WASHINGTON — The Atlantic 10 Presidents’ Council concluded its annual meeting Wednesday under the leadership of Dr. Mark Reed, Council Chair and Saint Joseph’s University President. The A-10 Directors of Athletics joined the Presidents for discussion of the most salient issues facing intercollegiate athletics and the conference.
The highly-publicized report from the NCAA Commission on College Basketball, chaired by Dr. Condoleezza Rice, was the focus of discussion. The NCAA appointed eight topical groups to implement recommended suggestions by the commission, and Saint Joseph’s Men’s Basketball Coach Phil Martelli is a member of two of these groups. The council and directors voiced strong support for the recommendations related to non-scholastic recruiting reforms, as well as a review of the current enforcement and infractions investigation structure. The group also discussed the NCAA’s Transfer Working Group recommendations, and continue to evaluate the league’s intra-conference transfer regulations. The presidents also committed to fully participate in the national dialogue related to the commission’s recommendations, while cautiously noting the aggressive timeline for adopting meaningful change.
Ed McLaughlin of VCU, Chair of the Athletic Directors, provided an executive summary of the annual Spring Business Meeting held in Naples, Fla., with the A-10 men’s and women’s basketball coaches. Highlighting the actions items were policies related to the Atlantic 10 distribution of the future academic performance revenue funds, acknowledgement of the strong fiscal performance of the league this past year, and the approval of the 2018-19 conference budget. The group also acknowledged the NCAA Public Recognition of 67 teams that received APR top 10 percent in their sport. This achievement ranked the A-10 fifth nationally among all 32 Division I conferences.
The 2018 class of the 14 Atlantic 10 Postgraduate Scholarship recipients, who received a total of $70,000 in scholarship funding for postgraduate study, was acknowledged and congratulated. The conference has now granted over a quarter of a million dollars in postgraduate scholarships over the past five years.
“I, along with the members of the Presidents’ Council, continue to be impressed by the collective academic success of the conference teams,” stated Reed. “As educators at an elite group of colleges and universities, we pride ourselves on our mission of graduating our student-athletes while performing at the highest level on the courts and playing fields.”
The presidents and directors were also briefed by A-10 legal counsel on the recent Supreme Court decision to allow sports wagering in all 50 states, as well as the upcoming NCAA litigation related to future financial aid limits for Division I student-athletes. It was agreed that both of these developments may impact intercollegiate athletics in significant, but different ways thus strategic planning and preparation will continue.
“This was an excellent meeting, as was our annual business meeting held a few weeks ago in Florida,” stated A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. “In Florida, the athletic directors and basketball coaches were engaged at a high level with our media partners from ESPN, CBS Sports, representatives from the NCAA office and e-sports consultants. Today the Council of Presidents’ approval of all action items from the business meeting, as well as their thoughtful consideration of the NCAA Commission Report, will set the stage for the Atlantic 10 this next year.”
In other business, the council approved a proposal to move the A-10 Men’s Basketball Championship First Round games from an evening to an afternoon session, recognized the league’s signature event returning to Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and the move to campus sites for the Women’s Basketball Championship, due to renovations at the Richmond Coliseum.