The way I'm reading it, the old rules for a new conference earning an autobid (6 schools playing together for 5 years) are gone. Can anyone find them? The bylaws are complicated, and I could well be wrong.
2015-16 NCAA bylaws.
I started at bylaw 18.5 Automatic Qualification By Conference. The relevant part is 18.5.1
Quote:18.5.1 Division Championship. To be eligible for automatic qualification into any Division I championship,
a conference shall: (Revised: 1/9/06 effective 8/1/06)
(a) Have at least six member institutions classified in Division I in the sport in which automatic qualification is
(b) Meet all requirements for conference automatic qualification into any division championship as set forth in
So I go to Bylaw 31.3.4, where the most relevant part says:
Quote:18.104.22.168 Additional Requirements—Basketball. To be considered eligible for automatic qualification in
basketball, a member conference must be a core conference (see Bylaw 31.02.3) and must meet the requirements
of Bylaw 20.02.5. (Revised: 8/14/90, 12/3/90, 4/27/00, 4/29/04 effective 8/1/04, 1/15/11 effective 8/1/11)
So off to Bylaw 20.02.5, and also 31.02.3.
Quote:20.02.5 Multisport Conference. A Division I multisport conference shall satisfy the requirements of this
section. (Adopted: 1/15/11 effective 8/1/11)
20.02.5.1 Minimum Number of Members. A multisport conference shall be composed of at least seven
active Division I members. The member conference shall include at least seven active Division I members that
sponsor both men’s and women’s basketball. (Adopted: 1/15/11 effective 8/1/11)
20.02.5 also includes 20.02.4.5
Quote:20.02.5.4 Continuity. A multisport conference shall establish continuity. To establish continuity, a multisport
conference must meet the requirements of Bylaw 20.02.5.1. In addition, the conference must meet the
requirements of Bylaws 20.02.5.2 and 20.02.5.3 for a period of eight consecutive years. (Adopted: 1/15/11 effective
But 20.02.5.2 and 20.02.5.3 only talk about how many and which sports a conference must offer.
31.02.3, core conferences.
Quote:31.02.3 Core Conference. A core conference is a multisport conference that has been elected to membership
that has been elected to membership
and, as a result of legislation, is identified in the applicable sections of Constitution 4 related to representation in
the NCAA governance structure. (Adopted: 1/15/11 effective 8/1/11)
Article 4 identifies, by name, the conferences that are FBS, FCS, and nonfootball.
So that means that a new conference has no *right* to an automatic bid, even if the members meet the old continuity rule that doesn't seem to be there anymore. Continuity now only seems to mean that an existing conference has been playing a sport for 8+ years.
The bottom line, by the 2015-16 rules, as far as I can tell, CUSA can't mark time until they can legally split with the new "Southwest Conference" and new "American South" leagues, both having autobids.