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Emmert tells Big 12 officials he’s open to another subdivision

Mark Emmert AP

NCAA president Mark Emmert has taken a lot of heat over the past year — and justifiably so — but he has been open to such issues as recruiting deregulation and further splitting up the levels of college football.

Of course, his job is to be open and listen to his membership. And listening is what Emmert said he’d do while visiting with Big 12 officials on Wednesday when it came to the topic of a possible new subdivision in college athletics — one that is geared toward the five power conferences.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Some have speculated the fourth subdivision would include teams from the five power football conferences.

Emmert conceded that the idea could work within the NCAA’s current framework but ultimately will have to be decided by its member institutions.

“That’s not my decision,” he said. “That’s the members’ decision. And I hope they look at it. I think it would be healthy and the right thing to do.”

Emmert conceded that the biggest issues facing his organization include a growing economic disparity across the Football Bowl Subdivision, particularly among those institutions with huge budget differences from smaller schools outside the big conferences. UT led all NCAA schools with $163.3 million in athletic revenue in 2012. Louisiana-Monroe had the smallest athletic revenue among FBS schools with $11.3 million.

As it stands today, schools like UT and ULM vote for and follow the same rules, yet their respective athletic departments operate on opposite ends of spectrum. Should the same rules, or even the possibility of new implementations like additional athlete compensation, apply to two entirely different programs?

Those are questions the NCAA’s membership will ultimately have to figure out answers to, and it’s no secret Emmert is willing to go in either direction.

Whether an additional split with an entirely new governing structure happens sooner or later — if it happens — it seems far more likely than a complete break from the NCAA. If nothing else, the Big Ten’s stink about recruiting deregulation shows there are plenty of powerful people in college athletics who still feel they need the NCAA.

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17 Responses to “Emmert tells Big 12 officials he’s open to another subdivision”
  1. raysfan1 says: Jun 1, 2013 4:55 PM

    Separating the 5 power conferences, plus Notre Dame, into a new “1A” division might be the right thing to do. However, I’m sure it would be a tough pill to swallow for the schools that find themselves in the new “1AA” division.

  2. overratedgators says: Jun 1, 2013 5:53 PM

    Upon hearing Mr. Emmert’s statement, Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee responded by calling Mr. Emmert “a flaming pussy”.

  3. mancave001 says: Jun 1, 2013 5:57 PM

    I’m open to this guy meeting with an unfortunate accident.

  4. fatcamper says: Jun 1, 2013 6:04 PM

    Anybody out there that specializes on antitrust laws have a comment on this? It seems like there would be a problem if the only way to have access to big money is for the illumina…errr…P5 to invite a school into their special club.

    Furthermore, f— Notre Dame.

  5. ndnut says: Jun 1, 2013 6:06 PM

    Does anyone know how this would affect the march madness tournament? Cause this is already kind of in place for football.

  6. normtide says: Jun 1, 2013 6:21 PM

    This is the future, there is no escaping it.

  7. floridacock says: Jun 1, 2013 8:27 PM

    NCAA better get on board with this or they will be left out, eventually

  8. bertenheim says: Jun 1, 2013 8:48 PM

    Indiana, Kentucky, and Wake Forest are in.
    Boise, Louisville and Tulsa are out.
    Great idea.

  9. raysfan1 says: Jun 1, 2013 9:57 PM

    One correction: Louisville will be in the ACC soon and thus in.

  10. ironman721 says: Jun 2, 2013 9:48 AM

    Impeach Emmert!! The Richard Nixon of college sports!

  11. deadeye says: Jun 2, 2013 9:55 AM

    normtide is right, it is the future.

    The NCAA distributes money to alot of universities through the NCAA tournament. If there is a break away, basketball revenue for the new top division will greatly increase.

    This will also facilitate more equitable scheduling so eventually there will be no more gimme games at the start of the season. Fans don’t like paying top dollar for worthless games.

  12. amosalanzostagg says: Jun 2, 2013 4:00 PM

    What Emmert fails to realize is what will the new conferences will look like.

    Do you really think the Air Force Academy, The Naval Academy, or the USMA are going to be left out of a power conference? All it would take is one US Senator to muddy the waters on behalf of ONE Academy and all the prior jockeying goes out the window. What about BYU?

    Does the B1g invite the USMA and Uconn to make a super conference? Does the ACC invite the USNA in order to become the first super conference? Does the PAC-12 invite the Air Force Academy and BYU to position themselves to add two more teams later? Texas and Kansas perhaps? Does the SEC extend offers to OU and OSU to take them to 16 schools?

    What do you do with the Mid Majors?

    Enjoy College Football now because these are the good old days.


  13. bender4700 says: Jun 2, 2013 4:18 PM

    I’ve been saying it for years.

    New Division, just the “big boys”, and different set of rules all together.

    Fund their scholarships from the profits of jersey sales, ticket sales, and merchandise sales sold on gamedays. (a Buckeye t shirt sold on gameday can be attributed to football, but a Buckeye *no sport mentioned* t shirt sold any other day could be for any reason/sport).

    The scholarships the players would have received goes towards other sports.

    Why not? Since Texas, USC, Ohio State, Nebraska, Michigan, and every other top tier program in the country is making a TON of money off football, let the scholarship, room and board, food, books, etc be funded by the sport. Then the players can receive money from the EA Sports deal. Either through the year or at the end of their time with the team. Prorated for the duration they were on the team. If a player is a JUCO, and plays 2 years for Florida, he gets two years worth of the percentage. If a kid is on the team for 5 years, redshirted, then he gets 5. Doesn’t matter on playing time. Simply being a part of the team.

    NCAA 2015 can have each player in the big boy division listed personally, those not can be generic mock ups as it is now.

    People have to let go of preconceived notions and thought processes and allow for a viable solution to form.

    But, the big rule is that with this change, the cost to play a team not in the big boy network goes way up. Alabama will fork more over to play Alabama State than they do now, and more than if they scheduled Iowa State or Purdue.

    What would change? The Big Boys could create a playoff, and exclude the smaller schools on paper and not just through shady deals and behind the scenes activity. Bring everything to the front. Conference USA and the MAC could then see themselves at National Champions, and we don’t have to hear about how a team from their conference doesn’t belong in the BCS or BCS Title game.

    How many of you are sick of seeing small conference schools get blasted for simply being afforded what the system offers, although it being very difficult to do so?

    Wouldn’t you rather see Alabama be able to proclaim their national title on the field rather than having to be argued for them? Who is not sick of champions being the team more sports writers like?

    I really hope things get serious regarding change.

  14. bender4700 says: Jun 2, 2013 4:23 PM

    amosalanzostagg says: Jun 2, 2013 4:00 PM

    Conference expansion is obvious. Each conference would expand to 16 minimum. Air Force to the Pac-12, Navy to ACC, Army too.

    Those types of schools will still be in the top, because the point is that any team in the conference can win the conference title, and then earn a playoff spot. But right now, that simply can’t happen because those schools play in conferences that don’t get a spot or are not given a fair shot. So the argument you are making is against a system that already does that. Those schools would suddenly have a fair shot with this idea.

    But what do you prefer:

    Mid Majors having NO shot at being a National Champion.


    Mid Majors suddenly becoming the big boys in their division, able to vote and form rules based on their circumstances.

    Which do you think sounds more fair? No chance, or an equal say in their destiny?

    “Enjoy College Football now because these are the good old days.”

    No sir. Those days are LONG gone. If you think these days right now are the good old days then you really need to get some perspective. The good old days ended years ago. I’m 29 and I know. I can still remember the few remaining years of Good Old days in college football.

  15. bender4700 says: Jun 2, 2013 4:31 PM

    We can either have it be known that Northern Illinois will not win the National Title on the FBS level, or have it presented that they “could” but we all know they can’t.

    This new idea would make it blatantly obvious. If you are not a B1G, SEC, ACC, PAc-12/16, or Big XII member you will not be able to become the National Title of the top division in college football. Instead of it being a big fat lie that every Div-1/FBS level team has a “shot”.

    I’d rather everything be honest then this delusional bull that anyone not in the above mentioned conferences can win it. If you don’t think mid majors and service schools are already being screwed over, you clearly don’t look deep enough.

    Reality always wins, so college football should embrace and accept it.

  16. amosalanzostagg says: Jun 2, 2013 9:06 PM


    You were born in the early 80’s. It all changed in 1980 when a fledgling cable network was eager to telecast major college sports. You may have heard of it, it was a company out of Bristol, Conn called the Entertainment Sports Programming Network, I was privy to a meeting in Austin, Texas when Texas and Arkansas DECLINED to have the old SWC Basketball on Monday nights which would have brought the old SWC an unheard amount of $5 million for a 2 year commitment. Why? Because Frank Broyles of Arkansas and the late DKR of Texas did not want SWC overshadowing football. This was when U of H was ascending with Phi Slamma Jamma, Texas had Abe Lemons, Arkansas had 40 minutes of Hell, SMU had Jon Koncak and Rice had Ricky Pierce. It was a very good basketball conference. DKR and Broyles killed the idea.

    Money changed everything. It changed college sports then and it is changing college sports now.

    The trend now is to 4 super conferences dominated by the Big Boys. The question
    is which 64 Universities? Make no mistake, the three service academies will be in the mix because of the shear weight of the Federal government behind them. Who is left out? Iowa State? Wake Forest? Baylor? Texas Tech?

    Will it 64 teams or 72? Doesn’t matter. Some schools will be left behind. Mid Majors will remain Mid Majors. There is a reason Notre Dame went to the ACC.
    Same with Texas A&M and Missouri going to the SEC, Colorado and Utah to the PAC-12, and Nebraska, Rutgers and Maryland to the B1G. They moved for stability of the surviving “big” conferences. There are 4 slots left in the PAC-12,
    1 in the ACC, 2 in the SEC and 2 in the B1G. That is 9 slots, 6 if the conferences each take a service academy.

    Money has always driven college sports. It will continue to drive the NCAA.

    That is why I say enjoy college football today because these are the good old days.


  17. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Jun 3, 2013 11:33 AM

    I totally agree with the statements made by amosalanzostagg. College football is being turned into a “Big Boys” only game. I, for one, enjoy watching a mid-major give a “Big Boy” a run for their money. Many people on this blog only want to see the power house schools play each other. What do you suggest? Should the 5 power conferences disband every few years and then reform by only inviting schools with recent winning records to be members? Does this mean that the SEC should kick Tennessee out? Should the B1G tell Minnesota to take a hike? How about having the PAC 12 tell UCLA to go jump into the Pacific Ocean? Is this what you really want? Tradition, rivalries and the chance for a “nobody” to pull off an upset are what make college football great.

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