2013 Proposed Amendments FAQs

Constitution Amendment #1 – Annual Meeting and Voting Procedures
Proposed Change: To recognize a quorum as one third of NAIA active members and require registration by this number of delegates in order to conduct business at the annual business meeting.

Current Rule: A quorum is currently considered 125 registered delegates from NAIA active members.
Implications: The number of delegates required for a quorum will change on an annual basis depending upon the total number of NAIA active members.
Effective Date: August 1, 2013
Submitted By: NAIA Council of Presidents

Q: Does this amendment change the voting privileges for NAIA active members?
A: No. The proposed amendment does not impact any voting privileges set forth in Constitution Article X, Section B.  Each active member institution in good standing, each NAIA affiliated conference and the A.I.I are entitled to one vote at the annual business meeting.

Q: What happens if a quorum is not present at the annual business meeting?
A: Membership is not able to conduct the business of the association if a quorum is not present at the annual business meeting. This would prevent NAIA active members from voting on proposed amendments to the NAIA Constitution and Bylaws.

Q: How is the number of active members determined?
A: Active members are those institutions meeting the requirements set forth in Constitution Article IV, Sections A through E.

Q: How does one third of all active NAIA members compare to the current requirement of 125 members for a quorum?
A: There are currently 260 active NAIA member institutions. Changing the quorum to one third would reduce the number of required registrants from 125 to 87.


Bylaws Amendment #1 – Frequency of Play and Scheduling
Proposed Change: To prohibit exhibition competition in the sport of football.

Current Rule: Football programs are allowed to compete in one exhibition contest during the academic year.
Implications: Football teams would no longer be able to apply the exhibition designation to any contest.
Effective Date: August 1, 2013
Submitted By: NAIA Football Coaches Association
Co-sponsored By: Heart of America Athletic Conference

Q: Does this legislation impact exhibition contests for any other current or future NAIA championship sport?
A: No, the legislative amendment only applies to the sport of football.

Q: Will football teams be allowed to play in any additional contests?
A: No, football programs will continue to be allowed 11 contests and one scrimmage, with no individual student participating in more than 15 contests.

Q: Can an NAIA football team play a non-NAIA team that considers the competition an exhibition?
A: Yes, but the NAIA team must designate the competition as one of its 11 contests.


Bylaws Amendment #2 – Frequency of Play and Scheduling
Proposed Change: To require that a team take one day off per week during a program's 24-week season and two days off per week during the academic year outside a program's 24-week season.

Current Rule: Institutions and conferences currently have sole authority to develop and enforce limitations on practice and activity schedules.
Implications: Teams must refrain from participating in athletically related activities for one calendar day each week during the program’s 24-week season and two calendar days each week outside the program’s 24-week season.
Effective Date:  August 1, 2013
Submitted By: NAIA Athletic Trainers Association

Q: What constitutes a week?
A: Per Bylaws Article V, Section F, Item 5, a week is defined as Sunday at 12:01am through Saturday at 11:59pm.

Q: Do all of the members of a team have to take off the same day, or can individual team members take off different days?
A: All members of the team must refrain from practice on the same calendar day for it to count as an “off” day.

Q: How will enforcement of this regulation work?
A: Institutions would be responsible for monitoring and tracking a team’s adherence to the proposed amendment. An institution’s athletics director or faculty athletics representative would be required to submit a self-report of any violations. Student-athletes, parents or other concerned individuals could also submit to the conference or the national office any information pertaining to a violation of this amendment. The NAIA Conduct and Ethics Committee is responsible for ruling on any violations involving NAIA frequency of play and scheduling regulations.   

Q: How many days must a team take off when it has a break period during the middle of its 24-week season?
A: An institution must take at least two days off per week any time the team is involved in one of its three break periods.

Q: Could members of a team hold an informal practice or conditioning session without coaches present during the off day?
A: At their own discretion, team members may participate in unsupervised athletically related activities during their off days. No member of the athletics department may organize, supervise or evaluate the student during any such participation.

Q: What are the restrictions on a team prior to postseason?
A: A team would have to abide by the proposed amendment during the regular season and through the commencement of the conference, A.I.I. or unaffiliated grouping qualifying tournament. The team would not be required to have any off days during its participation in NAIA-approved postseason.

Q: Would summer practices or workouts with returning student-athletes be required to include two off days per week?
A: No. The proposed amendment only restricts athletically related activities from August 1 – May 15. Institutions and conferences would continue to maintain authority over any and all restrictions involving returning student-athletes from May 16 – July 31.


Bylaws Amendment #3 – Frequency of Play and Scheduling
Proposed Change: To limit a team’s athletically related activities to no more than four hours per day and 20 hours per week.

Current Rule: Institutions and conferences currently have sole authority to develop and enforce limitations on practice and activity schedules.
Implications: Teams will not be able to engage in more than 4 hours of athletically related activities on any one day, nor engage in more than 20 hours of athletically related activities during any week.
Effective Date: August 1, 2012
Submitted By: NAIA Athletic Trainers Association

Q: What constitutes a week?
A: Per Bylaws Article V, Section F, Item 5, a week is defined as Sunday at 12:01am through Saturday at 11:59pm.

Q: Does this apply to postseason play?
A: Yes, teams are subject to this restriction during the entire academic year, regardless of qualification or participation in postseason play.

Q: Is the calculation determined on a team or individual basis?
A: The calculation is based on athletically related activities in which any member of the team engages.

Q: How are individual workouts and skill sessions treated?
A:  Individual workouts and skill sessions count toward the team total if the individual workout or skill session is supervised by a recognized member of the athletics department.

Q: How are dual-sport athletes treated?
A: Calculations are based on the team’s involvement in athletically related activities. Therefore, a dual-sport athlete could exceed 4 hours per day or 20 hours per week if the student is engaged in athletically related activities for each sport.

Q: How will enforcement of this regulation work?
A: Institutions would be responsible for monitoring and tracking a team’s adherence to the proposed amendment. An institution’s athletics director or faculty athletics representative would be required to submit a self-report of any violations. Student-athletes, parents or other concerned individuals could also submit to the conference or the national office any information pertaining to a violation of this amendment. The NAIA Conduct and Ethics Committee is responsible for ruling on any violations involving NAIA frequency of play and scheduling regulations.


Bylaws Amendment #4 – Postseason Restriction
Proposed Change: To require National Administrative Council (NAC) approval prior to participation in NAIA postseason when an NAIA member institution withdraws from the formal NCAA membership application process, and to prohibit NAIA member institutions from participation in NAIA postseason when the institution makes two or more applications to the NCAA in a five-year period. 

Current Rule: NAIA member institutions may participate in NAIA postseason automatically upon withdrawal from the NCAA membership application process. Additionally, NAIA member institutions are not subject to a postseason ban for making more than one application to the NCAA over a five-year period.
Implications: An NAIA member institution no longer engaged in the NCAA membership process must submit a waiver request to the NAC, and the NAC must approve the request before the institution may participate in NAIA postseason play. Any institution making more than one application to the NCAA in a five-year period would be restricted from postseason play.
Effective Date: August 1, 2013
Submitted By: NAIA National Administrative Council

Q: The proposed amendment now tracks an institution’s total applications over a five-year period. How will this apply to current NAIA institutions who have submitted an application for NCAA membership in the past five years?
A: NCAA membership applications filed before August 1, 2013 will not count toward a school’s application total. For purposes of this amendment, applications made by a member institution will begin to accumulate towards its two-application limit with the institution’s first application for NCAA membership submitted on or after August 1, 2013.
NOTE: Regardless of the date of its initial NCAA application, an institution is subject to the postseason restriction if 2013-2014 will be the institution’s second full academic year after making an application for NCAA membership.

Q: Is a denied NCAA application the same thing as withdrawing from the application process?
A: A denied NCAA membership application does not mean an institution has withdrawn from the NCAA membership application process. To participate in NAIA postseason play during and after the second academic year following an application for NCAA membership, an NAIA member institution must:
a. maintain NAIA membership,
b. submit written verification to the NAC that the institution is no longer involved in the formal NCAA application process, and
c. be granted permission by the NAC to participate in NAIA postseason competition. 

Q: How is a waiver request submitted to the National Administrative Council?
A: Waiver requests must be submitted to the National Administrative Council by the deadline established by membership for institutions to submit declarations of intent to participate in postseason competition. The full NAC will vote on the waiver request at the council’s June meeting.

Q: If an institution makes two applications for NCAA membership within a two-year period, how long is that institution restricted from participating in NAIA postseason play?
A: An institution is restricted from participating in NAIA postseason play until it receives a waiver from the National Administrative Council.


Bylaws Amendment #5 – Declaration of Intent to Participate in Postseason
Proposed Change: To move to April 1 the date by which a member institution must submit a certificate declaring its intent to participate in NAIA postseason play during the subsequent academic year.

Current Rule: Institutions must submit annual Declaration of Intent to Participate certificates by May 1 prior to the academic year of participation.
Implications: Member institutions must submit Declaration of Intent to Participate certificates one month earlier.
Effective Date: August 1, 2013
Submitted By: NAIA National Administrative Council

Q: Will this legislation impact my Declarations of Intent to Participate for the 2013-2014 academic year?
A: No, this legislation will impact the date by which Declarations of Intent to Participate must be submitted for the 2014-2015 academic year and thereafter.

Q: Will this change impact institutions achieving membership at the 2013 NAIA Convention?
A: In general, institutions are not eligible for postseason participation in the first year of membership. Therefore, the date change will not impact first-year members or postseason qualification plans in the 2013-2014 academic year.


Bylaws Amendment #6 – Criteria for Affiliated Conferences
Proposed Change: To establish the Council of Presidents (COP) as the official authority for guidance and oversight of the Conference Commissioners Association (CCA).

Current Rule: The National Administrative Council is currently charged with oversight of the CCA.
Implications: The COP will be responsible for administrative supervision of the CCA, conducting periodic reviews of conference operations and determining sanctions for violations of conference requirements.
Effective Date: April 23, 2013
Submitted By: NAIA Council of Presidents
Co-sponsored By: NAIA Conference Commissioners Association, NAIA National Administrative Council

Q: Does the change in oversight impact the requirements membership has established for affiliated conferences?
A: No, the only change the legislation makes is to name the COP as the governing body responsible for periodically reviewing conference operations. The legislation does not make any changes to affiliated conference requirements set forth in Bylaws Article I, Section T.


Bylaws Amendment #7 – Financial Assistance
Proposed Change: To establish an exception to the financial assistance rules that would allow institutions the option of paying for medical or dental expenses for students related to athletic participation.

Current Rule: The amount of financial assistance an institution may provide for a student-athlete is limited to the total actual cost of tuition, mandatory fees, books, and room and board. Any financial assistance distributed to a student-athlete must be administered through the institution’s loan and scholarship committee.
Implications: Institutions will have the option to pay for or reimburse medical expenses related to a student-athlete’s participation in athletics at the institution. These medical expenses may include medical, surgical, medication and therapy expenses incurred as a result of athletics participation; medical examination costs (i.e. physicals); and athletic related medical insurance.
Effective Date: August 1, 2013
Submitted By: American Midwest Conference
Co-Sponsored By: NAIA Athletic Trainers Association

Q: Would institutions be required to pay for a student’s medical bills or athletic health insurance?
A: No, the legislation gives institutions the option of paying for a student’s medical bills or athletic health insurance.

Q: If an institution pays expenses for one student-athlete, does the institution have to pay expenses for all student-athletes on a team or in the athletics department?
A: No, an institution may elect to cover expenses for individual athletes, teams or the entire athletics department. Determinations of which student-athletes’ expenses will be covered, or what portion of a student-athlete’s expenses will be covered, will be made by the institution.

Q: Why are institutions currently prohibited from directly paying for a student-athlete’s uninsured medical expenses or athletic health insurance?
A: Current legislation prohibits institutions from providing financial assistance that does not go through appropriate financial aid and scholarship channels. Furthermore, institutions are prevented from providing financial assistance in excess of the items listed in NAIA Bylaws Article II, Section B.


Bylaws Amendment #8 – Letter of Intent
Proposed Change: To recognize an institutional or conference letter of intent as binding on the student-athlete and institution for a period of one academic year and to establish a restriction against recruiting a signed student-athlete.

Current Rule: Letters of intent in the NAIA are not binding on either the student or the institution. Member institutions are not prohibited from recruiting students signed by another institution.
Implications: A student signing a letter of intent (LOI) with an NAIA member institution would not be able to participate for another institution during the LOI academic year without first obtaining a release from the signing institution. Member institutions would not be allowed to contact signed students and would have to stop recruiting a student once the student signed with another institution.
Effective Date: August 1, 2014
Submitted By: NAIA Letter of Intent Committee

Q: Will there be a national LOI Form?
A: No, all letters of intent in the NAIA will be signed on institution or conference LOI forms.

Q: Does an institution have to sign prospective student-athletes?
A: No, institutions have full discretion in choosing whether or not to sign prospective student-athletes. Student-athletes may attend and participate at an institution without signing a letter of intent.

Q: Can a student receive scholarship monies and participate for an institution if the student does not sign an LOI?
A: Yes, students may receive scholarship monies through financial aid agreements without signing a letter of intent with an institution. Furthermore, a signed LOI is not required for participation in intercollegiate athletics.

Q: Does an institution have to include any specific information on a letter of intent?
A: An institution has broad authority in deciding the information it elects to include on its letter of intent form provided (a) the signed document meets the definition of a letter of intent in Item 1 of the proposed amendment, and (b) the institution does not include any language that violates the NAIA Code of Ethics.

Q: Will institutions from other intercollegiate athletic associations honor NAIA letters of intent?
A: No. Institutions from other associations will not honor NAIA letters of intent, just as NAIA member institutions do not have to recognize letters of intent from schools with membership in other associations.

Q: If a student-athlete signs a letter of intent to play a sport at one institution, how long is the student prohibited from participating at another NAIA institution?
A: A student-athlete who signs a letter of intent with an NAIA institution may not participate at any other NAIA institution during the immediately subsequent academic year. The student is prohibited from participating in any sport at another NAIA institution during the subsequent academic year, even if the student wishes to participate in a sport other than the one included on the letter of intent. This prohibition would not apply if the student receives a release from the signing institution.

Q: If an institution is recruiting a prospective student and the student signs a letter of intent at another NAIA school, can the initial institution continue recruiting the student until the student enrolls at the signing institution?
A: No. Once a student signs a letter of intent with any NAIA institution, all other NAIA institutions must cease any further contact with the student.

Q: An institution is recruiting a prospective student but the student signs a letter of intent at another NAIA institution. If the student then continues to contact the initial institution, can the initial institution respond to the student after providing written notification to the signing institution?
A: No. An NAIA institution cannot recruit a student who has signed a letter of intent with another NAIA institution, even if the student initiates the contact. The institution is required to provide written notification to the signing institution within 10 days of the contact, but the institution is prohibited from continuing any contact with the student.


Bylaws Amendment #9 – National Administrative Council Duties
Proposed Change: To add national drug education and testing as areas for which the National Administrative Council can initiate operational policies.

Current Rule: NAIA councils do not currently have authority to implement operational policies related to drug education and testing.
Implications: The National Administrative Council would have the authority to develop operational policies for any national drug testing or drug education program approved by the Council of Presidents and/or membership.
Effective Date: April 23, 2013
Submitted By: NAIA National Administrative Council

Q: Does this create a drug testing or drug education program?
A: No, the legislation only enables the National Administrative Council to develop policies for operating a drug testing or education program. Council of Presidents approval would be required for any financial aspects of a drug education and/or testing program. Furthermore, membership approval would be required to impose education requirements or penalties for failed tests.


Bylaws Amendment #10 – Definition of Identification
Proposed Change: To evaluate identification by any student seeking eligibility as a first-time NAIA participant under the current definition of identification.

Current Rule: The current definition of identification only applies to academic terms that occur after April 16, 2012, the adoption date for the current language.
Implications: The NAIA Eligibility Center will evaluate identification based on the current definition for all students seeking a determination, regardless of when the student’s previous academic terms occurred.
Effective Date: April 23, 2013
Submitted By: Cascade Collegiate Conference
Co-sponsored By: Frontier Conference

Q: How is the rule currently applied for first-time NAIA student-athletes?
A: A first-time NAIA participant seeking a determination from the Eligibility Center will have his or her terms of attendance decided by the definition of identification that was in place at the time the term occurred. For all terms that occurred prior to or in Spring 2012, a student will have identified if the student was enrolled in 12 institutional credit hours and attended any class or represented the institution in competition. For all terms that occurred after Spring 2012, a student will have identified if the student was enrolled in 12 institutional credit hours as of the institution’s census date or represented the institution in competition. Currently, a first-time NAIA participant may have two different definitions of identification applied to his or her past academic terms.

Q: How would the proposed legislation change this application for first-time NAIA student-athletes?
A: Determinations of identification for all first-time NAIA participants would be based on the current definition of identification, regardless of when the term in question occurred.

Q: Will this proposal impact continuing student-athletes?
A: No, continuing students will have their identification determined based on the NAIA definition of identification in place during the applicable term.

Q: How will the new rule create more consistency in the eligibility process??
A: Identification will be evaluated under one definition for all first-time NAIA participants seeking an Eligibility Center determination. Under the current legislation, transfer students seeking an Eligibility Center determination are subject to different definitions of identification determined by the date in which the term occurred.


Bylaws Amendment #11 – Definition of Scrimmage
Proposed Change: To remove from the definition of scrimmage the restriction preventing institutions from charging admission at scrimmage contests.

Current Rule: A contest cannot be considered a scrimmage if the host institution charges admission.
Implications: An institution would be able to charge admission for a contest and still consider the competition a scrimmage if (a) the competition is not listed or is noted as a scrimmage on the institution’s schedule, and (b) no scores or statistics are reported by either institution.
Effective Date: August 1, 2013
Submitted By: NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches Association
Co-Sponsored By: Crossroads League

Q: Will students be charged seasons of competitions for participating only in scrimmages?
A: No, students will not be charged a season of competition for participating only in scrimmages under the proposed legislation.

Q: Does an institution have to count a scrimmage contest toward its frequency of play limits if it does not charge admission? 
A: Yes. Any competition against competitors not identified with the NAIA institution must count toward a team’s frequency of play limits found in Article I, Section F.


Bylaws Amendment #12 – Definition of Season of Competition
Proposed Change: To charge a season of competition for students participating in elite-level competition which occurs on or after the first day of the month one year following a student’s high school graduation.

Current Rule: Students are currently charged a season of competition for participation in elite-level competition which occurs after September 1 in the year of high school graduation.
Implications: Students will have a one-year grace period after high school graduation during which the student will not be subject to a competitive experience review.
Effective Date: May 1, 2013
Submitted By: Midwest Collegiate Conference
Co-Sponsored By: NAIA Competitive Experience Committee

Q: Does this rule impact determinations for students who have already been charged seasons of competition for elite-level participation?
A: No, seasons of competition charged under the current rule would not be subject to change if membership were to adopt the proposed amendment.

Q: Does this rule impact first-time NAIA participants currently seeking a determination from the NAIA Eligibility Center?
A: Yes, all students that have not yet received an Eligibility Center determination would be evaluated under the new language.

Q: When would a student be subject to being charged a season of competition for elite-level participation if the student graduates high school on May 1, 2013? What about graduating on December 1, 2013?
A: A student graduating high school in May 2013 would be charged a season of competition for participating in elite-level competition occurring on or after June 1, 2014. A student graduating high school in December 2013 would be charged a season of competition for participating in elite-level competition occurring on or after January 1, 2015.

Q: When would a student be subject to being charged a season of competition for elite-level participation if the student graduates high school on May 31, 2013?
A: A student graduating high school on May 31, 2013 would be charged a season of competition for participating in elite-level competition occurring on or after June 1, 2014.


13. Withdrawn


Bylaws Amendment #14 – Freshman Eligibility Requirements – Home-Schooled Students
Proposed Change: To establish a home school waiver process to enable review by the NAIA Home School Committee (HSC) when a home-schooled student fails to receive an ACT score of 20 or an SAT score of 950.

Current Rule: Home-schooled students currently meet freshman eligibility rules by receiving a state-issued home school certificate and achieving an ACT score of 18 or an SAT score of 860.
Implications: The HSC will be able to issue a home school waiver to a student showing academic preparedness even though the student fails to meet the elevated test score requirements.
Effective Date: April 23, 2013
Submitted By: NAIA National Eligibility Committee

Q: How will the Home School Committee determine academic preparedness for home-schooled students failing to meet elevated test score requirements?
A: The HSC will use criteria established by the NAIA Council of Faculty Athletics Representatives to evaluate students based on the student’s unique academic background. Such criteria may include factors like a student’s sub-category scores on the ACT or SAT, any coursework the student has taken within a traditional secondary school, and any college coursework the student has taken.

Q: Will a state certificate still be a part of the eligibility review for a home-schooled student?
A: There are no longer any states that issue the actual home school certificates mentioned in the current legislation. However, adherence with state home school laws is required for receiving a home school waiver.

Q: What must an institution do to request a home school waiver for a student?
A: Currently, an institution must request an exception to Article V, Section C, Item 2, which is then reviewed by the HSC. The HSC recommendation is reviewed by the National Eligibility Committee, which makes a final determination on the request. Under the proposed legislation, the HSC would have authority to grant or deny an institution’s request for a home school waiver.


15. Withdrawn


Bylaws Amendment #16 – Definition of an Amateur
Proposed Change: To consider a student-athlete a professional in the sport of volleyball when the student engages in acts in the sport of beach volleyball that result in the loss of amateur standing.

Current Rule: A student considered a professional in the sport of beach volleyball is not considered a professional in the sport of volleyball.
Implications: A student who would be considered a professional in beach volleyball under Article VII, Section D will be considered a professional in the sport of volleyball.
Effective Date: August 1, 2013
Submitted By: NAIA Volleyball Coaches Association
Co-Sponsored By: Heart of America Athletic Conference

Q: Could a student be charged a season of competition in the sport of volleyball for participation in beach volleyball that would be considered countable under Article V, Section B, Item 18?
A: No, this legislation does not impact the definition of season of competition described in Bylaws Article V, Section B, Item 18. Beach volleyball and volleyball will remain separate sports for the purposes of competitive experience.

Q: Can a student ever be charged a season of competition in volleyball for participation in beach volleyball?
A: Yes, under Article VII, Section E, Item 2, a student would be charged a season of competition in volleyball for every year in which the student competed as a professional in beach volleyball.

Q: Who will determine whether a student was a professional in beach volleyball?
A: Institutions and the faculty athletics representative are responsible for reviewing amateurism for all student-athletes participating for the institution.