The NCAA-endorsed proposal to provide increased autonomy to the members of the five power conferences will be put to a vote in August, and Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby says his conference is already discussing what to do with the extra power once it is provided. Bowlsby says the Big 12, as well as the other power conferences — the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC — are shifting conference discussions to mapping out how to handle the extra benefits to student-athletes that will be allowed under the new rules and guidelines.
“Fast-forwarding is exactly what we’re doing,” Bowlsby told USA Today. “We want to make sure that when the enabling legislation is put in place, that we are prepared not only to articulate but act upon an agenda that will be reflective of a new covenant with our student-athletes.”
The NCAA endorsed a proposal for increased autonomy in April that would provide power to the biggest conferences to play by a separate set of rules with regard to what members can provide to student-athletes. The proposal was made with support across all levels of collegiate athletics, although there are some who oppose the reform measure. Boise State president Bob Kustra has been one of the more vocal representatives speaking out against the autonomy proposal, while the Pac-12 has spearheaded an attempt to build momentum to approve the proposal. The proposal must receive a two-thirds vote from the 65 members schools in the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC in order to pass.
Bowlsby says the idea has been floating around for a while, but now it appears the vision is becoming a reality.
“All of those things have been around for a long time, but none of them are fleshed out to the point to where we could say, ‘This is the proposal we’re going to advance,’ ” Bowlsby said to USA Today.
Next week the SEC will be discussing autonomy as well during the conference’s spring meetings.