As you have no doubt heard by now, there was, barring an unexpected override vote, a seismic shift in college athletics made official this afternoon.
This afternoon, the Division I Board of Directors overwhelmingly voted to approve autonomy for the Power Five conferences — the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC. The move wasn’t unexpected, but it was monumental nonetheless.
Below are the reactions from three of the Power Five conference commissioners on the historic day, the exception being the Big Ten’s Jim Delany. Suffice to say, the four who have addressed the issue are ecstatic over the development:
ACC’S JOHN SWOFFORD
“The approval of the steering committee’s report on restructuring by the NCAA Board of Directors is a positive and necessary step in the continued efforts to ensure that we have a more effective and nimble NCAA moving forward. These changes will allow us to continue to prioritize how to better address the needs of our institutions, athletic programs and, most importantly, our student-athletes. I applaud Nathan Hatch, Wake Forest President and Chair of the NCAA’s Board of Directors and Steering Committee, for his effective efforts throughout this significant time of change. As we implement the new structure, we must continue to recognize how special the collegiate model is to the educational system within our country and culture.”
PAC-12’S LARRY SCOTT
“We are delighted that after years of debate, a consensus has emerged that the time has come for a modern approach to governance that recognizes the need to give more flexibility to those conferences prepared to do more for student-athletes and, at the same time, preserves the collegiate model which works so well for the vast majority of Pac-12 student-athletes,” said Commissioner Scott. “This is a great day for the 7,000 current student-athletes in the Pac-12 and for generations of future student-athletes who will benefit from the educational opportunities and life lessons made possible by college athletics.”
SEC’S MIKE SLIVE
“This is an opportunity for historic change in college athletics,” said SEC commissioner Mike Slive. “Now we can go to work to begin to better address the needs of our student-athletes.”
BIG 12’s BOB BOWLSBY
“I am pleased that the governance restructuring process has enabled the Big 12 and the four other high visibility conferences to utilize greater autonomy in formulating the rules by which we will operate,” said commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “I believe the empowerment provided by the NCAA Board will afford us the best opportunity to enhance student-athlete benefits and to embark on a new 21st century covenant with the participants in our programs.”