On January 7, the NCAA News reported on a statement from the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics to Division II chancellors and presidents who have shepherded the division’s “Life in the Balance” package for this year’s NCAA Convention. The “Life in the Balance” proposals streamline seasons and reduce contests in 10 sports, in addition to establishing a later report date for fall-sport athletes and a seven-day dead period for winter sports. Kirwan, who is chancellor of the University System of Maryland, and Turner, who is president of Southern Methodist University, applauded their Division II peers for developing the four-proposal package to be considered at the Division II business session January 16 at the NCAA Convention.
“We commend the Division II presidents for their leadership in developing the comprehensive Life in Balance initiatives to better align policies and practices with the Division II philosophy,” Kirwan and Turner said.
“In the recent recognition of its 20th anniversary, the Knight Commission noted that presidential control and leadership in intercollegiate athletics continue to be at the heart of the commission’s approach. The presidentially-led Life in Balance package being considered by Division II reflects the commission’s view that presidents should be involved in assuring that all aspects of university life are considered in NCAA policies.
“The commission has been concerned about the increasing time demands placed on athletes by their athletics commitments, in all NCAA divisions, particularly in light of recent research on these issues. The commission commends and supports the Division II presidents for putting these issues on their agenda, both on their own campuses and through the NCAA structure.”