For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 12, 2002
Regents Adopt Division I Athletics Policy
RAPID CITY The South Dakota Board of Regents Thursday adopted a new athletic policy that establishes specific financial and policy requirements for any of its institutions that participate at the NCAA Division I level.
The Board also voted 6-2 to support South Dakota State University's application for Division 1-AA status, if SDSU can find an appropriate athletic conference to join.
This policy was created in response to South Dakota State Universitys desire to move its NCAA program classification from Division II to Division I-AA, Regents President Harvey C. Jewett said. But these requirements, now that they are in effect, will apply as well to any of our institutions that may desire to switch divisions in the future.
Jewett said the Board believes it is important to establish a detailed athletics policy so that expectations are clear regarding funding, student fees, scholarships, and other criteria. In effect, adopting this policy leaves the ultimate decision of whether to move to Division 1-AA in SDSUs hands, as long as the institution complies with all aspects of the Board policy and an appropriate athletic conference can be found, he said.
"The Board was willing to support the SDSU move in very large part because of the credibility of the SDSU Foundation and its strong financial commitment to the process," Jewett said.
The Regents' new policy makes it clear that support for intercollegiate athletics from the student general activity fee may only increase at the fees annual rate of inflation, as determined by the Regents. Additionally, general fund support for salary, benefits, or operational expenses may only increase at rates equivalent to what is otherwise appropriated for the universities base budgets. This provision seeks to limit increases in student fees and state funding to the regular, ongoing costs of operating the institutions, irregardless of athletic classifications, Jewett said.
The policy also says:
§ An institution may not reduce the number of academic scholarships or scholarship amounts in order to fund new athletic scholarships as a Division I school.
§ Any deficit in the intercollegiate athletic budget should be addressed by a reduction in coaches salaries or per diem, travel, equipment, scholarships, or athletic program closure. A formal agreement between the institution and the institutions foundation could also provide the necessary resources to meet any deficit.
§ Athletic scholarships cannot be awarded to any student who does not meet the institutions standard admissions requirement.
The Boards policy establishes that all costs for intercollegiate athletics are limited to four sources:
1. student general activity fee revenue;
2. state general fund resources;
3. funds generated directly by athletic programs, such as gate receipts, advertising, concessions, and institutional fundraising; and
4. funds transferred from the institutional foundation to support athletic programs.
The proportion of general activity fees allocated to athletic facilities at the time an institution is approved for Division I status may not be increased to fund new or expanded athletic and support facilities, the Regents policy states. Monies from the states Higher Education Facilities Fund also may not be used to fund or maintain new or expanded athletic and support facilities.
The policy also requires all of the Regents higher education institutions to provide annual reports on their intercollegiate athletic budgets and the academic proficiency of student athletes.
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