Monthly Archives: January 2010

NCAA 2010 Graduate Student Research Grant Program

NCAA Research Committee
2010 Graduate Student Research Grant Program
Call for Proposals

The NCAA Research Committee is pleased to announce the 2010 NCAA Graduate Student Research Grant Program. The program’s goals are: (1) to stimulate research on college athletics; (2) to foster contributions to the empirical research on college athletics; (3) to provide financial support to graduate students interested in engaging in high-quality research related to college athletics, and (4) to assist NCAA-member colleges and universities and the general public in gaining access to new and outstanding research and researchers in this field.

The NCAA Research Committee consists of athletics administrators and faculty who collaborate with NCAA research department staff to produce high-quality research on issues related to college athletics. This research is seen by member colleges and universities as crucial to facilitating an environment of informed decision making on matters of NCAA policy and procedure. By encouraging new researchers, the Research Committee hopes to widen and strengthen the interest in and quality of research directly relevant to student-athlete well-being and college athletics participation.

The NCAA Research Committee invites research proposals within the general topic areas of student-athlete well-being and college athletics participation. Research grants are available for graduate students only and are intended to support the student while conducting research to be used for a doctoral dissertation, master’s thesis, or external publication. Awards for these research grants are set at a maximum of $7,500 for one-year projects. Institutions may not charge indirect costs on these awards. Recipients will be expected to culminate their project in an article suitable for publication in a scholarly journal, or in a completed master’s thesis or dissertation. Grant recipients will also be expected to submit a brief summary of the research that is suitable for publication in the NCAA News. Students studying topics of specific interest to the NCAA and its membership and demonstrating the competencies necessary to successfully complete the proposed study will receive highest consideration. Research topics may include but are not limited to: the impact of participation in athletics on the academic or social experiences of the student participant; best practices for academic advisement of student-athletes; the relationship between athletic time demands and academic success; student-athlete integration into the campus community; the relationship between athletic department finances and on-field success; and student-athlete satisfaction with the college experience.

Proposals related to health and safety issues should not be submitted for this grant program. Rather, please contact David Klossner, director of health and safety for grant opportunities in these areas.

Application Requirements
All applications for Graduate Student Research Grants must include the following:

1. Abstract. Limit to 250 words or less.

2. Timeline. List the beginning and termination dates for the proposed research. A list of the projected dates of completion of major milestones in the progress of proposed research should be included. This list must include a date for submission of the final report.

3. Proposal. The proposal should not exceed seven double-spaced pages and should be structured as follows:
a. purpose statement and description of specific research questions;
b. background information (brief review of relevant literature / context);
c. research methods (e.g., research design, participants) including specific information on likely response rates if a survey will be administered;
d. data analysis techniques, and
e. significance and practical application to the field and to the NCAA.

4. Copies of any survey instruments or other written materials that will be used in the study.

5. Reference Letter(s). A minimum of two reference letters from graduate advisors or others who can speak to the specifics of the research proposal must be provided.

6. Graduate Transcript. A transcript from your current graduate program or, in the case of new students, a letter documenting that you have enrolled in a graduate degree program.

7. Brief Outline of Budget. Prospective grant recipients must provide a brief request for funds (maximum award is $7,500) and a justification for how these funds will be used in the research project. Funds may be used to provide tuition relief.

8. Biographical Sketch. A brief biographical sketch or curriculum vitae with a list of relevant publications should be attached as an appendix.

9. Human Participants Certification. If this research involves the use of human participants, certification must be provided that this proposal has been or is in the process of being reviewed by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or human subjects committee of the originating institution, in compliance with Department of
Health and Human Services policy on protection of human subjects. Funds will not be released until human participants approval has been granted for the proposed study.

Each award application will be judged on (1) the importance of the topic to the field and to the NCAA; (2) the strength of the methodological approach; (3) the appropriateness of proposed analyses; (4) the innovative nature of the project; and (5) the acceptability of the proposed budget. The review panel will ask such questions as: Is the student’s research question clearly defined? What literature already exists on this topic? How does the methodology relate specifically to the research question? Is there a high likelihood that the study can be carried out as designed? Does the analytic plan fit the question and the data? Is the applicant qualified to carry out the proposed study? Will this study contribute to the field?

Application Submission
Proposals for Graduate Student Research Grants will be reviewed once a year, with funding decisions made by September 2010. The upcoming deadline for proposals is: Saturday, May 1, 2010

A total of two (2) hard copies of all required materials must be submitted and received by the deadline above. Electronic submissions will be accepted. It is preferred that letters of reference be included with the application materials and sent as a package. However, letters will be accepted separately from the package of other materials, so long as they are received by the submission deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Contact Nicole Bracken, 317/917-6328 or, if you would like to submit your proposal electronically or have questions regarding the application or submission process.

Applications should be sent to:
Nicole Bracken
Associate Director of Research
P.O. Box 6222
Indianapolis, IN 46206

Additional Information Regarding Grants Grant recipients are encouraged to consult with NCAA research staff regarding their proposed research prior to submitting a proposal.

All grant recipients will agree to submit a brief (three to six pages, double-spaced) progress report mid-way through the grant period. A final report will be submitted at the end of the grant period.

Total funding will be provided upon approval of the proposal. In most cases awardees may choose whether to have funds sent directly to them or to their institutions.

2007 Grant Program Awards
In 2007, the Research Committee awarded four grants through the Graduate Student Research Grant Program:
* Predictors of Retirement Distress among Male Former Intercollegiate Athletics in Revenue-Producing Sports, Mercedes Carswell, Michigan State University.
* Exploring the Relationship between Athletic Injury and Coaching Behavior, Sarah Halbert, Miami University.
* Perceptions of Stakeholder Salience and Dimensions of Influence for Campus Student-Athlete Advisory Committees in Governance of Intercollegiate Athletics, Lori Hendricks, University of Michigan.
* A Chameleon on the Court: Understanding Factors that Contribute to Invisibility/Visibility for Division I Intercollegiate Gay-Athletes, Paul Tontz, University of Denver.

2008 Grant Program Awards
In 2008, the Research Committee awarded four grants through the Graduate Student Research Grant Program:
* Impact of Organizational Culture on Graduation Rates of NCAA Division I HBCU Athletes: A Case Study, Ralph Charlton, College of William and Mary.
* Predicting Academic Success for Student-Athletes: A Comparative Study, Tiese Roxbury, University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
* Perceptions of “Others”: The Role of Heterosexism in the Decline of College Women Coaches, Amy Sandler, University of Nevada Las Vegas.
* Enhancing the Student-Athlete Experience: Understanding Sense of Community from a Student-Athlete’s Perspective, Stacy Warner, University of Texas at Austin.

2009 Grant Program Awards
In 2009, the Research Committee awarded three grants through the Graduate Student Research Grant Program:
* Faculty Senates Perceptions of College Athletics, Amber Falluca, University of South Carolina.
* The College Adjustment of African American Student-Athletes at Predominately White Institutions and Historically Black College and Universities, Sheriece Sadberry, University of Missouri, Columbia.
* Physical Self-Concept and Athletic Identity Among Former Collegiate Athletes: Examining the Influence on Self, Jennifer Shannon, University of Missouri, Columbia.

Sent to: Social Sciences, Human Factors/Performance/Effectiveness, Education, Mental Health/Behavioral Science, Selected Faculty

http://epeatuk.blogspot.com Jan 27 2010

Greg Shaheen, NCAA, Senior Vice President, Basketball and Business Strategies; NIT, President

Greg Shaheen oversees the strategic management and operations of the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, as well as the Association’s eleven-year, $6 Billion contracts with broadcast partners CBS and ESPN.  Shaheen oversees the NCAA Corporate Champion/Corporate Partner program, and is President of the NIT, L.L.C.

Shaheen manages the NCAA’s Corporate and Broadcast Alliances group, with responsibility for the bundled-rights agreement, including television, radio, Internet, publishing, marketing, licensing and fan festivals, as well as the organization’s other media initiatives. The group works with the NCAA’s broadcast partners, Corporate Champions and Partners to activate across the organization’s 88 Championships conducted annually at more than 750 sites nationwide.

Shaheen chairs the NCAA’s internal Incident Assessment Team, responsible for handling situations that may affect the organization’s  ongoing operations and championships. The group was initiated in 2003 and ultimately handled the NCAA’s assessment and response in operating its championship events in the face of the Iraq War.

Among his other accomplishments, Shaheen has overseen the revision of the operations policies of the championship as well as broadening the variety of activities surrounding the NCAA Final Four.  He has also been integral in the development of systems to monitor and provide continuous information to the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee which has been implemented across other NCAA Championships.

Shaheen served on-loan as the Executive Director of the NCAA/NFHS 2000 Projects, for which he was responsible for overseeing the design and development of the organizations’ headquarters in downtown Indianapolis, as well as overseeing the relocation of 300-plus employees.

In 2005, 2006 and 2007, Shaheen was named to Sports Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40.”

Shaheen joined the NCAA in 2000 after serving as the Director of Operations for the Indianapolis Local Organizing Committee. For 18 years, Shaheen served as the Chief Administrative Officer of Indianapolis-based Long Electric Company, Inc., a privately-held company with 600 employees.

Shaheen is a graduate with Distinction from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.   He also serves as the Program Director of Opportunities to Learn About Business (OLAB).  The program, based at Wabash College, is an intensive nine-day summer program for Indiana high school seniors sponsored by 50 local corporations and community groups. He has served as a Board Member for the Miami University Thomas Page Center for Entrepreneurship. He has also held positions on the boards of Indiana Sports Corporation, The Inocon Group, Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs of Indianapolis and the Carmel-Clay Education Foundation.

CSV Keynote speakers Jan 26, 2010

Looks like Lane Kiffin has already committed his first NCAA violation at USC

Man, does Lane Kiffin ever work fast. Only 10 days into his new job as USC head coach, Kiffin has already committed a recruiting violation.

Kiffin picked up a recruit from the airport in a limo, which I guess is a secondary violation. Just in case you were counting, Kiffin had six secondary violations while he was at Tennessee.

Also, what exactly is the penalty for a secondary violation? There doesn’t seem to be any penalty at all as far as I can tell, so expect to see a lot more of these from Kiffin.

FanIQ Anonymous Jan 25, 2010

Athletes and Caffeine

Caffeine may be considered the most popular drug in the word because it is found in so many products that are commonly used in the daily lives of people of all ages. However, because of its stimulant properties, there has been an increase in recent years in the amount of products marketed to young people.

Energy drink products such as Rockstar and Monster can be seen on a regular basis on high school and college campuses. Because these drinks are directly marketed to young people and athletes, athletes need to understand how the caffeine in these drinks can affect their bodies and how much is safe to consume.

Athletes need to be educated to look at the amount of caffeine in products, understand the physiological effects of caffeine as well as the possible adverse effects of caffeine.

Amount of Caffeine in Products

There are websites available (Energy Fiend) that athletes can use to find the amount of caffeine in specific products. Because caffeine is a banned substance, knowing the amount consumed is critical for athletes.

When looking for the amount of caffeine in products, the athletes need to be diligent in also looking for the amount of ounces consumed.

A typical eight ounce instant cup of coffee will have 55-60 mg of caffeine.

But all coffees are not created equal. An eight ounce cup of brewed coffee will contain 100-110 mg of caffeine. The smallest cup of regular coffee purchased at Starbucks is a 12 ounce “Tall” and can contain up to 260 mg of caffeine. A 16 ounce cup of regular Starbucks coffee can contain up to 330 mg of caffeine.

How Caffeine Effects the Body

According to Houglum, J., Harrelson, G., and Leaver-Dunn, D., (Principles of Pharmacology for Athletic Trainers, 2005) there may be three ways in which caffeine can affect the performance of an athlete.

The first is that caffeine may provide improved endurance by increasing stored fat availability (for use as energy) and conserving glucose stores. If this is correct, athletes may be able to last longer in their activity before they get fatigued.

Second, the authors report that caffeine may increase the strength of a muscle contraction through the stimulation of specific ions within the muscle.

Last, and probably the reason most people use caffeine products, is that caffeine has a direct effect on the central nervous system as a stimulant. Caffeine can increase alertness, increase motor unit recruitment, and alter the perception of fatigue.

Adverse Effects of Caffeine

A number of adverse effects have been documented with the intake of caffeine including:

  • anxiety
  • jitters
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • irritability
  • insomnia
  • diuresis
  • gastrointestinal distress

For an athlete, one of the major concerns is the diuretic effect of caffeine because it has the potential to cause dehydration, which could lead to heat illness. Higher doses could also cause cardiac arrhythmias and hallucinations.

Caffeine as a Banned Substance

Caffeine is on the list of banned substances for the NCAA. The fact that athletes need to be aware of is that caffeine is banned if the concentration in the urine exceeds 15 micrograms per milliliter.

According to Houglum, J., Harrelson, G., and Leaver-Dunn, D., (Principles of Pharmacology for Athletic Trainers, 2005), ingesting 9 mg/kg can result in a positive urine test.

This means that the amount of caffeine ingestion that would be safe is related to the amount of body mass of the individual. An athlete weighing 50 kg (110 pounds) could test positive with as little as 450mg of caffeine or two 12 ounce Starbucks coffees (520 mg of caffeine). An athlete weighing 85 kg (187 pounds) could test positive with 765mg of caffeine or two 16 ounce Starbucks coffees (660 mg of caffeine) and one 16 ounce Rockstar (160mg).

Athletes who drink energy drinks need to also be aware that most energy drinks contain two servings per can which doubles the amount of caffeine on the label.

Caution with Caffeine

It is well documented that habitual use of caffeine can place an individual at risk for a number of disorders including anxiety, sleep disorders, dependence, and withdrawal (severe headaches when caffeine is not consumed because the body develops a dependence on the stimulant).

Because of the number of physiological effects of caffeine, intake of caffeine should be in moderation and carefully controlled to maximize health and reduce potential side effects.
Suite 101 Terry Zeigler Jan 22, 2010

Looking At The Players Of The Year

e’re nearly three months into this season and we don’t have a clear-cut favorite for player of the year. Last year, Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin dazzled us from the onset. Two years ago, it was hard to turn on the TV and not hear about North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough. And, the year before that, Texas’ Kevin Durant burst on the scene and immediately became one of the biggest stories.

This year is different. There is no one player that has separated himself from the pack. There is a lot of basketball left, and whoever shines brightest from here to March could be in line to get some hardware. Here are a few of the candidates, broken up into three different categories of players.

THE HEADLINERS: These are the guys that are putting up monster numbers for some of the nation’s best teams. They’re highlight reels waiting to happen. Many award winners come from this category, but not always. Think Blake Griffin last year.

Damion James – Texas
James’ production is a huge reason the Longhorns earned their first-ever No. 1 ranking. The 6-foot-7 senior forward opted to stay in college this year and it has paid off in a big way. James is averaging a double-double with 17.3 points and 11 rebounds a game. He also contributes over a block and a steal per game.

James has been good when it counted the most. In back-to-back victories against North Carolina and Michigan State in December, James averaged 24 points, 14 rebounds and 2.5 steals. More recently, he amassed 26 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks as the Longhorns narrowly avoided being upset by Texas A&M.

Evan Turner- Ohio State
Sure he missed six games due to a broken back, but when he has been healthy, he carried the Buckeyes on that very same back. Without Turner, Ohio State went 3-3. With him and his 18.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game, Ohio State is 11-2.

It all started in the first game of the year when Turner, a point guard, went off for 14 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists. This was only the second triple-double in Ohio State history. Thirteen days later, the junior did it again with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists against Lipscomb. He does it against top competition too. On Jan. 12 versus then-No. 6 Purdue, Turner put on a show with a 32-point, nine-rebound effort in a 70-66 win.

John Wall – Kentucky
What can I say about John Wall that hasn’t already been said? The freshman point guard has garnered more attention than any other player in the nation, and rightfully so. He is averaging 17.1 points per game and dishes out 6.9 assists per night – which is third in the nation. He has been erratic at times, averaging over four turnovers a game, but lets remember, he is still a freshman.

His stats are impressive, but how he does it is even more impressive. A regular sight on SportsCenter, Wall is one of the nation’s top playmakers. He also shows more poise than any freshman should. In his first collegiate game, Wall hit a jumper in the final seconds to defeat Miami (Ohio). Against Connecticut on Dec. 9, he scored 12 of Kentucky’s last 15 points to earn a three-point victory. His free throws also iced victories over North Carolina and Auburn. Wall is a major reason Kentucky is the nation’s last unbeaten.

Others considered: Luke Harangody (Notre Dame), Wesley Johnson (Syracuse).

THE CAPTAINS: These are the guys that may not have the mind-boggling stat sheets like the guys above, but their leadership for their respective teams makes them just as valuable. With first-class production on the court, these guys can do it all. Think Tyler Hansbrough in 2008.

Robbie Hummel – Purdue
Hummel is a model of consistency and is the glue to the Boilermakers. The 6-foot-8 junior has scored in double figures in every game this year except one. That game, he had nine points. For the season, Hummel averages 16.3 points, seven rebounds and over one steal and one block per game.

Hummel’s value was seen last year when he went out with a back injury and Purdue struggled. Purdue needs him to stay healthy if it wishes to contend for the Big Ten title. Hummel’s signature game came in a loss to Ohio State when he dueled with Evan Turner. Hummel hit eight first half 3-pointers on his was to 35 points and 10 rebounds. With Hummel you know what you’re getting, and that’s consistent production.

Scottie Reynolds – Villanova
Reynolds made the infamous coast-to-coast lay-up to get Villanova into the Final Four last year, and he has picked up right where he left off. The 6-foot-2 guard leads the team with 18.5 points a night, which is fourth in the Big East. He is Villanova’s floor general and has led the Wildcats to a 16-1 record.

In consecutive wins versus Louisville and Georgetown last week, Reynolds erupted for a combined 63 points and shot 17-for-25 from the field. The senior has scored over 20 points in eight of his last 11 games. Reynolds appears to be turning it on at just the right time, and his senior leadership will be vital for Villanova as the Wildcats attempt to make back-to-back Final Fours.

Jon Scheyer – Duke
You won’t find Jon Scheyer rattling the rim with dunks or dazzling the crowd with electrifying quickness, but you will find him getting the job done each and every night. The senior point guard is leading Duke in points and assists, with 19.1 and 5.8 respectively. Scheyer is the quintessential Duke point guard – and that’s a good thing.

Scheyer’s biggest game came on Dec. 15 against Gardner-Webb. Scheyer poured in 36 points, shot 7-for-9 from 3-point range, dished our nine assists and grabbed eight rebounds. Scheyer is also efficient, shooting over 43 percent from the field, 39 percent from 3-point range and 90 percent from the free-throw line on the season.

Others considered: Sherron Collins (Kansas), Trevor Booker (Clemson).

THE UNKNOWNS: Every once in a while a player can come into a program and revitalize it. These are guys that have taken teams that are not perennial powers and turned them into contenders. They may not get the national attention yet, but it’s just a matter of time. Admittedly, not many players from this category win the award, but their value cannot be understated. Think Jameer Nelson in 2004

Jimmer Fredette – BYU
The Cougars are sitting at 19-1 and Fredette is a big reason why. BYU is ranked No. 14 in the nation and Fredette is averaging 19.4 points and 5.0 assists per game, both tops on the team. The junior guard shoots 47 percent from the field, 43 percent from 3-point range and nearly 90 percent from the charity stripe.

In a three-game stretch where BYU beat Nevada, Nebraska and Arizona in December, Fredette averaged 35.3 points and 6.3 assists. The highlight was a 49-point outburst against Arizona where he shot 16-for-23 from the field and chipped in with seven rebounds and nine assists. Fredette has scored 20 points in 10 of the 18 games he’s played this year. If BYU continues to be a factor nationally, Fredette will be the main reason.

Gordon Hayward – Butler
Butler came into this season with high expectations, yet it struggled to get a signature win early. With Hayward playing some of his best basketball, the Bulldogs have won eight of their last nine, including wins over Ohio State and Xavier. Now, Butler appears to be fulfilling this year’s lofty expectations.

Hayward leads Butler with 15.8 points and 8.4 rebounds a game. In Butler’s two biggest wins against Ohio State and Xavier, Hayward was at his best. In those two games, he averaged 23 points and 11 rebounds. The 6-foot-8 sophomore can score from the outside and can also be a factor in the post, and that’s why he is so valuable to this team.

Hassan Whiteside – Marshall
Whiteside is anything but a household name, but that should all change. The 7-foot-0 freshman has exploded onto the scene and made Marshall a contender in a wide-open Conference USA. Marshall is 15-3 on the year and 4-0 in conference play. Two of Marshall’s losses were to North Carolina and West Virginia, the latter only being a eight-point decision.

Whiteside is leading the Thundering Herd in points, rebounds and blocks. In fact, Whiteside’s 5.4 blocks per game is tops in the nation. He also averages 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per contest. Whiteside has two triple-doubles and nine double-doubles on the year. If Marshall wishes to contend for a conference title, Whiteside is the player that will lead them.

Others considered: Ryan Wittman (Cornell), LaceDarius Dunn (Baylor). Anthony Oliva III Jan 21 2010

What Makes a Great Team Captain in NCAA Sports?

by Stephen Walker, PhD, CC-AASP

Podium’s Podcast of the Week: An Interview with Jesse Michel – West Virginia University

Coaches have varying expectations of their team captains.  Some will follow the adage of  ‘expect nothing be prepared for everything’ while others will want their team captain to serve as an assistant coach.  Leadership is a variable that can distinguish a great sports captain.  But what does that look like on a collegiate team?

Jesse Michel, Dr. Greg Shelley from Ithaca College and Dr. Noah Gentner from Georgia Southern University collaborated on a qualitative research study of the behaviors most recognized as defining a great team captain.  At any level this interview will prove illuminating, and offer some guidelines useful to both coaches and team captains alike.

Podium Sports Journal Stephen Walker January 18, 2010

Sand Volleyball a Go in NCAA Division I

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (updated Jan. 16, 2010) – The NCAA decided Jan. 15 at its Division I business meeting held in Atlanta to approve the addition of sand volleyball to its list of emerging sports for women, a position supported by USA Volleyball (USAV), American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP). One day later, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors voted to delay the effective date of the addition of sand volleyball to the list of emerging sports for women until August 2011 so adequate time can be spent determining the sport’s legislative parameters.

By a vote of 166 yes, 118 no and one abstention in favor of the override with each institution holding one vote at the NCAA Convention, an override measure attempting to strike down the original addition of sand volleyball to the emerging sport list failed to pass with only 58.5 percent. The override measure needed a five-eighths majority, or 62.5 percent, to overturn the legislation. The AVCA had asked the NCAA Division I Board of Directors to push back the original effective date from Aug. 1, 2010, to Aug. 1, 2011.

The sand volleyball proposal, known officially as No. 2008-59, has drawn support from many groups outside of the USA Volleyball, the AVP and the AVCA as a way to add new opportunities for women to compete collegiately in a popular domestic and Olympic sport. Further, USAV views the addition of sand volleyball as a way to engage a new generation of volleyball players at the youth levels with the potential of collegiate scholarship looming in the future.

“I applaud the work of our USA Volleyball leadership and colleagues at the NCAA, AVCA and AVP who have enabled sand volleyball to be offered to aspiring female athletes nationwide at the NCAA Division I and II levels,” USA Volleyball Chairman of the Board David Schreff said. “We are truly one worldwide sport, played on two court surfaces, hardwood and sand. The far-sighted university administrators, athletic directors and coaches took a huge step to grow the sand discipline and to inspire girls and young women to explore playing on sand as well as indoor court volleyball.”

As an emerging sport for women within the NCAA, sand volleyball would also expand the existing pipeline of athletes and coaches for the U.S. to maintain its competitive advantage in the international levels of the sport. The U.S. swept the men’s and women’s Olympic beach gold medals in 2008. Misty May-Treanor (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (Saratoga, Calif.) have become celebrities after winning their second consecutive Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, while Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) captured the 2008 Olympic Games gold medal. The U.S. has won at least one gold medal in Olympic beach volleyball since it was initiated in 1996.

USA Volleyball High Performance Beach CampPhoto: USA VolleyballAthletes participate in a 2008 USA Volleyball Beach High Performance Camp.“While beach volleyball has been a very popular professional and Olympic sport here in the United States and abroad, today’s NCAA vote further advances the sport into the mainstream of collegiate athletics in this country,” USA Volleyball Chief Executive Director Doug Beal said. “Collegiate sand volleyball becomes a viable option for college athletes aspiring to scholarships and continuing to increase their skill level in the sport. While many of our international beach volleyball athletes do not take up the sport until after their college indoor careers are over, this vote will impact USA Volleyball’s ability to offer beach volleyball opportunities to a wider and younger set of players who want to train and compete in our High Performance pipeline.”

“The addition of sand volleyball to both NCAA Division I and II programs is an inspiring victory that will further legitimize the outdoor doubles discipline,” USA Volleyball Director of Beach Programs Ali Lamberson said. “USA Volleyball is prepared to support NCAA institutions by increasing all of our beach programming including the annual Beach Collegiate Challenge, Beach Coaching Education (BCAP), Beach High Performance and National Teams, the Junior Beach Tour, grassroots and development camps, and more. In addition, we are working with the USAV Beach Volleyball Officials Commission to provide training opportunities for new beach officials. USAV is ready to continue to lead the way in sand volleyball development opportunities.”

Kathy DeBoer, serving as the AVCA’s executive director, has coordinated the coaching organization’s efforts for the last couple years to see this proposal become a reality. Yet, she also understands the NCAA vote is only one point on the timeline to make sand volleyball what it can be.

“This vote will create an explosion of opportunity at all levels,” DeBoer said. “Having said that, there will be challenges for all of us to support this growth. It’s what we wanted; now we must deliver for those who want to play and coach.”

Jason Hodell, who is the chief executive officer of the only active professional volleyball league in the United States in the AVP, echoed similar comments in that the NCAA vote will send the sport into a growth movement.

“The AVP is thrilled with the result of today’s vote,” Hodell said. “NCAA sand volleyball will grow our beautiful sport tremendously and provide wonderful opportunities for women to participate in collegiate athletics.”

One key constituent group backing sand volleyball at the NCAA Division I level was the participants themselves. The NCAA’s national Student-Athlete Advisory Council supported the sand volleyball initiative.

“Wherever you can create opportunities for student-athletes to play the sport they love, it’s a positive,” SAAC Chair Matt Baysinger told the NCAA News. “We understand the sentiment that it may create an advantage for the schools that offer it now, but that’s a small piece of the puzzle.”

Tyra Turner, who is part of the USA Volleyball Board of Directors as a beach athlete representative, is excited about the opportunities that will exist now with the addition of sand volleyball scholarships at the college level. She played collegiately without the benefit of a sand program at University of Central Florida, having earned all-conference twice and AVCA all-region once before graduating in 1998.

2009 USA Volleyball Junior Beach TourPhoto: USA Volleyball18-and-Under medalists at the 2009 USA Beach Junior Tour Championship“Today is a great day for women’s athletics,” Turner said. “NCAA accepting sand volleyball will offer many opportunities for young women. To see the significant growth and advancement of a sport I hold dear to my heart is exciting. Sand volleyball is no longer that emerging sport. We have gold medals and the top teams in the world. I am so grateful to the many people who have worked diligently to make this dream a reality. As a current professional player, it so inspiring to see young athletes enthusiastic about this amazing sport.”

As a beach athlete, Turner has amassed nearly $500,000 in career earnings since 2003. She partnered with Angie Akers to win a silver and bronze medal during the 2009 FIVB Beach Tour, one year after she teamed with Rachel Wacholder to earn three silvers and a bronze on the FIVB circuit.

While sand volleyball will only affect the women’s game at the NCAA level, the addition has received support from current men’s beach volleyball players such as Sean Scott, who also serves on the USAV Board.

“Today is a great day for the sport of volleyball,” Scott said. “NCAA sand volleyball will help grow the sport as a whole and provide opportunities for the next generation of female athletes. As both an AVP professional beach volleyball player and USA Volleyball Board member, I look forward to assisting in the birth of a new collegiate sport.”

Although the NCAA has now formally adopted sand volleyball at the Division I level (as well as Division II in previous legislation) with this vote, USA Volleyball’s efforts to create a similar beach/sand experience for grassroots levels that already exists for youth indoor volleyball will be at the forefront in the coming days and months.

“USAV will now move into a higher gear in broadening our youth and young adult developmental efforts through sanctioned events and clinics,” Schreff said. “We will further work with our 40 regions and 5,100 clubs to find those who can invest in new and expanded sand courts to train the next generation of sand/beach players who just love volleyball in all of its forms. We will work with our national beach tour partners at the AVP and with those far-sighted companies who can sponsor and license programs designed to promote the sand/beach opportunities of the sport. We encourage more girls and young women to become members of USA Volleyball and to learn from the great athletes, coaches and officials who have built the foundation for this far-reaching and exciting development.”

Up until recently, sand volleyball was on track to become an emerging sport at the NCAA Division I level. The original proposal, crafted by the Committee on Women’s Athletics as a way to increase opportunities for female athletes, was initially passed by a wide margin. In April of 2009, sand volleyball was on track to be added to the emerging sport list as the NCAA Division I membership approved the measure by over 74 percent. However, 63 schools supported a request for a revote, called an override, in May of 2009. According to an NCAA News release distributed Jan. 6, the NCAA Division I Legislative Council reconsidered the proposal in July of last year amid the concerns and about 65 percent of the group supported sand volleyball. The NCAA Division I Board decided to allow the Legislative Council’s action to stand, meaning a successful override would require a five-eighths majority of those Division I delegates present and voting at the NCAA Division I business meeting to overturn the legislation.

However, institutional objections from several athletic conferences to sand volleyball gained steam over the last few months leading to the NCAA Convention vote. Some of the reasons cited include competitive advantage for schools with large budgets and geographical location on the West Coast. Some individuals against sand volleyball believe the new sport would hurt the indoor version of the game. Other concerns related to additional financial, compliance and personnel burdens associated with adding a new sport.

USA Bill Kauffman January 15, 2010

Mens Basketball Mock Selection will be showing a live stream of the Men’s Basketball Mock Selection that will be taking place at the NCAA Convention in Atlanta on Thursday, January 14. At this event, all convention attendees who wish to attend will be part of a Mock Selection, the purpose of which is demystifying and demythifying the selecting, seeding and bracketing of the teams in the annual Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.

The Mock Selection will begin at 8am ET, and will be live streaming and live blogging the event. Check back for more details on the streaming information as it becomes available.

See you Thursday at 8am.

NCAA.com NCAA Editor on January 8, 2010 11:13 AM