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joecct
06-23-2011, 11:52 AM
From the NCAA Nooz of the Day (http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/public/ncaa/resources/latest+news/2011/june/diii+report+raises+financial+aid+concerns?&utm_source=delivra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NCAA%20News%20Direct):


DIII report raises financial aid concerns

By Gary Brown
NCAA.org

A report marking the completion of the 2010-11 cycle and the sixth year of the Division III Financial Aid Reporting Program continues to reveal a number of institutions that are misapplying the division’s financial aid bylaws.

Ten more schools were found to have violated financial aid legislation in the most recent report, including five cases in which institutions considered athletics in awarding leadership grants or scholarships to newly enrolled student-athletes – either by rating participation or leadership in sports in aid formulas or explicitly listing athletics among other criteria for awarding a scholarship.

In the six years of the program, 168 schools have triggered a Level I review, with 126 of those leading to a Level II review in which the Division III Financial Aid Committee looks closely at an institution’s policies and procedures for awarding aid, as well as the impact of those factors on aid received by student-athletes.

Although 55 (about 13 percent) of Division III’s member institutions overall were found to have violated financial aid legislation through the first six years of the reporting program, about 38 percent of the division’s schools have received some level of review by the financial aid committee as a result of data submitted to the NCAA through the reporting program’s history.

The Financial Aid Reporting Program was adopted at the 2004 Convention and implemented a year later to detect instances where student-athletes collectively are receiving more aid than the general student body.

Jeff Ankrom, chair of the Division III Financial Aid Committee and faculty athletics representative at Wittenberg, noted that from the beginning, the reporting program has sought not only to hold member schools accountable for compliance with financial aid legislation but to help all Division III members better understand the impact of their policies and procedures on the objective of awarding proportionate aid to student-athletes.

But Ankrom said the committee is concerned that it continues to uncover cases annually, despite ongoing efforts to educate the membership about Division III Bylaw 15.4.1. The bylaw, among other requirements, states that “a member institution shall not consider athletics leadership, ability, participation or performance as a criterion in the formulation of the financial aid package.”

“We were thinking that by the time this committee had been around for a few years and had found some violations and had started to report out that these things would go away,” Ankrom said.

Among what appears to be confusing members is the distinction between “criteria” and “consideration,” both of which are used in the bylaw. Ankrom said schools typically understand that athletics participation can’t be listed as a specific criterion, but that some still don’t see the “consideration” of a prospect’s participation in athletics as a problem.

“Both instances result in violations, though” Ankrom said. “We don’t see the criterion ones very often, but the consideration ones are popping up frequently.”

Ankrom explained that a criterion would significantly limit access to certain grants to athletes – for example, something set aside for those who participated in athletics or something that a prospect must meet in order to be eligible for the award. A consideration, on the other hand, is where an award can be given to someone who has participated in various activities, among which athletics is one.

Neither is allowable in awarding aid to Division III student-athletes.

“The best examples here are participation awards for which athletics is included in a list of acceptable activities along with those such as language club, band or student government,” Ankrom said. “These are violations, as well.”

While some schools question why the committee takes such a hard stance on “consideration,” Ankrom cited the high potential for abuse in an unregulated environment.

“It would be easy to envision scenarios in which ‘considering’ athletics participation could become a de facto criterion that goes unsaid or unwritten,” he said. “That’s not what Division III has said it is about.”

In all, 62 institutions have been referred to enforcement over the six years of the reporting program. At the time of this most recent report, the 10 cases from 2010-11 are being processed by NCAA enforcement, and one major violations case from 2009-10 is being processed by the Division III Committee on Infractions.

Most cases referred to the NCAA enforcement staff stem from either:

Continuing uncertainty about Division III rules that explicitly prohibit awarding financial aid for any reason related to athletics, including considering whether a student-athlete played high school sports or served as a team captain; or
The use of institutional policies for awarding aid that have nothing specifically to do with athletics and are meant to benefit any student or help attract targeted groups to campus but result in student-athletes receiving a disproportionate amount of aid.
Violations typically have been treated through the program’s early years as secondary, resulting in penalties designed to educate the institution while ending the practice.

This spring, though, the Division III Management Council referred to the Committee on Infractions consideration of granting the enforcement staff the discretion to publicly disclose any violation regarding consideration of athletics leadership, ability, participation or performance within the student financial aid awarding process, even if such violation is deemed secondary.

The Presidents Council backed that up with a directive to the Committee on Infractions that it use existing legislative authority, when appropriate, to publicly disclose secondary violations. In the past, those secondary violations haven’t been made public.

“There is good support for this type of reprimand,” Ankrom said. “I know that this sort of treatment would get the president’s attention at these schools.”

The NCAA enforcement staff may also start including allegations of an institution’s “failure to monitor” or a “lack of institutional control” in future major infractions cases that involve violations of Division III financial aid rules.

Ankrom acknowledged that while those are strict measures, they may be necessary to bolster a reporting program that in and of itself may not be enough of a deterrent.

The Financial Aid Committee has also talked about the idea of random audits as a way to make institutions more aware of financial aid policies, Ankrom said.

Committee member Sue Gaylor, the vice president for administration and planning at Lycoming, said it may be necessary to extend educational efforts to beyond just people in athletics.

“One of the challenges is an educational one – how best to get these reports and other information about financial aid to the right people at the schools,” she said. “Presidents are concerned about this but it may not be on their day-to-day radar. Coaches certainly are living this in terms of recruiting students, but they’ve got their minds on other things, as well. So it’s key for us to get this information in the right hands, particularly for schools that might be at risk for falling into one of these categories.”

She said schools should review the financial aid reports carefully.

“What I have found most useful is having a conversation with the appropriate people on campus,” she said. “I don’t sense a purposeful intent from most schools to not comply with the principle or to gain a competitive advantage, but our biggest goal is education. How do we achieve that?”

Ankrom said the committee will continue to be diligent in its review.

“But what happens,” he said, “is when people are close to a process like this, as is our committee, it becomes second nature to us and we sometimes forget that people outside the general membership don’t have their eye on this ball all the time like we do, which might be the simple explanation about why there hasn’t been more change.”

Purity of essence.

hawkhockey
06-24-2011, 11:05 AM
Isn't it nice to be a NESCAC school where you never have to worry about this issue.
They can afford to fully fund every financial aid request of every student that they accept.
this leaves all other(most?) less financially endowed colleges the problem of how to attract and then fund student athletes. This why we get into these funding issues /violations.
The NESCAC's can then sit on their high horses and cry foul over funding gimics that less fortunate schools have to resort to and preach about the sanctity of DIII.
what they don't talk about though is the preferential treatment that certain top tier athletes receive from their admissions office.
atheletics and DIII isn't always and easy marriage.

doncheery
06-25-2011, 07:10 AM
A couple of years ago the Amherst men's hockey team placed 11 players on the NESCAC All Academic list. More than any other team in any sport in the NESCAC. I believe you need a 3.5 ( might be wrong on that one ) GPA to get on the list. That being the case is it not possible that for that group anyway no special consideration due to athletics was given when considering financial aid. In my experience the players I know in the NESCAC have met the academic criteria for their institution, granted maybe some on the lower part of the acceptance criteria/curve but met it nonetheless.
Instead of whining about the NESCAC and their "high horse" you might want to look at the recruiting challenges involved in finding these guys and give credit where credit is due. Sounds very much like sour grapes.

NorthernLite
06-25-2011, 08:18 AM
;)
A couple of years ago the Amherst men's hockey team placed 11 players on the NESCAC All Academic list. More than any other team in any sport in the NESCAC. I believe you need a 3.5 ( might be wrong on that one ) GPA to get on the list. That being the case is it not possible that for that group anyway no special consideration due to athletics was given when considering financial aid. In my experience the players I know in the NESCAC have met the academic criteria for their institution, granted maybe some on the lower part of the acceptance criteria/curve but met it nonetheless.
Instead of whining about the NESCAC and their "high horse" you might want to look at the recruiting challenges involved in finding these guys and give credit where credit is due. Sounds very much like sour grapes.

Sans doute ! Touché.;)

westscout
06-25-2011, 09:44 AM
Augsburg is one the Colleges that violated this leadership clause. I have said many times before on this site, that D-3 finacial aid is the most un-even playing field in all of the NCAA sports.

Loop holes are rampent, and colleges can choose to award any student that they feel deservse the aid, as long as the award is "availble" to other students as well.

This does not mean that other students will get the award, but as long as someone else does get the same type awards, the college is covered.

The leadership award is one of the biggest loops. Many western colleges offer this award.

Westscout

hawkhockey
06-25-2011, 10:44 AM
A couple of years ago the Amherst men's hockey team placed 11 players on the NESCAC All Academic list. More than any other team in any sport in the NESCAC. I believe you need a 3.5 ( might be wrong on that one ) GPA to get on the list. That being the case is it not possible that for that group anyway no special consideration due to athletics was given when considering financial aid. In my experience the players I know in the NESCAC have met the academic criteria for their institution, granted maybe some on the lower part of the acceptance criteria/curve but met it nonetheless.
Instead of whining about the NESCAC and their "high horse" you might want to look at the recruiting challenges involved in finding these guys and give credit where credit is due. Sounds very much like sour grapes.
what you conveniently failed to mention was if any of the 11 all academics were also impact players.Look all I'm sayiing is that for NESCAC's money is not ever an issue for any student , including hockey players.So if you take funding out of the equation,then the issue for them is to find kids who can do the work academically.
If you think that coaches cannot work with the admissions office to accept players that would not be ordinarily admitted if they were not very good players then you don't understand recruiting at the NESCAC level.By the way, my son and daughter were both NESCAC athletes(not hockey) and my sentiments come from their comments and experience.As for sour grapes, you missed the point.

NUProf
06-25-2011, 10:50 AM
Augsburg is one the Colleges that violated this leadership clause. I have said many times before on this site, that D-3 finacial aid is the most un-even playing field in all of the NCAA sports.

Loop holes are rampent, and colleges can choose to award any student that they feel deservse the aid, as long as the award is "availble" to other students as well.

This does not mean that other students will get the award, but as long as someone else does get the same type awards, the college is covered.

The leadership award is one of the biggest loops. Many western colleges offer this award.

Westscout

You need to read it again. The leadership award can't be used disproportionately for athletes - if it is, the school gets flagged for it in the same way that school have gotten hit with problems when they don't get enough non-athletes taking Canadian incentive grants. READ THE EXCERPT again

Russell Jaslow
06-26-2011, 02:18 PM
You need to read it again. The leadership award can't be used disproportionately for athletes - if it is, the school gets flagged for it in the same way that school have gotten hit with problems when they don't get enough non-athletes taking Canadian incentive grants. READ THE EXCERPT again

You know westscout will not read the excerpt again, because he will never allow facts to get in the way of his unsubstantiated rants.

cooperalls
06-27-2011, 11:02 PM
Seems like from those numbers everyone in NCAA Div. III College hockey cheats. Or policies on financial aid at those schools will need to change in order to be compliant with the NCAA. But it also looks like non-hockey culture people at the NCAA that don't see things three dimensional and it seems it can be the blind leading the blind. Just like the tosser from Franklin and Marshall who wanted an NCAA Div. IV.