Drake Group Presents an Alternative Framework for NCAA Governance
From the Drake Group:
On December 5, 2023, NCAA President Baker proposed a new Division I tier in which schools would be required to pay at least 50 percent of their male and female athletes a minimum of $30,000 annually and have no limits on how much schools could pay individual athletes for use of their NILs. Pundits suggest that the proposal is an attempt to keep the now Power 4 institutions from breaking away from the Association by allowing these schools to determine their own spending restraints. Pundits also agree that the purpose of Baker’s letter is a “strawman” to encourage NCAA member institutions to come up with better alternatives, especially since Congress does not appear to be inclined to solve the NCAA’s current legal or other problems.
The Drake Group urges the NCAA and its members to consider an alternative approach. Rather than simply ask “What will it take to keep the richest athletic programs from leaving the NCAA or get more cash to athletes?” we suggest a focus on the following questions:
- What should be the guiding principles that dictate policy and financial priorities for the operation of college athletic programs?
- What education and athletic injury-related medical expenses should institutions be required to cover for all participants in intercollegiate athletic programs?
- What cash or other benefits unrelated to athletic scholarships or athletic injury-related medical expenses should institutions be allowed to provide unfettered by NCAA rules or regulations?
- What is a decision making system that is fair and effective and better balances the interests of the institutions and college athletes?
- What cost controls are necessary to enable institutions to meet their Title IX obligations?
- What cost controls are necessary to enable institutions to meet college athlete educational and health obligations?
- How should the NCAA enforce the rights of college athletes and member institutions when athlete eligibility or financial aid is threatened or rules violations are alleged?
We offer this Drake framework for consideration.