Overhaul of NCAA to begin with constitutional convention in November

Written by on September 1, 2021

The bureaucratic wheels of the NCAA are officially in motion toward a massive change in the governance of college sports as the NCAA’s Board of Governors announced Friday it will hold a “special constitutional convention in November” amid calls for a reduction in the NCAA’s role by its own president, Mark Emmert. 

“As the national landscape changes, college sports must also quickly adapt to become more responsive to the needs of college athletes and current member schools,” Jack DiGioia, chair of the Board of Governors and president of Georgetown, said in a statement. “This effort will position the NCAA to continue providing meaningful opportunities for current college athletes and those for generations to come.”

The purpose of the special convention “is intended to propose dramatic changes to the NCAA Constitution,” and will lead to proposals that are expected to be acted upon in January, according to the Board of Governors. With that goal in mind, a 22-person committee will be tasked with “identifying the core principles that define college sports and proposing a new governance model that allows for quicker change without sacrificing broader values.”

The move toward a constitutional convention for the NCAA comes amid sweeping changes in college sports, including a consequential recent ruling by the Supreme Court restraining the NCAA’s power. In the last year, athletes have also gained the freedom to benefit off their name, image and likeness and to transfer more freely. Another wave of conference realignment is also underway with Oklahoma and Texas having accepted bids to the SEC, and proposed College Football Playoff expansion looms as well.

“This is not about tweaking the model we have now,” Emmert said. “This is about wholesale transformation so we can set a sustainable course for college sports for decades to come. We need to stay focused on the thing that matters most — helping students be as successful as they can be as both students and athletes.”

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