Governing autonomy has been approved for the wealthiest conferences in college athletics.
The NCAA Division I Board of Directors, by a 16-2 vote announced Thursday, restructured how schools and conferences will operate.
“Today’s vote makes a significant step into a brighter future for Division I athletics,” said Nathan Hatch, board chair and Wake Forest president. “We hope this decision not only will allow us to focus more intently on the well-being of our student athletes but also preserve the tradition of Division I as a diverse and inclusive group competing together on college athletics’ biggest stage.”
The vote means the power five conferences — Big 12, SEC, Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 — plus Notre Dame, will have the ability to pass legislation that impact only their conferences, including rules that can increase benefits to athletes such as full cost of attendance.
The new model also gives athletes a greater voice in the decision-making process. Each conference will have three athletes who will vote on rules changes.
The power five conferences could vote on rules changes within the group relating to benefits as early as January.