While the NCAA has been a popular punching bag for many pundits, one of the most consistent criticisms it receives is its lack of ability to adjust. The organization as a whole is viewed as having many antiquated processes that don’t really make sense for the way sports, and society as a whole, has evolved. Issues surrounding name, image and likeness, among many others, were used as proof against the NCAA that they could not tweak their model to fit with the times.
It seems like the NCAA themselves are well aware of this perception, and the need to make decisions more expediently. To that end, the Division I Council will now allow certain regulations to be updated with less red tape than before*.
Ultimately, any attempts by an organization to increase flexibility with regards to updates and enhancements can only been seen as a good thing. Before this announcement was made in the middle of last month, the NCAA had a pretty deliberate process for making changes to rules. Traditionally, proposals for new rules would be made sometime in the summer months, and this would be finalized in a formal manner by November 1. Official voting on whether the new rule change would go into effect would take place in January or April of the subsequent year.
Under the new modernization track, suggestions and proposals could be raised during any monthly meeting, and it is possible that these topics could be brought to a vote as earlier as the very next monthly meeting. As many companies, business and legislative bodies have discovered, the pandemic underscored the notion that a lot of collaboration and work could be done in ways that were not previously considered. The NCAA appears to fall into that category as well.
Hopefully this new format doesn’t result in rushed implementations by the NCAA, but critics can’t have it both ways. The NCAA has been under the microscope for decades, and finally appears to be embracing the level of change that many have been calling for.