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Little NCAA Changes to Go With Big Ones

Today, August 1, 2013, most of the proposals which made it out of the first round of Rules Working Group deregulation become effective. That includes changes like removing the limit on off-campus recruiters at any one time, allowing expanded academic and professional development expenses for athletes, and the new head coach responsibility bylaw with its presumption of responsibility. The new enforcement model with its expanded Committee on Infractions, new penalty matrix, and (hopefully) faster case processing also takes effect.

The NCAA also made some smaller changes to Division I legislation through a number of Editorial Revisions. Most are technical or purely editorial, but two may have an impact and one of those removes a significant pain point.

ER-2013-10 clarifies the eligibility implications when a school hires or has hired an Individual Associated With a Prospect (IAWP) for an enrolled basketball student-athlete. The new change makes it clear that the student-athlete is ineligible and must go through the reinstatement process. That means the student-athlete would need to go through the reinstatement process at any institution. It also raises the possibility (however remote) that the penalty of permanent ineligibility at that institution might be reduced in the reinstatement process.

ER-2013-11 rewords some language about electronic transmissions (i.e. text messages) to men's basketball prospects. But more importantly, it removes the requirement that institutions wait until the calendar day after the prospect signs before sending text messages in other sports. This was obviously a confusing rule since the athlete was in fact signed and the institution can announce the signing immediately.

ER-2013-12 eliminates Bylaw 23, which covers the Academic Performance Program (grad rates and APR) and moves the relevant parts to Bylaw 14 (eligibility) and Bylaw 21 (committees). This does not change any rules, but it does stuff even more into Bylaw 14, which could use a reorganization and has basically become a junk drawer for rules that do not fit anywhere else. Perhaps the march to eliminate the administrative bylaws went a little far here.

Finally, ER-2013-13 did some housecleaning by removing unnecessary or duplicate provisions. The definition of supplemental pay was eliminated, as was a reference in Bylaw 11 to ethical conduct (which is already covered in its own bylaw, Bylaw 10). The rules for men's and women's basketball event certification were merged since they were virtually identical. Some duplicate recruiting rules about on-campus contact and official visit transportation were removed. And a bylaw which made it an NCAA violation to violate institutional or conference financial aid rules was also deleted.

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