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Checking In On NCAA Draft Constitution Developments

ByAndrew Pistone

Published on Thu Dec 02 2021

|

2 min read

Checking In On NCAA Draft Constitution Developments

November has been a progressive month for the NCAA with regards to fleshing out its draft constitution. The NCAA has long been criticized as a reactive body, and efforts to make the organization more malleable have picked up in the last several weeks.

The NCAA released a draft constitution earlier in the month that would allow them to do just that. One solution proposed was to reduce the total number of NCAA Board of Governors to 9, from the total of 21 they have today. The logic is that with fewer cooks in the kitchen, they could be more nimble in moving issues along.  The document also reiterates the amateur nature of collegiate athletics, with players being unable to receive money strictly for their participation on teams. But it did accept and promote the earning power of student-athletes when it comes to name, image and likeness.

“This process has been an example of how we can work together to modernize college sports and meet the needs of students engaged in intercollegiate athletes-today and for the future,” said Jack DeGioia, NCAA Board of Governors chair. Via NCAA.org

After the initial iteration of the constitution was released, a special convention was held virtually towards the middle of November to discuss it. Turnout was impressive, as over 2,500 attended from various conferences and schools. Sessions were broken out into smaller groups based on division, and summarized feedback was then provided to a larger group. That format actually previews another major sticking point of the constitution, where divisions will have autonomy to restructure and reorganize as it sees fit.

Independent NCAA Board of Governors member Robert Gates understands that a one size fits all regulatory model is not something that can effectively exist in this day and age.

“The draft recognizes that the NCAA encompasses public and private institutions and conferences of widely varying mission, size, resources and opportunities, and that governance must reflect these differences through the delegation of authorities and responsibilities to the division…” Gates said. Via NCAA.org

Not only is this draft constitution looking to modernize and update the way the NCAA operates moving forward; it’s also much shorter of a read. The draft constitution is 25

the length of the current governing text, which will make it easier to refer to when issues arise. It doesn’t seem like the parsing of the new version will leave ambiguities in certain situations that will leave the NCAA in a bind, either.

The divisions are excited to be able to craft their operations to best suit the schools that belong to them.

“This is our opportunity to shape and change and mold the division structure, just the NCAA period, to our liking…so we have an open canvas,” said Harry Stinson III, director of athletics and recreational services at Lincoln. Via NCAA.org
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