The five wealthiest college football conferences have notified the NCAA of their proposals to provide more benefits to athletes under the new governance model that allows the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference to pass legislation without the support of the other Division I leagues.
The autonomy structure went into effect on Wednesday, which was also the first day for the power conferences to offer suggestions about what rules they want to implement. The NCAA board of directors in August passed a proposal to give autonomy to the five major conferences. The transition to the autonomy structure will happen in January.
Those conferences endorsed changes that would increase benefits to student-athletes, all of which have been touted by conference leaders for several years, including:
— Funding athletic scholarships that would cover the full cost of tuition.
— Guaranteeing multiyear scholarships for athletes.
— Lifetime scholarship guarantees that would allow former athletes to return to school at any time and complete their degrees.
— Providing long-term health care and insurance to former athletes.
The conferences have also said they will review the time demands for athletes.
The Pac-12 says presidents and chancellors will explore how to implement the proposed reforms at its board meeting Oct. 27, including by each institution, conference-wide action or among the five major conferences.
Any rule changes that occur would not start until the 2015-2016 academic year.