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Division I Leadership Council Considers Cost Savings
FCS members who wish to join the FBS should have a bona fide offer of membership from an FBS conference to be considered for FBS membership, among other recommendations
The Division I Leadership Council wants more information before making formal recommendations on cost-savings initiatives, and members directed the staff to collect data and possibly engage consultants to help guide the conversation.
At the Council’s meeting Tuesday in Indianapolis, members reviewed work done by various NCAA cabinets to identify areas within NCAA bylaws that could be changed to reduce costs. The Council classified many of those suggestions as “low-hanging fruit” that was worth exploring but members also believed that the topic needed a more expansive approach to make real headway toward reducing expenses.
Members agreed that any initiatives should be broad enough to help schools at both ends of the resource spectrum. Some institutions have realized more of an impact from the economic downturn than others, just as some are more highly subsidized by institutional dollars. That disparity in both resource level and pain from the economic climate must be considered as part of the cost-savings review, the group concluded.
The Council also agreed that the review should look at saving money in two ways – changing rules to save money on campuses (championships, travel, season modifications) and considering cost-savings initiatives from a national office perspective (staffing, programs).
Council members asked for data by their next meeting in October, including how much money specific actions could actually save a campus or the Association. The group also will consider both the political and legal ramifications of any recommendation and noted that leadership from presidents and chancellors will be vital.
Some of the suggestions from the cabinets, such as limits on non-coaching personnel and elimination of printed media guides, are already being considered.
In addition to the cost-savings discussion, the Council put the finishing touches on recommendations for new Division I membership standards. The group generally concluded its discussion on the topic in January but tweaked a few things at the recent meeting, including:
* Football Championship Subdivision members who wish to join the Football Bowl Subdivision should have a bona fide offer of membership from an FBS conference to be considered for FBS membership. FCS members suggested this change as a way of being consistent – the Council is also recommending that new Division I members have a bona fide offer of membership from a Division I conference before beginning the reclassification process.
* The reclassification process will be four, rather than five years, with election to active membership in the fifth year. Reclassifying members must meet Division I requirements upon beginning the process to become Division I members.
* The application fee will be commensurate with either the estimated annual average value of direct benefits through distributions and championships made available to Division I members ($1.3 million) or the median annual value of direct benefits through distributions and championships ($900,000).
Those recommendations will go to the Division I Board of Directors next month. The Board could introduce legislation into the 2010-11 cycle that codifies the new standards.
By Michelle Brutlag Hosick, The NCAA News