Jim Sowa, Randy Crow and Shan Bonjernoor from Source One Digital speak to the DII Management Council on Wednesday. Stephen Nowland/NCAA Photos
DII Council discusses championships selection criteria
By David Pickle NCAA.org
The Division II Championships Committee is throwing a number of questions on the table in an effort to assess the membership’s attitude toward in-region, nonconference competition.
Wednesday’s Management Council meeting was the final one for Council members Bob Fortosis of Eckerd, Wendy Taylor May of UC San Diego, Fran Nee of Indiana (Pa.), Butch Raymond of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, Julie Rupert of the Northeast-10 Conference and Willie Washington of Benedict. In addition, it was Rick Cole’s final meeting as chair. Cole, from Dowling, will serve another year on the Council
NCAA President Mark Emmert told the Council that he sees the work of the NCAA coalescing rather than diverging. Citing Division II’s Ease of Burden effort, Emmert said “that looks and sounds like work that’s going on in Division I.” In encouraging the relaxation of Division II recruiting rules that will be considered at Saturday’s Division II business session, Emmert said, “For the past century, we’ve tried to define things more tightly and narrowly, and have added administrative burden in the process”
Council members asked Emmert if Division II might be obligated to adopt a multi-year grant-in-aid option if Division I ends up doing so. Emmert said the Division I action might encourage Division II to review the issue, but he said Division II should make its own decision on the matter.
The Membership Committee reported that Simon Fraser University will not become the NCAA’s first active member in September since it will not be able to complete the accreditation process prior to the end of the academic year in order to complete the process. The Canadian school will be allowed to submit an annual waiver to keep its membership process alive.
The Membership Committee also reported that it wants to complete the pilot program with Canadian members before considering a similar pilot for Mexican schools. Last year, the Mexican government asked Division II to consider several Mexican institutions for membership
The Division II Faculty Athletics Representatives Association provided a draft of a model Faculty Athletics Representative document. Reaction will be sought from other Division II constituents before the FARs submit it to the Management and Presidents Councils, perhaps later this year.
“As we see conferences growing, we see fewer nonconference, in-region games being scheduled,” said Bob Boerigter, commissioner of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association and Management Council representative on the Championships Committee. “We’re trying to address that and ask people’s feedback to determine how significant this issue is. Is it really a big deal or is it just a situation where it impacts a few sports in some isolated ways?”
To facilitate discussion, the Championships Committee has prepared a white paper that poses several key questions. The complete white paper will be available for discussion at conference meetings Friday afternoon, but some of the questions are:
Is the scheduling of in-region, nonconference competition important?
Should the division implement a process similar to nullification (currently used to deal with the use of ineligible players) in the selection process that would penalize teams that didn’t schedule in-region, nonconference competition?
Should selection criteria mandate a specific number of required in-region, nonconference games to be eligible for the postseason?
Should a weighted ranking system be developed as a part of the selection criteria to encourage institutions to schedule other Division II institutions rather than institutions in other associations or divisions?
In all, the Championships Committee advanced nine questions (see NCAA.org for the full list). Any feedback can be sent to D2selectioncriteria@ncaa.org.
Asked if the exercise was in response to selection committee concerns, Boerigter said, “Across the board, no. But we’ve heard enough different things that we thought this was a good time to study the situation. Some sports have indicated they’re having difficulty with not enough in-region competition to make determinations of who should be fifth and who should be sixth or who makes the playoffs and who doesn’t. But it would be a mischaracterization to say there’s an uproar across all sports.”
With that in mind, it seems possible – perhaps even likely – that any adjustments to current policy could vary from sport to sport or even region to region.
“One thing we know is that one size is probably not going to fit all,” he said. “Certainly we would desire some consistency, but we’re aware of the fact that we need to be open to flexibility sport-by-sport.”
During a brief discussion at Wednesday’s Management Council meeting, one commissioner cautioned against taking steps that would discourage revenue-generating games against Division I opponents.
“That’s the sort of feedback the Championships Committee is looking for,” said Terri Steeb, director of Division II. “We need our members to be honest and to tell us where the boundaries are. Division II’s regional philosophy isn’t open to negotiation in this exercise, but everything else is on the table. This is the time for the membership to speak its mind on selection criteria.”
The Championships Committee has adopted a timeline (available in full on NCAA.org) that would provide for consideration of the feedback in February, vetting of tentative recommendations through the summer, final recommendations for the Management and Presidents Council in September, and action at the 2013 Convention. This current timeline and implementation dates would depend on what course of action is identified.
Championships Committee questions
Is the scheduling of in-region/non-conference competition important?
Are the difficulties in developing a regular season schedule limited to certain sports or certain regions?
Should the division implement a process similar to nullification that would include a mathematical deduction at the time of selections if an institution did not schedule any in-region/non-conference competition?
Should sports committees’ selection criteria mandate a specific number of required in-region/non-conference contest(s) in order to be eligible for the post-season?
Should a weighted ranking system be developed as a part of the selection criteria to encourage institutions to schedule other Division II institutions rather than institutions in other associations or other divisions?
Should a weighted ranking system be developed as a part of the selection criteria to encourage institutions to schedule other Division II institutions that have historically been stronger in the sport (e.g., bonus points for playing a Top 25 team, bonus points for beating a Top 25 team on the road, etc.)?
If the division supports an incentive plan, what parameters should be included in the incentive plan and who should oversee the funds received from the incentive plan (e.g., schools, conferences)?
Should conferences or institutions sponsor centrally located events to meet any new selection criteria requirements or to encourage in-region/non-conference competition?
When should any proposed changes be implemented?
Division II Championships Committee and sport committee chairs meetings.
October 2011-July 2012
Gathering of feedback from the Division II membership.
Division II Championships Committee meets in Indianapolis to discuss feedback and will continue to seek information from the membership.
Management Council and Presidents Councils meetings.
Championships Committee meeting, NACDA Convention and CCA meeting.
Championships Committee finalizes its recommendations for the Management Council and Presidents Council.
Management Council and Presidents Councils meetings.