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DI Board of Directors creates Finance Committee

Members change governance policies, celebrate successes

The Division I Board of Directors will control division-specific financial matters through a newly created Finance Committee, members decided Wednesday.

The board members will manage and approve the Division I annual budget and allocation revenue to Division I members, a task that previously had been left to the NCAA Board of Governors, which oversees all three divisions. The Division II and Division III Presidents Councils manage budgets for their specific divisions.

“The creation of a Division I Board of Directors Finance Committee brings Division I responsibilities in line with those of Division II and Division III,” said board chair Eric Kaler, president at Minnesota. “We look forward to the additional accountability and oversight.”

The decision was the result of a study of Board of Governors responsibilities undertaken by all three divisions last year. That study also recommended the Board of Directors provide feedback on litigation that could have a material impact on Division I to the NCAA chief legal officer or general counsel and the Board of Governors, the highest-ranking NCAA board.

The Finance Committee will oversee and approve the annual Division I program budget, including the championship budget and funds allocated to Division I scholarship and grant programs; review and oversee the Division I revenue distribution policy and process; and oversee the allocation of Division I revenue distribution funds as guided by the NCAA’s 10-year strategic financial plan approved by the Board of Governors.

NCAA staff will remain responsible for the operational implementation of the Division I program budget, including reallocations of the budget based on variances, changes in operational needs and the ability to commit funds.

The Finance Committee will be composed of five presidents or chancellors who belong to the board. At least one president from the Football Bowl Subdivision autonomy conferences, one from the FBS nonautonomy conferences, one from the Football Championship Subdivision and one from Division I (no football) will serve. Terms will align with board terms.

The new committee will be appointed this summer.

Governance structure review

Board members also approved a recommendation from the Division I Council formalizing a process for broad consideration of certain health and wellness/safety matters.

The Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences have the autonomy to make decisions in some health and wellness/safety areas. When that group of schools adopts legislation in health and wellness/safety areas that meet certain requirements, such as requiring a unified standard of care for Division I student-athletes or significantly impacting a core value of the NCAA, the Council will review the legislation and decide whether the board needs to act on behalf of the 27 remaining conferences.

With this policy change, the Council will have the opportunity to fully review the issue and provide the board with counsel from the practitioner’s perspective before a board vote. The board asked the Council to provide implementation details to ensure that nonautonomy conferences have sufficient time to consider any potential legislation in this category.

The board also agreed to maintain the ability of members of the 27 nonautonomy conferences to opt-in to autonomy legislation without any changes. A potential reporting requirement had been discussed, but members believe a more formal process would eliminate flexibility for the nonautonomy schools.

Transfer review

Board members and the Presidential Forum, an advisory group comprised of one president from each of the 32 Division I multisport conferences, both had strategic discussions about potential future transfer regulations. It will recommend the newly appointed Transfer Working Group focus on the academic success of student-athletes as the primary goal of any new transfer regulations.

Both groups also agreed that integrity and accountability for student success are critical at both schools a transfer student attends.

Understanding the role of third parties in the process also is important, board members decided, especially in the context of higher education.

The board members directed the working group clarify the rationale for any differences in rules by sport. The basis for sport-specific rules should promote positive academic outcomes and the values of higher education, members said.