Mike Slive and Bob Bowlsby, commissioners of the SEC and Big 12, respectively, kicked off their media days with some strong words directed toward the NCAA. More specifically, they called into question the structure in which college athletics’ governing body operates.
With a growing belief — realistic or not — that there could eventually be some kind of an additional split within the NCAA’s FBS ranks, one of the most powerful individuals in college athletics has chimed in on the subject.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said during media day that he feels a change in the structure of major college athletics is conceivable, adding that he’s “very optimistic” changes will be made within the next year. What those changes are, however, remain to be seen.
“I’m very optimistic we’ll get [change],” Delany said. “And I think we may get it within a year. The conference commissioners I’ve spoken with throughout the range of Division I are open for that discussion. It’s necessary and it’s a traditional organization and it needs to innovate as we all do, and I’m pretty optimistic that we’ll do that.”
Delany also outlined a four-point plan that he feels addresses concerns in all of college athletics, not just within the NCAA. Included in that plan was an additional stipend to cover the full cost of attendance — perhaps somewhere between the $3,000 and $6,000 range.
“I believe in change and reform and restructuring,” Delany said. “But as we restructure the NCAA, let’s just think about restructuring the NCAA. Let’s think about the outcomes that we want that will serve the athletes in the Big Ten and other places and years to come.”