An overall change to the structure of college athletics with autonomy for the five power conferences has been discussed in the past, and SEC commissioner Mike Slive said Monday it can help address some of the current issues facing the NCAA.
Slive spoke at the Associated Press Sports Editors regional meeting at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame on Monday and he detailed a proposal from the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 that would give the 65 schools in those conferences the ability to create rules and govern themselves on certain issues and “do things in the best interest of the student-athlete instead of institution.”
According to Al.com, the NCAA Board of Directors will meet on Thursday to discuss the proposal from the conferences.
"The five conferences have put forth a proposal, as part of the restructuring, to create autonomy in certain areas for the five conferences," Slive said. "The nexus for the autonomy is what we believe, what we call a vision for the 21st century as it relates to our relationship with student-athletes."
The move would separate the power conference schools from smaller Division I schools who may not have the means to provide compensation for student-athletes the way a school like Alabama or Ohio State would.
Student-athletes wouldn’t be employees under this change, but student-athletes would be “covered for the full cost of attendance” and student-athletes would have the ability to finish their degrees without cost even if their athletic eligibility has been exhausted.
Other measures that Slive mentioned include a reassessment of how many hours per week an athlete can spend on the sport, offering further “health, safety and nutrition needs,” giving athletes a seat at the table when it comes to NCAA decisions, and even altering rules on agent contact “to better assist athletes to prepare for the transition from college to professional.”
Of course, it all comes down to the NCAA accepting the proposal. If passed, Slive said that the changes could begin being implemented by August.
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