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NCAA Gives Colleges More Authority Over Athlete Benefits

Schools in the five biggest athletic conferences will have more power to make their own rules under the new Division I structure.

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Big 5 conference schools like IU will have more power under a new Division I structure.

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors voted 16-2 today to restructure how schools and conferences will govern themselves.

Schools in the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and ACC will now be able to change rules for themselves in specific areas, like student-athlete benefits.

The NCAA says the new structure is also designed to give student-athletes a vote at every level of decision-making.

Three student-athlete representatives from each conference will vote on rule changes within those conferences.

The Division I Board of Directors will also be expanded to include more university presidents, a faculty representative, athletics director and female administrator.

Under the model, new rules can only be adopted in April.

If a proposed rule is shot down, it can’t be considered again for another two years.

But, the board’s decision to restructure could be overridden if 75 or more Division I schools protest the change. If that happens, the board will likely reconsider their decision at the Oct. 30 meeting.

The new structure could be suspended if 125 or more schools want an override.

Indiana University hasn’t responded to requests for comment on their plans under the new structure.

But, they announced a student-athlete ‘Bill of Rights‘ in June. In a press release, the university says the 10-point document expands and addresses athlete benefits like post-eligibility degree support and medical care.

The release says IU Athletics plans to provide additional benefits once authorized to do so by the NCAA. The university will offer additional scholarship money to cover the full cost of college attendance. IU also wants to implement “dead periods”, which would give athletes more time off the field and court.

Barbara Harrington

Barbara Harrington is a reporter for WTIU and WFIU news. Before coming to Bloomington, she worked as a reporter at WNDU in South Bend, where she received several AP awards for her coverage of breaking news and local politics. You can follow her on Twitter @BabsofBtown.

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