Tag Archive for: womens history

Reasonable Standards Review

The NCAA has bylaws mandating regulations for coaches, administrators and student-athletes. The National Association of Athletics Compliance (NAAC) has established a set of reasonable standards for the purpose of providing guidance to NCAA member institutions. In this blog series, Spry Compliance Director Todd Hairston will review these standards and provide insight on how Spry can help institutions stay compliant and mitigate risk.

Bylaw 13- Local Sports Clubs

Club sport participation has become a fixture in the youth sport landscape over the past several decades. For college coaches, involvement with club sports is always complicated due to the obvious recruiting implications. Aside from recruiting, however, allowing college coaches the ability to be involved with club sport activities provides a necessary revenue stream for coaches, as well as a valuable developmental resource for prospective student-athletes.  For these reasons, the NCAA has created legislated exceptions that allow college coaches to be involved with local sports clubs under specific circumstances. Navigating these exceptions, however, can be challenging. As institutions prepare for the upcoming 2022-23 academic year, coaches and administrators will benefit by planning ahead to ensure that they are checking all the right boxes with regard to local sports club participation.

Below, we’ll highlight some of NAAC’s recommended standards associated with local sports club activities as well as how Spry can assist athletic departments in meeting them.

Standard 

  • Actively solicit coaches and sport-specific staff members to identify any potential involvement with a local sports club and to ensure it is approved via institutional procedures and permissible per NCAA rules.
  • Confirm the following for staff member involvement with local sports clubs:
    • The club is an established, ongoing local club engaged in competitive activities and is not formed for the sole purpose of providing instruction to prospects
    • Prospect-aged club members reside within a 50-mile radius of campus, and if not, that the club is their closest opportunity for club participation.
  • In situations where the institution’s coach or staff member owns the local sports club, the institution, in its determination, may consider reviewing information including, but not limited to, club participants and their contact information, schedules of club operations, distinction between club and institutional activities, membership dues, and employees (paid and volunteer).
  • In situations where the institution rents its facilities to a local sports club, confirm that appropriate rental fees are paid and the arrangement overall is consistent with institutional policies.
  • Maintain a record of all coaches and sport-specific staff members’ involvement in local sports clubs.
  • Maintain a record (i.e., employment form) of any staff member involvement with local sports clubs, including information collected about the club and its participants.
  • Provide notification to the involved staff member of approval or denial to participate in activities with the local sports club.
  • Maintain a record of education provided to coaches and sport-specific staff members as well as other pertinent staff (i.e., facilities) and constituents regarding NCAA rules related to local sports clubs.
  • Develop and maintain written procedures that assign responsibility and ensure adherence to maintaining records in relation to involvement in a local sport club.

Platform Support

Through SpryConnect’s recruiting module, custom reports can easily be created to identify the location of all prospective student-athletes participating with a club in which a coach is involved.  Additionally, details of all clubs with which a coaching staff member is affiliated can be uploaded to a coach’s profile, allowing for easy sorting and reporting capabilities.  

Relevant Bylaws

13.11.2.4 Local Sports Clubs

Yes or No

  • Question: Is it permissible for a prospective student-athlete to reside with a relative during the period of involvement in a local sports club in order to meet the 50-mile radius restriction?
  • Answer: NO. A prospective student-athlete who relocates to an area within a 50-mile radius of the institution on a temporary basis (e.g., to participate on a club team or attend an institution while maintaining a permanent residence outside the 50-mile radius) is not considered a legal resident of the area regardless of whether the prospective student-athlete meets legal standards of state or local residency for governmental purposes.

Todd Blog Author

Learn about ways that Spry can help you navigate other NCAA bylaws by clicking here.

Reasonable Standards Review

The NCAA has bylaws mandating regulations for coaches, administrators and student-athletes. The National Association of Athletics Compliance (NAAC) has established a set of reasonable standards for the purpose of providing guidance to NCAA member institutions. In this blog series, Spry Compliance Director Todd Hairston will review these standards and provide insight on how Spry can help institutions stay compliant and mitigate risk.

Bylaw 16- Monitoring Vehicles

As we approach the end of the first full year of NIL, athletic departments have had to reassess their monitoring priorities in the wake of NIL in order to adjust to the ever changing landscape.

Given the heightened concerns that have emerged around booster activities, collectives and impermissible inducements, the monitoring of these potential benefits has taken on even more significance than in years past. As such, the reasonable standards recommended by NAAC as it relates to the monitoring of student-athlete vehicles are extremely timely and relevant. 

While NIL has created new pathways by which student-athletes can permissibly acquire items of value such as cars, it has also opened the door for perhaps even more impermissible transactions to occur. Therefore, the athletic department’s active monitoring of this space is more critical than ever. 

Below, we’ll highlight some of NAAC’s recommended standards associated with the monitoring of student-athlete vehicles, and also touch on how Spry can assist athletic departments in meeting them.

Standard 

  • Student-athletes whom, in the judgment of the institution, are considered high profile or high risk, will submit vehicle information to Compliance Office for review. Recommended information to collect during a vehicle review: 
    • Year, Make, Model, Color,Customization 
    • License plate number and State 
    • Name of Title Holder(s) 
    • Student-athlete’s relationship to TitleHolder(s) 
    • Date of purchase (Month/Year) 
    • Status of the vehicle loan and name of loan holder 
    • Dealership or individual from which vehicle was purchased 
    • Who (if anyone) helped the student-athlete select and purchase the vehicle Person 
  • Educate student-athletes, parents, appropriate athletics department staff members, and university personnel regarding extra benefit rules that pertain to the use or acquisition of vehicles. 
  • Educate local car dealers with whom the institution has a relationship and any other dealerships with whom the institution has reason to believe that student-athletes are doing business with regarding applicable NCAA rules including extra benefits and preferential treatment pertaining to free or reduced cost access to vehicles.
  • Retain the institutional vehicle information completed by the student-athletes as well as any other documentation that the institution has elected to gather.
  • Maintain a record of the education provided to student-athletes, parents, institutional staff members and others regarding preferential treatment/extra benefits for use or purchase of a vehicle. 

Platform Support

  • From a monitoring perspective, SpryNIL’s disclosure function will allow for easy identification of all NIL transactions, the nature of the transaction, as well as the amount and type of compensation.  Any transaction involving a booster, or booster collective can easily be flagged by the compliance office for review and approval.
  • Operationally, SpryConnect’s customizable workflows can optimize the data collection process. Once a workflow is released to a student-athlete, they can input all necessary vehicle information (make, model, title holder, etc.) and then submit to compliance for final review.  Once the workflow is reviewed and finalized, the department will have a paperless record keeping system that is easily accessible, and also allows the department to demonstrate that it has met its obligations for monitoring and documentation.
  • Lastly, Spry’s robust educational platform offers digestible content designed to inform student-athletes, parents, boosters and local businesses about the NCAA’s rules regarding extra benefits. 

Relevant Bylaws

16.11.2.1 General Rule– The student-athlete shall not receive any extra benefit. The term “extra benefit” refers to any special arrangement by an institutional employee or representative of the institution’s athletics interests to provide the student-athlete or the student-athlete’s family members or friends with a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.  

16.11.2.2 Other Prohibited Benefits– An institutional employee or representative of the institution’s athletics interests may not provide a student-athlete with extra benefits or services, including, but not limited to:

(a) A loan of money; 

(b) A guarantee of bond; 

(c) An automobile or the use of an automobile; 

(d) Transportation (e.g., a ride home with a coach), except as permitted in Bylaw 16.9.1, even if the student-athlete reimburses the institution or the staff member for the appropriate amount of the gas or expense; or 

(e) Signing or co-signing a note with an outside agency to arrange a loan.

Yes or No

  • Question: Is it permissible for a student-athlete to be provided an automobile as the result of an NIL deal with a car dealership owned by an institutional booster?
  • Answer: YES, provided the car is received as a result of a legitimate business arrangement, is commensurate with the value of the task being executed by the student-athlete, and was not a condition of the student-athlete’s initial or continued enrollment at his/her institution.

Todd Blog Author

Learn about ways that Spry can help you navigate other NCAA bylaws by clicking here.

NIL 2.0…A Closer Look at the NCAA’s Recent Guidance

Last week, the NCAA issued updated guidance regarding name, image, and likeness (NIL) activities. The NCAA’s announcement did not introduce new NIL legislation however but rather was a clarification of the loose set of guidelines that were set forth in the NCAA’s interim policy last June. 

The pre-existing NCAA prohibitions against recruiting inducements and booster involvement in recruiting activities were reaffirmed. Boosters have never been allowed to insert themselves into the recruiting process, although that is exactly what has occurred over the first ten months of the NIL era, as dozens of collectives served to steer prospective student-athletes to specific schools.  This is the exact scenario many feared from the outset of NIL. Such activities are expressly prohibited in the NCAA’s Bylaw 13.2.1 which states:

 “An institution’s staff member or any representative of its athletics interests shall not be involved, directly or indirectly, in making arrangements for or giving or offering to give any financial aid or other benefits to a prospective student-athlete or the prospective student-athlete’s family members or friends, other than expressly permitted by NCAA regulations.”

Enforcement Efforts

While many would agree that the influence of third parties within the recruiting process is problematic, putting the genie back in the bottle, so to speak, will be no easy task.  Of course, one lever the NCAA has at its disposal is the enforcement process.  Last week’s announcement was intended to serve notice to the membership that as it relates to NIL, business as usual will not be tolerated going forward. While enforcement can be retroactive as well, only the most egregious violators are expected to be pursued.

Traditionally, prospective SAs who have received impermissible recruiting inducements have been at risk of being ruled ineligible and subject to a reinstatement process that could involve a withholding from competition for some period of time.  The NCAA Working Group has reportedly stated that sanctions are not expected to be directed at player eligibility, however.  This would open the door for more institutionally based sanctions which, in extreme cases, could include allegations of failure to monitor (a Level II infraction) or a lack of institutional control (a Level I infraction). Such institutional infractions could carry penalties that include recruiting restrictions, loss of scholarships, fines, and probation, to name a few.

Legal Implications

One of the concerns from an NCAA standpoint is the threat of lawsuits by third parties or student-athletes themselves, claiming that NCAA legislation/enforcement creates an unfair restraint of trade.  Alston vs. NCAA established that the NCAA is not exempt from antitrust law, however, Alston’s interpretation was not all-encompassing.  The Supreme Court ruled in Alston that the NCAA cannot restrict student-athletes’ receipt of “educational expenses”, but stopped short of limiting the NCAA’s authority to prohibit “pay for play” or blatant financial inducements. Therefore, the delineation between educational and non-educational expenses will be a critical distinction that could require further legal interpretation, as Alston did not provide a clear definition on that front.

Takeaways for Member Institutions

With heightened scrutiny and the likelihood of enhanced enforcement efforts, institutions would be well served by becoming more diligent about tracking NIL disclosures. Failing to perform due diligence will leave institutions at risk for NCAA violations and susceptible to punitive action.  Further, the education of boosters and recruits should also become a renewed area of focus for institutions. 

While the recent announcement still leaves many unanswered questions about the future of NIL, it is still likely the case that an institution’s overall position will be strengthened by having reliable data, metrics, and educational tools in hand.

 

Please book a demo here to see how Spry can help your institution effectively manage this ever-changing environment!

Todd Blog Author

Reasonable Standards Review – Division II

The NCAA has bylaws mandating regulations for coaches, administrators and student-athletes. The National Association of Athletics Compliance (NAAC) has established a set of reasonable standards for the purpose of providing guidance to NCAA member institutions. In this blog series, Spry Compliance Director Todd Hairston will review these standards and provide insight on how Spry can help institutions stay compliant and mitigate risk.

Bylaw 13- Off-Campus Recruiting

Off-campus recruiting is an absolute necessity for every athletic program, yet it presents one of the most significant areas of risk from a compliance standpoint because it affects the entire Athletic Department. The vast majority of NCAA violations stem from impermissible recruiting activities, so it comes as no surprise that there are several recommended standards that have been identified within this space. 

Below, we’ll highlight some of these standards and how Spry can assist Athletic Departments in meeting them.

Standard 

  • Provide coaches with recruiting calendars at least once a year, update as needed. 
  • Send reminders of dead periods in advance.
  • Maintain a record of coaches certified to recruit off-campus via the D-II University Education Portal (UEP).
  • Submit and approve off-campus visit requests
  • Maintain detailed record of off-campus contacts (include PSA name, date of contact, location, UEP approval).

Platform Support

  • SpryConnect’s Personnel Management platform will allow institutions to code each staff member according to their title and category and flag impermissible recruiting activities performed by unauthorized personnel.  
  • Connect can also assist with standards by sending automated recruiting calendar reminders and alerts for upcoming dead periods through the Coaches’ Dashboard.
  • Customized workflows within the SpryConnect platform can facilitate paperless, multi-step intra-department approvals for off-campus visit requests.
  • All pertinent off-campus contact data can be housed within SpryConnects recruiting module creating an efficient and reliable tracking solution that meets recommended monitoring standards.

Relevant Bylaws

13.02.4.1 Contact Period. A contact period is that period of time when it is permissible for authorized athletics department staff members to make in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations.

13.02.4.2 Evaluation Period. An evaluation period is that period of time when it is permissible for authorized athletics department staff members to be involved in off-campus activities designed to assess the academic qualifications and playing ability of prospective student-athletes. No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts shall be made with the prospective student-athlete during an evaluation period. 

13.1.2.1.1 Off-Campus Recruiters. An institutional staff member is not permitted to recruit off campus until they have been certified on an annual basis as to knowledge of applicable recruiting rules per Bylaw 11.6.1.1. However, institutional staff members (e.g., faculty members) may contact prospective student-athletes for recruiting purposes on campus or within the locale of the institution’s main campus during the prospective student-athlete’s official visit. 

13.1.6.1 Contact With Prospective Student-Athletes Involved in Competition. Recruiting contact may not be made with a prospective student-athlete at any site prior to any athletics competition (including a noninstitutional, private 4/15/22 112 camp or clinic, but not an institutional camp or clinic) in which the prospective student-athlete is a participant on a day of competition, even if the prospective student-athlete is on an official or unofficial visit. Contact includes the passing of notes or orally relaying information to a prospective student-athlete by a third party on behalf of an institutional staff member. Contact may occur after the prospective student-athlete’s competition concludes for the day and the prospective student-athlete has been released by the appropriate authority (e.g., coach). 

Yes or No

Question: Is it permissible for a coach to contact a PSA who is a multisport athlete, during a dead period for one of the sports for which the PSA is being recruited?

Answer: YES, provided the PSA is being earnestly recruited in two sports, and it is a permissible recruiting period for the sport in which the recruiting coach certified to recruit.

 

Todd Blog Author

Reasonable Standards Review

The NCAA has bylaws mandating regulations for coaches, administrators and student-athletes. The National Association of Athletics Compliance (NAAC) has established a set of reasonable standards for the purpose of providing guidance to NCAA member institutions. In this blog series, Spry Compliance Director Todd Hairston will review these standards and provide insight on how Spry can help institutions stay compliant and mitigate risk.

Bylaw 11- Sport Specific Non-Coaching Staff Members

Non-coaching staff members exist in a difficult legislative space. They aren’t allowed to recruit or engage in coaching activities like a countable coach, yet they are vital, indispensable members of the staff.  These individuals are such an integral part of operation that there are several reasonable standards recommendations devoted specifically to non-coaching staff members. 

Below, we’ll highlight some of these recommended standards and how Spry can assist athletic departments in meeting them.

Standard 

  • Spot checking is a must.  Documenting that non-coaching staff members are not engaged in on-court coaching activities is a critical element in meeting the institution’s monitoring standard.  This can be a challenge for small compliance staffs, or departments with multiple facilities located in different parts of campus, however it is recommended that spots checks be conducted at least once per year, per sport. 
    • Responsible party: compliance
  • Educate all non-coaching staff members on the limitations of their roles upon hire and at least once annually.
    • Responsible party: compliance
  • Maintain a “Declaration of Staff” list designating each staff member according to their status (i.e. countable, non-countable, volunteer, part-time, full-time).
    • Responsible party: compliance
  • Audit recruiting records for impermissible recruiting activities.
    • Responsible party: compliance
  • Review background of new hires to determine IAWP status (if applicable).
    • Responsible party: compliance or HR

Platform Support

SpryConnect’s Personnel Management platform will allow institutions to code each staff member according to their title and category and flag impermissible recruiting activities performed by unauthorized personnel.  Connect will also assist with the educational standard by providing timely educational modules and interpretations through the platform.

Relevant Bylaws

11.4.2, 11.4.3, 11.4.4- Individuals Associated with a Prospect

11.7- Limitations on the Number and Duties of Coaches and Non-coaching Staff members

Yes or No

  • Question: Is it permissible for a non-coaching staff member to operate a local sports club involving prospects?
  • Answer: YES, provided the club is located in the institution’s home community and the staff member doesn’t engage in any recruiting activities on behalf of the institution

 

Todd Blog Author

Spry is thrilled to celebrate the many successful women in the sport industry. We are proud to work with many of these women and can’t wait to share their stories and successes with you!

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Val Ackerman, Commissioner of the Big East Conference. Valerie is a sports executive, former lawyer, and former basketball player. She is known for being the first president of the Women’s National Basketball Association, serving from 1996 to 2005. 

 

What prompted you to work in athletics?

As an athlete herself, and because of her positive experiences around sports Val had a natural interest in athletics. Her father and grandfather were both high school Athletic Directors and athletes and she looked up to them as role models, often tagging along to sporting events with them.  But, according to Val, one of the biggest attractions to the  sports industry was that it seemed like a people business, which was very exciting.

Who are your Role Models?

As mentioned above, both Val’s father and grandfather were influential in her life. Additionally, her mother was a huge influence on Val.  She was a working mom when that wasn’t very common, and showed Val that it was possible to juggle raising kids and having a career.

Val had female athletes that she looked up to.  They were mostly tennis players and Olympics because those were the only female athletes shown on TV.  These influential women included; Billie Jean King, Peggy Fleming and Olga Korbut.

In her career, Val had many influential mentors who took her under their wing and taught her about the sports industry.  David Stern, Dave Gavit, founder of the Big East and Pam Summit, a coach not executive because there were not many female executives all played an important part in Val’s development.

What advice do you have for future leaders?

Val easily told us how her work ethic made her journey in the sports industry possible.  She is an extremely hard worker and encourages others to be the same.  Val said,  “If you want to be successful, there is always an extra mile to cover. And, knowing that going into any job or situation is important.”  She continues to say that individuals have to understand that others will work harder and there is no substitute for preparation, so work your butt off. She also mentions:

  • Competency – be good at what you do and know what you’re talking about
  • People skills matter – in every business especially in sports
  • Relationships last for decades 
  • Reputation is built on reliability and your ability to see both sides of an argument and understand human emotion. 
  • Sports are based on passion and emotion, it’s important to understand other people’s emotion.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Val mentions that she has received a lot of great advice throughout her career, but she always remembers when David Stern said, “micro-management is underrated”.  Val explained that he meant, the details matter and as a leader you have to know when to jump into the weeds and help your team manage the small details and when to trust your team to do the work.  In her own work, “managing details could make something bad turn out to be something good and something good turnout great.” 

Please fill in the blank,  The best part of my job is – 

“The people. It’s a people intensive industry and success and satisfaction ride on relationships with the people who you work for, with and for you.” Val looked back at the past 2 years that our world was dealing with a global pandemic.  She explained how she worked to ensure that connections stayed strong during those extraordinary times – when no one had a playbook.  That time period tested relationships and it was hard.

Favorite Ice Cream 

Jersey Shore – Rum Raisin Ice Cream or anything dark chocolate

 

Read the next article in Spry’s Women’s History Month series: Celebrating Kirsten Elleby, the Deputy Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator at Syracuse University.

Spry is thrilled to celebrate the many successful women in the sport industry. We are proud to work with many of these women and can’t wait to share their stories and successes with you!

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Shauna Cobb.  Shauna is the Senior Associate AD and Senior Woman Administrator at Boston College, where she has served since 2021.  Prior to joining the Eagles staff, Shauna was the Director of Academics and Membership Affairs at the NCAA, where she worked for 12 years.  Her responsibilities at the NCAA included co-oversight of the team that processes interpretations and waivers of Division I academic legislation. She also had oversight of the Division I Academic Performance Program, which involved management of academic data operations, penalty waivers, APR improvement plans, public releases, and policy interpretations. A 2001 graduate of Clemson University, Cobb shared her talents on two other ACC campuses, serving as a compliance administrator at both Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, before joining the NCAA in 2009. 

Below is a summary of our conversation:

Please give me a brief history of your life/career

Shauna began her athletics career at Georgia Tech.  At the time her duties involved oversight of the National Letter of Intent program, which she now views as a rich formative experience, largely because it allowed her to interact and form valuable relationships with the ACC conference office personnel.  As an Associate AD at Virginia Tech, she was able to continue to expand her skill set, acquiring knowledge and experiences that would ultimately lead her to the NCAA national office. Never content with the status quo, Shauna’s quest to master her craft resulted in her completion of the NCAA’s Whitcomb Leadership Institute in 2008, as well as the NCAA/NACWAA Institute for Administrative Advancement in 2012. In 2016, Cobb participated in the NCAA Pathway Program, a year-long experiential learning opportunity for senior-level athletics administrators.  The most recent stop along her journey brought her to Chestnut Hill in her current position at Boston College. Cobb credits her willingness to be “coachable” as being a significant contributor to her career advancement. 

What inspired you to want to pursue a career in intercollegiate athletics?

Shauna’s driving force is her desire to make a difference in the lives of student-athletes.  At every step of her decorated career, she has sought to support, encourage and inspire young people.  At the NCAA, she relished the opportunity to impact tens of thousands of students through her work with Academic and Membership Affairs, but ultimately, the ability to establish more personal relationships with student-athletes is what led her back to campus in her current role last fall.

What’s the biggest thing you know now that you wish you’d known earlier in your career?

Cobb said that as she was starting her professional journey, she wishes she had fully appreciated how important relationships were.  She also stated that she would encourage younger professionals to treat every interaction as a potential job interview.  In saying this, she noted a conversation with Curtis Solomon during her tenure at Georgia Tech.  What seemed like a mundane conversation at the time still resonated with Solomon years later when Cobb was recruited to join the NCAA staff.

When asked about her role models growing up? In sports, in business?

Shauna identified several role models whom she cited as having been instrumental in her career trajectory.  She credited Amy Huchthausen, a supervisor at the NCAA, for her willingness to share valuable information and pour into her growth as a young professional. She also noted Curtis Solomon as being another mentor during her time at the national office.  She credits Solomon with helping her shape her professional identity and values. Shauna also expressed gratitude for the compassionate guidance of Diane Dickman.  Dickman was the individual who hired Shauna to her first position at the NCAA.  Cobb remembers Dickman telling her, “I’m not going to let you fail”, and spoke of how meaningful it was to have that level of trust and support as a young staff member at the NCAA.

The best piece of advice you’ve ever received was?

Shauna shared that a former Vice President at the NCAA once reminded her that “this building won’t love you back.” What she gleaned from this nugget of advice was that she needed to understand who she was and what was important to her so that the job didn’t define her. 

Another piece of advice that she reflects on to this day is to never give so much that you have nothing left to give.  

Finish the sentence, The best part of my job is    student-athletes.  The kids keep you young!             .

Perhaps one of the biggest takeaways from my conversation with Shauna is her commitment to paying it forward.  Just as she credits her mentors at the NCAA for showing her the way, she firmly believes that it is her obligation to do the same for others.  Shauna stated, “The information doesn’t belong to me, so why wouldn’t I share it with others? We can’t be afraid to let other people shine. Blowing out your candle doesn’t make mine shine any brighter.” 

Shauna’s candle is most certainly shining brightly!  She is truly a credit to the profession and an inspiration to aspiring women in athletics, and beyond.  We are grateful that she took the time to share some of her story with us. Please join Spry in celebrating her wonderful contributions to the sports industry!

Read the next article in Spry’s Women’s History Month series: Celebrating Kirsten is the Deputy Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator at Syracuse University.