The NCAA today opened registration for the 2014 Regional Rules Seminars, hosted May 20–23 in Atlanta and June 3–6 in San Diego. The regional rules seminars are the NCAA’s main event for compliance professionals and those associated with compliance on campus like the registrar’s office, financial aid, and admissions. It is also a favorite penalty of the Committee on Infractions to require coaches to attend at their own expense.
According to the NCAA’s release, sessions are broken into four major categories:
- Fundamental Introduction
- Advanced Application
- National Office Dialogue; and
- Institutional Best Practice Dialogue.
In addition to the normal sessions labeled in those categories, there a number of the traditional tracks or programs including:
- Welcome to the World of Compliance;
- The Division I Advanced Track;
- Division I Limited Resource Institutions Track;
- High School sessions;
- Division II and Division III programs; and
- Association-wide sessions.
Those association-wide sessions include topics perhaps more familiar to attendees of the NCAA Convention including student-athlete mental health and substance abuse, social media regulation, and diversity and inclusion.
A couple of the individual Division I sessions also stand-out. Conspicuous by its absence is a session devoted to new Division I legislation. The new legislation will likely be covered in sessions on individual bylaws or in sessions like “Legislative Areas of Focus”. Normally a session or two produce some minor fireworks, when the NCAA reminds people of something they should have been doing or explains a non-obvious impact of a recent interpretation or rule change. Some of the National Office Dialogue sessions like “Interpretations Philosophy” and “Frequently Asked Interpretive Questions and Bylaw Overlap Scenarios” look like likely culprits.
But by far the most interesting session on paper is entitled “Student-Athlete Reinstatement: Institutional, NCAA and Media Navigation”. Here is the description:
This session will provide an advanced-level review of how the Division I student-athlete reinstatement process may overlap with the NCAA public and media relations staff and the membership’s public relations staff. Attendees will learn to identify student-athlete reinstatement and waiver cases that may generate intense media attention and publicity. The student-athlete reinstatement and communications staffs will share how they work collaboratively with one another, involve member institutions and the news media to bring clarity and understanding to the waiver process, reinstatement process and the decisions rendered.
To my knowledge the NCAA has not done a similar session before. While this may have been in the works for a while, it would be a fairly big coincidence for a session like this to just happened to be added the summer after reinstatement cases like Chris Walker’s and PJ Hairston’s when the criticism of the NCAA’s handling of the case might have changed if the media had known the status of the case on campus.
The seminars run May 20–23 at the Omni CNN Center in Atlanta and June 3–6 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. Registration is free for NCAA members, $175 for nonmembers. Next year the Regional Rules Seminars will be hosted in Denver, CO and Indianapolis, IN.