On April 27, 2012, the academic and membership affairs staff issued an interpretation concerning NCAA Division I membership scheduling requirements and exempted contests. Specifically, the staff determined that “in sports other than football, basketball, men’s swimming and diving, men’s indoor and outdoor track and field and wrestling, in order to meet scheduling requirements, an institution that schedules an exempted contest pursuant to NCAA Bylaw 17 must count such a contest in determining whether the institution has scheduled and played at least 50 percent of its contests beyond the minimum-contests requirements for sports sponsorship against Division I opponents.”
This interpretation referenced NCAA Division I Bylaws 126.96.36.199 (scheduling requirement) and 188.8.131.52 (minimum contests and participants requirements for sports sponsorship), a staff interpretation (6/7/95, Item No. b), which has been archived, and NCAA Interpretations Committee Minutes (9/16/93, Item No. 1).
In light of this interpretation, the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm recommends institutions’ athletics compliance include the interpretation in the next scheduled rules-education session for the athletics staff and coaches.