Blog Entry

Delany doesn't rule out NCAA split

Posted on: July 6, 2011 12:21 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 12:45 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Let's be fair to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany: When Delany speaks in this USA Today article on the problems plaguing major college athletics and the potential "fundamental changes" (to use Delany's Big 12 counterpart Dan Beebe's term) that might result, he's clearly not expecting the NCAA's power conferences to secede from the current model:
"Don't blame structure," Delany says, "until you have a group of core presidents, athletic directors, commissioners and coaches who are willing to embrace real change" and are shot down.
That's a lot of people to all wrangle onto the same page. But if that "group" is "shot down"?
"At that juncture," he says, "then I think it's fair to look at how else you get it."
Delany's not spelling it out, but he doesn't have to. "How else you get it" means one thing and one thing only: taking the Big Ten's (and the SEC's and Pac-12's and I guess the Big 12's and ACC's) ball and going home to a post-NCAA college athletics superleague.

And if that first quote indicates that (as the USA Today writes) that kind of split isn't yet "on the agenda," it's not that difficult to see that kind of consortium coming together over Delany's full-cost scholarship proposal. Those kinds of athlete stipends already have wide-ranging support (including, critically, from the SEC's Mike Slive) and are seen by many as one possible antidote to the improper benefits scandals that have given college football the black eye it's sported the last several months.

If Delany and his "group" champion those scholarships as a way to help clean up the sport, only for the non-AQ schools of Division I (which outnumber the AQ schools more than four-to-one and may vote to protect their men's basketball interests) to veto it in the name of competitive balance, then what? It seems as if this would be the exact excuse Delany would be looking for to "look at how else" college athletics might be managed.

Of course, these kinds of discussions are still off in the relatively distant future, and a NCAA split remains the nuclear option even Delany and Slive will likely take great pains to avoid deploying. But that Delany is already using that threat as a kind of posturing -- potentially to suggest to the rest of the NCAA membership that it should fall in line -- suggests that whatever deliberations and debates will surround full-cost scholarships and other sweeping reform measures, don't expect them to progress smoothly.


Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: July 6, 2011 11:34 pm

Delany doesn't rule out NCAA split

I'm sorry, and I'm probably a minority in feeling that student athletes should NOT get paid.  I would much rather see college sports go back to students playing sports, instead of recruiting high school athletes to stagger through school.  Let the NFL and NBA start minor leagues, just like baseball.  I miss the days when the Athletes were there for the full four years and were actually academically qualified to get a degree.  I'm a Buckeye, so you know I'm sick of the Athletes entitled attitudes and putting themselves first over the school.  I say scrap it all and start over.  Notre Dame Football and Duke Basketball don't seem to have a problem winning with STUDENT/athletes, neither should anyone else.  I don't buy the theory that the excitment of the game will be that much different.

Since: Jul 5, 2011
Posted on: July 6, 2011 11:16 pm

Delany doesn't rule out NCAA split

Hmmm, I wrote just two days ago that the big football conferences should leave the NCAA in response to a blog post about which schools should go independent.  This is absolutely about the money, and the fact is that the top 25 schools in the country generate 90% of the dollars.  The NCAA needs them way more than they need the NCAA.  It's about time to put the top conferences and schools in their own class.  Treating a D3 school the same as Ohio State or Texas when it comes to player benefits has been and continues to be nuts.

Since: Jun 11, 2010
Posted on: July 6, 2011 11:06 pm

Delany doesn't rule out NCAA split

I believe that Delaney is not playing games at all. Wake up people. THIS IS ABOUT MONEY--billions of dollas of it. Someone outside of footbal needs to step in before the game is ruined. If you're out there listening--PLEASE GIVE US A PLAY-OFF.

Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: July 6, 2011 10:45 pm

Delany doesn't rule out NCAA split

Awesome.  Show the world that you only need a few conferences 2 or 3 to run a great football show.  they all play one another any way.  most teams play out of conference game in the bcs anyway not including the warm up games.  

Since: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: July 6, 2011 9:08 pm

Delany doesn't rule out NCAA split

This is how a commissioner defends his member schools.  Compare that to the way Pac-10 officials hung USC out to dry.  Go ahead, quit the NCAA.  Back up your talk, Delaney. 

Since: Dec 6, 2006
Posted on: July 6, 2011 7:53 pm

Delany doesn't rule out NCAA split

As much sense as this would seemingly make for the power conferences to split apart from the NCAA, it will never happen. The threat will always be there, but state politics and federal opposition will prevent it from ever happening. Plus, the big schools need the little guys to warm them up for tough conference schedules. Just as the talk of "super confernces" is not a new topic, the talk of an "NCAA split" is nothing new to minds of the college football elite. In the 1970s, there was a proposed split that would include some 50 schools, but the NCAA ended up creating the 1-A and 1-AA classifications, with membership in 1-A not being quite as selective as originally proposed and the split existing for football only. If an NCAA split were to occur, it would have made sense to do so at that time, with a large assortment of NCAA legislation sweeping through in the 70s that many of the larger schools (especially in the Southwest Conference and SEC) were opposed to. Likewise, there were talks of creation of 5-6 superconferences made up of 14-16 teams apiece in the late 1980s before the massive wave of conference realignment that saw the creation of Big East football and the additions of Penn State to the Big Ten and Florida State to the ACC, among other things. These ideas have been floated around forever and will probably continue to be as conferences become seemingly more powerful with their televesion networks and increasingly larger alumni bases. However, state politics would likely cause all sorts of problems, just as it did with the Texas schools last year in the Pac-16 scenario. What will happen to programs that exist in the Big East. That conference is not included in the article as a possible split, but since the NCAA would more than likely ban the schools for other sports if they split for football, would we really be able to crown a major college basketball champion with the Big East schools not included. And what of schools like BYU, Colorado State, Pitt, and West Virginia that hold historic rivalries with big conference schools and have a fair amount of football history themselves? Would the bigger conferences really be able to shake the Mt. West and C-USA schools that have historically been competitive? There would be a lot of programs that state politicians would likely push for inclusion to prevent them from becoming obsolete, just as the Texas legislature attempted to do with Baylor (who is private by the way, not even a recipient of state funding). I think that an NCAA split would cause more headaches than the current system for athletic directors. The ban that is likely to ensue would cause all major schools to fill their schedules out with other major schools, which may sound great for the fans, but can you imagine the pains a school's AD would have trying to fill organize their basketball schedules with the slim pickings of just five conference teams. And for non-revenue sports, what becomes of the historically strong non-major programs? Cal State-Fullerton baseball, Boston U hockey (or Denver or North Dakota for that matter), Johns Hopkins LaX, etc. Wouldn't a lot of athletic directors at programs like these try to pull the strings to keep their programs relevant? I'm just saying there could be a lot of headaches for ADs of programs that do decide to split, and for college administrators that allow the move for that matter. It will never happen, but it is interesting to think about and it will always be a threat that ADs and conference presidents can use in negoitiating. We just have to remember that it really means nothing.

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: July 6, 2011 6:28 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jun 8, 2011
Posted on: July 6, 2011 5:49 pm

Delany doesn't rule out NCAA split

Delaney is a UNC grad.  There are folks on the Carolina message boards who have been calling for secession&nbs
p;from the NCAA for several months.  I wonder if he is a regular poster....Nah...can't be...can it?

Since: Jun 25, 2011
Posted on: July 6, 2011 4:04 pm

Delany doesn't rule out NCAA split

if that did happen the little sisters af the poor would be out of luck and money. the bcs contribution to them is small in relevent terms but where will they get a replacement for it. where will they get the high paying offers for regular season games. it will leave the rest of d1 in the dust as the split of 1a and 1aa did. kiss the recruits who want to play on the national stage goodby along with the tv payouts to the bottom feeders.

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: July 6, 2011 1:32 pm

Delany doesn't rule out NCAA split

Go ahead and create a BCS/Superconference ... just don't use University or College names ... but use the colors, the stadiums, and definitely USE the players.

It should be easy to gain corporate sponsors [Groupon Gators vs. Verizon Volunteers].

But be sure to restrict membership to only those who can afford it.

After all ... it is just about the money, isn't it? 

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