The NCAA on Monday set the stage for a dramatic restructuring of college sports that will give each of its three divisions the power to govern itself.

The nation’s biggest and most influential governing body in college athletics released a draft of an 18 1/2-page constitution, cut down from 43 pages over the last three months at the direction of President Mark Emmert.

The rewritten constitution focuses more on the NCAA’s broader goals of athlete welfare than the previous version, which took a more granular approach.

Most important, it would provide Division I – the highest level of college sports that includes major college football and the 351 schools eligible for the lucrative men’s basketball tournament – the autonomy to reshape everything from how revenue is shared to how rules are made and enforced.

“Once we got into this, we really found out that many of the issues were the Division I level,” West Virginia Athletic Director Shane Lyons, the chairman of the Division I Council and a member of the constitution committee, told the AP.

The goal is to have changes in place in less than a year.

“The ratification of a new constitution in January is the first step in the process of transforming NCAA governance,” said Jack DiGioia, chairman of the NCAA Board of Governors and the president of Georgetown. “A new constitution will provide the divisions the flexibility they need to act.”

The proposed new constitution still needs to go to the more than 1,200 member schools for feedback after next week’s scheduled special constitutional convention, and could be amended before it is put before the full membership for a vote in January.

The new constitution shrinks the NCAA’s highest governing body, the Board of Governors, from 21 members to nine and changes its duties.

“The question is going to be asked: What is the new role and responsibilities of the board of governance? That’s still all three divisions, but their priorities and what they would be doing would be just those very, very high level issues of the association, as opposed to some of the things they have been getting involved in right now,” Lyons said.

Emmert called the convention in August, not long after the Supreme Court hammered the NCAA in a ruling that left the association vulnerable to further legal challenges. It quickly became apparent a new constitution was merely the first phase of transforming the NCAA in a way that de-emphasizes the Indianapolis-based association and gives more power to schools and conferences.

The next phase figures to be more contentious, at least at the highest level of college sport.

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey and Ohio University Athletic Director Julie Cromer will lead the Division I Transformation Committee, which has already begun exploring ways to restructure.

Lyons is also a member of that committee.

“There’s a huge gap in Division I with schools roughly with $175 million budgets and schools with $4 million budgets,” Lyons said. “A lot of times we’ve tried to legislate from an equality standpoint. Is there possibly a new division? Is there a Division Four? Do some schools break away and make a Division Four, and what is the membership requirements?”

He added: “So those are the things that we’re really going to have to get to the granular spot, and some of those are going to be very difficult conversations to have.”

FOOTBALL

NEBRASKA: Nebraska ended weeks of speculation about Coach Scott Frost’s future, announcing he he will return for a fifth season with a restructured contract. A few hours later, Frost fired four offensive assistant coaches, effectively immediately.

Athletic Director Trev Alberts said he has seen enough progress in the once-proud program to merit bringing Frost back. Frost will go into next year with four straight losing seasons at his alma mater.

The Cornhuskers are 15-27 and have never finished higher than fifth in the Big Ten West under Frost. The Huskers are 3-7 overall and 1-6 in Big Ten games this season but have no losses by more than nine points against one of the toughest schedules in the country.

“We all recognize our record has not been what anyone wants it to be,” Alberts said in a statement. “I have been clear that I have been looking for incremental progress, and I have seen that in several key areas this season. Our team has continued to compete at a high level and the young men in our program have remained unified and shown great resiliency, which is an important reflection of the leadership of Coach Frost and his staff.”

Alberts said Frost has articulated to him a clear plan and vision. Part of that plan became apparent with the firings of offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Matt Lubick, offensive line coach/run game coordinator Greg Austin, running backs coach Ryan Held and quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco.

“I appreciate the work and sacrifices these men have made for the University of Nebraska and this football program and wish all of them well,” Frost said. “They are all men of outstanding character and good coaches, but as we strive for better consistency and execution, we needed fresh ideas and voices on our offensive staff.”

Frost did not announce who would take over those assistant coaching jobs for the final two games.

Details of Frost’s new contract were not immediately disclosed. Frost originally signed a seven-year contract paying him $5 million per year. Two years ago, he received an extension through 2026.

Frost is a native Nebraskan and he was quarterback for the Huskers’ 1997 national championship team. He coached Central Florida to an undefeated season in 2017 before returning to Lincoln to take over a blue-blood program that hasn’t won a conference championship since 1999.

“I appreciate the confidence Trev Alberts has shown in me to continue to lead this program,” Frost said. “I love this state, this football program and am honored and humbled for the opportunity to serve as the head coach at my alma mater.”

The 46-year-old Frost came back to Nebraska to revive a program that has won or shared five national championships and is among only eight schools with 900 all-time wins. He so far has been unable to extract the Huskers from their lowest point since they had six losing seasons in a row and no bowl appearances from 1956-61.

Frost is 0-11 against Top 25 opponents and still searching for a signature victory. The Huskers opened this season with an ugly loss at Illinois. Their only wins are against Fordham, Buffalo and Northwestern.

But they hung with ranked opponents Oklahoma, Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State, losing those four games by a total of 22 points. The Huskers’ 5-18 record under Frost in games decided by eight points or fewer is worst in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

The Huskers, whose next game is Nov. 20 at No. 20 Wisconsin, have dropped four straight after losing 26-17 at home to the Buckeyes.

FLORIDA: Quarterback Anthony Richardson, recovering from a concussion, injured a knee dancing in the team hotel the night before losing at South Carolina.

Coach Dan Mullen said Richardson was “gimping around” the football facility Monday. The Gators (4-5) host Samford (4-5) on Saturday.

Richardson had been cleared to play against the Gamecocks, who rolled to a 40-17 victory in which the Gators allowed a season-high 459 yards and their most points in series history.

But Richardson tweaked a knee busting a move and landed on the bench at South Carolina.

TEXAS TECH: Texas Tech named Baylor assistant and longtime Texas high school coach Joey McGuire as its next head coach, though he won’t take the job until the end of the season.

McGuire will be formally introduced Tuesday on the Lubbock campus. He will immediately join the Texas Tech athletic department while Sonny Cumbie continues to serve as interim head coach for the three remaining regular-season games and any bowl appearance.

McGuire will not finish his fifth season with 18th-ranked Baylor. He was hired by former Bears coach Matt Rhule and retained as associate head coach when Dave Aranda took over in 2020 after Rhule went to the NFL as coach of the Carolina Panthers.

Texas Tech fired Matt Wells last month in the middle of the former Utah State coach’s third season. Wells finished 13-17 with the Red Raiders, who were 5-3 when the move was made. They lost 52-21 at fourth-ranked Oklahoma in their only game since, and had their open date last weekend.

WASHINGTON: Washington suspended Coach Jimmy Lake for one game without pay following a sideline incident during the Huskies’ game against Oregon.

Lake is suspended from all team activities for the week and will return to his coaching responsibilities on Sunday. Defensive coordinator Bob Gregory will serve as the interim coach for Saturday’s game against Arizona State.

Lake appeared to thrust his right arm toward and then shoved Ruperake Fuavai during a brief skirmish on the Washington sideline in Saturday’s 26-16 loss to Oregon. Fuavai appeared to be exchanging words with Oregon’s Jaylon Redd just before the incident with Lake.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

PITTSBURGH: Pittsburgh has suspended junior guard Ithiel Horton indefinitely following his arrest over the weekend on charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

TEXAS TECH: Terrence Shannon Jr. will miss the season opener Tuesday night and be held out of games while the school reviews eligibility rules after the standout forward went through the NBA draft process over the summer before returning to campus.

“Out of an abundance of caution, Texas Tech is withholding Shannon from competition to ensure there are no possible issues resulting from that process and that all NCAA rules were followed,” the school said. “Shannon will not compete until this review process is completed.”

GEORGIA: David Gale has joined Coach Tom Crean’s staff as associate to the head coach and director of basketball strategy.

Gale was the head coach of BC Nevezis Opibet in Lithuania in 2020-21 after two seasons coaching teams in Germany.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

RUTGERS: Coach C. Vivian Stringer is going to miss the upcoming season because of COVID-19 concerns, the school announced.

The 73-year-old coach hasn’t been with the team since April, when the delta variant of the virus was becoming widespread in the United States.

“This COVID situation is for real and we have to be very careful and treat it with great respect,” she told reporters in February after Rutgers returned from a six-week pause for the virus.

Team spokesman Matt Choquette said last month when the coach skipped Big Ten media day that Stringer was worried about the lack of testing this season compared with last season, the highly contagious nature of the delta variant and her desire not to transmit the disease to her 40-year-old daughter, who has required special care since contracting spinal meningitis at age 2.

Stringer has 1,055 wins in her 50-year coaching career and is fourth all time in Division I victories. She was going to start her 27th season at Rutgers. Associate head coach Tim Eatman has been filling in for Stringer since April and will stay in that role.

He also was in charge when Stringer missed the final few games of the 2018-19 season because of exhaustion.

Stringer signed a five-year extension in April. The contract guarantees compensation of $5.5 million, beginning at $1 million in the first year, plus performance incentives and retention bonuses.

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