Small Addition Could Derail Governance Proposal

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors approved the new governance proposal today by an overwhelming majority, 16–2. But the proposal still has to survive the override period. 75 override requests would trigger the override process while 125 would table the proposal and keep it from becoming effective while that process goes on. The final fate of the governance reform could end up in a one vote per school override vote where a five-eighths majority would be needed to overturn the change.

But some of those votes might come from an unlikely source: the power conference schools that have pushed for autonomy. Because at the last minute, the Board of Directors slipped in a small change to the autonomy legislative process with big implications:

Any amendment is subject to approval by a five-conference presidential group before consideration by the full voting group.

Autonomy is the centerpiece of the new governance structure but another key goal was to put more power in the hands of day-to-day practitioners, particularly athletic directors. Because of this change, university presidents are even more directly involved in day-to-day legislative work than they were before. And that involvement is with the autonomy topics, where the power conferences were seeking as much flexibility and as smooth a process as possible.

Presidents have final say over a school’s override request and vote, so they may not be that willing to agree to further reduce their involvement in NCAA legislation. But power conference athletic directors will definitely be pushing to get this new presidential group out of the autonomy legislation process. If enough can convince their president that an override is the way to do it, they could combine with enough of the rest of Division I to slow down or stop the proposal.

Posted on by John Infante
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