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DI Presidential Forum continues review of division’s future

Final recommendations slated for spring 2022

The Division I Presidential Forum continued its review of the future sustainability of Division I, setting goals and a timeline for its work. The forum met virtually Tuesday as part of the 2021 NCAA Convention.

“This review comes at a critical time for college athletics,” said Presidential Forum chair Brian Hemphill, president at Radford. “It is important that we undertake this work with a sense of urgency, as well as creativity, vision and thoughtfulness.”

The review, focused in the areas of governance, financial concerns, legal fees and membership requirements, hopes to:

  • Examine the current model of college sports.
  • Identify strengths, weaknesses and pressure points that threaten its viability.
  • Recommend short- and long-term solutions to sustain intercollegiate athletics as an integral and enriching component of the higher education experience for student-athletes.

Tuesday’s discussion included interaction with the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, which has expressed an interest in improving college sports. Members also met in small groups to have more concentrated discussions in each of the areas of focus.

The review will continue in an exploration phase through April. It will prioritize actions and begin to implement short-term solutions between April and August. Discussion of longer-term issues and development of recommendations will occur through April 2022, with final recommendations presented to the Division I Board of Directors by August 2022.

Conferences and other key governance groups like the Division I Council and its standing committees and the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will be part of the process, along with other external groups. The Council is expected to be particularly helpful in specific areas where practitioner expertise is required, especially the potential for extension of flexibility provided during the COVID-19 pandemic for membership requirements, recruiting and financial aid.