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Publish date: Feb 1, 2011

Registration opens for 2011 Rules Seminars

By Gary Brown

Online registration is now open for this year’s two NCAA Regional Rules Seminars – the Association’s primary annual gatherings for campus personnel involved in rules compliance.

The seminars will be May 16-20 in Tucson, Ariz., and June 6-10 in Tampa, Fla. (both are Monday-Friday). Attendees can register to attend the event and reserve lodging in those cities through the NCAA website.

Complete schedules and descriptions of a broad array of sessions also are posted online. They indicate another varied mix of Association-wide and division-specific programming.

The seminars will retain their primary focus as a place where attendees can gain knowledge about NCAA legislation, compliance matters and programs while mingling with and learning from colleagues from other schools. Regional Rules Seminars benefit not only institutional and conference compliance administrators but also faculty athletics representatives and personnel involved in areas such as eligibility certification, financial aid and academic advising.

This year’s seminars figure to meet members’ needs even more because of new formats being introduced based on membership feedback. Foremost are “roundtable sessions” in several Division I segments throughout the seminars that foster more interaction and sharing of best practices than before when sessions were structured in a classroom setting.

“Participants said they wanted a more interactive environment in which to exchange ideas with other members as well as NCAA staff,” said Lynn Holzman, NCAA director of academic and membership affairs. “It is clear that members want to gain more knowledge by sharing ideas rather than just hearing about them in an instructional, lecture-based setting.”

Also new this year is an “amateurism summit” on Wednesday for Divisions I and II. Given the recent and heightened attention to agents and amateurism rules, NCAA officials thought it would be pertinent to have compliance experts engage in more in-depth education and discussions involving NCAA staff members (including NCAA Eligibility Center staff members) and institutional athletics administrators regarding amateurism hot topics.

Included are case studies in which participants are actively engaged in all phases of a pre- and post-enrollment amateurism review, including fact gathering, application of NCAA legislation, student-athlete reinstatement and other various appellate opportunities available throughout the process

Among other sessions of interest:

  • Division I Academic Reform – Academic Performance Program and Academic Cabinet. This session will review major academic-reform initiatives currently under discussion in the NCAA Division I governance structure. The Division I Committee on Academic Performance has undertaken a comprehensive review to evaluate the impact of reform and the effectiveness of the Academic Performance Program.  This review includes the NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate metric, the penalty structure and APR penalty benchmarks. (Monday 8:30 a.m.; Tuesday 8:30 a.m.; Wednesday 2 p.m.; and Thursday 1:30 p.m.)
  • Division I Athletics Certification. This session will provide an overview of the Division I Committee on Athletics Certification’s expectations for Cycle 3, specifically related to implementation of Cycle 2 plans for improvement.  Additionally, the session will review best practices to prepare for the self-study process, as well as discuss and clarify the role and responsibilities of the athletics certification liaison. (Monday 4:30 p.m. and Thursday 11 a.m.)
  • Division II Playing and Practice Seasons. This session will review various topics related to playing and practice seasons, such as issues related to the winter-break legislation, the involvement of strength and conditioning personnel with student-athletes, and foreign tours. The session also provides an overview of Phase II of the “Life in the Balance” initiative and its effect on playing and practice legislation. (Thursday 11 a.m.)
  • Eligibility Center Technology Initiatives. The NCAA Eligibility Center has multiple tools online to help member institutions and prospective student-athletes through the initial-eligibility process. The member institution portal provides simplified Institutional Request List management, enhanced searching and reporting capabilities and the automated National Letter of Intent signing process. (Wednesday 11:30 a.m.)

Each location will again offer division-specific segments, including a choice in each city of two segments for Division I attendees: Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon, or Wednesday afternoon through Friday morning.

The session descriptions indicate a few programs for which attendees are being asked prepare by using an online video-on-demand feature to learn about topics. Meanwhile, session materials will be available online only again this year, enabling participants to download them to personal computers before traveling to seminar sites and to support the NCAA’s “green” efforts.

While much about this year’s Regional Rules Seminars has changed, the essential structure remains, including the Monday-through-Friday schedule and the special segment on Wednesday. Dates for the Division I segments in Tucson are May 16-17 and May 18-20 (ending by mid-day Friday), and those segments follow the same schedule in Tampa – June 6-7 and June 8-10.

The Division II segments will be May 18-20 in Tucson and June 8-10 in Tampa, and the Division III segments will be May 16-17 in Tucson and June 6-7 in Tampa.

The seminars also have retained such recently developed features as “tracks” of programming that target levels of experience or areas of expertise – including for the fourth straight year an invitation-only advanced program for Division I compliance administrators with extensive experience in that area.

In all, the seminars continue to be positioned as the premier event that the NCAA offers for the compliance community.

“We are listening to the membership and providing the programming that compliance people say they need for them to be more effective as compliance administrators,” Holzman said.