NCAA says: Comply or die

By Nikki Leonardo and Melissa Bear

If Flagler College is to succeed in making a smooth transition to NCAA Div. II it will need to adjust quickly to the changes in rules and restrictions, as complying with NCAA bylaws is crucial to the move.

Part of the adjustments needing to be made was the hiring of a compliance officer to ensure that all players and teams are keeping up with the many rules implemented by the NCAA.

Flagler made the important addition of a compliance officer this past summer with the hiring of Sheri Holt.
“The hiring of the compliance officer is the most important hire as we move to NCAA,” Assistant Athletic Director and head volleyball coach Taylor Mott said.

Holt, a former University of North Florida graduate, was the compliance assistant for seven years at UNF before becoming associate athletic director and director of compliance for two years at Florida Southern College. She returned to UNF for a year and a half as an advisor before coming to Flagler.

A requirement of the compliance officer is to ensure all coaches in the athletic department are following NCAA regulations. The NCAA requires logs for practice and conditioning, which the athletes must sign to verify. Any form of contacting a potential recruit, including phone calls, letters or meetings must be documented and sent to the compliance department. Even though all sports comply to the same set of standards, the athletes have to abide by the NCAA standards as well.

Holt wants to be seen as an educator and an encourager while helping for a smooth transition for athletics
“The goal of a compliance officer is to establish and maintain our institutional integrity by following NCAA rules and regulations,” Holt said.

Although the process will take some time, Holt is optimistic about the transition and excited to be a part of the Flagler athletic department.

When asked what is best about the move to Div. II, Holt said, “It brought the program closer together to accomplish the same goal to make it through the process.”

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