SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Former Mississippi State football team captain Jay Hughes will be one of three Southeastern Conference student-athlete representatives who will have a voice on proposed governance rule changes under the NCAA’s Division I autonomy process at the NCAA Convention in San Antonio this week.
The NCAA Division I Board of Directors voted in August of 2014 to restructure how schools and conferences govern themselves, paving the way for student-athletes to have a voice at every level of decision-making. It will be the second straight year Hughes attends the convention.
“It’s a privilege to once again be a part of the student-athlete autonomy council this year and represent our great conference,” he said. “The decision-making process is critical to the future of student-athletes. It’s also a step in the right direction for me personally as I pursue a career as a coach, educator or administrator.”
The new model grants flexibility to schools in the Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12 and Southeastern conferences to change rules for themselves in a list of specific areas within Division I. The legislative process for these 65 schools includes three student-athlete representatives from each conference who will vote on rule changes. Voting on autonomy issues includes 15 student-athletes (three from each of the Five Conferences) who, collectively, will cast votes in greater number than four of the Five Conferences.
“The participation of student-athletes is critical and central to the new autonomy structure and we are well-represented by these three SEC student-athletes,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “Our young people are well-equipped to make important decisions about NCAA matters and I look forward to seeing their participation at the convention when they will be side-by-side with athletics administrators and other leaders in intercollegiate athletics.”
Hughes concluded his stellar career in 2014 as a captain for arguably the greatest football team in MSU history. The Hattiesburg native started 12 games at safety that season when the Bulldogs spent five straight weeks at No. 1 nationally. A May 2014 graduate of MSU, he is currently teaching at Oak Grove Lower Elementary in Hattiesburg.