Ivy League athletic departments voted yesterday on several recommendations to modify the controversial seven-week off policy, passed last June by the Council of Ivy Presidents.
While no changes will be made to the core objective of the policy — which requires that all teams schedule 49 days free from all athletic obligations over the course of the academic year — many hope that some modifications will be made to better accommodate sports most adversely affected by the legislation.
Among the topics discussed yesterday were the time spent in strength training facilities, safety exceptions for sports such as gymnastics and wrestling, scheduling concerns for spring season teams competing in postseason tournaments, and concerns about rowing and the availability of water at different times of the year.
“Most of [the topics discussed] were rational exceptions that we just want some consideration on,” said Cornell compliance coordinator Patty Weldon. “I think the interesting thing will be how the presidents react, whether they’ll accept some type of changes within the structure.”
A big concern for all Ancient Eight athletic departments was what to do about teams that might have scheduled one or more of their seven off weeks during the time which would be devoted to postseason play.
“We discussed having a dispensation for a team that actually makes it to a championship unexpectedly, [so that] it not be penalized the next year,” said Weldon.
Under the current rules, if a team holds official team activity during one of its predetermined off weeks, it would be penalized by having to take two additional weeks off the next academic year.
With little exception, the eight athletic departments are on the same page regarding the recommendations they are making to the Council.
“All we can do is hope that the presidents see that we can’t have this one concrete rule that governs over 43 sports and eight schools,” said Weldon.
The recommendations made yesterday will now be examined by the League’s administrative counsel before it is turned over to the eight presidents for a decision. While no specific time frame has been set for any decision on modifications to the rule, Weldon expects that any action should come within the next week or so.
Archived article by Owen Bochner