The NCAA Board of Governors approved an updated version of the mental health best practices document that all member schools must adhere to, effective Aug. 1. The board of directors met Wednesday at the NCAA convention in Phoenix.
As part of the Division I Holistic Student-Athlete Model, Division I schools will be required to demonstrate provision of services and supports consistent with best practices, with the first certification deadline being November 2025.
According to the NCAA Bylaws adopted in January 2021, each member school must ensure access to appropriate resources and public engagement in physical and mental health to create an environment that enhances physical and mental health in athletics.
The second version of the best practice document, which will be published in the coming weeks ahead of the legislation coming into effect in August, includes new information on the intersection of mental health and sports betting, social media, corruption in sport, suicide contagion and names. , images and similarities. The document also details specific considerations for student-athletes of color, LGBTQ student-athletes, international student-athletes and student-athletes with disabilities.
“The second edition of the Mental Health Best Practices document affirms the NCAA’s constitutional commitment to student-athletes. It provides practical approaches for schools considering implementation to support, promote and manage student-athletes at the community, campus, athletic department and team levels. Athletes mental health,” said Linda A. Livingstone, Baylor University president and chair of the Board of Trustees. “The new version also emphasizes increased consideration of a diverse student-athlete population and timely topics. The updated document is also designed to recognize the diversity of the NCAA membership. The guidance is implemented in a manner that provides schools with significant freedom based on their unique circumstances Discretion, needs and resources”.
The updated best practices reflect the consensus of the NCAA Mental Health Advisory Group, which is composed of representatives from relevant medical and scientific organizations with expertise in mental health. The group, tasked with updating the NCAA’s mental health best practices, also includes membership representatives from Divisions I, II and III, the majority of whom are student-athletes. The NCAA’s Athletics Safeguards and Medical Aspects Committee, which oversees the mental health advisory group, supported the updated version and recommended it to the Board of Governors for final approval. Portions of this document also come from the 2020 Diverse Student-Athlete Mental Health and Well-Being Summit.
To support NCAA members in implementing mental health best practices, the NCAA Sports Science Institute recently hosted a series of webinars that presented member-based examples of ways to consider supporting and promoting the mental health of student-athletes. To help NCAA members understand the new practices, SSI will host additional webinars before the document takes effect on August 1.
Campus Sexual Violence Policy
The board received an overview of the 2022-23 campus sexual violence accreditation process and a final report on completion by member schools. Schools that do not comply with NCAA policy are prohibited from hosting any NCAA tournaments in the next academic year (2024-25). Schools that fail to provide certification will be listed publicly on the NCAA Campus Sexual Violence Certification Form webpage by February 15.
The accreditation period for schools to fill out forms is July 18 to November 3, 2023. This marks the first year that the certification deadline will be in the fall, a change made based on member feedback to align with the other two required certifications in Division I.
- The board approved an additional allocation of $25 million to Division I members. Funds will be disbursed in February.
- The Board of Trustees elected Springfield University President Mary-Beth Cooper as vice chair. As a voting representative on the Third Sector Board of Directors, Cooper will serve as vice chair for a one-year term.