a member of the first-ever College Football Playoff selection committee

USA basketball

Jernstedt first became associated with USA Basketball in 1975, serving as a member of its Council. Jernstedt was vice president for men from 1976-1980 and served another stint as vice president for men from 1992-1996. He was USA Basketball’s vice president from 1997-2000 and was the organization’s president from 2001-04. Under Jernstedt’s tenure, the men’s basketball team had disappointing results with a sixth-place finish in the 2002 FIBA World Championship and a bronze finish at the 2004 Olympics, leading to changes in how the team was selected.

Awards and honors

 

STATEMENT COURTESY OF NCAA COMMUNICATIONS

 

 


NCAA announces new Baseball rules for 2021 season

September 9, 2020

New pitching rule seeks to clarify windup, stretch positions in baseball

Reentry for players who pass concussion protocol approved

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Wednesday approved rules to clarify when pitchers are pitching out of a windup or set/stretch position.

NCAA Baseball Rules Committee members felt this interpretation needed to be made to help umpires, base runners and coaches discern when a pitcher is in a windup or set/stretch position due to the unique starting points on the mound that have entered the game in recent years.

The rule is effective for the 2020-21 academic year.

The pitcher will be in the windup when facing the batter while his pivot foot is in contact with the pitcher’s plate and the other foot is free.

A pitcher will be considered in the set/stretch position when he stands facing the batter with his pivot foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate and his other foot in front of the pitcher’s plate while holding the ball in both hands in front of his body and coming to a complete stop.

With a runner or runners on base, a pitcher will be presumed to be pitching from the set/stretch if he stands with his pivot foot in contact with and parallel to the pitcher’s plate and his other foot in front of the pitcher’s plate.

However, in the scenario above, a pitcher can notify the home plate umpire that he is pitching out of a windup position before the beginning of an at-bat. The pitcher will be allowed to inform the umpire he is changing to pitch out of a windup during an at-bat when:

  • A substitution is made by the offensive team.
  • One or more base runners advance during the at-bat.

Concussion evaluations

The panel also approved allowing any player who is removed for a concussion evaluation to return to the game if cleared by medical personnel.

This proposal came from the Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.

The player undergoing concussion evaluation, whether a starter or a substitute, can be replaced by any eligible player who has not participated in the game.

If the injured player is cleared to resume participation, he may resume his lineup spot only. A player may reenter the game only one time. The temporary replacement player may again participate in the game as a substitute in the same lineup spot only.

If a temporary replacement player is substituted for (pinch runner, pinch hitter or defensive substitution), that player would not be allowed to reenter the game.

If a temporary replacement player is removed for a concussion evaluation, that player may reenter only in that position in the lineup.

If a team has no remaining eligible players, a starter or substitute who has previously participated in the game could replace the injured player.

Coaches challenges

If a coach initiates a video-review challenge and the original call is overturned, the coach will keep the challenge. Previously, coaches were allowed only two video-review challenges, regardless of whether the original call was overturned.

Designated hitter

The NCAA designated hitter rule would be simplified and more closely resemble the rule used in professional baseball. A starting pitcher can be co-listed in the lineup as the designated hitter.

Visual bat inspection

Since the panel delayed implementation of regular-season bat barrel compression testing in Divisions II and III due to budget constraints from the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee clarified visual bat inspection protocols.

They are:

  • Ensure the bat model appears on the approved bat list.
  • Ensure the bat model does not appear on the NCAA noncompliant bat list.
  • Ensure the bat does not have flat spots.
  • Ensure the bat does not have an audible rattle.
  • Ensure the bat does not have cracks, attachments, or a loose knob or end caps.

Penalty for leaving dugout, bullpen during an altercation

Panel members approved a rule that any team personnel, besides the coaching staff, who leave the dugout or bullpen at the time of an altercation will be ejected and must serve a one-game suspension.

The rationale for the proposal is to prevent further escalations or unsportsmanlike conduct.

Foreign substance

If any pitcher or defensive player is caught putting a foreign substance on the ball, the pitcher will be ejected immediately. Previously, a player caught adding a foreign substance was warned first and ejected on any subsequent violations.

Experimental technology rule

The NCAA Baseball Rules Committee approved extending the current experimental rule that allows for one-way communication from the dugout to the field to signal in pitches. Teams may be approved to use communication devices such as a wrist device, in-ear device or digital display board in or on top of the dugout.

Conferences must request to implement the experimental rule through the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee by Jan. 1.

WRITTEN BY GREG JOHNSON; COURTESY NCAA COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

 

NCAA Division I Council announces changes to FBS championship

September 16, 2020

Playing and practice season modifications adopted for schools playing football in the spring

 

The Division I Council adopted a playing and practice season model for schools that plan to participate in football in the spring. Members also approved a framework for the Division I Football Championship.

The FCS championship will be conducted from April 18 through May 15, with 16 instead of 24 teams. Fall competitions will be considered when determining the field for the spring championship. The championship framework must be approved by the Division I Board of Directors, which meets next week.

The playing and practice season model for 2020-21 provides flexibility for practice time periods and permits up to eight regular-season games to occur during a period of not more than 13 weeks in the spring, with the last regular-season game occurring not later than April 17.

The model ensures that legislative requirements mandating specific days/time off (for example, discretionary weeks) for student-athletes during a traditional season will apply in a comparable manner to a spring season. The intent of the model is to allow maximum flexibility for conferences and schools, with an overarching goal of returning to the normal calendar for the 2021-22 academic year.

Beginning Sept. 21, teams may conduct on-field practice. From Sept. 21 through Dec. 31, during the fall equivalent of spring practice (“fall ball”), schools are limited to 20 hours per week of countable athletics activity. Schools may start their preseason or regular season during this period, in which case the rules for preseason or regular season activity apply. Outside of fall ball and regular season practice, schools are limited to 12 hours per week of countable athletics related activity and must give student-athletes two days off per week.

For the two weeks before the start of preseason, teams may have noncontact practice activities for up to 20 hours per week. The 20 hours can include up to eight hours for weight training, conditioning and film review (two hours maximum on film review), up to one hour per day for walkthroughs and up to one hour per day for meetings, which may include team meetings, position meetings, one-on-one meetings, etc. Two days off are required.

In 2020-21, schools can have “fall ball” or “spring practice” but not both. Schools conducting fall ball can’t have preseason practice (including any of the activities that are permitted in the two weeks before preseason practice) or competition before Jan. 1. Schools conducting fall ball during fall 2020 must follow the spring practice model (for example, 15 on-field practices within 34 consecutive days).

Before engaging in practice in the fall, schools must declare their first contest date. If practice must be paused due to the impact of COVID-19 on the team, missed days may be used later in the window. Fall ball and the preseason practice period (including the two 20-hour weeks preceding preseason practice) must be separated by at least 30 days of noncontact activities, which must include two weeks of discretionary student-athlete time. One of the two required weeks of discretionary time must be the week before the return to countable athletically related activity.

Existing maximum contest limits and normal practice limitations apply. Conference championship games can be added, and the potential for bowl games in the spring also remains. Conferences can start and end their seasons at their discretion, within the limits adopted by the Council. Additionally, schools applying the autonomy legislation must provide a week off at the end of the regular season and/or postseason.

The playing and practice season model was adopted by both the Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision members of the Division I Council. Both subdivisions also adopted a proposal that prohibits midyear enrollees from competing in the 2020-21 academic year.

 

WRITTEN BY Michelle Brutlag Hosick; COURTESY NCAA COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

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