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Hot Topics in Academics NCAA Regional Rules Seminar 2012. Diane Dickman, NCAA Jennifer Strawley, NCAA. Overview. Changes adopted by NCAA Division I Board of Directors October 2011. Effective date initial-eligibility legislation. Education and outreach.

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hot topics in academics ncaa regional rules seminar 2012

Hot Topics in AcademicsNCAARegional Rules Seminar2012

Diane Dickman, NCAA

Jennifer Strawley, NCAA

  • Changes adopted by NCAA Division I Board of Directors October 2011.
  • Effective date initial-eligibility legislation.
  • Education and outreach.
  • NCAA Working Group on the Collegiate Model – Rules – NCAA Bylaw 14 and NCAA Division I Academic Cabinet concepts.

1. Overview.

2. Academic success bylaw.

3. Eliminate unenforceable or inconsequential rules.

4. Definition of academic fraud.

5. Consider modifying current four-year college transfer requirements to include academic component.

6. Consider modification to progress-toward-degree requirements.

embedding academics
Embedding Academics

Items adopted by the Board of Directors October 2011:

1. Increased initial-eligibility standards.

2. Increased two-year college transfer requirements.

3. Changes to NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program (APP) that include a minimum academic requirement for participation in postseason competition.

timeline for implementing new initial eligibility standards
Timeline for Implementing New Initial-Eligibility Standards
  • New initial-eligibility standards are effective for students entering any collegiate institution full time on or after August 1, 2016.
  • One-year delay from proposal adopted October 2011.
education and outreach
Education and Outreach

Goal: To educate those impacted by initial-eligibility and two-year transfer academic standards through a variety of methods.

Target Audiences:

  • PSAs and parents.
  • Coaches (high school, club, amateur team).
  • Educational administrators (high school counselors, principals, directors of athletics, teachers).
  • Coaching associations and other governing bodies.
  • General public.
education and outreach7
Education and Outreach
  • Online outreach (website, social media).
  • Targeted outreach to impacted groups of PSAs (professional organizations, major events, sport camps and events, targeted regional and state education).
  • Public awareness (ad agency, partner coaches and conferences, print ads, high school TV, radio and social media outlets).
  • Corporate champion engagement (EA game, partnership opportunities, use of broadcast partners on-air talent).
  • Traditional methods of outreach.
  • August 2011 – Presidential Retreat.

Recognition that current regulatory culture and structure needs to change.

  • Charge.

Reduce the number of unenforceable or inconsequential rules that do not support the NCAA's enduring values; modify the rules to emphasize the most strategically important matters.

create an academic success bylaw
Create an Academic Success Bylaw
  • Create an academic success operating bylaw that focuses specifically on SA and team academic success.

1. All academic legislation (e.g., initial-eligibility requirements, progress-toward-degree requirements, full-time enrollment) would be maintained in the academic success operating bylaw.

  • Bylaws that govern APP would be included in this bylaw. 
  • Rationale: Restructuring the operating bylaw to focus on academic-specific legislation will emphasize the primacy of academics at an individual and institutional level.
create an academic success bylaw11
Create an Academic Success Bylaw

Points to Consider:

  • This may require the development of a new operating bylaw (e.g., eligibility for competition) or embedding legislation that is not primarily focused on SA and team academic success in an existing operating bylaw, if the legislation is deemed necessary.
  • The determination of the legislation that would be included in the new operating bylaw and the legislation that would be embedded in existing operating bylaws would be filtered through the established values for those operating bylaws.


  • Will the creation of an academic success operating bylaw increase efficiency for institutional personnel?
  • Will the creation of a separate bylaw focused on nonacademic elements of a SA's eligibility for competition provide clarity and ease in application of the legislation?
eliminate unenforceable or inconsequential rules
Eliminate Unenforceable or Inconsequential Rules

Eliminate specified legislation and eliminate legislation directly supported by institutional academic policy. Examples include:

1. Documentation of degree-program designation requirement (NCAA Bylaw and the portion of the designation-of-degree program (Bylaw legislation that prescribe the steps that must be taken for a SA to declare a degree.

2. Permit a SA to practice, but not compete, for a 45-day period regardless of recruited status or participation in the sport of women's rowing. (Bylaws, and

Rationale: Legislation that is inconsequential or directly accounted for by institution's academic policy should no longer be included in the NCAA Division I Manual based on the newly established commitments.

eliminate unenforceable or inconsequential rules13
Eliminate Unenforceable or Inconsequential Rules

Points to Consider:

  • The timing of a SA's designation of a degree is mandated in the percentage-of-degree requirements legislation.
  • Institutional policy for all students should dictate the required steps that must be taken for a SA to declare a degree.
  •  A single temporary certification period eliminates the need to determine the recruited status of a SA.
  • The sport-specific exception for women's rowing is not necessary given the ability of the NCAA Eligibility Center to quickly render final academic certifications.
academic fraud
Academic Fraud
  • Consider the appropriate definition of academic fraud for NCAA purposes and the role the NCAA should play in investigating and resolving allegations of a violation of academic integrity by prospective and continuing SAs.
  • Rationale: Appropriately identifying the role of the NCAA and possible changes to legislation, policies and associated penalties for occurrences of academic fraud or misconduct by both prospective and continuing SAs is necessary to maintain the enduring values of the NCAA.
academic fraud15
Academic Fraud

Points to Consider:

  • Currently, a violation of academic fraud may exist even if an institution determines that the act did not violate institutional academic misconduct policies.
  • The NCAA has created several mechanisms for dealing with pre-enrollment academic fraud including the high school review staff and the PSA review process, but the NCAA does little to no review of test-score fraud or other pre-enrollment academic fraud issues.
  • In order to be an NCAA violation, there must be an institutional nexus to the misconduct. Thus, not all institutional offenses are violations of NCAA legislation (e.g., downloading a paper from the Internet and turning it in as a student's own work).
  • A SA may be found not to have knowingly engaged in academic fraud if there is some factual evidence of ambiguity as to whether the assistance crossed the line of appropriate or reasonable tutoring activities or there was no substantive addition to the SA's work (e.g., editorial revisions to a paper). In those instances, the institution's findings are very relevant to the resolution of the matter.
academic fraud16
Academic Fraud

Questions of Pre-Enrollment Academic Fraud:

1. Should the NCAA be more involved in the review of pre-enrollment academic fraud allegations?

2. What if the institution is involved?

3. What academic misconduct by a PSA should be considered a violation of NCAA legislation?

academic fraud17
Academic Fraud

Questions of Enrolled SA Academic Fraud:

  • What academic misconduct by an enrolled SA should be a violation of NCAA rules?
  • Should legislation distinguish between academic fraud and academic misconduct?
  • Are certain activities less egregious than others? For example, is there a difference between receiving too much assistance with a paper versus turning in a paper that was completely written by someone else?
  • If certain activities are less egregious than others, is there value in creating a scale of academic misconduct and a corresponding penalty structure?
academic fraud18
Academic Fraud

Questions of Enrolled SA Academic Fraud:

  • Should a distinction be made if there is or is not an athletics nexus to the academic fraud committed?
  • Is the presence of an athletics nexus a prerequisite for NCAA involvement (in terms of interpreting and penalizing academic fraud)?
  • Should a SA be treated in the same manner as a general student if his or her institution determines that institutional athletics staff members did not facilitate the wrongful behavior?
  • Should a SA be treated in the same manner as a general student if his or her institution determines that institutional staff members facilitated the wrongful behavior but were not motivated by the SA's athletics reputation?
  • Should distinctions be made between institutional athletics employees (e.g., tutor, coach, work-study student or administrative assistant)?
academic fraud19
Academic Fraud

Questions of Enrolled SA Academic Fraud:

  • How should the NCAA weigh the institutional determinations of academic misconduct alleged or committed by SAs?
  • Should a SA be in violation of NCAA legislation if there was an athletics nexus but his or her institution determines that academic fraud did not take place?
  • Should a SA be subject to an NCAA violation if there is no institutional nexus?
  • What weight, if any, should be given to varying institutional policies with respect to academic fraud? So, what might be considered academic fraud on one campus, would not be considered as such on another.
four year college transfers
Four-Year College Transfers
  • Consider modifying current four-year college transfer requirements to include academic component(s).
  • Rationale: Legislation governing the eligibility of four-year college transfers currently attempts to balance a number of concerns. The current legislation may not adequately address academic issues. In light of the Association's emphasis on SA academic success and academic-based metrics, an assessment of the four-year college transfer legislation is needed to ensure requirements align with academic success and the enduring values of the Association.
four year college transfers21
Four-Year College Transfers

Points to Consider:

  • Permitting a SA to transfer and be immediately eligible based on leaving the first institution academically eligible and meeting eligibility requirements (e.g., percentage-of-degree requirements) at the second institution is consistent with the principle of graduating within five years after initial collegiate enrollment.
  • This concept only includes a recommendation for transfer regulations; would need to discuss Bylaw 13 (recruiting) requirements for institution's permission to contact.
  • The transfer requirements could also include an NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR) component. For example, the SA will not, and has not previously, impacted an institution negatively in the academic performance report (e.g., SA maintained a 2.600 GPA).
  • Opportunity to potentially align transfer regulations and APR (e.g. 2.600 requirement).
four year college transfers22
Four-Year College Transfers


  • Should all SAs be required to serve an academic year in residence at the time of transferring from one four-year institution to another four-year institution?
  • Should SAs in some sports be required to serve an academic year of residence at the time of transferring from one four-year institution to another? If so, what sports?
  • Is there an academic reason to support prohibiting SAs in certain sports from transferring and being immediately eligible?
  • Do you support sport-specific transfer requirements determined by the overall APR for that sport?
  • Do you support a multiple-layer approach to a SA's access to practice, competition and athletically related financial aid?
  • Do you support the establishment of research-based academic requirements for transfers (this could be in addition to requiring a year of residence in certain sports)?
progress toward degree
Progress Toward Degree

Consider modifying progress-toward-degree requirements.

Rationale: Progress-toward-degree standards ensure that SAs are earning degree-applicable credits and appropriately progressing toward a degree. Part of embedding academic success as a first expectation is to ensure that progress-toward-degree standards support continued progress toward a degree and ultimately graduation.

progress toward degree24
Progress Toward Degree

Points to Consider:

  • Current progress-toward-degree standards require a minimum GPA, earning of a percentage of a degree and the passing of a minimum number of hours in a given semester and year.
  • Currently there are limited instances where NCAA legislation differs based on sport.
progress toward degree25
Progress Toward Degree


  • Do the current standards adequately progress a SA toward achieving a degree?
  • Should the current GPA minimum that requires a percentage of the GPA needed for graduation be simplified and require a 2.000 minimum each year?
  • Should the nine-hour requirement that is currently in place for football SAs be extended to all sports?
  • Are the current percentage-of-degree benchmarks appropriate?
feedback and comments
Feedback and Comments
  • Website developed with educational documents and place to provide feedback.