On August 1, 2011, the amendment to NCAA Division III Bylaw 17.02.1 will go into effect, which will permit certified strength and conditioning personnel to conduct voluntary workouts for all student-athletes. This change will be considered an exception to NCAA Bylaw 17.02.1 regarding what is considered an athletically related activity.
One key limitation that remains, in effect, is that the workout must remain voluntary. Under NCAA Division III Bylaw 17.02.13, in order for any athletically related activity to be considered “voluntary” the student-athlete must not be required to report back any of his or her sport specific coaches any information related to the activity. In addition, no athletics department staff member who observes, monitors, or conducts the activity (e.g., strength coach, trainer, manager) may report back to the student-athlete’s coach any information related to the activity.
The rationale behind this amendment is to provide time outside of the competitive season to allow student-athletes to become better athletes. The weeks outside of the competitive season are the best time to make these improvements. If student-athletes do not have access to an institutional staff member who is trained in this area, then they left to their own expertise, or they are forced to hire an outside party to provide expertise. This leaves student-athletes without the support necessary to “prevent injuries and to maximize performance.”