NCAA’s New Constitution Could Mean Less Red Tape, Quicker Investigations, Other Congress

The “new” NCAA will try to limit its infamous bureaucracy and attempt to shorten the years of time spent on laborious investigations through a fresh constitution that it released in draft form Monday.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s constitution draft dictates that the 21-member NCAA Board of Governors will be cut to nine “to streamline decision-making for Association-wide issues,” an NCAA release said Monday.

The draft also says that NCAA enforcement authority and rules legislation will move from the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis to the branches of the NCAA – Division I, which includes the Football Bowl Subdivision and the Football Championship Subdivision, Division II and Division III – and their various conferences.

A special NCAA convention on Nov. 15 has been planned for discussion of the draft, followed by final recommendations to the Board of Governors on Dec. 15 and a vote on the new constitution at the regular NCAA convention next January. After the convention, the various divisions will adopt additional changes to go into effect beginning on Aug. 1.

Under the new plan, four of the Board of Governors would be from Division I, one from Division II, one from Division III, two independent members and one former student-athlete who has not been graduate for more than four years.

Student-athletes have previously had no representation with NCAA governing, which has been a source of much criticism in recent years. Other student-athletes would also be on the Board of Directors in Division I and II and on the presidents’ councils in Division III along with the ability to vote.

The draft says that the various divisions will have the authority to determine “the methods of investigation and adjudication” concerning NCAA rules violations and that these new methods must “prescribe appropriate penalties in a timely manner.”

Several current NCAA basketball recruiting investigations have been dragging on for several years at LSU, North Carolina State, Auburn, Kansas, Louisville, Arizona and Memphis.

The draft says the NCAA will continue to prohibit “pay for play,” but will continue to embrace the name, image and likeness benefits that have been active since last summer.

“We have reached an important milestone in our efforts,” NCAA Board of Governors chairman and Georgetown president Jack DeGioia said in the NCAA release. “Thanks to the feedback from member schools and conferences, advocacy groups, coaches and students, this process has been an example of how we can work together to modernize college sports and meet the needs of student-athletes today and for the future.”

Current cross country/track and field athlete Megan Koch of Colorado College helped formulate the draft along with former New Mexico track athlete and recent Georgetown law school graduate Kendall Spencer and former California of Pennsylvania volleyball player Madeleine McKenna, who is now a Syracuse graduate student.

“We are not only having these conversations,” Koch said in the release. “We are actually writing the words that are going into the constitution (draft).”

The draft includes a requirement for member institutions to hire an independent health care administrator as well as an athletics diversity and inclusion designer.

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

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