NCAA Agreed-Upon Procedures: What’s New in 2021?

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has issued its 2021 Agreed-Upon Procedures guide, and it remains very consistent to the 2020 version. While some changes are clarifications and others are minor modifications, there are some new items you should know about.

Changes to Category Definitions

The NCAA added clarity to the definitions for certain categories:

  • Reporting Frequency – clarity on annual reports between Division I, II and III were outlined in further detail, indicating the need for Division I to have an NCAA AUP annually, Division II once every three years and no requirement for DIII to have one performed. It indicates for both Division II and III that “it is in the institution’s best interest to submit financial data annually to the NCAA via the Membership Financial Reporting System for Institutional Performance Program (IPP) purposes.”
  • NCAA DistributionsCategory 12 notes to include revenue distributions, grants and NCAA championships travel reimbursements.
  • Bowls – In multiple locations that referenced “Bowl,” an update has been made to indicate “Football Bowl”:
    • Category 13: name is now “Conference Distributions (Non Media and Non Football Bowl)” and clarification in the definition of the category to now indicate Football Bowl vs. Bowl.
    • Category 13A: name is now “Conference Distributions of Football Bowl Generated Revenue”.
    • Category 19: name is now “Football Bowl Revenues”.
    • Category 28: clarification in the definition “Input air and ground travel, lodging, meals and incidentals (including housing costs incurred during school break period) for competition related to preseason, regular season and non-football bowl postseason”.
    • Category 41: name is now “Football Bowl Expenses”.  Also added “Bonuses related to football bowl participation” as part of the definition.
    • Category 41A: name is now “Football Bowl Expenses – Coaching Compensation Bonuses” and clarification in the definition of the category to now indicate Football Bowl vs. Bowl”.
  • Category 22 – Non-taxable benefits “(1098T)”. Tuition reimbursement/exemptions are to include both “self or a dependent”.
  • Athletic Student Aid – A bylaw reference in the first procedure has been update from Bylaw 20 to 20.02.7.
  • Grants-in-Aid and Sports Sponsorship – the procedure specifies the time period for reporting be “between May and August.”
  • Pell Grants – Two clarifications were provided: 1) only Pell Grants for sports in which the NCAA conducts championships competition, emerging sports for women and bowl subdivision football are countable, and 2) student-athletes should only be counted once even if the athlete participates in multiple sports.

All other edits to the additional minimum procedures section of the agreed-upon procedures apply only to wording. The procedures themselves remain unchanged.

Even as the collegiate athletics landscape was greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, there has not been a new category or procedure adjustment made or noted in the 2021 edition specific to COVID-related expenditures. We find this surprising as many schools have intentionally tracked these expenses separately to comply with federal reporting guidelines attached to the stimulus funds received over the past year. This will require additional time for you to prepare this year as you reassign those expenses to their respective categories.

The James Moore Collegiate Athletics and Higher Education team will continue to perform inquiries of the NCAA regarding unique transactions and accounting treatment over the last year due to the pandemic. Sign up for our insights to stay informed. You can download the NCAA’s complete 2021 agreed-upon procedures guide here and learn more about James Moore’s NCAA AUP services and experience.

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