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NCAA Considers Adding Student Representative to Division I Board

Students would have two seats and voting rights on a proposed new 38-member NCAA legislative committee, with the possibility of serving on the powerful Division I Board of Directors, according to a set of ideas released on Tuesday by the association.

The proposed changes, part of a governance overhaul of the NCAA’s highest level that is still months from being completed, would give athletic directors significantly more power in overseeing big-time sports. Under the proposal, an athletic director would chair the “Council”—the group responsible for approving all rules changes—and also serve on the Division I board.

The reconstituted board, which would retain oversight of the division, would probably be made up of 17 presidents and chancellors, with the possibility of additional seats going to an athletic director and a student. It’s unclear yet whether either of those individuals would have a vote.

In all, the proposal calls for a Council made up of two athletes, four conference commissioners, and a representative from every Division I conference. (Many of those representatives would be athletic directors.)

Details about the most controversial governance change—allowing the five wealthiest conferences more autonomy—apparently still must be sorted out.

“More work needs to be done to explicitly state the areas of autonomy and how decisions would be made among the five conferences,” the NCAA release said.

The Board of Directors is expected to review the latest ideas at its April meeting, and could adopt the basic elements of a new structure as early as August.

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