The NCAA is moving to make sure its study abroad programs are compliant with federal and state laws, and is rolling out a new rule that will require players to wear earplugs during practice, games and the NCAA Tournament.
The new rule comes as the NCAA faces a public relations nightmare in the wake of multiple investigations into the NCAA’s academic misconduct scandal.
The rule was first proposed by the NCAA Office of the Vice President of Enforcement and Compliance, which will be headed by Vice President for Enforcement and Legal Affairs Scott Pomeranz.
The NCAA will be requiring players to use a headset during all team meetings, in-game communication, team meetings and any other meetings and events involving the team.
The league will be looking to enforce the rule by restricting players’ access to headsets during any meeting that has a rule requiring a headset.
Pomeranza said that the new rule will be effective on January 15.
“Our goal is to ensure our student-athletes and coaches are doing everything they can to meet our rigorous academic standards, which are high in our universities, and to keep our students and coaches safe and secure while in the classroom,” Pomerantz said in a statement.
“Our goal for our study abroad program is to provide a safe environment that supports academic progress and provides the students with a safe and positive learning experience.
The study abroad rule will provide this goal and further enhance student-on-student interactions, which is critical to our mission of education and advancement of the best and brightest in the country.”
The rule will also prohibit players from using any equipment that may interfere with the game and will prohibit any player from being in any of the following areas: on the court, on the sidelines or anywhere else on the field during the game: during breaks, during halftime, or during halftime and postgame media conferences.
The rules will also require players not to touch their headsets during practices, games or the NCAA Championship Game.
Pomestanz said the new regulation will be in effect until Jan. 15.
The University of Phoenix will have the option to use headphones in all of its sports.
The athletic department has been testing the new earplink rules since the beginning of the season and will be allowed to use them in the 2019-20 academic year, Pomerancerz said.
POMESTANZ: NCAA will use ‘best interests of student-admissions’ in determining how to regulate athletes.
Source The Sport Devil article Pomerancas statement said the NCAA is looking to ensure that student-aficionados are not inconvenienced during the next academic year by having to wear a headset, including during games and in team meetings.
“The rules that will be implemented in 2019 will ensure that we are not putting students in harm’s way during games,” Pomartanz said.
“As we continue to work with our student athletes and coaches to ensure their safety, we are committed to ensuring that our players are able to use all available methods to meet the academic standards of their universities and ensure the safety of our students.
We are confident that the current rule will allow our students to maintain a safe learning environment while in school.”
The NCAA previously announced that it was in talks with Duke and Duke Blue Devils athletic director Jay Wright to have the two programs use the headsets.
Pominanz said in the statement that the NCAA will continue to meet with the teams to ensure the rules are implemented as soon as possible.
He said that both programs have been working closely with Pomerannas office.
“We have been meeting regularly with Duke, Duke Blue Devil and our student student-nurse assistants to work out a plan for implementation of the rules that are in place to ensure student-aspirational education is safe and respectful for all of our athletes,” Pominanza said.
The NCAA will not require student-enrollment at a university to use earplinks, as long as it is in compliance with state laws.
A spokesperson for the NCAA said that schools will still have to follow federal and local laws regarding earplinking.
“It is the NCAA policy to not require students to wear their own earphones, even if they are not using headphones in school-sponsored activities,” the spokesperson said.