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NCAA Draft Constitution Aims for Power Shift in Collegiate Sport

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A player runs across the NCAA logo during practice in Pittsburgh before an NCAA tournament basketball game in 2012. Photo: Keith Srakocic / Associated Press

By Michael Houston |

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has released its new draft constitution which looks to move power away from the organization and instead to its respective divisions and athletes.

One of the highlights of the new proposal includes supporting college athletes’ right to profit financially from their name, image and likeness, a stark turnaround from the traditional rules enforced in collegiate sport.

However, it does oppose a model that would make college athletes like salaried employees, meaning they would still not be paid for their athletic achievement.

The NCAA Board of Governors could shrink from 21 representatives to nine and will feature a former college athlete for the first time on it.

Power would be delegated to the three divisions of the NCAA under this draft, allowing them to restructure without oversight from the NCAA itself.

It is the first phase of changes, which is to be followed by a period where Division I members will discuss how they will use their new autonomy on the assumption the full NCAA membership approves the constitution in January 2022.

Some other topics expected to be raised during phase two include potential budget caps for universities to avoid spending wars.

Health and safety and women’s sport investment could be discussed too.

An “athletics diversity and inclusion designer” inclusion is also part of the draft, as well as the need for an “independent healthcare administrator”.

The major change of allowing athletes to make money off of their own likeness has effectively been in place since July after the NCAA lost a Supreme Court case that ruled it could not limit the amount of education-related benefits student-athletes receive.

States drafted their own legislation that forced the hand of the NCAA to make changes, with the amendment to the constitution a formality of the rule in place.

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.

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