Bob Bowlsby

Bowlsby says Big 12 already discussing what to do with increased autonomy


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.

Hokies QB Brewer a gametime decision, but RB Williams out for the year

Michael Brewer
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Virginia Tech has been playing just about the whole season without starting quarterback Michael Brewer after the Hokies signal-caller broke his collarbone in the first game of the season. Now, Brewer is on his way back to the field. Brewer has been medically cleared to return to practice in Blacksburg. It may still be another few weeks until he gets back in a game for Virginia Tech.

Brewer broke his collarbone in Virginia Tech’s season-opening loss to Ohio State. Once he left the game, it seemed the Hokies were unable to give the defending national champions much of a fight for a second straight season. He was originally expected to miss eight to 10 weeks of action, which would have meant a return for a Halloween game against Boston College as the earliest likely date. Virginia Tech has a bye week after the Boston College game, meaning Brewer could then be available for a Thursday night division game against Georgia Tech on November 12. Considering all of that, the chance Brewer might be available to play this Friday night against N.C. State is quite a pleasant surprise for a Virginia Tech team in need of some help after dropping to 2-3 after a second straight loss last weekend. Andy Bitter of The Roanoke Times says Brewer could be a gametime decision for Frank Beamer.

The outlook is not quite as possible for Hokies running back Marshawn Williams. Williams will be out for the rest of the season after reinjuring his left knee in practice in late September. It is the same knee that was surgically repaired last December. Williams can use this season as his redshirt season as he has not played in a game this season. He will still have three years of eligibility remaining when he returns to the team next fall.

Mike Leach discusses presidential candidates, political correctness, pizza and says WSU has better facilities than Oregon

Mike Leach

wherever and whenever Washington State head coach Mike Leach opens his mouth, we will be listening. In a recent radio interview with John Canzano, Leach shared his thoughts on the presidential races heating up, the need to remove political correctness and the superior athletics facilities at Washington State compared to what is offered at Oregon.

Leach offered his take on the current status of the GOP race, saying if Donald Trump continues to rise that some other candidates will soon back out and others will “kiss the ring and hope for cabinet positions.”

I think honestly the single biggest issue in this election and country for quite some time is you have to eradicate political correctness. Unless it’s eradicated, you know, we can’t move forward.”

On the topic of football, Leach was asked what has held Washington State back from becoming a winning program. Leach reflected on the steps the program has taken to improve the program, which has seen improvements with facilities that have helped through recruiting, although Leach said it’s been tough because acquiring the talent has been a slow process. He was quite proud of Washington State’s facilities though.

“We have the best facilities in America, certainly within the conference, including Oregon,” Leach said. “We’ve had those for a year that helped accelerate the recruiting effort.”

Given a chance to back peddle from that statement, Leach, as you might expect, did not rescind or amend his previous comments.

You can listen to the full interview here. It is a good listen. He also wants to know where the best pizza place in Portland, Oregon is. You will learn he likes New York style pizza.