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Delany, Slive chime in on potential NCAA split

Jim Delany AP

Gathering in New York for the annual IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, the commissioners of the big money conferences once again hinted at exploring the idea of splitting from the NCAA if changes to the structure and system cannot be made to satisfy all parties involved. This is nothing new, but it has been a few months since the topic has been discussed so openly in a public forum like this, with the last opportunity to discuss it coming during the preseason media days for each conference.

On Wednesday, it was Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany who swung the first sword in suggesting the biggest problem now is convincing those in a position to yield more power to the power conferences for the good of the sport.

“What’s really hard in these kinds of things is for people to vote themselves less political authority,” Delany said Wednesday according to “They don’t do that. That’s not a natural thing to do.”

Delany is not alone in speaking this sentiment of course. On Wednesday his statements were echoed by his equivalents from other conferences, including the SEC’s Mike Slive.

“There needs to be structural change,” Slive said according to USA Today. “We’re not talking about rearranging the chairs for the sake of having a different organization. We’re trying to create an organization that has a vision of how we take care of student-athletes in the future.”

The biggest concern for the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC has been the governing structure of the NCAA, which has had plenty of cracks opened for criticism from every angle over the past few years. It feels as though these conferences would prefer to remain a part of the NCAA without any division of powers, but these conferences are also fully capable of taking care of business on their own if the desire and need is there to do things differently than the NCAA will allow.

“If we can do that, I think we can stay together,” Delany said. “If we can’t do that, I think we have to honestly say, ‘Hey, we not only have external threats, we have internal threats.’ And the internal threats are that we can’t find a way to use the NCAA as a town hall for us to solve our problems.”

NCAA President Mark Emmert said he was optimistic the NCAA and the big conferences will be able to sort their issues out before any threat of a split of the system becomes more of a realistic situation. The threat is there, sitting in waiting, but for now the big power commissioners will wait to use it.

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16 Responses to “Delany, Slive chime in on potential NCAA split”
  1. Deb says: Dec 11, 2013 10:23 PM

    I’d like to see the so-called Big Conferences in a separate division from the rest. That would create a manageable number of teams with comparable resources and would allow for what most fans want: bracket playoffs featuring the BEST eight or 12 teams. If splitting will make that possible, then I’m for it.

  2. joeschmuck says: Dec 11, 2013 11:49 PM

    Great Deb, and the little guy gets assed out again.

  3. mogogo1 says: Dec 12, 2013 12:03 AM

    For all it’s power, the NCAA only exists because the schools allow it. But they got big headed and forgot that. Truly remarkable they haven’t fully cleaned house yet in the wake of the Miami debacle. By the time they finally get the guts to dump Emmert, it may be too late.

  4. meatcarroll says: Dec 12, 2013 12:12 AM

    I’m embarrassed that Mark Emmert was the keynote speaker at my community college graduation.

  5. vincentbojackson says: Dec 12, 2013 12:24 AM

    Please cut the crap and stop claiming the potential split is for the “student athletes”.

    I would respect these clowns more if they just came out and admitted this is a money grab.

  6. vincentbojackson says: Dec 12, 2013 12:38 AM

    The bottom half of the Big Ten can’t even beat the mid-majors, and the top half use those games to artificially inflate their records.

    Jim Delany better be carefully what he wishes for.

  7. halbert53 says: Dec 12, 2013 1:12 AM

    Why should the power conferences allow the tail to wag the dog? Power conferences want to be able to provide more compensation for athletes, which is very reasonable considering how much money they generate. What you have now is the equivalent of Dollar General setting prices, pay and policies for Wal-Mart and Target. Most of the schools that are serious about revenue sports (football/basketball) are in the power conferences. Schools that want to be big time sports programs need to put up or shut up. Sports are big business. You are either a player or a spectator.

  8. florida727 says: Dec 12, 2013 7:19 AM

    joeschmuck says: Dec 11, 2013 11:49 PM
    Great Deb, and the little guy gets assed out again.


    Actually just the opposite. The “little guy” get s his own system and can do with it as he sees fit without being “biasedly” eliminated from consideration from the bigger events. What, you think a Northern Illinois or UCF will EVER get invited to a 4-team playoff? Not likely. They could go 50-0 for the season and every Big 10, SEC, Big 12, Pac 12 and ACC team could have 8 losses and they still wouldn’t get invited.

    If they have there own structure, they can create their own 16 team playoff, like DII and DIII have, and be their own showcase.

    Besides, the “big” conferences only have so many games to play. The so-called little guy will get plenty of airtime on TV if for no other reason the power conferences won’t fill all the airtime demand for college football. Might not all be on ESPN, but they’ll get their share of TV money.

  9. deadeye says: Dec 12, 2013 9:17 AM

    It’s absurd that Northwest such-n-such State gets to dictate to UT, USC, and Ohio State the manner in which they run their athletic programs. The NCAA made it too easy for these little universities to get in, and thus too hard for the large universities to get what they need.

    I say go ahead and break away.

  10. dmvtransplant says: Dec 12, 2013 9:18 AM

    @ vincentbojackson

    I would probably agree with you, if Northwestern hadn’t beat 2 SEC teams last year. And NU is certainly in the bottom half of that conference.

  11. halbert53 says: Dec 12, 2013 10:31 AM

    The current 14-team configuration for most power conferences does not work well. Rephrase that. It works well financially and gives schools more money for facilities but it creates a caste system that virtually makes it impossible for traditionally lower tier teams within a conference to move up.

    I liked it when there were 8-10 teams per conference but that is water under the bridge.

    Eventually going to 16-team conferences with pods of four, much like NFL. When the power conferences split off, hopefully they will implement a prohibition or max of one opponent that is not a member of a power conference. This would cause more inter conference games hopefully involving teams from different regions.

  12. imaduffer says: Dec 12, 2013 11:35 AM

    Is this when they start paying players? Will there be a draft? Will there be a salary cap?

  13. halbert53 says: Dec 12, 2013 11:51 AM

    All other students (non-athletes) can work as many hours as they want and earn the fair market value for their skill set whether they are flipping burgers or programming and creating apps. Why shouldn’t athletes receive fair market value for their job?

  14. Deb says: Dec 12, 2013 2:51 PM

    @joeschmuck …

    First chance I’ve had to respond, but there’s no need since florida727 has it covered. What’s the point in playing if you have no realistic shot at a title game? Liberty is now a Division I school. Seriously? That’s not a knock at Liberty, but do we really expect to see Liberty battling USC for the national title one day? Let these smaller schools have their own division–the way the FCS teams do. They’ll have their own playoffs and their own trophies. Everyone can’t play in the majors.

  15. joeschmuck says: Dec 12, 2013 10:04 PM

    Liberty is an extreme example. How about teams that were the so called BCS busters over the past decade? Utah, TCU, Boise state, they have proven that the small schools can compete and deserve to be able to earn a spot in a real playoff. Luckily Utah and TCU were able to move up, but what you suggest locks Boise out. They would be relegated to a DII+ sort of thing.

  16. Deb says: Dec 13, 2013 11:59 AM

    @joeschmuck …

    Sorry, but Boise belongs in a DII sort of thing.

    They play on a blue field. That’s like some kind of kindergarten league.

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