NCAA board approves recommendations for Division I reform

NCAA board approves recommendations for Division I reform

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The NCAA Division I Board of Trustees on Thursday approved a series of recommendations aimed at reforming the top tier of college sports, from membership standards to the size of championship groups.

The DI transformation committee released its final report last week and the board’s approval came at the NCAA convention in San Antonio.

“Keep in mind that these are concepts right now,” said Georgia President Jere Morehead, chairman of the board. “So there’s still a lot of work to be done on the details, but tremendous progress was made today. The board was very strong in its support of student-athletes and most of the transformation committee’s recommendations focused on how to improve the student-athlete experience.”

The report called for increased sport-by-sport governance in Division I, more athlete participation in governance, and better expectations for member schools with the goal of creating a more consistent experience for athletes.

Transformation committee co-chairs Greg Sankey, Southeastern Conference commissioner, and Julie Cromer, Ohio University athletic director, reiterated in a joint statement that Division I’s transformation work will continue beyond the work of the committee.

“We are confident that these important changes will meet the needs of student-athletes because they were based on the perspective of student-athletes,” they said. “In fact, we are confident that the voices of student-athletes have never featured more prominently in shaping how college sports are conducted.”

The committee also recommended allowing 25% of the teams in sports sponsored by at least 200 schools to compete in annual championships. That opens the door for a possible expansion of the popular March Madness basketball tournaments from 68 to 90 teams each.

Later Thursday, current and future leaders of the association would give the annual State of the NCAA address. Incoming chairman Charlie Baker, a former Massachusetts governor, and outgoing chairman Mark Emmert were expected to share the stage along with Chairman of the Board of Governors Linda Livingstone, the Baylor president.

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