NCAA Board of Directors approves changes to the constitution; full vote scheduled for January

The NCAA board of governors unanimously agreed on Thursday to accept the final recommendations of its constitution committee, bringing the organization closer to a new constitution to govern college sports.

One of the changes is to clarify the language that ensures “to the extent possible” that the penalties imposed do not punish programs or athletes who were not involved or implicated in the infractions – a change in the process. generally lengthy investigation which sometimes goes unresolved until the individuals who committed the violations have changed their lives.

Another change from the second draft constitution, which was shared on December 7, requires each school to make its name, image and likeness policies accessible to the public.

The new constitution continues to prohibit payment for gambling, but states that athletes “may receive educational and other benefits in accordance with guidelines established by their NCAA division.”

All NCAA members will vote on Jan. 20 at the 2022 NCAA convention. If the constitution is formally passed, as expected, each of the three NCAA divisions will be responsible for ensuring that their rules match the new one. framework. The new constitution would come into effect on August 1.

“This process was an example of how we can work together to modernize varsity sports and meet the needs of students engaged in intercollegiate athletics – now and in the future,” the Georgetown president wrote, Jack DeGioia, in a note to NCAA Schools and Conferences. . “The ratification of a new constitution in January will unlock the ability for divisions to rewrite the rules of each division by August, which will allow us to achieve the goal of transforming the governance of the NCAA to better serve our students. . “

The proposed constitution maintains the existing income allowances and championship opportunities for each division, setting 4.37% in Division II and 3.18% in Division III – percentages that have been in place since January 1996. Each league has the supervision of its own budget, expenses and distribution to its members.

The final version of the constitution also emphasizes the physical and mental well-being of athletes, while emphasizing diversity, inclusion and gender equality.

The push for a radical change in the governance of the NCAA comes after a tumultuous summer in which the organization suffered significant legal and political losses. In June, the United States Supreme Court unanimously upheld a ruling that allowed for a gradual increase in how college athletes could be compensated. In July, a flurry of state laws made it illegal for schools and the NCAA to punish college athletes for making money selling the rights to their name, image and likeness.

Many college athletes had said they hoped the new constitution would simplify what they saw as complex and outdated regulations by shifting authority from NCAA national offices to conferences and their schools. The previous 43-page document has been reduced to 20 and gives each of the three divisions more freedom to govern themselves.

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