The NCAA's member schools approved a ratified constitution on Thursday that will grant more autonomy to the each level of college athletics. Representatives of more than 1,000 institutions in Division I, Division II and Division III voted on the proposal, with 801 casting ballots in favor of the reform. It was just the fourth Association-wide vote since the current constitution was adopted in 1997. 

The new structure, which will go into effect on Aug. 1, allows each division more oversight of its own budget, expenditures and financial distribution. It also embraces the new era which allows players to profit off their name, image and likeness but prohibits pay-for-play.

"This is an important day in college athletics as we continue to evolve to better meet the needs of our student-athletes," NCAA President Mark Emmert said. "I applaud the work of the Constitution Committee and the entire membership for setting a sustainable course for college sports for decades to come."  

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Student-athletes will have more of a voice in the administration of college athletics in the new constitution. The Board of Governors for each division will be reduced from 21 individuals to nine. One member on each level will be a graduated student-athlete and another student-athlete will be a non-voting member of the board. 

"The ratification of the constitution is a critical step in our work to better serve our student-athletes and affirm the priorities and principles that guide our work," said Board of Governors chair and Georgetown President John DeGioia. "The new constitution modernizes our governance process and enables all three divisions to adopt additional changes that their member schools and conferences prioritize."

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The new constitution was developed by the Constitution Committee last summer, and had been revised over the next several months prior to being brought forth to the vote on Thursday.