Women's college basketball meeting with coach

NCAA releases draft constitution ahead of its constitutional convention

On Nov. 8, 2021, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) released a draft constitution ahead of its constitution convention set to convene on Nov. 15. Representatives from Divisions I, II and III member institutions will discuss the draft and, after two more rounds of feedback, members will vote on the new constitution at the NCAA Convention on Jan. 20, 2022.

The principles outlined in the draft constitution:

  • Highlight the importance of the academic experience
  • Allow for educational and name, image and likeness (NIL) benefits for student athletes while prohibiting compensation for participation in sport
  • Promote integrity and sportsmanship
  • Affirm the importance of protecting, supporting and enhancing the physical and mental health and safety of student athletes
  • Uphold the responsibility of member institutions to monitor and control their athletic programs
  • Maintain that it is the responsibility of each member institution to report all rule violations
  • Confirm the NCAA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and gender equity

The draft also:

  • Consolidates the length of the current constitution and applies one constitution across all three divisions
  • More clearly states the NCAA’s priorities
  • Gives the divisions the authority and autonomy to reorganize and restructure themselves
  • Reduces the number of voting members on the Board of Governors to nine, including one recent student athlete 

What does all this mean for athletic departments and compliance officers? Constitutional changes, if approved, will alter the structure of the NCAA and how it operates and governs intercollegiate athletics. These changes are also likely to require some modifications to the existing bylaws and the processes for enforcing those rules.

Baker Tilly can help

We can help your institution take a proactive approach to evaluate the current state of your policies, processes and internal controls related to athletics and the student athlete experience to identify opportunities that align with potential legislative changes.

Baker Tilly helps NCAA member institutions

For more information, or to learn more about how Baker Tilly’s higher education team can help your institution, contact our team.

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