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Sports

NCAA grants power conferences autonomy

Colleges and UniversitiesNCAABoard of DirectorsBig 12 ConferenceAtlantic Coast ConferenceBig TenSoutheastern Conference

The NCAA approved an historic change on Thursday to allow the 65 schools in the five power conferences to write many of their own rules.

The 16-2 vote by the Division I Board of Directors took place at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis.

The autonomy measures ruling is subject to a 60-day veto period before the new structure is official.

The NCAA Board made one significant change to the proposal introduced last month. For legislation to be considered, only one of the five conferences is required to submit it -- not three.

“I am immensely proud of the work done by the membership,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. “The new governance model represents a compromise on all sides that will better serve our members and, most importantly, our student-athletes. These changes will help all our schools better support the young people who come to college to play sports while earning a degree.”

The five power leagues -- the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 -- could begin submitting their own legislation by Oct. 1 and have it enacted at the January 2015 NCAA convention in Washington, D.C.

According to ESPN.com, key early issues are expected to include full cost-of-attendance stipends worth up to $5,000 per player; four-year scholarship guarantees; loosened rules involving contact between players and agents as well as outside career pursuits for players; and travel allowances for players' families to attend postseason games.

ESPN reported that a new 80-member voting panel, which will include 15 current players, will determine policies for the five leagues. Areas that will not fall under the autonomy umbrella include postseason tournaments, transfer policies, scholarship limits, signing day and rules governing on-field play.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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