Faculty group lobbies for NCAA changes
A group of faculty athletic representatives from the NCAA’s largest football schools recommended on Wednesday a change to the association’s governance structure.
The 1A FAR Board of Directors, which is made up of representatives from Football Bowl Subdivision schools, submitted its proposal to the NCAA outlining recommended changes that would put FBS schools in their own division.
The proposal suggests the division would have its own board of directors made up of at least one president or chancellor from each FBS conference. Those representatives would have one vote each or the voting would be weighted for current BCS automatic-qualifier conferences, which currently consists of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC. The American Athletic Conference, a successor to the Big East, could also be considered for weighted voting.
The group also recommended a management council made up of an athletics director and faculty athletics representative from each conference. Senior woman’s administrators and conference commissioners could also be included.
Over the summer, there was a chorus of calls for something to be done about the structure of Division I from commissioners of the BCS automatic-qualifier conferences.
“If the five conferences were to break off, I mean, that’s a complicated move,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford told USA TODAY Sports in July. “You’d have to, in essence, duplicate the NCAA in some form or fashion, and then what does that mean for intercollegiate athletics? So if you’ve got another division, if that’s the answer within the NCAA, you can maneuver and find an appropriate way, I think, to address those kinds of issues.”
Earlier this month the NCAA requested input for redesigning the Division I governance structure. With the gap widening between the richest athletics programs in the biggest conference and schools with smaller budgets, criticism of the one-size-fits-all rule book has increased.
The Division I Board of Directors will hear thoughts from eight different groups at a meeting Oct. 29. That information will then be used to build an agenda for a town hall-style meeting scheduled in conjunction with the NCAA convention in January. The board also has set up an online survey. Those results also will be used to shape the January town hall agenda.
“A separate FBS division would allow smaller governance groups that can include more senior level athletics administrators and FARs with broad-based responsibilities than is possible under the current structure, and the new governance groups and board could focus directly on FBS issues and be better positioned to resolve issues and provide workable and needed solutions for FBS institutions,” said Brian Shannon, president of 1A FAR and the representative for Texas Tech.
The group’s recommendation says FBS programs should continue to participate in combined championship events where possible.
“There is wide consensus that the current Division I governance model is not working. A separate FBS division offers more stream-lined governance among schools with comparable revenue streams that face issues either unique to them or that fall on them with more acute impact,” said Jo Potuto, immediate past president of 1A FAR and the representative for Nebraska.