NCAA Convention will be in downtown San Antonio this week. Here’s what to know

Peyton Manning will receive Silver Anniversary Award; reps will discuss bigger championship events

SAN ANTONIO – The 2023 NCAA Convention is kicking off in downtown San Antonio this week, bringing in representatives from all three divisions and honoring sports legends like Peyton Manning.

More than 3,000 people have registered to attend the 2023 NCAA Convention, which runs from Wednesday through Saturday at the Henry B. González Convention Center, according to the association.

During that time, the NCAA will honor former student-athletes and coaches “who have reached significant heights on and off the field” and hold meetings for leaders to discuss legislation and key topics, like bigger championship events.

Impact on San Antonio

Visit San Antonio estimates the convention will bring an estimated $3.5 million in economic impact to the city. It’s the first time the NCAA has held its annual convention in San Antonio since 2011.

“It’s a great convention. The association books 9,000 room nights, that’s around around 3,000 conventioneers that stay for three nights,” said Andres Munoz, Chief of Marketing at Visit San Antonio

It could also be a springboard to secure more high-profile NCAA events in the future.

“It’s an opportunity to get back in front of the NCAA, nurture those relationships and talk about future business,” said Jenny Carnes, San Antonio Sports President & CEO. “With the NCAA, it always starts with the Final Fours for us. We’ve got the men’s on the books for 2025. We were just awarded another women’s, which will be back here in 2029.”

“We all experienced the men’s Final Four when they came some years ago. The fact that people were walking around downtown and being so close to the Alamodome was a critical selling point for them to having a phenomenal experience,” said Munoz.

Carnes said the convention could spur more discussion about other championship events hosted by the city.

“We would love to bring volleyball back here. We hosted that twice. We’re doing NCAA women’s golf in the spring out at TPC and the JW Marriott,” said Carnes. “We’ve explored soccer before. We’ve explored wrestling, maybe even the Frozen Four down the road when the next championship bid cycle comes out. We’re always looking to see what would be a good fit here outside of just the Final Fours.”

Here are a few things to know about the convention:

Changes in Division I sports

Representatives from Divisions I, II and III will meet during separate business sessions. For Division I specifically, one big topic is on the table — the discussion of a report recently released by the division’s transformation committee.

In the report, the committee said it wanted to focus on three areas to “improve the student-athlete experience.” They include:

  1. Elevating support for student-athletes’ mental, physical and academic well-being.
  2. Enhancing the Division I championships experience for student-athletes.
  3. Building a faster, fairer and more equitable Division I.

The committee is recommending allowing 25% of teams in sports that are sponsored by at least 200 schools to participate in annual championship events. The Associated Press reported that it would allow the March Madness basketball tournaments to expand from 68 teams to as many as 90 teams each.

Another recommended policy change is to increase championship budgets and create a better travel experience for student-athletes.

These are just recommendations, though, as the report was presented to the Division I Board of Directors for consideration. The Division I Issues Forum is expected to discuss it on Thursday. The recommendations are being considered for 2023 and beyond. See the full report below or read more about the recommendations here.

Peyton Manning will receive award

Peyton Manning, who played at Tennessee before his NFL career with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, will receive the Silver Anniversary Award on Wednesday evening.

Manning and five other players will be honored on the 25th anniversary of the completion of their college careers. The other athletes include Phil Dawson of Texas, Allison Feaster of Harvard, Dr. Marsha Harris of New York University, Lenny Krayzelburg of Southern California, and Kate Markgraf of Notre Dame.

Also on Wednesday, Dr. Carol Lally Shields, an oncologist and former basketball player at Notre Dame will receive the Theodore Roosevelt Award, also known as “the NCAA’s highest honor given to any individual.”

For a full list of award recipients, click here.

New president Charlie Baker introduced

Incoming President Charlie Baker will address the NCAA for the first time during The State of College Sports on Thursday evening.

Baker, the former governor of Massachusetts, will start his role at NCAA in March. Baker, a Republican, did not run for re-election and his term as governor ended on Jan. 5.

He is succeeding Mark Emmert. Emmert and NCAA Board of Governors Chair and Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone will also speak at the event.

Rally planned to protest NCAA gender policy

A coalition of women advocacy groups will rally outside the convention on Thursday to tell the NCAA to “stop discriminating against female athletes.”

The Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS), Independent Women’s Forum, Champion Women, Fair Play For Women, Women’s Sports Policy Working Group, Women’s Declaration International, U.S., Women’s Liberation Front, Concerned Women for America, International Consortium on Female Sports, LGB Alliance, Independent Women’s Law Center, and Texas Values Alliance will be at the rally, according to a news release.

“In the name of ‘inclusion,’ the NCAA allows males who identify as women to play women’s sports, so long as their levels of testosterone meet certain sport-specific requirements,” the release states. “The NCAA adopted its policy, despite scientific studies that prove testosterone suppression cannot eliminate the male athletic advantage.”

The release adds that the rally’s focus is to promote “equal opportunity” for all sexes and “advocate for fair athletic policies rooted in science.”

According to the AP, the NCAA has a sport-by-sport approach for transgender athletes, like the U.S. and International Olympic Committees.

Be aware of construction downtown

With convention attendees converging in downtown San Antonio for four days, locals and visitors should be aware of all the construction and road closures taking place and watch for pedestrians.

Portions of Hemisfair are closed due to the construction of Civic Park Phase I, and Alamo Street near Market Street is being reconstructed.

Click here for a list of construction projects downtown.

About the Authors:

Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.