NCAA Agreed-Upon Procedures: What’s New in 2018?

The NCAA Agreed-Upon Procedures Guide for 2018 has been released, and it remains relatively intact compared to the 2017 version. The vast majority of updates are actually clarifications meant to fine-tune existing guidelines (instead of actual changes).

However, there are two key updates of which you’ll need to be aware.

A New Category for Coaching Bonuses

The NCAA Agreed-Upon Procedures has created Expense Category 41A, which includes “all post-season bowl related coaching compensation/bonuses.” Previously, these bonuses were listed in the general Bowl Expenses (41) category ; 41A is a new subcategory for these expenses. The change has a fairly narrow focus since it only impacts schools that have teams going to bowl games.

Minimum Contest/Participants Requirement

A new requirement to Bylaw gives minimum thresholds for number of contests (and, in some cases, participants) for a sport to qualify as a sponsored sport for the purposes of revenue distribution. Most team sports are only subject to the minimum contest requirement. Individual sports, however (along with women’s rowing), are also subject to the minimum participant requirement. The actual thresholds for contests and participants vary depending on the sport. Also note that the number of contests only includes regular season events and not post-season play.

The remainder of the new guide focuses on additions and edits to the existing language to clarify guidelines that were already in place. There are many of these, most of which fall under the following categories:

  • Definitions of Revenue and Expense Categories – Clarifications to direct support or other government support; athletic student aid guidelines; and coaching salaries, benefits and bonuses.
  • Compensation and Benefits Provided by a Third Party – Removed a step in this process regarding the third party independent auditors report.
  • Scholarship Testing Procedures – Clarifications on calculating grants-in-aid; expenses related to attendance; how student-athletes are counted; athletics grants; grants for student athletes listed as “Exhausted Eligibility” or “Medical;” and maximum equivalency limits on athletics aid.

It’s best to contact your CPA firm to make sure that you fully understand (and are compliant with) these changes. You can also download the NCAA’s complete 2018 guide here.

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