OAC COVID-19 Q&A
(as of 8-3-20 subject to frequent updates)
Q: What all does postponement of fall competition include?
A: The postponement includes varsity, subvarsity, nontraditional contests, scrimmages, exhibitions and alumni games, both Conference and non-league. We hope to start back up after January 1.
Q: Does postponement of fall competition include Esports?
A: No, and postponement also does not include activities and other sports that do not fall under the NCAA umbrella of OAC-sponsored sports.
Q: What can be done in the fall while competition is postponed?
A: The OAC Medical Task Force is developing parameters for students to engage in Resocialization during the fall. These parameters will be in accordance with CDC, NCAA and local health guidelines. Further guidance can be sought from institutional administrators.
Q: Can any competition take place this fall between or among OAC schools?
A: Not formal in-person competition that we have conducted for the last 118 years, but OAC coaching groups are urged to communicate and think of creative ways to conduct virtual competitions that would be fun for the student-athlete and keep us all engaged and connected. You can use your 114-day year to video student-athletes running, throwing, jumping, hitting, shooting, kicking, serving, etc. and issue challenges and competition on-line.
New NCAA Division III Exceptions for 2020-21
Q: Will fall student-athletes be able to compete in the spring?
A: The NCAA recently made a decision to permit 2020 fall sports to play in the spring of 2021. The OAC is considering various models that would provide competition in the spring for fall-sport student-athletes.
Q: How does the NCAA view the 18 or 19 week seasons as well as traditional and non-traditional seasons in 2020-21?
A: For the 2020-21 year only, the traditional and non-traditional weeks have been replaced with 114 days to be used the way each institution wishes to use them. The 114 days represents 19 weeks of six days (factoring a day off each week). Additional interpretation for indoor and outdoor track is forthcoming from the NCAA.
Q: Does the 114-day rule apply to teams or individual student-athletes?
A: It applies to teams, and keep in mind that if any individual student-athlete engages in athletically- related activity, the entire team uses one of its 114 days.
Q: Will any activities other than competition be allowable in the OAC during the fall?
A: Yes, the Conference plans to use much of its 114-day allotment for a robust fall season that will keep student-athletes engaged and prepared for spring competition. Current guidelines and strategies are being explored.
Q. Can a student-athlete play on an outside team during the fall while participating in the 114 days of athletic engagement?
A. Yes, this is a one-year waiver allowance from the NCAA during this Covid year, as long as approved by the institution.
Q: Do NCAA Resocialization principles need to be followed?
A: Yes, and if “athletically-related activities” as defined by the NCAA are a part of the Resocialization, it must count as one of the 114 days.
Q: If a team begins to compete in 2021 and then needs to stop due to the virus, or schedules are reduced due to resocializations and season push-backs, will the student-athletes lose a season of participation?
A: If a team does not exceed half of its allowable maximum contests or dates due to Covid, those eligible student-athletes will not burn a season of competition. The NCAA made this exception for this year only. This number includes OAC and NCAA post-season. You can view each sport on the attachment (note that the NCAA is still deliberating dates of competition compared to contests).
Q: If the above-mentioned 50 percent waiver comes into play, do the students retain their lost semester(s)?
A: If a team does not exceed half of its allowable maximum contest dates due to Covid, those eligible student-athletes will be awarded two additional semesters to their 10-semester limit.
Q: Due to the virus, has the NCAA reduced the minimum contests or dates required for a team to compete in order to qualify for the NCAA postseason?
A: Yes, the NCAA has reduced the standard minimums by one third.
Q: Now that we are using 114 days instead of “weeks,” must we give our student-athletes one day off per week still?
A: Yes, and keep in mind that if you have multiple-sport athletes, you must still give every student-athlete one day off per week.
Q: If student-athletes cannot participate in athletics during 2020-21 due to Covid, do they lose two full-time semesters?
A: No, a blanket waiver will give those student-athletes two semesters back.
Q: Has the temporary virtual recruiting exception been extended??
A: Yes, you may engage in virtual recruiting platforms with multiple prospects, allowing chats, regardless of age, utilizing voluntary assistance by current student-athletes and you may publicize these events, but not individual groups of prospects.
Current NCAA Legislation
Q: What can occur during the 114 days of NCAA activity?
A: “Athletically-Related Activities” as defined by the NCAA, not including competition. However, institutions must also follow guidelines of the CDC, NCAA and local health authorities as developed by the OAC Medical Task Force.
Q: What activities can occur outside the 114 prescribed days?
A: If an activity does not fall under the NCAA definition of Athletically-Related Activities, those activities will not trigger one of the 114 prescribed days. Examples include student-athletes working out on their own without coaching and weight room/conditioning activities that are not sport-specific and monitored by department-wide certified strength and conditioning personnel.
Q: Will student-athletes exhaust a season of competition during the fall?
A: No, until there is competition, a season is not exhausted. Since there will be no OAC competition in the fall, there will be no season of competition exhausted.
Q: Will the NCAA conduct fall championships?
A: The NCAA Board of Governors will meet very soon to decide this matter. They will take into account the many conferences like the OAC who have decided to suspend fall competition.
Q: Does the new leadership legislation trigger one of the 114 days?
A: No, those 10 days of leadership passed at the last NCAA Convention were not part of the traditional or non-traditional seasons, so they will not trigger one of the 114 days of permissible athletically-related activity.
Q: We have a football player who will be in his 10th full-time semester this fall. Can he play in the spring as long as he is full time, extending to an 11th semester?
A: The student-athlete with one semester left on his 10-semester clock may only participate in intercollegiate athletics for that one semester. Therefore, if the student-athlete wants to participate in the spring football season, the SA would need to do one of the following options: (1) Not enroll in Fall 2020, but enroll in Spring 2021 and participate; (2) Enroll part-time in Fall 2020 and not participate, but enroll full-time in Spring 2021 or use a legislated exception to participate less than full-time in spring term; or (3) Submit an extension of eligibility waiver request to SAR to participate the entire 2020-21 academic year.
Q: If the OAC moves fall sports into the spring, can a student-athlete not enroll in fall or enroll part time and then enroll full-time in the spring and compete?
A: Only if the student meets satisfactory progress according to institutional policy, and please keep in mind that if the student does not enroll full-time in the fall, he/she cannot participate with the team until the day after fall finals have been completed.
Q: If a returning student-athlete elects to not enroll in the Fall 2020 (or any subsequent) semester, are they permitted to participate in outside athletic competition during that semester?
A: Participation in outside athletic competition will limit a student-athlete’s ability to take advantage of the missed term exception regarding NCAA academic eligibility standards. Additionally, outside competition may have amateurism implications. Student-athletes should consult with their institution’s compliance office before participating in any outside athletic activity.
Q: What happens if the Fall 2020 semester is a student-athlete’s 10th semester? Will he/she be able to participate in the spring?
A: By enrolling full-time and attending class (either in-person or virtually), a student-athlete will use a semester under the ten-semester rule. It has yet to be determined if there will be any blanket relief granted by the NCAA under this rule to extend eligibility. Student-athletes may work with their institution to submit a waiver.
Q: If a high school graduate defers his/her initial full-time enrollment beyond Fall 2020, may he/she continue to participate in practice or competition in their sport with an outside team?
A: High school graduates are allowed to participate in organized competition for a one-year time period without impacting eligibility. After this initial one-year “gap” year, continued participation would impact eligibility. Student-athletes should consult with their institution’s compliance office for guidance on individual circumstances.
WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS CHALLENGE AND COME OUT ON THE
OTHER SIDE BETTER AND STRONGER THAN EVER!