The NCAA has ratified a new constitution. That means new changes to sports and consolidation of the constitution from prior releases.
By the time the vote was over, it was overwhelmingly in favor of ratification. 801-195. As mentioned before, the document has been consolidated from what it used to be. The constitution is down from 43 pages to just 18.5.
When it comes down to it, this new agreement is mostly going to affect Divison I. So, the big schools. These are the ones that qualify for the big dance in March and all that. Meanwhile, for Divison II and III, there are very minimal changes that shouldn’t mean much for the two divisions.
What this constitution does do, is give conferences more power. Schools will also have more power moving forward. The agreement was set up to make the NCAA more decentralized, and that is what it will do.
NCAA President Mark Emmert says that the new constitution is more of a “declaration of independence.” Each division and conference will now be able to govern themselves and find what works best for their systems.
One of the big changes that most expect will be handled in the near future is to do with athlete compensation. Of course, with Name, Image, and Likeness, there are avenues for athletes to make money off of sponsorships and other means. However, it does not mean they can be compensated directly by their universities.
The NCAA is still saying the same thing in this constitution. “Student-athletes may not be compensated by a member institution for participating in a sport, but may receive educational and other benefits in accordance with guidelines established by their NCAA division.”
NCAA Looking Towards the Future
It is clear that the NCAA has now seen the writing on the wall. Usually, the organization can be stubborn. This shows they are willing to listen a bit. However, the move is also being made in reaction to factors such as NIL, athlete compensation, and the recent Supreme Court decision.
A 21-person panel makes up the Divison I Transformation Committee. They are tasked to deal with NIL, compensation, transfer rules, equal playing fields, and more. Those that keep up with college athletics understand not every school is made the same. So, there is some difficulty when it comes to making the playing field even for all member institutions.
One thing is for sure, conferences and administrators don’t want to see athlete compensation come into the picture. “A model that treats student-athletes as employees is not one we want,” Jen Heppel, Patriot League Commissioner said.
Will the NCAA have to reckon with the inevitable? Is the new deal going to set a course for success? It is hard to tell. There is more work to do as the Division I panel makes decisions and deals within the division among the 32 athletic conferences.