New proposals passed at NCAA Convention

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The governing body of college athletics made some big changes Saturday as the NCAA granted TCU and the other universities making up the Power 5 conferences governing authority.

The vote means members of the Big 12, the Pac-12, the Big Ten, the SEC and the ACC conferences can set policies applying specifically to their programs.

The changes are in response to the NCAA’s 2014 decision allowing the Power 5 conferences autonomy to vote on issues that could help enhance the experience of the college athlete.

“We hit the edge for everything that we could do for the student athlete,” said TCU senior associate athletic director for compliance and student services Gretchen Bouton. “Now we’re getting more flexibility for some of the things we’ve wanted to do.”

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The NCAA passed proposals that will allow Division I universities in the Power 5 to cover an athlete’s full cost of attendance, protect an athlete’s future earnings against injury, guarantee that scholarships can’t be overturned for athletic reasons and implement a new concussion management protocol.

“Overall, the message is that these are the things we want to pass within our new power five autonomy, and we’re going to be able to push the majority of that forward,” Bouton said.

By passing these amendments, the NCAA is hoping to knock out the majority of the issues they’re currently being sued for, Bouton added.

“The intent is to do more for the student-athletes, but I think it might be able to curve off future litigation which is huge for the future of college athletics or it’s going to keep facing lawsuit after lawsuit and it’s just going to drain us financially, and we’re not going to be able to do the things that we see as the best fit for the student-athlete,” said Bouton.

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Other TCU faculty at the convention included TCU’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Chris Del Conte, Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator Kim Johnson, and TCU’s Faculty Athletics Representative, Rhonda Hatcher.

Fifteen student-athletes also gave a voice for the tens of thousands of current student-athletes in the Power 5. 

Representatives from the University of Kansas, the University of Oklahoma and Texas Tech University were also in attendance to represent the Big 12.

Bouton said the meeting was historical and is going to change everything in college athletics.

The 2015 NCAA convention was the Division I’s first autonomy session.