The vote for autonomy for the power conferences was passed earlier today, which led to some quick reactions from commissioners of the ACC, Pac-12 and SEC. As you would expect to see, John Swofford (ACC), Larry Scott (Pac-12) and Mike Slive (SEC) had some positive comments about the vote for autonomy.
But what about the other conferences?
Mike Aresco, commissioner of the American Athletic Conference, has stated for over a year the conference plans to be included in the upper echelon of the college sports world, but now leads a conference left behind by the powers given to those in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC. Aresco seems undeterred by the news and says the AAC supports the new governance structure.
The following statement was released by the AAC commissioner:
We are pleased that the NCAA Governance Redesign Model was adopted today by the NCAA Board of Directors. We extend our congratulations to Dr. Nathan Hatch and to the NCAA Steering Committee for its excellent work in designing a model that we believe will enjoy broad acceptance. We also appreciate the exemplary efforts of our NCAA Board representative, Dr. John Hitt of UCF, and our Conference Board chair, Dr. Gerald Turner of SMU, who were deeply engaged in this process.
Our conference membership supports the new governance model and the opportunities it will present to enhance the student-athlete experience and student-athlete welfare. Our presidents and athletic directors are steadfast in their commitment to these ideals and also to providing our student-athletes with the ability to compete at the highest level of collegiate athletics.
Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson also released a statement, showing a different and perhaps more realistic spin on the situation. His statement:
“Today’s vote by the NCAA Board of Directors will have a significant impact on the future of intercollegiate athletics and more than likely will result in an increase in the cost of operating the athletic programs of the universities of the Sun Belt Conference. While there will be challenges ahead, our universities are committed to the continued academic success of our student-athletes along with providing the necessary benefits to protect their overall health and welfare. Our universities have integrated the values of intercollegiate athletics into their respective academic missions on each campus and the SBC looks forward to continuing to play a prominent role within the new NCAA governance as one of the 10 FBS conferences.”
Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson has issued the following statement as well;
“The Mountain West appreciates the efforts of the Division I Steering Committee and chair Nathan Hatch in developing a governance structure that meets the needs of Division I as a whole. Adoption of the new governance model will allow Mountain West institutions to determine how best to meet the needs of their student-athletes while continuing to provide opportunities to compete at the highest level of collegiate athletics.
“Student-athlete welfare and academic excellence have always been paramount in the Mountain West and will continue to be at the forefront of the discussion as we enter this new era of Division I. The Mountain West already has begun to involve student-athletes in its governance structure with the participation of two student-athletes at its spring 2014 Board of Directors meeting. This type of engagement will further enhance the overall experience of the student-athlete. The Mountain West membership has been actively engaged in conversations about the governance redesign for some time and we look forward to continuing the dialogue throughout the implementation phase of the new structure.”
The next step in an ongoing controversy in East Lansing has been taken, and it could, eventually, prove costly for some members of the football program.
This week, Michigan State confirmed that the Title IX investigation into allegations that three unnamed Spartan football players had sexually assaulted a woman in January had come to a conclusion. Citing privacy laws, however, the university will not be releasing the findings of the probe.
The school has subsequently confirmed, though, that the investigation found that the three players had committed unspecified violations of school policy. With that finding, the case will now go through the university’s student conduct system.
That body could levy sanctions on the players that range from a warning to probation to suspension or even expulsion from the university.
The alleged sexual assault has spawned three separate investigations, including the recently-completed Title IX probe. A criminal investigation conducted by campus police led to requests for four arrest warrants to be issued, although the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office has thus far declined to act. Additionally, the university has hired an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation into the football program and its handling of the allegations.
Thus far, the names of the players allegedly involved in the assault have not been released, although all three have been indefinitely suspended since early February. The suspended staffer was subsequently identified as Curtis Blackwell, whose title with the football program is director of college advancement and performance. Blackwell, who is not accused of participating in the alleged sexual assault but rather a non-sexual crime after the fact, has received a pair of one-month contract extensions since his suspension was levied.
As Terry Wilson looks to restart his football playing career, he’ll do so at a much lower rung on the collegiate ladder than which he started.
On his personal Twitter account Tuesday, Wilson announced that he will play for Garden City Community College, a junior college in Kansas, in 2017. GCCC was the top team at the JUCO level in 2016, going undefeated last season.
The move comes a month or so after the quarterback decided to transfer from Oregon.
A three-star member of the Ducks’ 2016 recruiting class, Wilson was rated as the No. 9 dual-threat quarterback in the country and the No. 2 player at any position in the state of Oklahoma. He had originally committed to Nebraska before signing with UO.
After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, Wilson began spring practice this year as the No. 2 quarterback. However, he quickly tumbled to at least third on the depth chart, which triggered the decision to transfer.
New Mexico AD Paul Krebs (right) had it all figured out. He wanted to go to Scotland to play golf (who doesn’t) but he didn’t want to pay for it (who does?). So he came up with a solution: he’d turn it into a UNM fundraising trip and make the school pay for it.
The school sold 23 packages to travel across the pond for a getaway of luxurious accommodations and bucket-list golf, but put the bills of himself, two UNM executives and a handful of local businessmen on the school’s dime. Lots of dimes, in fact. The trip cost the Lobos nearly $65,000.
“The trip was a working trip and it was designed to immerse us with these donors. It was an intensive experience and I understand why people may question it,” Krebs told KRQE-TV earlier this month.
Despite his attempt at justification, it appeared Krebs knew from the start the trip was an ethical no-no. The $65,000 bill was classified as a basketball tournament on UNM’s accounting paperwork, and Krebs failed to disclose the nature of the June 2015 trip to acting president Chaouki Abdallah until last week.
“VP Krebs came to me and told me that he wanted to tell me something that he had forgotten or did not tell me before,” Abdallah told KRQE. “I was not happy.”
It is not clear why the UNM Foundation or the Lobo Club, non-profits that handles the school’s and the athletics department’s fundraising efforts, respectively, did not cover the cost of the trip, especially since Lobo Club executive director Kole McKamey was one of the UNM officials who was on the trip. Putting the bill on the university’s ledger also appears to be a violation of the state’s anti-donation laws. The $24,000 cost to take the Albuquerque businessmen has since been refunded by an anonymous donor.
“(Krebs) told me about it in no uncertain terms,” Abdallah told said. “He didn’t try to sugarcoat it. He said I made a mistake. I didn’t tell you about it before. Here’s what happened. I’m going to try to fix it.”
The Miami Beach Bowl was an unnecessary bowl game played in a metro area already populated by bowl games — but at least it was in Miami. Bowl games may have lost their luster over the past decade-plus, but it’s hard to complain about being sent to South Beach in December for a football game.
The Miami Beach Bowl is no more, and it’s now been reincarnated as another unnecessary bowl game to be played in a metro area even more populated by bowl games — and it won’t be anywhere near as interesting as Miami.
Meet the Frisco Bowl, the newest ESPN-created postseason college football game to be played in the scenic locale of Frisco, Texas.
The north Dallas suburb will host the game at Toyota Stadium, a 20,500-seat outdoor venue that’s home to MLS club FC Dallas as well as the FCS National Championship every January. The Frisco Bowl will also compete for sponsorship dollars and public attention with the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, the Heart of Dallas Bowl in Dallas and the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth.
“We are pleased to be able to host this game in one of the most vibrant football markets in the country,” said ESPN vice president of events Clint Overby. “The infrastructure and facilities that exist in Frisco are outstanding and will be an excellent venue for the teams, players, administrators and fans traveling into the marketplace. We look forward to working with civic organizations and businesses in the area to create an annual event that embraces the spirit of the community.”
The first annual Frisco Bowl will pit an American Athletic Conference team against a to-be-determined conference at 8 p.m. ET on Dec. 20.