NCAA DI Committee Releases Report on Student-Athlete Wellbeing

Ahead of next week’s NCAA Convention in San Antonio, the DI Board of Directors released the report “Elevating support for student-athletes’ mental, physical, and academic wellbeing.” Authored by the NCAA’s Division I Transformation Committee, the report represents “the deliberations, evaluations and actions on some of the biggest challenges facing Division I athletics.”

The challenges listed in the report:

  • How can we provide additional support to student-athletes, and what other resources are needed to improve their experience?
  • How can we make that experience more equitable?
  • What should be expected of all Division I member institutions?
  • Is the range of schools in Division I too broad? Are the differences between our athletics departments irreconcilably large?
  • How should revenue and resources be distributed across Division I?
  • How do we address the budgetary needs of Division I schools with clear resource limitations?
  • How do we balance fairness and autonomy?
  • What are the emerging legal issues that impact our rule-making?

The laundry list of recommendations includes the following:

  • Requiring a minimum of two years of medical coverage following graduation or completing one’s athletic experience for athletic-related injuries.
  • A requirement for a “direct pathway for full-time clinical services of a licensed mental health professional exclusively dedicated to serving student-athletes.”
  • Providing 10 years of graduation completion funds for full scholarship student-athletes.
  • A new DI governance structure with greater student-athlete participation.
  • Altering the DI revenue distribution model to “reflect contemporary Division I values and account for athletic performance in more sports than men’s basketball.”

The report concluded with the statement:

“We look forward to seeing these recommendations continue to take hold, as we know they will meaningfully support the Division I student-athletes of today and tomorrow.”

Julie Cromer, director of athletics at Ohio University, and Greg Sankey, commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, are the committee’s co-chairs.

Read the full report here.

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