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D1 solidifies championships model

Vote of full division ensures equal access to postseason

Division I members will continue to have the same access to championships as they do now, the membership decided in a full division vote Sunday.

Division I members will continue to have the same access to championships as they currently receive, the membership decided in a full division vote Sunday.

The rule updates the manual to reflect that the play-in structure, sizes of championship fields and number and ratio of automatic qualifying conferences that were in place on Aug. 1, 2014, will be preserved

The change does not mean the number of actual championships can’t change. If, for example, sport sponsorship drops below acceptable numbers in a particular sport, the rule does not prevent the division from eliminating a championship.

The measure also removed language that outlined policies for appointing members of cabinets in the Division I legislative structure. When the Board of Directors restructured the division’s governance last summer, the cabinets — which addressed issues of amateurism, awards and benefits, championships and academics, among others — were eliminated.

The championships access rule provides assurances to conferences outside the five given autonomy to make rules for their members in the new governance structure that their student-athletes will continue to have the same opportunity to participate in championships as they have in the past.

The business session also served as an opportunity for new board chair Harris Pastides, president at the University of South Carolina, to introduce himself to the division. 

“I am committed to leading the division as a whole,” he said. No matter what color lanyard we have, we want the athletes on our campuses to have every opportunity to succeed.”

Kendall Spencer, chair of the national Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a former track and field athlete at the University of New Mexico, thanked the members for their support over the last year.

When we take a step back and look at the change our membership has experienced since last year and we look at the model we have now: We now have a seat on the board and two seats at the council level,” Spencer saidOur committee is extremely excited … We look forward to the future of the membership. We hope you continue to give us your support and offer yourselves as a resource for our committee.”

The assembly applauded.