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Report: New college athletics structure could be in place by August

Mike Slive AP

The expected power shift in the organization of collegiate athletics could be put in lace as early as August, giving the big conferences a “range of autonomy.” According to a report by ESPN.com, a committee of Division 1 athletic directors is working on plans to make it a reality and there are hopes to have it put in place by the end of the summer.

The biggest issue the big conferences — ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC — is focused on is the cost of a scholarship. With the resources and funds available to play on a  separate playing field than the rest of the Division 1 membership, allowing a modified set of rules or guidelines has been under discussion for a while now. As previously reported, support for autonomy to the power conferences is growing as well, which makes this a very realistic scenario coming together. Wake Forest president Nathan Hatch told ESPN.com he feels changes are coming.

“Membership can vote it down, but this has been a huge process,” Hatch said. “The board last fall had a whole day of hearings. We’ve talked to coaches, students, athletic directors, big schools, small schools, the Knight Commission, faculty-athletic representatives, and I think we can craft a compromise that makes the board more nimble, more strategic, in some ways more like a confederation that allows big schools certain ways to expend some of their new revenue on behalf of student-athletes.”

This debate over whether or not this is a positive impact on the sport of college football or not will continue for many. At this point in the process the control is in the hands of the university presidents. As usual, presidents will have dollars and cents at the top of the list of priorities, and the threat of legal battles with players can always come in to play. With Northwestern football players attempting to get the ball rolling on the formation of a players union, anything the schools that can afford to provide more to their student-athletes can do will be reviewed carefully.

While the cost of scholarship is a big sticking point for the power conferences, there are other issues on the table as well that could lead to a philosophical and governing split. Among them are a desire to have more input in rules. Hatch told ESPN.com the big conferences would like to have athletic directors more involved when it comes to forming and adjusting rules. The idea makes sense, as the athletic directors are in charge of understanding the rules and ensuring they are upheld on their watch. Having them be a part of putting the rules together may not be a terrible idea, although the Football Rules Committee includes a varied mix of personalities that should be capable of understanding the rules put in place.

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9 Responses to “Report: New college athletics structure could be in place by August”
  1. wearepennstate1984 says: Feb 12, 2014 11:19 PM

    About time.

  2. woebegong says: Feb 12, 2014 11:24 PM

    I think after watching how the rule, involving helmet to helmet was written, it might not be a bad idea for the colleges to have more input into the rules. A rule as vague and controversial as this one was, surely could have been written better, and still accomplished the same thing, which is to protect the athletes. Possibly with input from the coaches and schools, it might have been better written and enforced. Too many times last year, the call as to whether it was a deliberate action by the guy accused of leading with his helmet led to critical turning point in a game. Often times it was not enforced the same way by one officiating crew and another. Sometimes not even in the same game with the same crew. Surely, some input from the coaches couldn’t have hurt.

  3. normtide says: Feb 12, 2014 11:43 PM

    This is inevitable. The gap between top tier and mid major programs is only growing. This is also going to benefit the players by allowing full cost and a stipend to go along with their already sizable perks.

  4. woebegong says: Feb 13, 2014 12:03 AM

    I guess that is also their way of putting to rest any ideas about player’s unions in college. If that comes about, I am afraid that college football will give up any idea of being amateur sports, even though in a lot of ways, it is a free training ground for a lot of the top athletes for the NFL and even more so for the NBA. The Pros. have a free minor leagues in a lot of ways.

  5. pawloosa says: Feb 13, 2014 12:21 AM

    Horse crap… This will only open the door to unions, legal chaos and ultimately pay to play in college football…. It’s inevitable!!!
    Follow all that up with agents representing the “student athletes” cause they’ll need to be represented for contract negotiations in receiving maximum benefits or how to leave a program without having to pay any money back to a university or worse yet continue to receive money from one university after they left it to go to another!!

  6. meatcarroll says: Feb 13, 2014 12:30 AM

    I’m all for anything that lessens the power of the grotesquely corrupt and vindictive organization that is the NCAA.

  7. slick1ru2 says: Feb 13, 2014 9:14 AM

    Money ruined college football and continues the trend. The perception that the top schools are leaving the mid majors behind is marketing as much as anything. It’s also the preditation by the top tier on the lower conferences as seen by the destruction of the Big East. That conference turned down a billion dollar tv contract and result was the acc coming in with a check book saying why wait to get paid an uncertain amount, take the easy route. My dream is the cable and sat providers band together and throttle the ESPN cash flow, causing them to default on their payments to the football conferences. Let them know how hard it is to field a winning program with a budget under $20 million.

  8. boonevol says: Feb 13, 2014 11:09 AM

    I think after watching how the rule, involving helmet to helmet was written, it might not be a bad idea for the colleges to have more input into the rules. A rule as vague and controversial as this one was, surely could have been written better, and still accomplished the same thing, which is to protect the athletes. Possibly with input from the coaches and schools, it might have been better written and enforced. Too many times last year, the call as to whether it was a deliberate action by the guy accused of leading with his helmet led to critical turning point in a game. Often times it was not enforced the same way by one officiating crew and another. Sometimes not even in the same game with the same crew. Surely, some input from the coaches couldn’t have hurt.

    ———————————-

    That isn’t the rules they are talking about. AD’s don’t know anymore about playing rules than most coaches. Administrative, recruiting, and eligibility are what they are talking about.

  9. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 13, 2014 3:24 PM

    If it gets us a full blown CFB playoff, I guess I’m for it..

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