Division I members will consider a variety of weighty proposals in the first full legislative cycle in the new governance structure, including a measure that would change the deadline for student-athletes wanting to declare for the NBA draft and another that would allow a conference to determine the criteria for its own football championship.
The Division I Council sponsored these and other proposals in the 2015-16 legislative cycle. The Council’s decision to sponsor a particular piece of legislation at this meeting is indicative only of the members’ desire for continued conversation on the proposals, not of the group’s support of a concept.
The Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee recommended the proposal that would change the date by which a student-athlete must request his name be removed from the NBA draft list to 10 days after the conclusion of the NBA draft combine. This year, the combine was held May 13-17.
The proposal also would allow students to enter the NBA draft multiple times without jeopardizing eligibility and permit students to participate in the combine and one tryout per NBA team, per year.
The NBA will invite a finite number of draft-eligible players to the combine, which will provide a good indicator of an underclassmen’s draft potential. Following the combine, the NBA will then provide specific feedback.
Additionally, the Division I Conference Commissioners Association will examine the National Letter of Intent signing date and could move that date into the summer to give coaches whose student-athletes leave for the draft the ability to recruit and sign players later than the current April date.
“This proposal would allow student-athletes the appropriate amount of time to make informed decisions about their professional and academic careers,” said Dan Guerrero, chair of the Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee and athletics director at the University of California, Los Angeles. “The collaboration of the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the NBA in developing this concept with us was very helpful.”
The proposal could be adopted as early as January, using a new process that allows Council-sponsored proposals that are both time-sensitive and impact student-athlete well-being to move faster in the cycle. The regular legislative cycle calls for the Council to cast votes on proposals in April. Proposals that will be considered for adoption in January will be identified by the Division I Legislation Committee for consideration during the Council’s fall meeting.
The Football Oversight Committee recommended a number of proposals the Council agreed to sponsor, including the measure that would allow conferences to decide how to determine a conference champion in the sport.
The proposal would exempt a conference championship game from counting toward the maximum number of contests, no matter how many members belong to a conference.
In recommending the sponsorship, the oversight committee, chaired by Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, noted that football is the only sport that requires a minimum number of conference members (12) in order to exempt a conference championship contest.
Bowlsby said the move would create a more stable conference membership environment. The Big 12 was a major advocate for changing the rules regulating conference championships in football. It has only 10 members.
The football committee also sponsored a package of proposals advocated for by the Football Recruiting Subcommittee of the now-defunct Leadership Council. Those proposals would:
• Allow Football Championship Subdivision coaches to evaluate prospective student-athletes at practices for all-star games, subject to the recruiting calendar.
• Allow coaches in both subdivisions to use all forms of electronic correspondence to communicate with prospective student-athletes and their parents, beginning Sept. 1 of the student’s junior year in high school.
• Allow coaches in both subdivisions the ability to have contact with prospective student-athletes during the student’s junior year so long as the contacts are at his or her high school and during the spring evaluation period.
The Council also sponsored a proposal from the Committee on Academics that would require prospective student-athletes to have a high school transcript on file with the NCAA Eligibility Center before a coach can offer financial aid in writing.
This proposal would allow tracking of one portion of the new initial eligibility standards effective for students who enroll in August 2016 or later, which require prospects to have completed ten of 16 required core courses by the conclusion of the sixth semester.
Unless otherwise specified, the Council will vote on all proposals in April 2016.