PHOENIX, Arizona, April 18. AFTER some added research into the process of the NCAA governance structure, the reversal of the previous interpretation of Bylaw 13.11.12 as applied to individual sports is not a done deal as stated in a College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) release sent out yesterday.
According to the NCAA's web site, the Management Council's (MANCO) decision must be voted on by the Board of Directors, which meets April 16. So, there is still some work to be done to overturn the currently applied interpretation that bans collegiate swimmers from competing directly against high school athletes.
Even if the Board of Directors does choose to revert back to the previous interpretation allowing college and high school swimmers to compete against each other, there is an added level of governance structure that allows for an override by NCAA-member institutions within a 2-3 month window. However, this last step is rare.
According to Phil Whitten, the Executive Director of the CSCAA, he was certain the Council had voted to overturn the Dec. 12 interpretation of the Bylaw and go back to the previous interpretation from the NCAA.
"Under that interpretation, college student-athletes may compete directly against high school prospective student-athletes (PSAs) so long as there is either no team scoring or college teams are scored separately. The ruling will apply to all individual sports." Whitten stated in his release.
However, NCAA Director of Championships Wayne Burrow responded that the process was not complete.
"New or pending legislation having an effect on swimming and diving is always discussed (Divisions I, II, and III as a group and in breakout sessions) every year at the NCAA committee's annual summer meeting," Burrow said when asked about Whitten's premature release. "This new development will definitely be on our agenda and we will work with the coaching community to ensure that everybody understands the applicable legislation".
In sum, the MANCO decision is a step in the right direction, but it is not final. Readers should contact their representatives on the Board of Directors (click here for the full roster) to voice their opinion on the interpretation prior to its meeting on April 26.
In other MANCO news according to the NCAA web site, the Division I Management Council approved a measure that eliminates the use of text-messaging in recruiting prospective student-athletes. This item will also be put in front of the Board of Directors.