MAC proposals reduce athletes’ time demands

Published 2:57 am Friday, September 9, 2016

The Associated Press


The Mid-American Conference has adopted four proposals developed by student-athletes to regulate time demands on those participating in college sports, including a mandatory two weeks off after the season.

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The MAC announced Thursday that its council of presidents voted unanimously to adopt the proposals approved by athletic directors. The proposals originated from a report drafted by the conference’s student-advisory committee.

In July, the Power Five conferences put forth several concepts to reduce the demands on athletes. The concepts will form a proposal for NCAA legislation that the autonomy conferences plan to vote on in January.

The MAC decided not to wait. MAC schools can implement the proposals immediately, but they are mandatory for the 2017-18 school year.

“This will be a topic of conversation in January,” MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said. “If we knew what we wanted to do, why not go ahead and do it? It was the right thing to do.”

Along with the two-week break after the championship part of the season ends, athletes will be required to have a week off with no athletics obligations at the beginning of each semester.

Athletics obligations will be prohibited for at least eight hours after returning to campus from away-from-home travel.

Also, practice schedules will be required to be shared with student-athletes weekly. If changes are required, they must be known by student-athletes 24 hours prior to the scheduled practice time.

“The job’s not done,” Steinbrecher said. “I think the next step for all of us is really looking at some sport-specific regulation because what we do in football is what we ought to do in golf which is different from what we ought to do in track, etc. etc.

“Because of the culture and the training needs of the kids involved, there are differences and we need to craft rules that take those differences into account.”