Tuesday November 28, 2023

What the People Want?

  • The NCAA compiled a massive survey of more than 3,000 officials and 1,000 athletes.
  • Both groups have suggested a few big changes, from enforcement of health and safety standards to restructuring divisions.
Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY/Design: Alex Brooks
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Ahead of the convention, the NCAA compiled a massive survey of more than 3,000 officials and 1,000 athletes. 

A vast majority of participants want the NCAA to continue overseeing certain duties like eligibility, revenue allocation, championships, and on-field rules, but it also suggested overwhelming support for a few big changes. 

The survey provided a rare window into what a large number of athletes might actually want: enforcement for health, safety, and diversity.

  • More than 85% of athletes in each division agreed that the NCAA needs to set health and safety standards and include athletes in decision making.
  • At least 78% in every division found gender equity and cultural diversity to be central, too.
  • In an open-ended question section, they also emphasized the importance of mental health.

Administrators said the divisional structure isn’t working for everyone, and there’s a growing feeling that the NCAA shouldn’t be in charge of the richest schools or sports at all.

  • More than half of Division I administrators favored altering divisions, but only about one-third of admins in D-II and D-III did.
  • Almost every category of Power 5 admins favored change at a higher rate than non-Power 5 admins.
  • One suggestion included breaking Power 5 schools away from the NCAA. Another included breaking FBS football teams away.

It will take until next August, however, to see how many changes the NCAA actually implements.

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