Joel G. Maxcy
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) underwent a significant change in its organizational structure in 1997. The restructuring transformed the Association's system of governance from a single body to a federated system where each of its three competitive divisions formulates separate policy. More significantly Division I, the most competitive classification, replaced a one-member, one-vote direct democracy with a representative system where the basis of representation is determined by conference membership. 1 A Board of Directors composed entirely of institutional CEOs now approves all Division I legislation. This change is especially significant because representatives from Division I-A conference institutions, although composing only about one-third of the division's total members, are mandated majority representation on the Board. 2 Divisions II and III continue to approve all legislation by a vote of the membership at an annual convention, but the legislative sessions are now separate and specific to each division.
The restructuring received considerable attention from the media and public forums because of the apparent shift in organizational control from athletic directors to university presidents. Although university presidents (and faculty representatives) had been involved in NCAA governance from its inception, a perception existed that athletic departments, whose objectives are often implied to conflict with the university mission, had gained excessive