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Mark Emmert calls summit to discuss changes in Division I policy

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

During the past few weeks and months, the commissioners of the five "power conferences" have made it clear that they feel changes are necessary in the current NCAA model. NCAA president Mark Emmert seems to have heard them.

Emmert has called for a summit of Division I schools in January and talked to the Indianapolis Star about the changes the commissioners want to see made.

"I didn't take issue with any of the general statements that were made by the commissioners,” Emmert told the Indianapolis Star. “I thought they were helpful and good contributions to the debate.

“There's one thing that virtually everybody in Division I has in common right now, and that is they don't like the governance model. Now, there's not agreement on what the new model should be. But there's very little support for continuing things in the governing process the way they are today.”

As Emmert eluded to in those comments, there's a difference between just deciding changes need to be made and having everybody agree on the changes.

“There's a need to recognize there are Division I schools with $5 million athletic budgets and $155 million athletic budgets, and trying to find a model that fits all of them is the enormous challenge right now."

One of the areas of contention is likely to be the player stipend. Many Division I schools supported the idea of giving scholarship athletes an additional $2,000 to $5,000 a year in addition to the tuition, books, room and board that scholarships currently cover. However, many smaller schools who don't quite have the same budgets as the longer schools succeeded in keeping the stipends from becoming a reality.

While a solution is still off in the distance, Emmert intimated to the Indianapolis Star that these likely won't be minor changes.

“There's no one talking about this being some incremental change,” Emmert said. “I think there's an interest in some pretty fundamental change in the way decisions are made, both to accomodate those (financial) differences but also to deal with concerns people have about representation.”

The representation is in reference to a large school like Alabama having the same power as a much smaller school in the debates about things such as the player stipend.

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