NCAA Votes for Greater Autonomy to Power 5 Conferences
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby discussed the state of the NCAA during July's Media Days.
Major changes may be making their way to the NCAA after the Division I Board of Directors voted Thursday to approve a new governance structure.
The vote allows the five richest conferences and their 65 universities to make their own rules on a variety of issues that relate to student-athletes and competition. These could include raising the value of scholarships, improving health insurance, allowing players to consult agents and other aspects of the business as it currently stands.
“I am immensely proud of the work done by the membership,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. “The new governance model represents a compromise on all sides that will better serve our members and, most importantly, our student-athletes. These changes will help all our schools better support the young people who come to college to play sports while earning a degree.”
The vote will now open up to a 60-day comment period and if 75 universities disagree with the motion, the Board will reconsider its decision and perhaps make changes to the structure. If 125 universities disagree, the model will be suspended.
Those Power Five conferences are expected to submit new rules by the start of October in order to enter them for consideration at the 2015 NCAA convention.
In speaking about the state of the conference and the NCAA as a whole, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby expressed his concern regarding the future of college sports as money continues to be given to the sports that generate the most revenue.
Meanwhile, some university officials from lesser conferences are expressing concerns that their inability to compete with schools offering “full cost of attendance” scholarships will further distance them in the recruiting game and ultimately result in a lower standard of play and an inability to compete for championships.
West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen held a previously scheduled press conference Thursday in Morgantown and was asked his thoughts regarding the impending vote, to which he replied that he had enough on his plate preparing for the 2014 season.
“I’m worried about our meetings at 1 [o’clock] and practice at 3,” Holgorsen said. “We’re not going to get into that at this point. That’s just too broad. It’s too broad.”
Earlier in the press conference, Holgorsen discussed his thoughts on the future of college football scheduling after a report published on ESPN.com came out Thursday. The report detailed an informal vote from the recent conference media days in which coaches were asked if they would favor a non-conference schedule that featured only Power Five opponents.
All 65 coaches from the Power Five conference, including the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and Notre Dame, took part in the poll and the majority were in favor of only scheduling other teams from those 65 schools. Thirty coaches were in favor of the idea while 23 were opposed and another 12 were undecided.
Holgorsen was among those who gave a yes vote and he explained his reasoning on Thursday.
“I think that’s where it’s headed,” Holgorsen said. “I think we should do it, but it’d be silly for us to play 12 teams that are Power Five and a specific university in the Big 12 is going to play none. If one’s going to do it, everybody should do it.”
Six Big 12 coaches voted yes, according to the date on ESPN.com, with Kansas State’s Bill Snyder, Texas’ Charlie Strong, TCU’s Gary Patterson and Texas Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury representing the four dissenting votes.
Holgorsen mentioned that as the college football playoff begins this season, and with Oliver Luck as a selection committee member, he believes there have been talks about the future of the sport that have involved WVU’s athletic director.
The Mountaineers head coach also reiterated his desire to continue scheduling regional opponents in the future to appease the fan base, which is largely left without reasonable road trips for away games in the Big 12.
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