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NCAA Steering Committee Releases Additional Details About Governance Changes

The NCAA issued a release giving more details about the coming governance changes that will be presented to the membership in the spring and which the NCAA hopes to have in place in August. The specifics released this time seem targeted at the criticisms of the model presented at the Division I Governance Dialogue at the NCAA Convention in January.

The new council responsible for most day-to-day decision-making has started to take shape with each conference having one representative like the existing Legislative and Leadership Councils. To those 32 members, the steering committee is suggesting six members be added: four conference commissioners and two student-athletes. The release says the student-athlete representatives would have voting rights but does not mention whether the commissioners would as well. Nor does the release mention whether votes would continue to be weighted as they are now.

The Board of Directors is also expected to expand from the initial proposed 17 members to include a student-athlete representative and the chair of the council, who would likely be an athletic director. The steering committee is seeking feedback on whether these members or any other additional members should have voting rights.

Details are still scarce about the biggest change in the new governance model, the autonomy that will be granted to the Big 12, Big Ten, ACC, SEC, and Pac–12. How the conference would make decisions and what topics they would have autonomy over are still up in the air. The legislative timeline though looks like it will be similar to the current one, with a year-long cycle of proposals in the fall, voting in the winter and spring, and most adopted proposals becoming effective August 1. The steering committee has also decided the autonomous topics will be enumerated. Anything not specified for autonomy amongst the power conferences will be governed by all of Division I.

The timeline is getting clearer with the steering committee targeting the April Board of Directors meeting to present an updated model. The board then expects to begin adopting that model, if the membership approves, in August. Depending on the pace of implementation, that could mean changes under the new legislative authority for the power conferences are adopted for 2015–16, but it would not be surprising to see it pushed back another year.

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