Summary of Actions Taken by the NCAA Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet
Provided courtesy of Tom Jacobs and Mark Bockelman, NCAA Championships

At its September 20-21 meeting, the NCAA Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet took the following actions on the recommendations of the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Tennis Committee:

1. Official Travel Party. Approved that effective with the 2007 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Tennis Championships, the men's and women's travel party for the team portion of the championship be increased from 11 to 13 individuals. (Pending approval from the NCAA Division I Budget Committee.)

2. Officials' Fees. Approved that effective with the 2007 men's and women's tennis championships, the fees for the head referee (for each) be increased from $1,500 to $2,000, the fees for the deputy referees be increased from $500 to $1,000, the pool of money for chair umpires match fees be increased from $8,670 to $13,800 and the stipend paid to the match scheduler/computer programmer (who will handle both the men's and women's championships) be increased from $1,000 to $2,000. (Pending approval from the NCAA Division I Budget Committee.)

3. Bracketing. Based on a recommendation from the Bracket/Format Subcommittee, the cabinet did not approve a recommendation that effective with the 2006 championships (both men's and women's), the subcommittees be permitted to implement previous bracketing policies (last used for the
2001 championships) which allow for four bands of 16 teams each (as is the case currently), but in assigning teams to first- and second-round sites, teams seeded Nos. 1-4 are matched with teams 29-32, teams seeded Nos. 5-8 are matched with 25-28, teams seeded 9-12 are matched with 21-24 and teams seeded Nos. 13-16 are matched with 17-20. Teams in the third band (33-48) and fourth band (49-64) would continue to be assigned to first- and second-round sites based on geographic proximity.

4. First- and Second-Round Hosts. Based on a recommendation from the Bracket/Format Subcommittee, the cabinet approved a recommendation that effective with the 2006 championships (both men's and women's), regions no longer be guaranteed of having a host site.

5. Individual Automatic Qualifiers. Based on a recommendation from the Bracket/Format Subcommittee, the cabinet approved a recommendation that effective with the 2006 championships (both men's and women's), automatic qualifiers for singles (top four per region) and doubles (top two per region) no longer be determined by regional affiliation. Rather, automatic singles and doubles selections will be made according to conference affiliation according to the following process:

a. Singles: Automatic qualification into the Division I singles championships will be awarded to any conference with one or more singles players ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Top 125 for singles. For conferences with more than one singles player within the ITA Top 125, the committee will apply the NCAA selection criteria to determine which student-athlete is the automatic qualifier from those conferences.

b. Doubles: Automatic qualification into the Division I doubles championships will be awarded to any conference with one or more doubles teams ranked in the ITA Top 60 for doubles. For conferences with more than one doubles team within the ITA Top 60, the committee will apply the NCAA selection criteria to determine which doubles team is the automatic qualifier from those conferences.

6. Committee Reduction. The cabinet approved a recommendation to reduce the number of regions for the men's championships from eight to six (to mirror the women's regions) and to reduce the size of the committee from 14 to 12 individuals (reduction in the men's subcommittee from eight to six individuals). The reduction will be through attrition, paying attention to regional, subdivisional and gender requirements. It was noted that this reduction will result in a savings of $12,000.

7. Start Dates for Men's and Women's Finals Site. Based on a recommendation from the Bracket/Format Subcommittee, the cabinet approved a recommendation that effective with the 2007 championships, the men's and women's tournaments alternate which event begins first (i.e., men's tournament will begin first in odd-numbered years, women's tournament will begin first in even-numbered years).

8. Conference Automatic Qualifiers. The following 31 conferences sponsoring men's and women's tennis were granted automatic qualification for the 2006 championships:

a. Men's Conferences: America East Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Atlantic Sun Conference, Atlantic 10 Conference, Big 12 Conference, Big East Conference, Big Sky Conference, Big South Conference, Big Ten Conference, Big West Conference, Colonial Athletic Association, Conference USA, Horizon League, Ivy Group, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Mid-American Conference, Mid-Continent Conference, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Missouri Valley Conference, Mountain West Conference, Northeast Conference, Ohio Valley Conference, Pacific-10 Conference, Patriot League, Southeastern Conference, Southern Conference, Southland Conference, Southwestern Athletic Conference, Sun Belt Conference, West Coast Conference and the Western Athletic Conference.

b. Women's Conferences: America East Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Atlantic Sun Conference, Atlantic 10 Conference, Big East Conference, Big Sky Conference, Big South Conference, Big Ten Conference, Big 12 Conference, Big West Conference, Colonial Athletic Association, Conference USA, Horizon League, Ivy Group, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Mid-American Conference, Mid-Continent Conference, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Missouri Valley Conference, Mountain West Conference, Northeast Conference, Ohio Valley Conference, Pacific-10 Conference, Patriot League, Southeastern Conference, Southern Conference, Southland Conference, Southwestern Athletic Conference, Sun Belt Conference, West Coast Conference and the Western Athletic Conference.

9. Requirements for Officials. The cabinet approved a recommendation that effective with the 2006 championships (both men's and women's), in order to be selected as an official at the finals site, officials must be ITA certified and must have chaired a minimum of eight collegiate matches during the regular season (including three matches of a "national caliber" - e.g., a national ITA tournament of a conference tournament, etc.).

10. Bylaw 31.1.1.4 (Noon Start Time). Based on a recommendation from the Bracket/Format Subcommittee, the cabinet approved a recommendation that would, for the health and safety of student-athletes, allow matches to be played prior to noon local time for the first Sunday at the finals site.

In addition, the cabinet took the following actions that will be of interest to or pertain to sports committees in general:

11. The cabinet agreed to sponsor legislation that would require all prospects, walk-ons and student-athletes to undergo a medical examination administered or supervised by a physician prior to participation in any physical activity (i.e., preseason, regular season, nontraditional season), effective August 1, 2007.

The cabinet believes that student-athletes should be evaluated by qualified medical personnel before they begin the rigors of organized college athletics activities. Currently, in all sports other than football, there is no legislation that requires a student-athlete to be evaluated prior to their first season at an NCAA institution and this has lead to inconsistency among institutions in how each one handles physical exams. The cabinet believes that all student-athletes should have a preparticipation examination consistent with the legislation for the sport of football. Due to the inconsistency in medical forms used nationwide, the cabinet highly recommends the forms within the "Preparticipation Physical Examination" monograph as a minimal standard for conducting the evaluations. This publication has been endorsed by the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Sports Medicine, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine. Each institution should provide its own preparticipation examination form based on these minimal standards, which includes a thorough history, physical examination and screening for cardiovascular conditions. During subsequent years, an interim history should be performed on which a physician would determine if additional physical, cardiovascular or neurological examinations are required

12. Proposal No. 2005-131 - Playing and Practice Seasons - Out-of-Season Activities - Skill Instruction - Number of Participants - Sports other than Football. Based on a recommendation from the Playing and Practice Seasons Subcommittee, the cabinet agreed to support the proposal as written.

13. Proposal No. 2005-135 - Playing and Practice Seasons - Out-of-Season Practice Activities - Hours of Skill Instruction - Sports other than Football. Based on a recommendation from the Playing and Practice Seasons Subcommittee, the cabinet agreed to oppose the proposal as written. The cabinet expressed strong concerns that, by allowing four hours of individual skill instruction, an expectation may exist for student-athletes to voluntarily engage in weight training and conditioning beyond the eight-hour limit.

14. Proposal No. 2005-136 - Playing and Practice Seasons - Out-of-Season Activities - Hours of Skill Instruction and Number of Participants - Exam Period Limitation - Sports other than Football. Based on a recommendation from the Playing and Practice Seasons Subcommittee, the cabinet agreed to oppose the proposal as written. The cabinet expressed strong concerns that, by allowing four hours of individual skill instruction, an expectation may exist for student-athletes to voluntarily engage in weight training and conditioning beyond the eight-hour limit. However, the cabinet is supportive of the concept outlined in the last section of the intent statement which indicates that all athletically related activities outside the playing season should be prohibited one week prior to the beginning of the examination period through the conclusion of final exams for each student-athlete in the sport.

15. Proposal No. 2005-141 - Playing and Practice Seasons - Skill Instruction - Concurrent Sessions - Sports other than Football and Basketball. Based on a recommendation from the Playing and Practice Seasons Subcommittee, the cabinet agreed to oppose the proposal as written. The cabinet noted its support of Proposal No. 2005-131, which, if adopted, would eliminate the restriction on the number of student-athletes who may be involved in individual skill instruction at one time. Further, if Proposal No. 2005-131 is not adopted and the limit in sports other than basketball remains at four student-athletes, the cabinet is not in favor of allowing individual skill instruction to occur in separate facilities at the same time.

16. It was agreed that the Administrative Committee would begin approving all site recommendations for Division I and National Collegiate Championships. The committee will develop guidelines and principles to ensure that appropriate site information/ documentation is available for the committee's consideration.

17. The cabinet will survey all sports committees regarding the issue of increasing the ground transportation requirement from 300 to 350 miles and the NCAA staff will provide estimates of cost savings if such a policy were to be implemented and will provide the results for cabinet review at its February 2006 meeting. There have been several sports committees (i.e., baseball, field hockey, women's soccer) that have recommended such a mileage increase. The cabinet has not approved such recommendations citing potential inconsistencies among sports surveying the sports committees and exploring the cost savings will provide the cabinet with the necessary information to make an informed decision for all sports.

18. The cabinet clarified "home", "away" and "neutral" designation of games of institutions displaced in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. The cabinet approved implementation of a uniform policy for all sports committees so that for purposes of calculating the RPI, games played at an institution's temporary home be considered "neutral" games for both teams. The cabinet feels that sports committees should be consistent in what they consider "home," "away" and "neutral" games. If a displaced team travels to another campus to play that team, then it is considered an "away" game for the displaced team and a "home" game for the hosting team (as is the case currently). However, if the displaced team hosts a team at its new "temporary" home, then that game is considered a "neutral" site game for both teams.

19. The cabinet approved the following recommendations from the Playing Rules and Oversight Panel (PROP):

a. To provide stipends for each of the Association's secretary-rules editors. It was noted that the cabinet will request that the $132,500 be allocated from Association-wide funds.

b. To fund one active official to attend each of the Association's 17 playing rules committee annual meetings. It was noted that the cabinet will request that the $25,075 be allocated from Association-wide funds.

c. To provide funding for compliance testing for 30 softball bats per year. It was noted that the cabinet will request that the $30,000 be allocated from Association-wide funds.

The recommendations to fund these proposals must go forward to the NCAA Executive Committee for its approval.