On Thursday, April 24, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors voted to require strength and conditioning coaches to be certified from a nationally accredited certification body. The council members voted to delay the move until August 1, 2015 to allow coaches time to achieve their certification without their jeopardizing their employment.
The United States Sports Academy’s Continuing Education department offers programs in strength and conditioning and serves many sport associations, including the National Strength and Continuing Association (NSCA).
In addition, the NCAA also voted in favor of allowing Division I student-athletes to receive unlimited meals and snacks in conjunction with their athletic participation. The rule applies to walk-ons as well as scholarship student-athletes and is an effort to meet the nutritional needs of all student-athletes.
The provision of meals approved is in addition to the meal plan provided as part of a full scholarship. Prior to this change, scholarship student-athletes received three meals a day or a food stipend.
Members of the Board of Directors also voted to:
- Require a school staff member certified in CPR, first aid and arterial external defibrillation to be present at all physical, countable athletic activities;
- Reduce the penalty for a first positive test for street drugs during championships; and
- Require football players to rest for at least three hours between practices during the preseason. Film review and team meetings will be allowed during this period.
- The penalty for testing positive for street drugs, including marijuana, will be reduced to half a season from a full season. Street drugs are not performance-enhancing in nature, and this change will encourage schools to provide student-athletes the necessary rehabilitation.
All of these adopted proposals are effective August 1, with the exception of the strength and conditioning coach certification requirement.