Rename NAIA Bylaws Article I, Section V as CONFERENCE MEMBERSHIP
Relocate NAIA Bylaws Article I, Section T, Note 2
Amend Article I, Section V, as follows:

     1. Institutions changing affiliated conference/A.I.I. membership The following regulations shall apply when an NAIA member institution changes its primary conference membership from one NAIA affiliated conference or the Association of Independent Institutions to another NAIA affiliated conference:

      a. The institution must comply with all withdrawal regulations of the A.I.I. or conference from which it is withdrawing; and

      b. The institution must provide written notification of withdrawal at least 365 calendar days prior to August 1st of the academic year in which it will begin membership in the new conference. Written notification shall be submitted to the commissioner and president of the A.I.I. or conference from which the institution is withdrawing. This notification requirement may be waived at the mutual agreement of each conference/A.I.I.’s council of presidents.

Alleged infractions involving these requirements shall be reviewed by the National Conduct and Ethics Committee. A violation will result in the institution’s loss of postseason eligibility for one academic year, and the ineligible institution shall not count toward its new conference’s membership totals for determining whether the conference earns automatic qualification to the NAIA national competition. The loss of NAIA postseason eligibility may be appealed to the NAIA Council of Presidents.

NOTE:  The notification requirement and adherence to conference withdrawal requirements shall be enforced for institution’s changing conference affiliation for the 2016-17 academic year and thereafter.

    2. Per-sport conference membership. When conference governing documents allow for multiple tiers of membership, an affiliated conference may permit an NAIA active member to join the conference on a per-sport(s) basis if the institution otherwise holds membership in an affiliated conference/A.I.I. which has fewer than six institutions declaring intent to participate in NAIA postseason in the given sport(s).

Institutions shall submit eligibility certification, request exceptional rulings, submit self-reported violations and report statistics through the affiliated conference in which the institution competes in a given sport. An institution eligible for NAIA postseason and holding per-sport(s) membership in an affiliated conference shall:
            a) count toward the automatic qualification calculations for the affiliated conference in the given sport for which the institution holds per-sport membership;
            b) be eligible for automatic qualification to the national competition through the affiliated conference in the given sport for which the institution holds per-sport membership; and
            c) be eligible for awards programs, conference ratings, national ratings, national statistical rankings and publications contests through the affiliated conference in the given sport for which the institution holds per-sport membership.

     3. Membership in a non-affiliated conference. In cases where member institutions of non-affiliated conferences have conference standards that are less stringent than those of the NAIA, the institution must conform to the higher rules and standards of the NAIA.

Intent: To establish guidelines governing institutional changes in conference membership and to prohibit an institution from participating in NAIA postseason play when it fails to adhere to the listed requirements.
Effective date: August 1, 2015
Submitted by: California Pacific Conference
Co-sponsor: Association of Independent Institutions