NCAA Releases Draft of Constitution That Empowers Schools

NCAA releases draft of constitution that empowers schools originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

On Monday, the NCAA released a major organizational restructuring of college sports that will give each of its three divisions the power to govern itself.

The college athletics governing body published a draft of an 18-page constitution that was cut from 43 pages over the past three months as directed by NCAA president Mark Emmert.

The rewritten constitution focuses on athlete welfare and offers Division I -- the highest level of college sports -- the complete control to shape everything from how revenue is shared to how rules will be implemented and enforced within each school. Each division under the NCAA umbrella would have “significant authority” and “the ability to reorganize and restructure itself.”

The draft includes specific language that states athletes will have the ability to be compensated for their name, image and likeness, but prohibits “pay-for-play.” Athletes will also be given voting representation on the Board of Governors, the Division I Board of Directors and the Division II and III Presidents Councils for the first time.

The new constitution, if passed, will reduce the Board of Governors from 21 to nine members and change its functions.

“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,” Shane Lyons, chairman of the Division I Council and a member of the constitution committee, told AP.

The document will now be sent to the more than 1,200 member schools for feedback and potential amendments before a vote is held at the NCAA Convention in January 2022.

“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. 

The NCAA appears to be taking a step back as they head into this next phase. They look to leave enforcement of its rules to the divisions and conferences themselves and only step in “when requested” on medical issues.

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