Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

NCAA board endorses more power for big schools

AP - Sports
NCAA board endorses more power for big schools
.

View gallery

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The NCAA's board of directors took the first step toward shifting power to the five largest football conferences on Thursday, endorsing a 57-page plan that calls for giving 65 of the nation's biggest schools more autonomy in how to fund scholarships, handle health care and decide other increasingly hot-button issues involving their athletes.

If approved later this year, schools in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC could implement some rules on their own and would get more voting power over legislation that would affect every NCAA member school.

A formal vote on the recommendations is tentatively scheduled for the board's August meeting, and if it passes then, the transition could begin this fall.

Supporters insist the changes are long overdue.

''We (the big schools) have some issues we've got to deal with, but you've got to get a way to get the issues into the process,'' Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke said. ''We've got enough flashpoints out there that we need to build some credibility with the fan base. We've just got work to do and if the governance system is impeding these issues, we've got to overhaul the governance system.''

The endorsement came one day before Northwestern football players were scheduled to vote on whether to create what would be the first union for college athletes in U.S. history. NCAA President Mark Emmert this week suggested the changes within the NCAA will address some of the issues raised by those backing the unionization effort.

Burke and Missouri athletic director Mike Alden spent months before reaching a consensus on the plan among the roughly 350 Division I athletic directors.

Even lower-profile conferences believe in the general outline, though they acknowledge some additional details still need to be worked out.

''Do I think it can work? Probably,'' Horizon League commissioner Jon LeCrone said. ''Is it perfect? Probably not. But I think it's going to work better than what we've got now.''

If approved, the 65 schools in the five big conferences would be granted autonomy to implement some of the most dramatic changes in college sports - though it would require a two-thirds majority for approval.

While the list of autonomous items has not been finalized, it is likely to include issues such as providing money to students that goes uncovered by traditional scholarships; expanded insurance, including coverage for pro prospects; more resources for academic and career counseling; and funding to help athletes' families travel to NCAA tournaments. Other components that could be added include creating mandatory break times from sports, a change that would allow athletes to pursue careers away from the playing field and still maintain their eligibility and even transfer rules.

Critics contend the NCAA is only starting to move on these issues now because players are threatening to unionize.

But Burke, Emmert and others have repeatedly noted these issues have been on the agenda for months or years and had gotten bogged down in the NCAA's cumbersome approval process.

''I only wish the association could move that fast,'' Emmert said when asked if this was a response to the union movement. ''It's taken longer than anybody wanted, but we got it done and that's a good thing.''

What's still unclear is how well this plan will work.

Still to be determined is how, or if, the other 27 Division I conferences might apply measures approved through the autonomy rules.

''If it's approved by the five conferences, the Horizon League should decide if it wants to adopt that approach,'' said LeCrone, whose league approved providing the full cost-of-attendance for its athletes after the measure initially passed in October 2011.

Board Chairman Nathan Hatch, the president at Wake Forest, said even if the new governing structure does pass in August, the current committees will remain in place until the NCAA's annual convention in January to ensure a smooth transition.

In other moves Thursday, the board approved a measure to give a small group of students who receive ''hardship waivers'' to transfer to a new school one additional year to complete their eligibility and to provide unlimited meals and snacks year-round to all athletes - an issue that drew national attention when men's basketball tournament Most Outstanding Player Shabazz Napier of Connecticut said he sometimes went to bed ''starving.''

But the bigger focus Thursday was finding a way to make the NCAA work more efficiently.

''To do nothing is absolutely wrong and to make a good faith effort is the absolute right thing to do,'' Burke said. ''So let's put the best minds around it, give it time and let it work.''

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (70)

Recommended for You

  • Stewart claims he didn't see man on track before fatal crash

    NEW YORK (AP) — NASCAR star Tony Stewart said he didn't see a driver walking on a dirt track in upstate New York last year before he struck and killed him, and noted the racer was impaired by marijuana and shouldn't have been outside his car, according to court papers filed Friday.

    Associated Press
  • Mosley-Mayorga promotion is everything that's wrong with boxing

    The only thing sadder than Saturday's scheduled Shane Mosley-Ricardo Mayorga bout has been the promotional lead-up.

    Boxing
  • Lakers drop Bryant future hint

    Los Angeles Lakers president Jim Buss hinted the club would be ready to hold discussions about possibly extending Kobe Bryant's NBA career when the star's current contract expires at the end of the 2015-2016 season. Buss told the Los Angeles Times in an interview published on Friday that Bryant's…

    AFP
  • 'Money' Mayweather jabs back at Ronda Rousey

    Verbal sparring between Floyd "Money" Mayweather and Ronda Rousey continued as the unbeaten welterweight champ laughed off the mixed martial arts star's dig at his earning power. "Big bank take little bank," Mayweather said in a statement that was posted on TMZ Sports. "Last time I checked I was #1…

    AFP
  • High-Target Receiver Sleepers

    Raymond Summerlin discusses eight low-priced wide receivers who could see over 120 targets this season.

    Rotoworld
  • US Open men's draw

    New York (AFP) - Men's draw for the US Open, the year's final Grand Slam tournament that begins Monday on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts (x denotes seed):

    AFP
  • View

    Dr. Saturday's 2015 All-American team (26 photos)

    After months of waiting, college football is finally back! And we here at Dr. Saturday have broken down the best of the best and named the top players going into the 2015-16 season. Check out Dr. Saturday's All-American team:

    Yahoo Sports
  • Illinois fires coach Tim Beckman after it confirms allegations of player abuse

    Beckman was accused of mentally, physically and verbally abusing his players.

    Dr. Saturday
  • Column: IndyCar is clearly too risky; time to shut it down

    Wilson's death from being struck on the top of the head by a piece of flying debris during a race last weekend at Pocono - it's time to shut down this ridiculously dangerous form of racing. The IndyCar series is already on its last legs, plagued by poor attendance and minuscule television ratings.

    The Associated Press
  • Bubba Watson wants Jason Day to replenish his mac and cheese

    Bubba Watson talking mac and cheese and opining on Dash Day's hair is as good as golf quotes get. Watson was asked after yesterday's 65 whether it was an honor to play with Jason Day. "Jason Day is one of my favorite golfers of all time because his son has the best hair I've ever seen," said Watson.

    CBS Sports
  • Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose, two others, accused in lawsuit of rape

    (Reuters) - Derrick Rose, the 2011 National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player, is being sued by a former girlfriend who alleges he and two friends drugged and gang-raped her in 2013. Rose's accuser, identified only as Jane Doe, said she and the three-time All-Star Chicago Bulls guard…

    Reuters
  • King colt: Triple Crown winner American Pharoah rules horse racing

    Horse racing hasn’t had it this good in years, and it isn’t hard to figure out why. The sport’s reigning superstar and it’s first Triple Crown champion in 37 years is wrapping up preparations to run Saturday in the nationally televised Travers Stakes at Saratoga in New York in what is likely to be…

    Yahoo News Digest
  • View

    Cameraman collides with Usain Bolt (29 photos)

    Usain Bolt predicted that he wouldn't lose his favorite event at the world championships and, as is usually the case when the Jamaican steps onto a track, he went out and backed up his words. Justin Gatlin came off the curve running step for step with Bolt, but that's when Bolt kicked it into…

    Yahoo Sports
  • Mario Hezonja lights up EuroBasket tune-up, daps opposing coach

    The Orlando Magic rookie showed off his scoring ability and elite cockiness in a pre-EuroBasket friendly for Croatia.

    Ball Don't Lie
  • Russell Wilson's recovery drinks open can of worms

    Russell Wilson's farfetched claim that a drink helps concussions may open up a claim with the Federal Trade Commission because if the FTC can't substantiate the claim, Wilson and company are violating laws.

    NBC Sports
  • Cycling-Froome loses ground in Vuelta stage

    MADRID, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Tour de France champion Chris Froome lost ground in the first big mountain test on the Vuelta, suffering in the final ascent of the seventh stage won by Dutchman Bert-Jan Lindeman on Friday. The Briton, looking to achieve a rare Tour-Vuelta double, lost almost half a…

    Reuters
  • Is Jon Jones the UFC's Forgotten King?

    Unfortunately, this is the current reality of former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones after being arrested for an alleged hit-and-run back in April. Jones was subsequently stripped of his 205-pound belt and put in the UFC's doghouse. The absence of Jones has certainly cleared a path…

    MMA Weekly