NCAA Updates Draft Constitution After Special Convention

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The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced a number of revisions to its draft constitution Tuesday, including broader language surrounding athletes’ name, image and likeness opportunities and an emphasis on protecting student athlete well-being as a shared responsibility across higher education.

The NCAA released the first draft of the new constitution last month, avowing support for NIL compensation and promising to give each division the power to govern itself. Following a special Nov. 15 convention, the association collected feedback from delegates and members and then revised the original draft, NCAA Constitution Committee chair Robert Gates explained in an email. The new draft clarifies the association’s view on the collegiate student athlete model, stating that “student-athletes may not be compensated by a member institution for participating in a sport, but may receive educational and other benefits in accordance with guidelines established by their NCAA division,” to allow for the evolution of NIL while still prohibiting pay for play.

The new draft also declares that protecting athletes’ physical and mental health is the shared responsibility of the association, divisions, conferences and individual institutions. It explicitly states that the student athlete voting member on the Board of Governors would represent all three divisions, and that the board will consult with all three divisions on its evaluation of the NCAA president. Under the new draft, amendments to the constitution would require a two-thirds vote—not a simple majority.

The Constitution Committee will meet for the last time this week to consider membership feedback before it makes its final recommendations to the Board of Governors by Dec. 15. Members across all three divisions will vote on the draft constitution at the 2022 NCAA convention in January.

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