Regents tackle new policy on college sports

Georgia public colleges that want to establish, add or expand athletic programs would first need approval from the State Board of Regents, under a policy change discussed Wednesday.

The regents currently have a rather innocuous policy toward intercollegiate athletics, but they are working to establish clearer guidelines for reviewing requests from schools in the University System of Georgia.

Program expansions would need to meet eight different criteria that address financial and facility needs as well as legal standards, according to a draft of the new policy.

Also, colleges wanting to join or change conferences would first need prior approval from the board. This initial approval would have to occur before colleges could have exploratory talks with any conference or athletic group.

The regents won’t vote on the new policy until March. Changes are expected as board members share their suggestions and Chancellor Hank Huckaby talks with campus presidents.