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2021 NCAA Convention to be held virtually

Key governance decisions and significant achievements to be recognized during annual event

For the first time, the NCAA Convention will take place virtually in 2021. The event, moved to a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be held over three weeks in January, officially kicking off Tuesday, Jan. 12, with a welcome from the NCAA Board of Governors. Sessions, however, run Jan. 10-27.

Representatives from all three NCAA divisions will convene virtually to discuss and vote on key topics in higher education and collegiate athletics. Among the issues to be discussed:

Division I

The Division I Council meets Jan. 11 and is expected to consider legislation that would change name, image and likeness rules, as well as a change to Division I transfer rules. Neither piece of legislation will be considered final until the Division I Board of Directors meeting concludes Jan. 14. The Presidential Forum, which meets Jan. 12, will continue its review of the sustainability of the division. The board will review the forum’s work, as well as that of the Council.

Division II

At its Business Session on Jan. 15, Division II members will vote on legislation that includes changes to name, image and likeness rules. Each Division II school receives one vote. The Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee also receives one vote. Additionally, Division II will vote on a proposal to allow access to institutional athletics aid and access to practice to all incoming freshman student-athletes and two-year college transfers, regardless of their initial-eligibility status. Leading up to the Business Session, the Division II Management Council and Presidents Council will meet Jan. 11 and 12, respectively. The two bodies will host a joint meeting with Division II SAAC on Jan. 12.

Division III

Meetings of the Division III Management Council on Jan. 12 and Division III Presidents Council on Jan. 14  will focus on issues arising this academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The meetings lead to the Division III Business Session on Jan. 15, where members will vote on just one proposal: legislation on student-athletes’ use of their name, image and likeness.

The following events are scheduled for the Convention’s first week, with several awards to be presented for milestone achievements by current and former student-athletes, coaches and administrators.

State of College Sports

12:30 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday, Jan. 12

NCAA President Mark Emmert will deliver his State of College Sports remarks. Emmert also will present the 2021 NCAA President’s Pat Summitt Award to Nancy Stevens, former head coach of UConn’s field hockey program. Stevens retired in September as the winningest coach in NCAA field hockey history.

Honors Celebration

7 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, Jan. 13

Hosted by Andy Katz, the Honors Celebration will recognize former student-athletes and coaches who have reached significant heights on and off the field.

  • Theodore Roosevelt Award — The NCAA’s highest honor given to any individual.
    2021 winner: John McClendon, longtime basketball coach and two-time inductee into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
  • Today’s Top 10 — A recognition of 10 outstanding senior student-athletes from the previous academic year.
  • Silver Anniversary Award — Seven former student-athletes will be recognized on the 25th anniversary of the completion of their college careers.
  • Award of Valor — Presented to someone who, when confronted with a situation involving personal danger, averted or minimized potential disaster by a courageous action.
    2021 winner: Jaimire Dutrieuille, former football player at Slippery Rock credited with saving a child from stray gunfire.
  • Inspiration Award — Presented to someone who, when confronted with a life-altering situation, used perseverance, dedication and determination to overcome it.
    2021 winner: Chaunté Lowe, former track athlete at Georgia Tech, four-time Olympian and cancer survivor.

Saluting Excellence

4:30 p.m. Eastern time Thursday, Jan. 14

NCAA President Mark Emmert will present the 2021 NCAA President’s Gerald R. Ford Award to David Robinson, a former basketball player at Navy and two-time inductee into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Additionally, the NCAA and Minority Opportunities Athletic Association will present Towson with the 2021 Award for Diversity and Inclusion.

For more details on the Convention, including a full calendar of events, visit