Call for Papers | “Governance Changes to College Athletics”, Special Issue of Sports Innovation Journal | Call ends December 31, 2021

The Sports Innovation Journal, published by the IUPUI Sports Innovation Institute, is seeking commentary and empirical research submissions for a special issue on the changing landscape of intercollegiate athletics and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) governance model. The special issue is looking for submissions in the following areas:

      • College Athlete Experience
      • Alternative Governance Models
      • Name, Image and Likeness
      • Conference Realignment
      • Crisis/Pandemic Policy Management

Intercollegiate athletics is undergoing significant changes. The NCAA is convening a constitutional convention to review potential changes to governance and enforcement, including shifting more responsibilities to conferences and institutions. Getting to this point has been initiated through college athlete activism and persistent legal challenges. The future of college athletics will undoubtedly require more involvement and decision-making opportunities for college athletes to provide the best experience possible.

College athletes are now able to financially profit from their likeness, leading athletic departments to partner with several new companies specializing in name, image, and likeness (NIL) that might be the next arms race in recruiting the best college athletes. The era of NIL has brought state and federal government into the conversation of college athletics issues and what role the NCAA should and should not have as a national governing body. Without a federal law on NIL and several states adopting their own and until the NCAA can convene for a vote on permanent rule changes, the NCAA announced a membership-wide interim policy allowing college athletes to benefit from NIL. However, international college athletes have been left on the sidelines when it comes to NIL opportunities due to concerns about student visas. In recent surveys and findings discussed during a spring 2021 diversity and inclusion forum the NCAA hosted, both US and international student-athletes reported issues in regard to lack of support from institutions on matters of financial management, taxation, transparency, consistent rules’ application, and perhaps more alarmingly health, mental health, and burnout concerns, leading to recent spikes in transfer rates, or simply student-athletes across all three divisions of the NCAA dropping their sports’ participation.

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) announcing the future addition of the University of Oklahoma and University of Texas to the conference has created a renewed interest in conference realignment. This sudden change to the SEC has brought uncertainty to the sustainability of the Big 12 Conference (Big 12) and has caused the Big Ten Conference (Big Ten), Pacific 12 Conference (Pac-12) and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) to discuss a strategic alliance. Conference realignment, which is heavily focused on the sport of football, is happening at the same time as a potential expansion of the College Football Playoff (CFP) from four to twelve schools.

These topics only begin to scratch the surface of what has occurred in college athletics over the last several years. Authors with other governance topics relative to college athletics and the NCAA are encouraged to submit.

Submission Information

Deadline for submissions for the special issue is December 31, 2021, with an intended publication date of April 1, 2022. For submissions, please visit the subscription checklist, author guidelines and create an author account at: All manuscripts receive double-blind peer review from two reviewers.

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