Conference USA Has Sponsored The Proposal
Indianapolis, IN–Delegates will participate in an override vote during the NCAA Division I business session next week, marking the fifth consecutive year of override activity. Members will vote on legislation to add a 14th week to the beginning of the college baseball season.
The Division I business session is Friday, January 15 at the NCAA Convention in Atlanta. A five-eighths majority is required to overturn the legislation.
In July, the Legislative Council sustained its approval of the proposal. The Board allowed the Legislative Council action to stand, sending the proposal to the Convention.
Intended to address concerns about the amount of missed class time for baseball student-athletes, the new baseball rule (Proposal No. 2008-46) would allow coaches to spread a maximum of 56 games over 14 weeks instead of 13. Conference USA sponsored the proposal.
The Championships/Sport Management Cabinet opposed the legislation because it detracted from the competitive equity between northern and southern institutions.
The institutions that requested the override are all located in the North, including all 11 institutions in the Big Ten Conference. The institutions cited concerns about having to travel South to begin their seasons and incurring increased expenses for the programs and additional missed class time for student-athletes.
Many of the institutions calling for the override indicated they would add an additional week at the end of the season, when spring classes are complete for many student-athletes.
The Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is split on the issue. Some members agree that the weather could put Northern schools at a disadvantage, but others believe that spreading the same number of contests over a shorter time (13 weeks) would likely mean more midweek contests and more missed class time. Others noted that a longer season, potentially including more travel, could take a physical toll on student-athletes. The SAAC will revisit the issue at its meeting next week before the override vote.