Deregulation from Another Perspective: What the NCAA's Streamlined Approach Means to Current and Prospective Student-Athletes


by Justin Sievert 01-31-2013 11:56 PM

Earlier this month at the 2013 NCAA Convention, Division I of the NCAA adopted 25 of 26 proposals aimed at establishing a streamlined rulebook with a focus on more meaningful, enforceable, and student-athlete welfare-oriented legislation. NCAA president Mark Emmert stated, "these new rules represent noteworthy progress toward what can only be described as more common sense rules that allow schools more discretion in decision-making...This vote by the Board of Directors refocuses our attention on the things that really matter, the core values of intercollegiate athletics.” The deregulation included several areas of NCAA legislation, including NCAA Bylaw 11 (personnel), 12 (amateurism), 14 (recruiting), 15 (financial aid), and 16 (awards, benefits and expenses). The proposals will be effective on August 1, 2013. While much of the talk surrounding deregulation has focused upon the impact from the perspective of an institution's administrators and coaches, little discussion has occurred on the impact deregulation will have on both prospective and current student-athletes. 

Below is a brief summary of twenty-four of the twenty-five proposals that were adopted at the NCAA Convention, along with my perspective on the effect , if any, these changes will have on prospective and current student-athletes. (Proposal 2-1 addresses the NCAA Constitution and not an Operating Bylaw.)
 
NCAA Bylaw 11 (Personnel) 
  • 11-2: will eliminate the rules defining recruiting coordination functions that must be performed only by a head or assistant coach.

Student-Athlete Impact: Paired with Proposal 13-3, this Proposal will likely increase the amount of communications between a prospective student-athlete and an institution by allowing any institutional staff member the ability to contact and evaluate recruits. Prospective student-athletes often grow tired of the recruiting process, and this change could potentially further that burden. Off-campus recruiting activities, however, will still need to be conducted by coaches. 

  • 11-3-B: will prohibit the live scouting of future opponents except in limited circumstances.
Student-Athlete Impact: No impact. 
  • 11-4: will remove limits on the number of coaches who can recruit off-campus at any one time.
Student-Athlete Impact: Prospective student-athletes will likely see an uptick of coaches visiting their high schools during selected recruiting periods.
 
NCAA Bylaw 12 (Amateurism) 
  • 12-1: will establish a uniform definition of actual and necessary expenses.
Student-Athlete Impact: Student-athletes cannot receive more than actual and necessary expenses from an outside amateur sports team or organization. This proposal should provide more clarity on the specific definition of "actual and necessary expenses," which will allow prospective student-athletes, amateur sports teams and organizations the ability to ensure compliance with NCAA Bylaw 12.1.2.1.4.3. 
  • 12-2: will allow the calculation of actual and necessary expenses to be based on the total over a calendar year instead of an event-by-event basis for both prospective and enrolled student-athletes.
Student-Athlete Impact: This will prevent rules-violations should a student-athlete exceed the actual and necessary expenses of a single competitive event by analyzing the issue on an annual basis. 
  • 12-3: will allow a student-athlete to receive $300 more than actual and necessary expenses, provided the expenses come from an otherwise permissible source.
Student-Athlete Impact: This will allow student-athletes to exceed actual and necessary expenses and earn a "limited benefit" of $300 per calendar year.

  • 12-4: will permit individuals to receive actual and necessary competition-related expenses from outside sponsors, so long as the person is not an agent, booster or representative of a professional sports organization.  
Student-Athlete Impact: will permit student-athletes to fund raise for actual and necessary competition-related expenses as long as the party providing the benefit is permitted within NCAA legislation. As in 12-3, this would not permit agents or representatives of athletics interests to provide these expenses. 
  • 12-5: will allow student-athletes in sports other than tennis to receive up to actual and necessary competition-related expenses based on performance from an amateur team or event sponsor.  
Student-Athlete Impact: Will allow non-tennis student-athletes the ability to earn actual and necessary competition-related expenses from his or her amateur team or the competition's sponsor based upon how the student-athlete performs at the competition.  
  • 12-6: will allow student-athletes and prospects to receive actual and necessary expenses for training, coaching, health insurance and the like from a governmental entity.  
Student-Athlete Impact: This will allow both prospective and current student-athletes the ability to fund raise for actual and necessary expenses as long as the person is not an agent, booster, or representative of a professional sports organization.
 
NCAA Bylaw 13 (Recruiting) 
  • 13-1: will allow schools to treat prospects like student-athletes for purposes of applying recruiting regulations once a National Letter of Intent or signed offer of admission or financial aid is received.  
Student-Athlete Impact: Prospective student-athletes will essentially be treated like enrolled student-athletes for recruiting regulation purposes. This will also subject prospective student-athletes to Bylaw 16 extra-benefits legislation upon signing. 
  • 13-3: will eliminate restrictions on methods and modes of communication during recruiting.  
Student-Athlete Impact: Student-athletes will now be able to receive unlimited phone calls as well as unlimited text messages and social media messages. While this will alleviate many violations seen in recent major and secondary cases, prospective student-athletes will be offered little reprieve from the recruiting process. Additionally, coaches and athletics compliance offices will be subject to a completely new system, which will likely lead to new recruiting issues. 
  • 13-4: will eliminate the requirement that institutions provide materials such as the banned-drug list and Academic Progress Rate data to recruits.  
Student-Athlete Impact: No impact. 
  • 13-5-A: will eliminate restrictions on sending printed recruiting materials to recruits. Conferences still will be prohibited from sending printed recruiting materials.  
Student-Athlete Impact: Prospective student-athletes will be able to receive printed materials without restriction from institutions. This change will highlight some of the discrepancies in resources between Division I institutions.  
  • 13-7: will eliminate restrictions on publicity once a prospective student-athlete has signed a National Letter of Intent or written offer of financial aid or admission.  
Student-Athlete Impact: This could cause a big increase in signing day media coverage (yes, even more than is currently available). Prospective student-athletes, once signed, may be asked  to participate in signing day events or other events to promote their program and institution. Also, as discussed in 13-1, prospective student-athletes will now be treated as enrolled student-athletes, which would subject them to Bylaw 16 extra benefits legislation. 
  • 13-8: will deregulate camps and clinics employment rules related to both recruits and current student-athletes. Senior football prospects will be allowed to participate in camps and clinics.  
Student-Athlete Impact: Football student-athletes and incoming football student-athletes will now be able to work at their program's summer camp.
 
NCAA Bylaw 14 (Eligibility) 
  • 14-1, which will eliminate academic regulations that are covered elsewhere and directly supported by institutional academic policy.  
Student-Athlete Impact: Will allow a number of eligibility policies to be determined by the institution's academic policies and procedures.
 
NCAA Bylaw 16 (Awards, Benefits and Expenses)
  • 16-1: will allow institutions, conferences or the NCAA national office to provide an award to student-athletes any time after initial full-time enrollment.  
Student-Athlete Impact: No impact on student-athletes outside of creating one uniform rule for the provision of awards to student-athletes after his or her initial full-time enrollment.

  • 16-2: will allow conferences, an institution, the U.S. Olympic Committee, a national governing body or the awarding agency to provide actual and necessary expenses for a student-athlete to receive a non-institutional award or recognition for athletics or academic accomplishments. Expenses can also be provided for parents/legal guardians, a spouse or other relatives.  
Student-Athlete Impact: Will permit a student-athlete and his or her parents/legal guardians, spouse or other relatives the ability to receive actual and necessary expenses for attending an event where they are to receive a non-institutional award. This will provide some financial relief for student-athletes and their families that may not be able to afford attendance at such events. 
  • 16-3: will allow institutions, conferences or the NCAA to pay for other academic support, career counseling or personal development services that support the success of the student-athlete.  
Student-Athlete Impact: This will benefit student-athlete welfare in terms of their ability to succeed both academically and professionally. This change will allow institutions the ability to provide the programming they deem necessary for student-athlete success off the playing field. 
  • 16-4: will allow institutions, conferences or the NCAA to pay for medical and related expenses for a student-athlete.  
Student-Athlete Impact: This will help clarify current legislation by offering one specified rule.  
  • 16-5: will (except in limited circumstances) change all Bylaw 16 references to a student-athlete’s spouse, parents, family members or children to “family member,” establish a specific definition of “family member,” and permit specified benefits to such individuals.  
Student-Athlete Impact: Will broaden the people covered under Bylaw 16's permitted benefits. This will essentially allow parties with a close familial relationship to receive permissible benefits. 
  • 16-6: will allow institutions to provide reasonable entertainment in conjunction with competition or practice.  
Student-Athlete Impact: Will allow student-athletes to experience additional team-building and team entertainment activities beyond the current restrictions. 
  • 16-7: will allow schools to provide actual and necessary expenses to student-athletes representing the institution in practice and competition (including expenses for activities/travel that are incidental to practice or competition) as well as in noncompetitive events such as goodwill tours and media appearances.  
Student-Athlete Impact: Will allow student-athletes to receive actual and necessary benefits at the events listed in order to provide greater legislative uniformity. 
  • 16-8: will allow student-athletes to receive actual and necessary expenses and “reasonable benefits” associated with a national team practice and competition and also will allow institutions to pay for any number of national team tryouts and championship events.  
Student-Athlete Impact: This expands current legislation, which only allows student-athletes to receive actual and necessary expenses and reasonable benefits for Olympic team competition.  

Published 01-31-2013 © 2022 Access Athletes, LLC


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