Recommendations by the NCAA’s Division I Transformation Commission, issued Tuesday, expand the NCAA basketball tournament to 90 teams.
Tasked with finding “opportunities to modernize college sports,” the committee issued several recommendations in a 39-page report, most notably the expansion of postseason tournaments. The Board made the following recommendations:
Access 25% of high-performing Division I members in team sports sponsored by over 200 schools.
This includes both men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments, expanding both disciplines. There are currently 68 teams invited to each tournament. There are 358 Division I men’s basketball programs and 350 women’s programs. 25% of the field is broken down into approximately 90 teams in each tournament.
Tuesday’s recommendation is strictly a recommendation. It will be forwarded to the Division I Board of Directors for consideration at next week’s NCAA convention. Extensions also require the approval of each sport’s governing body. The Commission has asked for final recommendations to be made by January 2024, in time for the 2024-25 season.
The committee is co-chaired by SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey and Ohio University Sports Director Julie Cromer and has 19 members from various NCAA programs and conferences. Among other things, the committee recommended that schools provide post-college injured players medical insurance, as well as mental health and career support.
• Have medical insurance for at least two years after college or the end of your sports career in the event of a sports-related injury;
• Mental health treatment and services according to recognized best practices;
• Funding for a 10-year degree. If you choose to quit your studies before graduating before finally deciding to go back.
• Academic, career and life skills counseling. This gives you all the resources you need to make informed decisions about your mind, body, career, and finances.
The commission also recommended that each institution’s physical education department hire full-time staff that focus on “diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.” It also recommends revisiting the FBS membership requirement of an average attendance of 15,000 fans per game, and “focuses on other factors that directly link student-athlete experiences to expectations of FBS membership standards.”
The full report can be viewed here.