New NCAA governance would include 'celebratory kickoff event'

NCAA membership received a slightly revised draft proposal last week as governance restructuring continues. obtained the 44-page document that contains few changes from the April 24 initital draft proposal. However, it does include the possibility of a “celebratory kickoff event” at the 2015 NCAA Convention to announce the new governance structure.

The committee also endorsed a move toward competency-based representation on NCAA governing bodies. It pointed out “specific quotas related to gender, ethnicity and other diversity factors …” Those quotas have been cited by critics as slowing down the legislative process.

The April 24 draft proposed the Big Five conferences be given authority to institute cost of attendance for athletes over and above full-ride scholarships.

How that cost of attendance would be structured is not close to being finalized. It is thought that schools that could afford such an expense that would pay between $1,000-$6,000 extra per player.

The latest draft continues to endorse legislative autonomy for the Big Five conferences (Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, ACC, Pac-12) as well as direct voting privileges to athletes. The steering committee says passage of legislation will “require” a super majority – two-thirds approval.

There’s been a push back from In a memo accompanying the latest proposal obtained by, NCAA Governance Structure Steering Committee chair Nathan Hatch tells members the proposal represents what the committee considers its “best judgments” at this time.

It singled out specific areas of discussion.

*Board of directors composition. How should the membership of the 22-member board be split up? Ten spots currently go to 10 CEOs representing the FBS conferences. At issue is how those 12 other seats should be awarded.

*Super majority vote for the Big Five to pass autonomous legislation. There are concerns among the Big Five that a two-thirds majority is too high a bar for them to jump. I went in-depth on those concerns last week

That story details how the Big Ten has submitted a lower bar for legislation passage.

Bottom line, the steering committee seems open to discussion on the subject. If not, well, SEC commissioner Mike Slive was fairly adamant on the subject.

“We want to make sure autonomy means autonomy from start to finish,” he said  

Per the memo, “The Steering Committee would like to receive feedback regarding the appropriate majority vote and the reasoning for possible modification …”

*Whether the 27 conferences below the Big Five should have access to the Big Five’s legislation. The memo asks whether Big Five legislation, “should be available automatically to all institutions, or by conferences, or should some matters require additional action by the 27 conferences before implementation?”

The feeling is that – for example – cost of attendance would be optional for all schools. Obviously, the Big Five can afford it but no one would be excluded from Division I issues or voting rights if smaller schools can’t.

*Composition of “The Council”: This new governing body of 38 members will be the principal voting group below the board. It is known that the Division I Faculty Athletic Representatives want more representation on the governing body.

The memo asks for “simple and creative solutions.” The Steering Committee supports ADs being 60 percent of The Council.

The memo also sets a timeline for adoption of the new model. The steering committee recommended conferences discuss further at spring meetings. Written comment on autonomy will be accepted between now and July 1.

The memo also confirms what reported last week: In the interest of transparency, all comments will be made public following this 60-day review period.

The steering committee will take until mid-July to consider the feedback before making final changes to the model. A final recommended Division I governance structure will then be presented for adoption by the board of directors at its August 7 meeting.

Implementation would then be expected by January. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Dennis Dodd has covered college football for CBS Sports since it was CBS SportsLine in 1998. He is one of only seven media members to attend all 16 BCS title games and has chronicled conference realignment... Full Bio

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