SBD/May 14, 2014/Colleges

Supermajority Proposal Could Hinder NCAA Restructuring Effort For Big Five Autonomy

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Slive said it is critical to make sure that autonomy means autonomy
That a change of course for the NCAA is "nearing completion is in itself an amazing occurrence," as the D-I BOD by August is "expected to approve a revamped governance structure," according to George Schroeder of USA TODAY. The goal is for "vastly increased autonomy for the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12, allowing them the ability to provide athletes with unprecedented benefits and resources." But it still is "uncertain whether they'll get the ship completely turned around -- or what would happen if they don't." The "most prominent obstacle" may be a "proposed requirement for a two-tiered supermajority to be reached in order for the Big Five conferences to enact legislation." Under the proposal, "two-thirds of 65 schools and four of five conferences would be required." SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said it is critical "to make sure that autonomy means autonomy." Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby noted, "Most of those rules were put in place with simple majorities. ... There isn't any other place in NCAA legislative history where the standards have been that high." Schroeder notes rather than a "supermajority, the Big Five countered with another proposal: A simple majority of the 65 schools if at least four of the five conferences were in favor of a rule, or 60 percent of the 65 schools if three of the five conferences approved." Delany last week said that he "wasn't sure what would happen if the Big Five gets an 'incomplete package' of autonomy." However, Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick said he is "very much in favor" of the supermajority threshold. He added that a supermajority would "increase the clout of athletes, who as a part of the revamped structure would be provided with some voting authority" (USA TODAY, 5/14).

CHECK YOUR HEAD: CBSSPORTS.com's Dennis Dodd wrote there "won't be a moment or a press conference to announce it but the NCAA's concussion liability is about to be reduced." It means that there should be a "growing perception that the association is getting it arms around the issue." Perhaps "kicking and screaming through court battles but, still, there is progress." The settlement is "expected to include a medical monitoring fund" of at least $70M that would "encompass all past and current players." The NCAA probably will "have to access some of its insurance, but that's what insurance is for" (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/13).
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