NASHVILLE, JAN. 7 -- In what promises to be a stormy day of rhetoric and reform at the NCAA convention Tuesday, the organization's Division I members will begin voting on a series of legislative proposals that could begin changing the face of big-time intercollegiate athletics.

Depending on how quickly they progress through their agenda, the Division I schools will consider reductions in the sizes of coaching staffs in all sports, a 10 percent reduction in the number of scholarships and a set of membership criteria that ironically could force some schools to spend more money in order to remain in Division I. Consideration of the membership proposals could carry over into Wednesday morning's Division I session.

The cost-reduction proposals pit university presidents and most athletic directors against coaches and advocates of women's athletics, who are waging a fierce, but probably losing battle.

The membership proposals -- also known as the restructuring package -- likely will set off the most fireworks. The major football-playing schools, which make up the Division I-A subclassification, are attempting to gain greater control over the whole group.

This is a source of unease for Division I-AA schools, such as Howard University, that play football on a smaller scale, and Division I-AAA schools like American University, Georgetown, George Washington and George Mason, which play football at the Division II or Division III levels or not at all.

"I don't think there's any of {the proposed legislation} that's not controversial," said Wake Forest President Thomas K. Hearn Jr., a member of the NCAA Presidents Commission. "The NCAA is such a fragmented and diverse organization that it is very difficult for it to achieve consensus on almost any subject. So I will expect there to be vigorous conversation on almost every point."

The conversation about restructuring will be particularly vigorous. A series of proposals would make Division I schools subject to new requirements on scheduling, the number of sports they offer for men and women, and the amount of financial aid they give.

But NCAA Executive Director Dick Schultz today called for passage of the entire reform package, including the proposed time limits for athletes that will be voted on later in the week.

"It is time for the NCAA membership to act on what is best for the whole of college athletics," he said in his State of the Association address. "Special interest groups, though well-meaning, are threatening the overall control and welfare of the administrative process" and "have made it very difficult to bring about meaningful reform to college athletics."

Schultz also said in his address that athletic departments "should be funded like any other university department or auxiliary enterprise . . . and all staff compensation should come through normal university channels." That would involve no separately incorporated athletic departments and no money being passed directly from shoe companies to coaches.

As for restructuring, Schultz said in a recent teleconference: "I think the question that is raised not only by the I-A members, but by a number of the I-AA's and I-AAA's who have made a strong commitment is, 'Shouldn't there be some minimum standards established?'

"And if schools can't meet that standard, then there's a philosophy that fits what they want to do, which is Division II or Division III. . . . What you have in the eyes of many are a number of schools that are Division I in basketball only and their other programs are really not much more than club-sport programs."

Many of the 106 Division I-A schools feel that since they spend the most money and serve the greatest number of student-athletes, they deserve to hold greater legislative influence over the 294-member classification.

Pacific-10 Conference Commissioner Tom Hansen, a member of a special committee that reviewed membership structure, put it in terms of the different colored voting paddles used by the various members of each of the three Division I subclassifications.

"My goal, and one that I think is shared by the members of that {structure} committee from I-A, is to try to reduce the number of red {Division I-AA} and white {Division I-AAA} paddles that go up against the blue {Division I-A} paddles," he said. "It's very discouraging when you look at the 106 blue paddles go up pretty unanimously on an issue and then see the red and whites go up in opposition."

By creating membership criteria that could force as many as 50 schools to either spend what for them are large sums of money or go from Division I to Division II or III, the I-A schools could alter that.