The NCAA Postseason Championship, which includes the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments, will be expanded upon the recommendation of the NCAA Transformation Commission.
After nearly a year of meetings, the Transformation Commission tasked with reshaping outdated NCAA policies produced a 40-page final report and released it to select media members on Tuesday. The report will be sent to the Division I Board of Directors for consideration at his 2023 NCAA convention in San Antonio next week.
Among the many recommendations is inclusion of more teams in the NCAA postseason championship. The NCAA should consider expanding the championship bracket to make it accessible to his 25% of teams participating in the sport, the commission’s report notes.
The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments include 68 teams, or approximately 19% of the sport’s 350 or so active members. To reach the 25% mark, the tournament needs to grow by about 20 teams (about 90 teams total).
The Transformation Commission’s recommendations are not formal changes. Most recommendations are determined by individual coaching and management groups for specific sports. The expansion of Championship events will be subject to an initial review by the Commission by June 2023 and final recommendations for implementation in the 2024-25 Championships by January 2024. will be done, the report said. Transformational leaders, including co-chairs Greg Sankey, SEC Commissioner, and Julie Cromer, Ohio Athletic Director, are scheduled to speak to reporters later Tuesday.
The Commission’s report offers a wide range of recommendations, most of which call for Division I schools to provide more benefits to athletes. As of now, the roster cap and scholarship cap have not changed. There are no changes to countable coaches in soccer either. The Committee recommended a review of these categories. Here are some highlights of our categorized recommendations:
Benefits for Athletes
- Requires all Division I schools to provide medical insurance for athletic-related injuries for a minimum of two years after graduation or termination of participation. The recommendation states that a nationwide compensation model may be needed to help cover costs for some programs.
- Requires schools to allow athletes who received full scholarships to return to school and complete a degree within 10 years of graduation
- Require schools to certify that they offer career counseling and life skills programs to athletes that include at least the following modules: strength and conditioning; nutrition; name, image, and likeness (NIL); financial literacy; Preventing sexual violence on campus.
- Create a new DI governance structure, including increasing athlete participation at campus, conference, and national levels.
- Additionally, involve athletes in conference and school-level governance, including the creation of each league’s Athlete Advisory Board Executive Team
- Schools must be staffed with licensed mental health professionals dedicated to serving athletes in order to meet mental health service membership expectations.
- The school shall complete a comprehensive review of the health and safety support services at least once every four years and submit a written confirmation of completion to the school boardroom.
- Schools must have acute concussion and other injury trained medical personnel who attend all NCAA practices and competitions for the following contact/collision sports: Acrobatics and tumbling. Alpine skiing; Baseball; Basketball; Beach volleyball; Diving; Equestrian;
- Schools must employ at least one properly trained full-time staff member. The main focus of its staff is diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
- The committee recommends reviewing FBS’s attendance requirements to “establish more effective distinctions between football subdivisions”.
- The minimum amount for sports sponsorships remains unchanged. DI members must sponsor at least 16 sports.
- The Commission recommends a review of scholarship limits “once the impact of changes in other areas of the Transformation Commission’s review becomes apparent.”
- Retire the NCAA Presidential Forum. It recognizes that the NCAA DI Board “helps achieve its strategic mission in the Division I governance structure and supports the core values of the NCAA, including Presidential leadership in intercollegiate athletics at the campus, conference, and national levels. It helps ensure that it is achieved,” according to the NCAA website. The Forum will consist of one President or Prime Minister from each of the 32 DI Councils.
- According to the report, the composition of DI’s board will be changed, with details to be finalized by April.
- The Committee recommends that DI Championship tournaments seed at least 50% of the bracket.
- Each sport that hosts an NCAA championship should have its own oversight board for decision-making. This is what soccer and men’s and women’s basketball currently have.
- A complete review of the NCAA Championship Travel Policy “to identify ways to improve the travel experience of our participants” includes: (2) Standardize the process and fee structure for upgrading to charter flights. (3) Guaranteed charter air travel for teams traveling over 2,000 miles, no direct option available
- The Commission also recommends (1) a review of the revenue-sharing model. (2) funding and roster size; (3) Definition of Counted Coaches and Counted Coaches. (4) Role of Sports Agents. (5) Seasons of Play and Practice.