Silly NCAA Tennis Rule

*Disclaimer this is my personal space and doesn’t reflect the views, values, or beliefs of any college or colleague.

Here is another fun NCAA rule that just went into effect. There was a question if current student-athletes could be a coach during a tennis match. Note at the moment this is only a D1 rule and doesn’t apply to D2 or D3 (at least not yet)

1.  Rule I.N.3 “Who May Coach”  Specifically – Designating players as coaches.  NCAA has determined that this is in violation of NCAA By-Laws. 

NCAA Interpretation: Yes, staff agrees with the conference analysis that an individual may not assume the rolesof student-athlete and student assistant coach concurrently, therefore a student athlete may not bedesignated as a coach.

11.01.5 Coach, Student Assistant.[A] . A student assistant coach is any coach who is a student-athlete who has exhausted his or her eligibility in the sport or has become injured to the point that he or she is unable to practice or compete ever again, and who meets the following additional criteria: (Revised: 1/9/96, 1/12/04 effective 8/1/04, 3/10/04, 5/26/06, 8/11/09, 4/29/10 effective 8/1/10, 8/7/14, 1/15/16 effective 8/1/16)

  1. Is enrolled at the institution at which he or she most recently participated in intercollegiate athletics;
  2. Is enrolled as a full-time graduate student within his or her five-year period of eligibility (see Bylaw 12.8) or is enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student in his or her first baccalaureate degree program, except that during his or her final semester or quarter of the degree program, he or she may be enrolled in less than a full- time degree program of studies, provided he or she is carrying (for credit) the courses necessary to complete the degree requirements;
  3. Is receiving no compensation or remuneration for coaching duties from the institution other than the finan- cial aid that could be received as a student-athlete and expenses incurred on road trips that are received by individual team members; and
  4. evaluating prospective student-athletes off campus or scouting opponents campus and does not perform recruiting coordination functions (see Bylaw 11.7.2)

Funny thing about this bylaw is that student-athletes are allowed to act as coaches in “team sports”. For example in baseball/softball student-athletes can be the 3rd base coach. However the NCAA considers tennis an individual sport and it now as ruled that student-athletes can’t coach.

I think this is a bad rule. In tennis there are six matches going on at once. It simply isn’t possible for a single coach to be on all six courts at once. Further some facilities are split and it may not be possible to be in the same building as some of the student-athletes.

One thing I like doing is putting student-athletes on court to coach. By acting as coaches they are contributing to the team, they learn about the game, and it helps them become better players and more receptive to coaching when they are playing.

Also in D3 it is rare to have a full compliment of three coaches. Most often it is a single coach or if a team is lucky maybe an assistant coach. I don’t see anything wrong with having a player act as a coach.

Additionally at the NCAA D1 level this is going to create a situation where major programs will gain a significant competitive advantage. Not a lot of teams are able to travel with a head coach, assistant coach and a volunteer coach.

NCAA bad rule

Silly NCAA

*Disclaimer this is my personal space and doesn’t reflect the views, values, or beliefs of any college or colleague.

The NCAA is full of silly rules and regulations. After nearly 30 years of coaching I tend to be pretty cynical about the NCAA. After all this is a huge organization that generates billions of dollars of revenue . Coaches in big time programs get coaching contracts in the millions/year. Universities are spending outrageous sums of money on athletic facilities. All this revenue is generated by student-athletes who can’t earn money outside their scholarships (this is slowly changing thanks to the law recently passed by California). It seems the NCAA has fought tooth-and-nail to keep student benefits low while allowing universities/coaches to reap the reward from their work.

Here is my new “favorite” NCAA regulation. The NCAA is now looking at prohibiting institutions from providing snacks to student-athletes.

Student-athletes are incredibly busy and have to be really adept at time management. For example student-athletes in sciences might have afternoon labs that run 1-4. After lab they hustle to the training room for treatment, practice for two (or more hours), followed by conditioning/weight training, cool down, shower, and change. It can be 8pm before a student-athlete can even think about dinner.

That is a LONG time between meals and a lot calories burned. To help student-athletes get through these long days, coaches would/could bring snacks (trailmix, apples, bananas, bagels etc) to practice. Grabbing a banana before hitting the court is often the difference between making it through practice/conditioning or crashing and burning.

Crazy thing is if a non-athlete gets an apple from a professor during a long class it is ok. But as soon as an student-athlete takes an apple from a coach it is a violation.

Not sure where the NCAA is trying to go with this legislation. Clearly they aren’t thinking about the welfare of the student-athletes.