CU Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano on Friday joined the rest of the NCAA Board of Governors in voting to convene a constitutional convention in November that could usher in major transformation for the NCAA.
A 22-member constitutional review committee will lead a redrafting of the NCAA constitution, with an aim toward “dramatic changes” that “reimagine aspects of college sports so the association can more effectively meet the needs of current and future athletes,” an NCAA release stated.
“The results have to be bold and transformational,” said DiStefano, whose two-year term on the NCAA’s top governing body expires in August. “We can’t just make incremental changes. The past 18 months have amplified the need for the NCAA to be more innovative, nimble and responsive to change if we’re to play a role in setting up our student-athletes for success, both on the fields of play and off, well into the future.”
Topics such as the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice and name, image, likeness have led to increasing calls for change in the NCAA’s structure and role over the past year-plus. More recently, talks of conference realignment have only heightened the push toward change.
The constitutional review committee, which will include a mix of presidents, commissioners, athletic directors and students from all NCAA divisions, is being “charged with identifying the core principles that define college sports and proposing a new governance model that allows for quicker change without sacrificing broader values,” the NCAA said.
The committee will be appointed and begin its work in August and provide a working draft of proposals for membership feedback at a virtual convention slated to be held no later than Nov. 15. Final proposals are due to the NCAA Board of Governors by Dec. 15, with all 1,100 NCAA member schools voting on the proposals at the NCAA’s annual convention in January.
“I am proud to have been a part of this vote for the future and look forward to the new landscape to come,” DiStefano said. “CU Athletics and our athletic director, Rick George, have been national leaders in pursuing programming that supports all facets of student-athlete success––from mental and physical health to success in the classroom and life skills that will serve our Buffs long after their playing days are complete. We are well-positioned to thrive as the national college athletics landscape evolves in the coming months and years in ways that better serve student-athletes.”