NCAA one step closer to autonomy for Big 5

By Taylor Ellis,

The Division I board of directors for college football have voted 16-2 in favor of awarding the five richest conferences and the 65 universities within them the right to make their own rules on several different issues.

The endorsement must pass a 60-day comment period, as universities will be able to express their opinion on the matter. If 75 universities disapprove, the board will reconsider their decisions. If 125 universities object, the board will suspend the proposal upon further consideration, according to The New York Times.

If the endorsement passes, it will benefit the Southeastern Conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Pac-12, the Big Ten and the Big 12. The universities within these conferences will have the power to raise the value of scholarships, improve health insurance, allow players to consult with agents and more, reports ESPN.

“What it means is the ability to provide student-athletes with things that meet the 21st-century model of how we think about intercollegiate athletics,” Mike Slive, the commissioner of the SEC, said last month.

The Dartmouth president Philip J. Hanlon (Ivy League) and the Delaware president Patrick T. Harker (Colonial Athletic Association) voted against the proposal.

“I worry these changes will further escalate the arms race in college sports which, in my opinion, is not in the best interest of intercollegiate athletics, or higher education more generally,” Hanlon said in a statement.

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