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By Michelle Brutlag Hosick
INDIANAPOLIS – Division I members will gather at the NCAA Convention this week to discuss the ongoing reform agenda at a forum on Friday. NCAA President Mark Emmert, who has championed the goal of improving the athletics experience for student-athletes, will open the forum.
Delegates will have the opportunity to hear about the work of the presidentially led groups established to carry out the reform effort outlined by a group of college and university presidents at a retreat held in August 2011. That event - which focused on academics, finances and enforcement - led to a resolve among attendees to fast-track a variety of changes designed to make student-athletes a priority.
Presidents who serve as chairs or vice chairs and NCAA staff members who serve as primary liaisons to the four working groups will present on their group’s progress to a wider audience. For some delegates, it will be the first opportunity they have to peer inside the thought processes of those studying the issues of academics, resource allocation, student-athlete well-being, enforcement and rules.
Some of the changes, including enhanced academic standards, have already been adopted. Others, including a revised rule book and revamped violation and penalty structures, are yet to be unveiled.
After the August retreat, the Board of Directors used its October meeting to adopt the increased standards for incoming freshmen and two-four transfers as well as a minimum 930 Academic Progress Rate requirement for a team’s participation in championships.
The presidents on the Board also approved a series of reforms aimed at improving the student-athlete experience, including a $2,000 miscellaneous expense allowance for those already receiving the value of a full scholarship and the ability of institutions to award athletics aid for more than a single year. Both of these initiatives will be reviewed by the Board when it meets January 14.
More than 125 schools requested an override of the miscellaneous expense allowance, which suspended the legislation. More than 75 schools requested an override of the multi-year awards, meaning the Board will review its action but the rule remains in place.