The National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I Leadership Council, which advises the Division I Board of Directors, opposes a new division for the most competitive athletic programs, according to a statement issued Tuesday. That concept has been floated by numerous organizations, conference commissioners and even faculty groups in recent months, as the NCAA considers different ways to restructure its governance and organization. A new division would afford the biggest programs more leeway in recruiting and spending. (The Faculty Athletics Representatives Association also opposes the idea.)
However, the council, which is made up of athletics directors, conference commissioners and others from across the full spectrum of Division I programs, acknowledged that a true "level playing field" cannot exist when athletic departments vary so dramatically by institution, and proposed adjusting scholarships to cover the full cost of attendance as a compromise. The Division I board will hear feedback from several groups leading up to its quarterly meeting this week.