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58 percent in favor of power conferences splitting to form own division

Mike Slive AP

To many it seems inevitable that the big power conferences will soon be getting a chance to operate somewhat independently of the NCAA system. Whether that is ultimately good or bad for college sports remains up for debate, but if nothing else it could allow for a chance to see the schools with the power to operate on a different level find a way to do so without having to be held back by those without as much clout in the game. With university athletics personnel gathering this week for an annual NCAA convention, the topic of a split among division one schools has been a hot topic, and it appears there is support for a split to be made.

Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports reports 58 percent of administrators from all levels of NCAA membership support the power conferences forming their own division. If majority rules, brace yourself. Changes are coming.

“It makes sense for the five big revenue conferences to have their own voice,” NCAA president Mark Emmert told Yahoo Sports Friday. “A year ago that would have been a very difficult conversation. Now [power member schools] are saying, ‘Yeah, that makes sense.’ … People have just become more comfortable with the ideas and concepts of it.’ “

According to Forde, the structure of the NCAA will be evaluated more in the next general meeting to take place in April. At that time it is expected a potential plan will be shared and taken back to the various conferences to review with university presidents during the various conference meetings. After that revisions will be brought to the table and reviewed before any votes can formally take place. Basically, this is not going to be an overnight process, but nobody expected it to be. The good news, for the sake of finding some sort of resolution, the goal is in place to find some peace by the end of the summer.

At the heart of the idea of a division split continues to be the boiling point of compensation for student-athletes beyond the typical scholarship limits currently in place. The big conferences have the funds available to offer more for players that smaller conferences do not. They are already playing on different playing fields in many respects, but the bigger conferences feel they are held back by not being able to do more because of the limitations the smaller conferences face.

There are a number of benefits to allowing the power conferences to run independently in their own division, but there should be concerns what this means for the other conferences that will be left behind. It is ultimately not the responsibility of the SEC or the Big Ten to worry about the stability of conferences like the Sun Belt or MAC, but it will certainly not be a positive result for the MAC or the Sun Belt and so on unless there will be a way to continue to allow for scheduling between the conferences. That would likely remain in play under any new structure that is formed, but we have a long way to go before seeing just what the powers that be cook up.

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15 Responses to “58 percent in favor of power conferences splitting to form own division”
  1. imaduffer says: Jan 17, 2014 6:46 PM

    Let me guess, It will be called the Semi-Pro Division.

  2. amosalanzostagg says: Jan 17, 2014 7:05 PM

    The first step toward super conferences and the advent of a “January Madness” ala March madness.

    Sadly, the rich will get richer and the mid majors will
    be viewed as red headed step children.

    I’d say RTR, but I’m miffed that a lot of great deal of quality schools in mid major leagues are going to be over looked for the sake of the almighty TV dollar.

  3. vincentbojackson says: Jan 17, 2014 7:22 PM

    College football is more popular than ever and we finally have a playoff system in place we can build on.

    Seems like a great time to go in and screw everything up.

  4. vincentbojackson says: Jan 17, 2014 7:40 PM

    Congress got involved the last time this was quietly discussed by a handful of university presidents. The government usually doesn’t just look the other way when institutions receive tax payer dollars and then try to block access to others. There will certainly be legal challenges if this gains any serious traction.

  5. dirtydrew says: Jan 17, 2014 8:11 PM

    Time for the crooks at the NCAA to stop getting rich for nothing.

  6. thefiesty1 says: Jan 17, 2014 8:13 PM

    The mid-majors are the red headed step children. They don’t have the alumni, facilities and most importantly, the $$$$ to compete on a regular basis. An outlier occasionally but not the norm. A separate division for the big boys is in order. The folks in the WAC, MWC, the AAC (still know as the Little East) can prosper in their own division that is more like Division II, and the super conferences can continue to excel and make MORE $$$$.

  7. jagtiger says: Jan 17, 2014 8:35 PM

    They are not including the ACC in this , are they?

  8. nawaring says: Jan 17, 2014 8:59 PM

    Except no one from the conferences that get left out will play the money games anymore, leaving the big boys to beat up on each other in season openers. These mid-majors have the money they need to run their programs in their conferences. Welcome to the big guys crying about having to open with another big boy school. Instead of playing Chattanooga and Colorado State, welcome to your new world, breather games against, Miami and Nebraska. But then I find SEC football just a lesser NFL anyway, might as well make it official. GREEDY!!

  9. normtide says: Jan 17, 2014 9:00 PM

    Socialism at it’s finest. The “big schools” invest millions into their football teams, but should share the revenue with programs who do not. I am all for a separation from the smaller schools. Fair isn’t the issue. It never is. It isn’t fair that I am 6′ tall, because I want to win the NBA dunk contest. I think I will sue the NBA to lower the goal and require all players over 6′ to play on their knees. Reality is reality. Better to face it. The big programs are strong because they have the alumni, fans, and success to build on. It is a return on an investment. So, don’t talk about fairness, this world does not run on fairness.

    On a side note, the NCAA does not rake the money in, the schools do. If you hate the money makers, look no farther then your favorite team.

  10. musketmaniac says: Jan 17, 2014 11:25 PM

    split division football. wrong homicide with a taste of suicide would be more appropriate. first without the ncaa holding them back they would have to pay the players. this would end any legitimate chance for the teams being left behind. and second is the road to pissing off the N.F.L. only thing undetermined here is the speed limit.

  11. sportsguy3434 says: Jan 18, 2014 5:08 AM

    I am shocked that 58% support a separate division, not just their own rules. There are 350+ NCAA members and only 62 in the power conferences. The small schools will suffer in recruiting and $$$. The power five will probably make their own governing body and kiss the NCAA goodbye as they make their own recruiting rules.

  12. boomgrounder says: Jan 18, 2014 8:40 AM

    This is the beginning of the end of “Big-time College Football and Basketball” as we know it. These “Big 5 Conferences” are doing this first and foremost so they can pay their players. Make no mistake, eventually this will become Professional Sports! CFB and these Conferences will have the money to eventually compete with the NFL to convince these “student athletes” to stay in “school” and play out their eligibility for the money. Don’t be surprised if eventually “student athletes ” eventually play 5 years. The logic will be they have 5 years of eligibility and it takes students on average at least 5 years to obtain a degree. This will evolve over decades but it will happen. Big time CFB is Big Business and these Conferences and Universities have already “sold out” to CFB as “The Golden Calf” of a revenue source for their institutions of higher learning and as their so called “brand”.
    Their release from the NCAA into a separate entity will signal the start of a new world order so to speak in Big Time CFB. There will be a salary structures for players and they will be required to sign contracts just like NFL players. These “Big 5 Conferences” will eventually become their own Professional College Football League. In 20 years we won’t give it much thought. But we should give it a lot of thought today!

  13. amosalanzostagg says: Jan 18, 2014 10:08 AM

    boomgrounder,

    NCAA and NAIA schools already have 5 year eligibility standards. Where do you think “redshirting” came from.

    What is driving this is TV money. With FOX, CBS,
    ABC and CBS all having their own sports networks, you need content. These networks are scheduled to pay “billions” of dollars for TV rights.

    Enjoy college sports now because these are the good old days.

    RTR

  14. dretwann says: Jan 18, 2014 1:32 PM

    You purist are killing me!! What is all this talk about “better enjoy CFB now, because it is going away”?! Will they not still be college students? So it is still college football. These kids play and train like the pros. Take risks like the pros (just ask the kid from Rutgers who will never walk again, wipe his own a**, be a father, or know (again) the pleasuring being with a woman intimately). It is time they get a lil something for their efforts. You know, enough so that they don’t have to steal, beg, borrow and plead. Get off your purist high horse already!

  15. boomgrounder says: Jan 19, 2014 7:55 PM

    Alonzo I forgot you like the brown water. I know about Redshirts pickle brain. I’m talking actually playing 5 seasons. 40 years ago when the Freshmen rule was still intact no one could have imagined a redshirt sophomore (player who has attended 3 yrs of college) would be eligible for the NFL. Well 10-20 years from now players will be playing in College for 5 years and being paid good money if they are superstars in the “Big 5 Conferences”.

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