USCT and the NCAA
USCT began working with the NCAA in the summer of 2015 and continues to have an excellent working relationship.
Whereas past proposals have centered on a general all-encompassing application the NCAA suggested an approach that could both be expedited and which would be more appealing to Universities. Specifically; WCMA’s NCAA liaison suggested that Taekwondo follow an emerging sport track, seeking inclusion for Women’s Taekwondo first.
Emerging sports are grounded in women’s equality in sports as required by Title 9 of the US Code. Although an emerging sports application limits scholarships to women athletes this gives Taekwondo a foot in the door and enables us to work toward full acceptance of Taekwondo for both men and women as so as we are able to demonstrate the stability of our sport and the ability to grow into more universities and colleges. Such an application is appealing to University athletic departments because it allows them to balance men’s scholarship programs with women’s and provides an opportunity to demonstrate their dedication to providing gender equity in sports on campus.
In addition, the NCAA directed USCT to over 3000 pages of documentation regarding rules regulations and historical presidents regarding successful and unsuccessful applications. In reviewing these documents it was apparent that the most common causes for application denial, other than for a non-conforming application, was when one organization begins an application and then a competing application is submitted for the same sport. This shows discontinuity in the sport.
This is a key reason that the USCT charter is designed to be maximally inclusive of all Taekwondo, to include Board representatives from each functioning collegiate league and the NCTA. Moreover, USCT, in keeping with the suggestions of many coaches and officials, designed both its charter and its operations so that no one group or individual could control NCAA Taekwondo and that it would be shared, managed and operated for the athletes and include equal representation from all concerned groups.
After a comprehensive review of the NCAA documentation USCT set out to write a proposal that would conform to all NCAA regulations, contain provisions for all universities and colleges currently participating in competition would be able to continue doing so even though they may be separated by NCAA division. This was a unique proposition placed before our NCAA contacts who replied with a positive judgment allowing no disruption in intercollegiate play. This was a critical decision point as any other application ignoring the difference between University’s currently competing would have eliminated all schools not in the same division from joint competition. For example, since many schools in University League Taekwondo belong to different NCAA divisions; without this function included in Taekwondo’s application schools such as NYU, Tufts, Rensselaer and MIT would have been segregated from paly with division I schools.
At this point we have completed the first draft of the NCAA application for Taekwondo. The rules have been submitted to PATU and have been well received and tentatively approved pending WTF approval. The USCT proposal to modify WTF rules will be personally hand delivered and submitted to the WTF President and leadership in January 2016 in Korea.
The application to the NCAA for Taekwondo is now ready for draft publication and we are looking to the Taekwondo community to participate in the review and oversight of the application as was stated in our original communication via the USAT Coaches forum on Facebook.
This needs to be Taekwondo’s application, not the application of any one group, and as such it is with great humility that we request participation form all leagues and form representatives of each area of our sport: Coaches, Athletes, Referees, officials, and NCTA representatives.