Autonomy drawing closer as NCAA moves toward new structure

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It appears SEC commissioner Mike Slive’s request for Power 5 conference autonomy may soon be granted. Remember, autonomy is just a fancy word for having decision-making power.

As Division I moves closer to changing its current structure, the DI Steering Committee on Governance on Friday released an updated governance model to membership reflecting feedback from colleges and conferences that guided the committee’s decisions.

Designed to “more efficiently and effectively” meet the needs of student-athletes, the restructuring effort aims to improve the current model in college athletics.

The board will vote on the complete model Aug. 7.

“We will begin to focus on student-athlete welfare in ways they will feel as early as next year,” said Michael Drake, president of The Ohio State University and steering committee member.

At SEC Media Days, Slive, who has recently threatened to break away from the NCAA along with the BIG XII, PAC-12, ACC and BIG TEN,  continued to stress a need for NCAA reorganization “while maintaining and preserving the collegiate model.”

The steering committee will allow the Power 5 to put together their first proposals that would be considered — and possibly adopted — when the five conferences convene in January at the 2015 NCAA convention in Washington, D.C.

The Power 5’s proposal deadline is Oct. 1.

“The educational and cultural significance of intercollegiate athletics is far too important for us not to seek positive solutions to existing challenges,” Slive said Monday. “This is why we have been actively engaged in building a bridge to provide a needed avenue of change for the NCAA with the primary objective of enhancing the support enjoyed by Division I student‑athletes.”

Often seen as the villain, NCAA president Mark Emmert says the proposed new structure would allow “the division to operate more simply and inclusively.”

According to the NCAA, “The final model establishes a 24-member Board of Directors charged with ensuring the division adheres to appropriate values and principles as well as overseeing the workings of the substructure. The change in board composition and membership is the result of the steering committee members carefully considering the input offered by the membership and believing that the final model represents the best compromise.”

The 24-member board includes:

  • Five presidents from the five major conferences (Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten Conference, Big 12 Conference, Pacific 12 Conference and Southeastern Conference)
  • Five presidents from the remaining five Football Bowl Subdivision Conferences (American Athletic Conference, Conference-USA, Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference and Sun Belt Conference)
  • Five presidents from the Football Championship Subdivision
  • Five presidents from Division I schools without football
  • Chair of the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Chair of the Council (the governance body charged with the day-to-day work of the division, intended to be an athletics director), a Division I member of the Faculty Athletics Representatives Association appointed by the group’s executive board and a campus senior woman athletics representative chosen by the executive committee of the National Association for Collegiate Woman Athletics Administrators.

REFERENCES

Photo Credit: NCAA Sports

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