Sixty-Five Universities of the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC and Student-Athlete Representatives to Begin Era of Autonomy


Goal is to Protect and Improve College Experience for Student-Athletes

WASHINGTON, DC – A group of 80 voting members from the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC will meet formally in two meetings on Saturday, Jan. 17 at the NCAA Convention to begin a new era of autonomy aimed at protecting and improving the college experience for student-athletes.

This is the first autonomy meeting and it follows a decision by the NCAA Division I Board of Directors to grant self-governing prerogatives to the member institutions of these five conferences.

The sessions include representatives from each of the 65 member institutions of the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC conferences and 15 student-athlete representatives discussing and voting on a series of proposals designed to improve the student-athlete experience on campus.

The autonomy session agenda features eight proposals and one resolution aimed at creating the optimal student-athlete experience in a fully integrated collegiate model in which athletics and academics are appropriately balanced. The proposals focus on the issues of cost of attendance, loss-of-value insurance, scholarship renewal, and concussion safety.

The commissioners of the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC commented on the significance of the sessions: “This week represents a new chapter in our focus to help student-athletes learn, grow, and succeed. College sports are an American tradition, and we intend to provide these student-athletes with an enhanced level of support.”

About the Autonomy Session
The autonomy proposals will be discussed in a Discussion Forum on Saturday from 1-4 p.m. ET, followed by voting during a Business Session from 4-6 p.m. The chair of the group will be President Nathan Hatch of Wake Forest University.

Proposals can be approved by one of the following methods:

  • 60 percent of all votes (48 votes) and a simple majority support from schools in three of the five conferences, or;
  • A majority of all votes (at least 41) and simple majority support from the schools in four of the five conferences.

In addition to representatives from the 65 universities, 15 student-athletes will give a voice for the tens of thousands of current student-athletes in the five conferences. The inaugural class of student-athletes in the new autonomy process includes:

Name Institution Sport
Patrick Andrews Clemson Baseball
Kaila Barber Notre Dame Track and Field
Ty Darlington Oklahoma Football
Diamond DeShields Tennessee Women's Basketball
Ben-Marvin Egel Purdue Men's Golf
McKenzie Fechter Washington Women's Gymnastics
Chris Hawthorne Minnesota Football
Jay Hughes Mississippi State Football
Taylor James California Women's Rowing
Anthony Lyons, Jr Texas Tech Baseball
Nandi Mehta Northwestern Women's Soccer
Kene Orjioke UCLA Football
Artie Rowell Pittsburgh Football
Maddie Stein Kansas Softball
Josh Tobias Florida Baseball

About the ACC
The Atlantic Coast Conference, now in its 62nd year of competition and 15 members strong, has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate conferences in the nation. ACC members Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest continue to build upon the cornerstones on which the league was founded in 1953 with a consistent balance of academics, athletics and integrity.  For more information, visit theACC.com and follow @theACC on Twitter and on facebook.com/theACC.