NCAA LSDBi

Division I Proposal - 2019-87

PLAYING AND PRACTICE SEASONS -- FOOTBALL -- FIRST CONTEST -- EXCEPTION FOR A REGULAR-SEASON CONTEST IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY

Status: Tabled

Intent: To specify that an institution that is scheduled to play a regular-season game in a foreign country may play its first permissible contest with outside competition on the Saturday prior to the Thursday preceding Labor Day; further, to specify that an institution that uses this exception must provide its student-athletes with five additional days off from all countable athletically related activities during the institution's declared playing season.

Bylaws: Amend 17.10, as follows:

[Federated provision, FBS and FCS, divided vote]

17.10 Football. Regulations for computing the football playing season are set forth in Bylaw 17.1. (See Figure 17-1 and Figure 17-2.)

[17.10.1 through 17.10.2 unchanged.]

17.10.3 First Contest. An institution shall not play its first contest (game or scrimmage) with outside competition in football prior to the Thursday preceding Labor Day (see Figure 17-2).

[17.10.3.1 through 17.10.3.2 unchanged.]

17.10.3.3 Exception -- In-Season Foreign Competition. An institution that is scheduled to play a regular-season game in a foreign country may play its first permissible contest with outside competition on the Saturday prior to the Thursday preceding Labor Day. An institution that uses this exception must provide its student-athletes with five additional days off from all countable athletically related activities during the institution's declared playing season.

[17.10.4 through 17.10.8 unchanged.]

Source: American Athletic Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference and Pac-12 Conference

Effective Date:August 1, 2020

Proposal Category: Amendment

Topical Area: Playing and Practice Seasons

Rationale: Competition in a foreign country provides a valuable educational and cultural opportunity for student-athletes; however, the travel associated with such competition can negatively impact student-athlete recovery and preparation for the next contest. In a 14-week playing season, which includes a conference championship game, 12 games are scheduled in 13 weeks. Due to travel, participating in a regular-season game in a foreign country essentially eliminates the opportunity for a bye week. This proposal will provide scheduling flexibility to allow student-athletes adequate time to rest and recover following international travel. To offset the opportunity to commence official preseason practice sessions five days earlier, an institution will be required to provide student-athletes with five additional days off during the regular season. The five days are in addition to all other required days off, but do not have to be consecutive. Finally, legislative relief waivers have been granted in previous years to allow institutions to participate in a regular-season game in a foreign country before the first permissible contest date, noting the unique opportunity for student-athletes to compete on an international stage and support from the American Football Coaches Association.

Division I Commitment addressed by proposal: The Commitment to Student-Athlete Well-Being.

Is the proposal consequential or nationally significant?: Yes. This is a nationally significant issue as the opportunities are increasing for such competitions. Several institutions in multiple conferences have received waivers to participate in international competition, and the legislation should be updated to eliminate the need to file a waiver.

Is the proposal enforceable and how do the merits outweigh monitoring burdens?: Yes. This proposal may cause a minimal increase in monitoring related to the additional five days off during the season, but the benefit to student-athletes outweighs the monitoring burden.

How does the proposal support student-athlete success/well-being?: Student-athletes in other sports have an opportunity to participate in a foreign tour. While football teams may take foreign tours (and forgo postseason opportunities), the opportunities to play "American football" against foreign competition are quite limited. Thus, providing this opportunity for competition in a foreign country would allow football student-athletes to benefit from the experience of foreign travel and educational opportunities.

Estimated Budget Impact: Variable; additional costs related to preseason practice and international travel.

Impact on Student-Athlete's Time (Academic and/or Athletics): Variable; time associated with early reporting for preseason practice and travel to foreign competition prior to the start of classes.

Position Statement(s):

Football Oversight Committee No Formal Position
Legislative Committee Opposes The committee noted requests may be appropriately handled through the waiver process.
Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports No Formal Position The committee noted that requiring five additional days off does mitigate some impact of increased time demands.

History

Jul 11, 2019: Submitted to National Office
Nov 14, 2019: In Progress
Feb 7, 2020: Ready for Vote
Apr 1, 2020: Tabled

Legislative References

Division Number Title
I 17.10 Football.
I 17.10.3 First Contest.
References