Friday, January 18, 2008

NCAA annual meeting follow-up

Sounds like some interesting stuff happened last weekend in Nashville at the annual NCAA meeting.

The very controversial issue of male practice players in women's basketball was brought up by Division III administrators. They did vote to accept the proposal that would limit the use of male practice players to once a week during season but provides for unlimited use during the off-season. DI has not taken a vote on male practice players but I am guessing support for a proposal that would limit how DI coaches can coach is not going to be well-received, especially because every coach I have heard speak on the issue is balking at the idea of regulation.

In some very interesting news, the NCAA has decided to allow some Canadian universities join the organization. After previously receiving executive committee approval, the DII committee was the first* to vote to allow Canadian universities to become NCAA members. A ten-year pilot program will be started and we could see Canadian participation as early as next academic year. And though the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of extending membership to Canadian schools (some of which already belong to the NAIA) the sticking point may be with the Canadian governing body, Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), which does not sound all that keen on extending dual membership to institutions that want to become NCAA members, too. It sounds complicated and highly political, as all things in athletic governance seem to be these days, but it could be interesting.

And lastly, Pat Griffin reports on her blog, It Takes a Team!, that there was very good dialogue about GLBT issues at the meeting. She notes the progress the organization and its participants have made over the years in simply being able to talk about homosexuality and gender identity in intercollegiate athletics. She sees that veil of silence lifting, exemplified by the full house at the panel she organized on inclusion of GLBT athletes and the emptying of all the material at the It Takes a Team resource table.

* DI has a moratorium on accepting new member schools until 2011.

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