Monday, November 8, 2021

NCAA streamlines constitution, set to give power to schools

In this March 14, 2012, file photo, a player runs across the NCAA logo during practice in Pittsburgh before an NCAA tournament college basketball game. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

In this March 14, 2012, file photo, a player runs across the NCAA logo during practice in Pittsburgh before an NCAA tournament college basketball game. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)


The NCAA on Monday set the stage for a dramatic restructuring of college sports that will give each of its three divisions the power to govern itself.

The nation's biggest and most influential governing body in college athletics released a draft of an 18 1/2-page constitution, cut down from 43 pages over the last three months at the direction of President Mark Emmert.

The rewritten constitution focuses more on the NCAA’s broader goals of athlete welfare than the pervious version, which took a more granular approach.

Most important, it would provide Division I — the highest level of college sports that includes major college football and the 351 schools eligible for the lucrative men's basketball tournament — the autonomy to reshape everything from how revenue is shared to how rules are made and enforced.

“Once we got into this, we really found out that many of the issues were the Division I level,” West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons, who is the chairman of the Division I Council and a member of the constitution committee, told AP.

The goal is to have changes in place in less than a year.

“The ratification of a new constitution in January is the first step in the process of transforming NCAA governance,” said Jack DiGioia, chairman of the NCAA Board of Governors and the president of Georgetown. “A new constitution will provide the divisions the flexibility they need to act.”

The proposed new constitution still needs to go to the more than 1,200 member schools for feedback after next week's scheduled special constitutional convention, and could be amended before it is put before the full membership for a vote in January.

The new constitution shrinks the NCAA's highest governing body, the Board of Governors, from 21 members to nine and changes its duties.

“The question is going to be asked: What is the new role and responsibilities of the board of governance? That’s still all three divisions, but their priorities and what they would be doing would be just those very, very high level issues of the association, as opposed to some of the things they have been getting involved in right now," Lyons said.

Emmert called the convention in August, not long after the Supreme Court hammered the NCAA in a ruling that left the association vulnerable to further legal challenges. It quickly became apparent a new constitution was merely the first phase of transforming the NCAA in a way that de-emphasizes the Indianapolis-based association and gives more power to schools and conferences.

The next phase figures to be more contentious, at least at the highest level of college sport.

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey and Ohio University athletic director Julie Cromer will lead the Division I Transformation Committee.


Michael Maris 2 months, 2 weeks ago

The Indianapolis Elites have seen the writing on the wall, and are NOW doing their best to stay relevant in these modern times.....

Otherwise, the Division I Power Membership will all say "Goodbye" and form a NEW alliance to keep even more $$$$$ for themselves and cut the NEW pie into larger pieces......

FOLLOW the $$$$$$$........

Spencer Goff 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Emmert is like "Can we still keep paying me though? I like money."

Len Shaffer 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I just hope the smaller schools don't get screwed even more than they already are. A perfect example is Cincinnati, no. 2 in the AP poll but no. 6 (or maybe soon to be no. 5) in the playoff rankings. And what are the odds of Cincinnati actually making the playoffs, even if teams ahead of them lose??? The bigger schools always find a way of screwing the smaller ones, at least when it comes to football.

Hopefully they'll soon be finalizing the expansion to 12 playoff teams, which will really help.

Rodney Crain 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Be careful what you wish for.

As a species our track record is not good when we let the animals run the zoo.

Dissolve the NCAA if you want, but we need an unbiased national group to run things. The schools can barely run themselves.

This could get very messy.

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