Mountain West Representatives Named to New NCAA Division I Council

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The NCAA Division I Board of Directors recently appointed the first members to serve on the newly-formed Division I Council. Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson and University of New Mexico Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs are among the 40 individuals who will be charged with conducting the day-to-day business of Division I as a new era begins in the leadership of intercollegiate athletics.

Established as a voting component of the restructured NCAA Division I governance system, the Council is comprised of commissioners, athletics directors, faculty athletics representatives, senior woman administrators and student-athletes from around the country. Every Division I conference is represented on the Council, which replaces the Leadership and Legislative Councils in the previous governance structure. This also marks the first time in Division I history that student-athletes will be included on a council-level group as voting members.

“The next several months will be challenging times in intercollegiate athletics as several initiatives to enhance the student-athlete experience will unfold,” stated Thompson. “It will be important to be on the ground level of those discussions.”

The first meeting of the Division I Council will take place Friday, January 16 in conjunction with the 2015 NCAA Convention in Washington, D.C. During this meeting, Council members will elect an athletics director to chair the group, as the intent is for the Council to be led by that group of administrators. The Council chairperson will also serve on the Division I Board of Directors. Any rules adopted by the Council will be subject to review by the Board.

“I am honored to serve as a MW representative to the new NCAA Division I Council,” said Krebs. “These are historic times for college athletics as we chart the future of our enterprise. UNM is very fortunate that our own Kendall Spencer will be serving as the first-ever SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) representative to the NCAA Division I Board.”

After electing a chair, the Division I Council's next order of business will be to identify the subgroups that will assist in developing legislation, administering championships and performing other necessary functions. The Council will cast votes on new rules for the first time during the 2015-16 legislative cycle.

Thompson and Krebs are two of five Mountain West representatives who will be taking on roles in the new Division I governance structure. Earlier, it was announced that Spencer and Utah State University President Stan Albrecht had been appointed to serve on the reconfigured Division I Board of Directors. Spencer, the Division I SAAC Chair and a member of the UNM track and field team, becomes the first student-athlete in the history of the organization to serve on the Division I Board.

In addition, University of Wyoming Director of Athletics Tom Burman has been appointed to the newly-formed Division I Committee of Academics, a group that will report to the Board but process legislation through the Council. The 20-person academics body, which will consider weighty issues that are vital to student-athlete success, replaces both the Committee on Academic Performance and the Academic Cabinet from the previous Division I governance structure.

Click here for a full roster of the Division I Council members.