Pac-12 university presidents have sent a letter to their colleagues at the other four major football conferences calling for sweeping changes to the NCAA model and autonomy for those leagues.
A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday night. It was sent last week to the other 53 university presidents from the Southeastern Conference, Big Ten, Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference.
Spurred in part by Northwestern football players' move to unionize, the Pac-12 presidents outlined a 10-point plan for reform that includes many proposals commissioners have been advocating for several years, including a stipend for athletes. The NCAA is working on a new governance structure that will allow the five wealthiest conferences to make some rules without the support of smaller Division I schools.
"We acknowledge the core objectives could prove to be expensive and controversial, but the risks of inaction or moving too slowly are far greater," the letter reads. "The time for tinkering with the rules and making small adjustments is over."
Arizona State President Michael Crow told the AP that his counterparts in the Pac-12 are not "happy with where things are going. We're not happy with the nature of the debate out there. And we felt like our voice is not well understood."
"We've been talking about the need for reform for a long time, and so in a sense our thinking has coalesced," Crow said. "There's just so much thinking going on relative to the NCAA. So we thought it was time to say, 'Well, this is what we think the NCAA should be, and this is how we think it should work.'"
The full list of proposals included in the letter are:
— Permit institutions to make scholarship awards up to the full cost of attendance.
— Provide reasonable ongoing medical or insurance assistance for student-athletes who suffer an incapacitating injury in competition or practice. Continue efforts to reduce the incidence of disabling injury.
— Guarantee scholarships for enough time to complete a bachelor's degree, provided that the student remains in good academic standing.
— Decrease the demands placed on the athlete in-season, correspondingly increase the time available for studies and campus life, by preventing the abuse of organized "voluntary" practices to circumvent the limit of 20 hours per week and more realistically assess the time away from campus and other commitments during the season.
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