NCAA vote grants “Power 5” more autonomy

Betsy Helfand

The National Collegiate Athletics Association Division I Board of Directors passed a vote Thursday morning that will grant the "Power 5" conferences —including the Big Ten — and their 65 members an unprecedented level of autonomy.

The 16-2 vote is subject to a 60-day veto period before it takes effect.

“We are extremely pleased the Division I Board of Directors has approved a structure that allows more freedom in addressing issues related to our student-athletes and providing them with the support needed to perform in the classroom, in their respective sports and later in life,” Gophers athletics director Norwood Teague said in a statement.

Aside from the Big Ten, the “Power 5” includes the SEC, Pac-12, ACC and Big 12.

The five conferences have until Oct. 1 to submit legislation, which could be enacted in January at the 2015 NCAA Convention.

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said at Big Ten Media Days on July 28 that he expected Thursday’s measure to pass.

“I do anticipate that it will capture the autonomy issues that are important to us for assisting our student-athlete in the 21st century in a way that makes sense,” he said.