You may recall that, earlier this year, the NCAA announced with some fanfare an initiative with regard to time demands on student-athletes.
Division I athletes will have a say in shaping NCAA policies about time demands through a survey distributed this week to all 346 schools.
Athletes in every Division I sport will be asked to provide feedback in the survey, distributed Monday by the NCAA. The Power 5 conferences, the NCAA Division I council and the Division I student-athlete advisory committee formulated the survey. Results are due March 21 and will be relayed to the Division I council, which will meet in April.
The survey is being conducted online and not being administered by coaching staffs that could attempt to influence the responses.
According to a survey sent to a Football Bowl Subdivision player and obtained Friday by ESPN, respondents complete sections on in-season countable athletic-related activities (CARA), out-of-season time demands and travel.
A “massive legislative package” regarding time demands will be introduced by September, according to Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips, chair of the council. After several months of review, a proposed policy will go to a vote at the NCAA convention in January 2017.
Yeah, well, the results are in and it’ll be interesting to see what kind of shape that so-called “massive legislative package” will take. Not because of a lack of response from players, but because, shall we say, there’s a certain lack of consensus between labor… er, student-athletes, and management… er, coaches and ADs.
To start with, here are the spots where the parties see eye to eye:
All of the participants in the survey generally agreed that there should be at least eight hours overnight between activities that can be counted toward the NCAA’s 20-hour-per-week limit on what athletes can do with their teams during the season. There also was agreement about implementing what is termed a “mandatory no-activity period” immediately following the end of a season, as well as offseason no-activity period in which athletes would be encouraged to participate in an educational or career-development activity.
But even that last point was the start of a disagreement as to how long such a period should be.
Meanwhile, where the rubber meets the road…
The survey showed that a majority of athletes felt that travel to and from games, compliance meetings and organized team promotional activities also should be counted toward the 20-hour limit. A majority of the faculty athletics representatives agreed, but a majority of AD’s, coaches and administrators disagreed. For example, 63% of athletes said travel should count against the limit while 7% of coaches and 25% of AD’s said travel should count.
Participants also were asked: If the definition of countable activities was expanded, would you be supportive of increasing the hours limit? Athletes in some of the NCAA’s most prominent sports were among the least supportive of this idea. FBS football players were least supportive (34%), followed by those in men’s lacrosse (35%), women’s basketball and FCS football (38% each), men’s lacrosse (35%) and men’s basketball (41%). At least 60% of the head coaches in each of those sports supported that idea (73% in men’s basketball) and 64% of the athletics directors did so, including 56% of the ADs at Power Five conference schools.
Athletes in these sports also largely supported the creation of time limits on team activities during preseason practice and academic vacation periods, while majorities of head coaches in those sports did not, except 52% of men’s lacrosse coaches said they supported this during vacation periods.
Somehow, I think that legislative package may not be so massive now. And the beat goes on…