Emmert: NCAA and power conferences are 'not that far apart'

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

Mark Emmert spoke to over 100 athletic directors Wednesday
Mark Emmert spoke to over 100 athletic directors Wednesday. (USATSI)

NCAA president Mark Emmert believes that the the NCAA and the five power conferences are "not that far apart" in what they want to get accomplished as far as a new governance structure for the NCAA.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive recently rekindled the talk about the five power conferences (the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and Pac-12) and Notre Dame essentially breaking off from the rest of Division I to form their own Division 4, but Emmert remains confident that won't be necessary. He said as much following a meeting with more than 100 athletic directors Wednesday at the National Association of College Directors of Athletics convention.

"The reality is, they're not that far apart on the various ends of that and I'm pretty confident the whole thing is going to work out and probably be successful," Emmert told USA Today.

The NCAA is trying to focus on an autonomous structure for the power five conferences that would give them voting independence on specific issues. What specific issues those will be are still being worked out, as well as what the voting threshold will be among the conferences. The NCAA steering committee submitted a proposal last month that called for a two-thirds super majority in order for an autonomous vote to pass, plus a simple majority from four of the five power conferences. Both Slive and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany would like to lower the threshold to 60 percent and three of the five conferences.

Emmert says the he's "sure" the committee will "find a sensible compromise" before a final version of the proposal goes to a vote among the NCAA's Board of Directors on Aug. 7.

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