New NCAA constitution will give more power to schools, conferences

NCAA President Mark Emmert called the association's new constitution more of a “declaration of independence”Getty Images

NCAA member schools on Thursday voted to "ratify a new, streamlined constitution," paving the way for a "decentralized approach to governing college sports that will hand more power to schools and conferences," according to Ralph Russo of the AP. The vote was "overwhelmingly in favor, 801-195." NCAA President Mark Emmert called the new constitution more of a “declaration of independence.” Russo noted now each of the association’s three divisions will be "empowered to govern itself." The new constitution is 18 1/2 pages, down from 43, and "mostly lays out guiding principles and core values for the NCAA." The move is just part of a "sea change for the NCAA" and the "first major shift in its governance model" since '96. In D-I, the goal is a "potentially massive overhaul that figures to be more contentious." Athlete compensation and benefits "figure to be key topics" (AP, 1/20).'s Dan Murphy noted the new constitution "states plainly that college athletes should not be paid directly by their schools for athletic participation," but leaves it up to each division to decide what education-related benefits athletes "can receive from their schools and how athletes can make money from other sources by selling" their NIL rights (, 1/20).

INCREASING DIVIDE: In N.Y., Billy Witz writes the debate over the association’s passage of the new charter, which will "empower schools and conferences," hinted at the "increasingly stark divide between the mission and financial might of those thousands of varied institutions." That gap "promises to be highlighted" as the NCAA’s three divisions "hash out details of how they will overhaul themselves in the coming months" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/21). THE ATHLETIC's Chris Vannini noted SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey and Ohio Univ. AD Julie Cromer, co-chairs of the D-I transformation committee, "certainly believe and hope they can actually produce 'transformational' changes," which is a description the D-I BOD "assigned to the committee." But conversations with various administrators around the NCAA Convention "paint a picture of skepticism for now." Vannini: "Everyone can point out the problems within the college model, but it’s harder to solve them in ways that get everyone to agree and don’t produce future lawsuits" (, 1/20).

D-I RESTRUCTURING UP NEXT?'s Ross Dellenger wrote Thursday's vote "sets the stage for a much more important step: the restructuring" of D-I. A "microcosm of the NCAA," D-I is a "fractured group of 350 schools, 32 conferences and three subsections" whose differing resources, missions and abilities have made it "nearly impossible to regulate competitive equity." There is "animosity and tension among them," mostly centered on "how rules are made and how money is distributed and spent." The conversation is "largely driven by the FBS elite": the Power 5 -- the SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC and Big 12 -- and its commissioners, two of whom sit on the NCAA’s transformation committee, the group charged this spring with restructuring D-I. College sports’ richest leagues want to "keep more revenue, spend more of that money in ways they currently cannot because of legislation and engineer their schools to participate and qualify in more championship events." Many administrators "fear oncoming threats from the rich and powerful," such as "creating a fourth subdivision of schools and deregulating legislation that could further widen the gap in D-I, eliminating automatic qualifiers to championships and overhauling a revenue distribution model that keeps some smaller schools afloat" (, 1/20).

SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: June 29, 2022

BioSteel makes a major move with the NHL, while the USFL looks for additional investors.

SBJ Unpacks: Thaddeus Young, NBA forward and venture capitalist

SBJ's Austin Karp posted up with NBA power forward Thaddeus Young. The 15-year veteran discussed his venture capital strategy, his investment in technology and much more.

Shareable URL copied to clipboard!

Sorry, something went wrong with the copy but here is the link for you.