On May 4, 2012, the academic and membership affairs staff issued an interpretation concerning contract employees as strength and conditioning coaches. Specifically, the staff determined that “an institution may contract with or hire individuals to perform strength, flexibility or conditioning activities in accordance with institutional policies and procedures applicable to all employees or independent contractors, even if those policies and procedures do not require them to be considered institutional employees.” Further, the staff determined “in bowl subdivision football, any such individuals who work with football student-athletes in any capacity, regardless of the nature or duration of the activities, are subject to the institutional limit of not more than five weight or strength coaches for the duration of the academic year.”
This interpretation referenced NCAA Division I Bylaws 22.214.171.124.1 (weight or strength coach), 126.96.36.199.1 (weight or strength coach) and 188.8.131.52.1 (weight or strength coach); and staff interpretations (5/13/92, Item No. a) and (5/2/07 (Item No. 1a), which has been archived, Proposal No. 2010-19.
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.