Division II Adopts Legislation to Reduce Athletic Seasons

Inside Higher Ed published an article on the recent decision by NCAA Division II membership to approve new legislation which will reduce the athletic season in several sports. The “Life in the Balance” legislation will reduce the number of games that can be played or the time frame teams have for preseason scrimmages and practices. In addition, there is now a “dead period” from Dec. 20-26 during which teams cannot play or practice. At the NCAA convention, many members were concerned about “season creep,” which was forcing athletes to squeeze an increasing number of games into a limited time period, pulling them away from class and other campus activities.

“I’ve met with a lot of our students, and they were very clear with me about the pressures they feel from coaches to do a lot of things that draw away from their opportunities to do other things and participate in other activities on campus,” said Stephen Jordan, chair of the Division II Presidents Council and president of Metropolitan State College of Denver. “I think what we’re doing is reflective of what the Knight Commission [on Intercollegiate Athletics] has said for very long time: If there is going to be meaningful reform in intercollegiate athletics, it has to be led by presidents.”

However, among the several membesr who disagreed with the measures included Kelly Higgins, athletics director at Fort Lewis College. Higgins stated: “We already have the ability to choose these options not to play. We already have the options to choose to enhance student-athlete welfare on our own campuses and in our own conferences.”