Big Ten tour: The proposal process

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- For Carol Iwaoka, the system of governance in college sports isn't that different from the one in Washington. There are representatives at different levels -- campus, conference and NCAA -- and a drawn-out system for approving legislation.

Iwaoka, who has been with the Big Ten since 1990, oversees it all as the league's associate commissioner for governance. She monitors proposals, corresponds regularly with the NCAA and works with the Big Ten's athletic administrators and faculty representatives. Since proposals are always coming up around the country, Iwaoka collaborates frequently with other conferences, particularly the five BCS leagues.

Here's how the proposal process works:

  • Coaches or schools submit proposals, which are discussed and voted on at meetings during the year.

  • Approved proposals go to the Big Ten's joint group, which includes the athletic director, the senior woman administrator and the faculty representative from each member school.

  • The joint group meets once a year and votes on whether or not to forward the proposals to the school presidents and/or the NCAA. Not every proposal approved by the joint committee must go to the presidents, but the presidents hold veto power. Iwaoka is responsible for preparing the joint group members for their annual meeting.

  • The NCAA Division I Management Council then reviews the proposals.

Some recent Big Ten-initiated proposals that went into action include instant replay for football and the universal start date for baseball. The Big Ten football coaches have approved a proposal to add a two-week "dead" period to the summer recruiting calendar. The proposal could go to the NCAA.