Eliminate the designations of “core” and “continuity” for Division I institutions and create a more meaningful definition of a multisport conference, including a minimum number of active members, minimum sport sponsorship, officiating and compliance program rules.
The elimination of any continuity requirements, such as the "6/5" rule for basketball, could actually help some of Division I's weakest conferences get on stronger footing much more quickly.
For example, if you look at these two conferences and their lineups as of 2011:
Great West - North Dakota, Utah Valley, UTPA, Houston Baptist, Chicago State, NJIT
Summit - South Dakota, Southern Utah, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, UMKC, Oral Roberts, Western Illinois, IPFW, IUPUI, Oakland
These two conferences could have some opportunity to consolidate geographically, but right now under the current rules each conference has to keep six members together for five years, and that's even assuming the Great West can pick up at least a couple of Independent schools and/or Denver from the Sun Belt. If there were no continuity requirement, then the two conferences could look like this:
Great West - North Dakota, South Dakota, Southern Utah, Utah Valley, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Denver (from Sun Belt), Seattle (from Independent), Houston Baptist, UTPA
Summit - UMKC, Oral Roberts, Western Illinois, IPFW, IUPUI, Oakland, Chicago State, NJIT, Savannah State (from Independent), Longwood (from Independent)
As more Division II schools come on board east of the Mississippi, the Great West could invite UMKC and ORU from the Summit.