1/14/08 - Tip of the Week - Electronic Transmissions

Welcome to the first Tip of the Week of 2008 - and Happy New Year,

Last week, I ventured down to Nashville, Tennessee and participated in the NCAA Division I Legislative Forum and Override Vote. As many of you know, the text messaging bylaw that is currently in place was up for an override vote, along with the new legislation that will impact baseball starting in August.

Proposal 2006-40 (the text messaging and instant messaging bylaw) override vote was defeated by a wide margin. 240 no votes compared to only 65 yes votes. What does this mean? This means that the override request was defeated and the text messaging ban that is in place today is still in place - in other words, NCAA Bylaw is still applicable - please see the language of the bylaw below. I have also included an article from the NCAA web site that discusses this vote, along with the new baseball legislation vote.

Please review and let me know of any questions.



Division I upholds texting ban, baseball rules

January 13, 2008

The NCAA News:

Attempts to allow text messaging of prospective student-athletes, delete scholarship minimums for baseball student-athletes and expand squad-size limits for baseball teams failed during the Division I business session January 12.

However, the membership did override a proposal regarding the dates of competition in men's and women's golf.

The lopsided vote on the text-messaging rule - only 21.3 percent supported the override - was foretold by the assembly's initial refusal to move the proposal. Even once the override was on the floor for consideration, Kerry Kenny, vice chair of the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, persuasively reiterated the student-athletes' position that text messaging between prospective student-athletes and coaches was intrusive, unprofessional and expensive.

"We believe that text messaging and instant messaging are both highly unprofessional in the recruiting process," Kenny said. "You wouldn't use text messaging to contact an employer when searching for a job, and it's unlikely that an employer would contact you with a text message to offer you the job."

Momentum for the text-ban override dwindled even before the vote when Big East Associate Commissioner Joe D'Antonio announced the league would withdraw its proposal to add instant messaging to the list of approved communications with recruits.

The baseball rule was part of a package developed by a working group and approved as emergency legislation by the Board in April. The first part of the proposal requires individual aid packages for student-athletes to include a minimum of 25 percent athletics aid. The second portion capped the squad size at 35.

Before the override vote, the legislation was split at the request of a delegate, and several presidents and others spoke in favor of both parts. Ron Wellman, athletics director at Wake Forest and chair of the Baseball Academic Enhancement Working Group that developed the baseball package, pointed out the connection between the minimum aid piece up for a vote and the elimination of the one-time transfer exception.

"We proposed the transfer rule be eliminated for baseball players so they would be required to have a year of residency. To have that expectation of baseball players when they are on a minimal amount of aid - and we can cite example after example of baseball players on a books scholarship - to ask them to make that type of commitment to the institution without the institution making a reciprocal commitment to the baseball player seems very unfair to our committee," Wellman said. "We believe it is a student-athlete well-being issue."

Hartford President Walter Harrison and Georgia President Michael Adams both supported the rule as well, indicating that the legislative process in place for Division I worked exactly as intended.

Only 30.3 percent of those present and voting wanted to override the minimum financial aid requirement, while 24.5 percent wanted to eliminate the squad-size limit.

The proposals will take effect in August.

About two-thirds of the membership present voted to override the proposal that would provide for nine three-day tournaments (with 54 holes per tournament) or 24 dates of competition in golf. There was no discussion on the motion. Electronic Transmissions

Electronically transmitted correspondence that may be sent to a prospective student-athlete is limited to electronic mail and facsimiles. (See Bylaw All other forms of electronically transmitted correspondence (e.g., Instant Messenger, text messaging) are prohibited. Color attachments may be included with electronic mail correspondence sent to a prospective student-athlete, provided the attachment only includes information that is not created for recruiting purposes, except for items that are specifically permitted as printed recruiting materials (e.g., questionnaires). In addition, attachments shall not include any animation, audio or video clips and there shall be no cost (e.g., subscription fee) associated with sending the item attached to the electronic mail correspondence. (Adopted: 4/28/05 effective 8/1/05 for publications prepared for the 2005-06 academic year and after, Revised: 12/12/06, 4/26/07 effective 8/1/07)