October 8, 2009


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AVCA Division III Head Coaches Committee Meeting

Meeting Minutes

October 8, 2009 - 11 a.m. ET


Present: Becky Schmidt (Chair), Jen Bowman (NESCAC), Dorothy Webb (NEWMAC), Amanda Cuiffo (Great Northeast), Katrina Dagan (North Atlantic), Lisa Greiner (Independents & Skyline), Jonathan Penn (Liberty), Don Perkins (NJAC), Deana Jespersen (Pennsylvania), Alexa Keckler (Centennial), Margie Knight (Capital), Sam Lambert (SCAC), Tom Ackerman (SLIAC), Deb Zellers (Independents), Bridget Sheehan (NCAC), David Kwan (Heartland), Jeanne Hess (MIAA), Tammy Swearingen (President's), Deb Kiick (CCIW), Kathy Gebhardt (NAC), Dianna Graves (SCIAC), Kim Kelly (UAA), Jason Jones (AVCA)

Not Present: Bob Weiner (Little East), Bret Stothart (Commonwealth Coast), Steve Pike (SUNYAC), Roger Worsley (Empire 8), David Shumaker (NEAC), Ray Bello (CUNYAC), Randall Kreider (Commonwealth), Michele Zabinski (Freedom), Phil Pisano (AMCC), Lindsay Birch (USA South), Andrea Hoover (ODAC), Kandis Schram (GSAC), Marci Sanders (ASC), Michelle Blaeser (MIAC), DeAnn Woodin (IIAC), Vicki Brault (OAC), Jill Jolliff (WIAC), Jennifer Saylor (Midwest), Mark Massey (Northwest)



I.  Twitter Update  

Becky had a discussion with a member of the DIII Management Council as well as MIAA Commissioner regarding the use of twitter by DIII coaches. Becky was told there was extensive discussion about coaches using twitter before the rule was implemented and it would take a very strong response from coaches and conferences in order to get the rule changed. A petition was sent to DIII coaches last month asking them to sign if they wanted to see a change in the restrictions on twitter. Becky reported that only about 100 coaches have signed which is not enough support to go forward with any changes. Coaches are encouraged to work with their athletic departments on the accepted use of twitter.


II.  D3sports.com Forum

D3sports.com has a forum available that is continuing to grow and attract more participants. Coaches are encouraged to pass this site along to their student-athletes who will hopefully pass it along to others. This site is a great way to share information and promote DIII sports.


III.  Dig for the Cure

October is breast cancer awareness month and several committee members have already held "Dig for the Cure" events to raise money and increase awareness. Some of the ideas shared by the committee members include an auction of the pink volleyballs used during the match, auction of team apparel, a serving contest for prizes and having student-athletes raise money around campus including visiting Greek houses. The AVCA has started a "Power of Pink" Web site which can be found at this link http://www.avca.org/octoberpink/. This site has a section where coaches can post success stories and share ideas. The committee was asked to post their stories as they hold "Dig for the Cure" events during the month.


IV.  AVCA Report

Jason reminded the committee that the early registration deadline for the AVCA Convention is November 6. Coaches are encouraged to register prior to that date so they can save up to $100 on their registration. Jason also noted that AVCA discounted room blocks in the convention hotels are beginning to fill up. He suggested coaches go ahead and make their reservations if they have not already done so.

Coaches that will be attending the Talent Showcase at the convention will be asked to pre-register this year. The goal of the pre-registration process is to allow the AVCA staff to send out information on each student-athlete prior to the event. Coaches will receive an e-mail with pre-registration instructions in November.

Student-athletes whose eligibility has expired and who have signed-up for an AVCA student membership are eligible to apply for a scholarship to the AVCA Convention. There are six scholarships available for Tampa and so far three applications have been submitted. The deadline for applications is October 16. Coaches are encouraged to remind their student-athletes who might be interested in this scholarship of the deadline. 

Jason reminded the committee that in order for their players to be eligible for post season awards, the head coach must be a member of the AVCA by October 16. The committee will be sent an updated DIII member list so they can communicate with those in their conferences who are not members. DIII awards packets have been sent out and are also available in the awards section of the AVCA Web site.

The DIII Salary Survey was closed on October 6. The response rate for the survey was 61% compared to 63% in 2008. Some coaches noted the survey was confusing and difficult to navigate. The AVCA will seek input from the committee on the best way to word the questions and organize the survey in 2010. Results from the 2009 survey will be sent to participating coaches in November.  

Tammy Swearingen reminded the committee that October 16 is the deadline for rules proposals. All coaches should have received an e-mail reminder of the deadline this week.


V.  WBCA Legislative Recommendations

 The WBCA DIII Head Coaches Committee contacted Becky to determine if there was an interest in partnering on the following new legislation:

  • Male Practice Players (MPP): Remove restriction or increase numbers
  • Text Messaging: Coaches feel that this is a great way to communicate with the prospective student-athletes and would like to see text messaging permissible. Restrictions?
  • Access to student-athletes in the pre and post-seasons: This has been a hot topic in DIII for years. DI and DII have access to players in the preseason for skill development and at DIII it is probably needed the most. Coaches really feel to help with injury prevention and preparing their student-athletes for the season, meeting with the team even just once a week or even one week out of the pre-season to explain some drills that the student-athletes can work on would help. Some coaches mentioned meeting with their team just once in the post season to get them ready for the summer so they have some drills to work on.
  • Tryouts: Based on financial issues, coaches would like to see tryouts. As prospective student-athletes (PSA) and parents try to decide what institution to attend, holding tryouts to let those PSAs know if they would make the team or not would help in the decision making process for them. This could save them about $40,000 a year if they know that they wouldn't make the team and then they would be able to choose to attend another institution or stay.
  • For RPI ranking: Having every game count, not just the in-Region games.

The committee discussed each of these topics and it was noted that some are very unlikely to pass. Becky will share the comments from the discussion with the WBCA.


VI.  NCAA Legislation

Becky e-mailed the committee a list of NCAA legislative proposals that are applicable to volleyball as follows:

No. 2-1:  To deregulate and reformat the tryout legislation to specify that a tryout in which prospective student-athletes demonstrate their athletic abilities at a coach's direction, tryout events and varsity competition against high school or preparatory teams are impermissible; further, to specify that other physical related activities involving prospects that are not specifically prohibited shall be permissible.

No. 2-2: To permit an institution's coaching staff member to observe recreational activities of prospective student-athletes and non-organized sport-specific activities of currently enrolled student-athletes provided the coach observes these activities while monitoring an institutional facility for purposes of safety and facility security as part of normal employment duties and the facility is not restricted to specific users at the time.

No. 2-3: In volleyball, to permit a student-athlete to participate in one date of competition and an alumni contest during the non-traditional segment without using a
season of participation.

No. 2-4: To specify that a student-athlete's eligibility for a hardship waiver should be determined by a percent calculation using the maximum permissible number of contests or dates of competition for the applicable sport, plus one contest or date of competition.

No. 2-5: To specify that a transfer student who meets the requirements of the two-year nonparticipation exception shall be immediately eligible on transfer to the certifying institution, even if the student was disqualified or suspended from the previous institution for disciplinary reasons.

No. 2-6: To specify that all practice and competition conducted in the non-traditional segment shall be completed no later than five weekdays before the first day of the institution's final exams.

No. 2-7: To permit institutions to conduct the exempted alumni contest at any time during the playing season including prior to the first permissible contest date.

Becky briefly reviewed the list and encouraged coaches to discuss these proposals with their athletic directors.


VII.  DIII NCAA Championships

The DIII Championships will be held in Cleveland, Ohio this year. There are a large number of DIII schools in the Midwestern par t of the country and the committee discussed ways to get many of these schools and student-athletes to attend the championships. Some of the ideas discussed included a discounted group ticket for DIII student-athletes, a DIII group seating section, a hotel rate discount for coaches and a DIII coach's hospitality room. Becky will work on some ideas to present during the next call.  


The meeting was adjourned at 11:56 a.m. ET. The next Division III Head Coaches Committee meeting will be held at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, November 12.    

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