Blog Entry

Breaking: NCAA head contacts CEOs on realignment

Posted on: August 15, 2011 6:24 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 10:18 am
 
NCAA president Mark Emmert has contacted various conference commissioners and school CEOs on the subject of conference realignment, the NCAA told CBSSports.com Monday.

There were no specifics but observers were wondering if Emmert would get involved in the increasingly volatile Texas A&M-to-SEC situation. A&M president R. Bowen Loftin was giving permission to pursue conference affilation issues by the school's board of regents Monday. However, Loftin, in a sometimes confusing interview session, said there was still a chance the school could stay in the Big 12.

The NCAA released this statement first to CBSSports.com through a spokesman:

"President Emmert has had conversations with a number of presidents and commissioners related to recent conference realignment issues and these discussions mirror many of the topics raised last week during the [Division I] presidential meetings."

The presidents came away from that meeting promising radical reform in academics and in enforcement.

What was once thought to be a slam-dunk, done deal for A&M is now fraught with legal entanglements. The New York Times reported that the SEC is possibly leaving itself open for a tortious interference claim should it be perceived that the league is raiding the Big 12. Texas A&M may be looking at a buyout that approaches $30 million if it leaves the Big 12 only 14 months after the 10 remaining schools made a 10-year pledge to stay together.

It's clear that ESPN has a major stake in the issues being discussed. It could be upset that if the SEC gets Texas A&M that would allow the conference to renegotiate a new deal at a higher dollar value. The SEC is two years into a 20-year, $3 billion deal with ESPN and CBS. 

If A&M leaves, then that would put in jeopardy the future of the Big 12, which is due to go out to bid in an exclusive negotiating window with ESPN within the next two years. ESPN could also be concerned about the future of, and its investment in, the Longhorn Network at Texas. 

In essence, ESPN would be paying more for the SEC but potentially lose a property in the Big 12 if that league breaks up. The net result, potentially, would be less inventory for ESPN to telecast. That's the reason why ESPN and Fox combined to save the Big 12 last summer. If it had dissolved, ESPN would have lost the Big 12 and possibiltiy been shut out of the Pac-12 if that league had gone on the open market.

As it stands, ESPN combined with Fox to get the rights to the new Pac-12. 


Comments

Since: Jun 10, 2010
Posted on: August 16, 2011 7:48 pm
 

Breaking: NCAA head contacts CEOs on realignment

I agree 100% with your comment.

The bureaucrats at the NCAA are out of touch with today's reality.  The top 60-80 BCS football programs need to form their own organization with more simplified rules that are easier to administer.  A stipend for our scholar-athletes wouldn't be a bad idea, either.
Re-alignments a done deal.  All that remains to be seen is who's going where and will the NCAA survive.  Four 18 team conferences with a playoff format leaves the bottom 48 FBS without a division to play in.  Emmert's getting involved to try and save his organization.  The majors are tired of having schools like UC-Riverside and SW Missouri State having a vote.




Since: Nov 18, 2008
Posted on: August 16, 2011 4:17 pm
 

Breaking: NCAA head contacts CEOs on realignment

The NCAA will do whatever they can to try to maintain as much control and influence over the major programs as possible as it will be the only way they can justify their existence. They have already proved they cannot, explain, understand, or handle "violations;" how to conduct proper investigations, or how to dole out equal "punishments" for equal penalties and all schools. They have already shown that they are unwilling to use outside, unbiased, investigators for alleged violations rather than people associated with other members on their committee and affiliated with the NCAA's member institutions. This is another reason why there is no playoff system in the BCS where there is for all of the lower tier football divisions, basketball, baseball, etc. THEY want to control the money and, more importantly, keep control over the system so there may never be an undisputed National Champion if there's not a National Championship game and there's multiple teams that might have good enough records to be considered. They want the controversy because it gives them more reasons for existence. Super conferences can establish their own playoffs and work their way to a National Championship; it will be very clean and shouldn't affect minor Bowls. If there are 4 Super Conferences, have a semi-final game and a championship. In reality, there will more than likely be 6, which allows you to have a quarter final with two wild cards, which should include teams like Notre Dame and BYU...



Since: Oct 18, 2009
Posted on: August 16, 2011 2:47 pm
 

Breaking: NCAA head contacts CEOs on realignment

stuz I agree, until Texas can put their football program back together they sound like wannabe's.  They picked a terrible time to start their network.  I have no doubt that Texas and Mack Brown will have a good team soon, their tradition is strong and they get good recruits and the coaches are top notch. Texas wants more bucks and I don't blame them, but what they need to do is go independent so they can do whatever they want and not recieve so many compaints from other schools. 



Since: Oct 18, 2009
Posted on: August 16, 2011 2:39 pm
 

Breaking: NCAA head contacts CEOs on realignment

The major college football teams need their own organization.  They are in a completely different set of circumstances than the smaller schools and need their own rules.  The NCAA could be a part of that or not but it will happen eventually.



Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: August 16, 2011 12:56 pm
 

Breaking: NCAA head contacts CEOs on realignment

Re-alignments a done deal.  All that remains to be seen is who's going where and will the NCAA survive.  Four 18 team conferences with a playoff format leaves the bottom 48 FBS without a division to play in.  Emmert's getting involved to try and save his organization.  The majors are tired of having schools like UC-Riverside and SW Missouri State having a vote.



Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: August 16, 2011 8:39 am
 

Breaking: NCAA head contacts CEOs on realignment

Hmmm...this all sounds vaguely familiar.

I recall reading these exact same words in a post the other day, from someone on the message boards, quoting a source called out kick the coverage, or something.

Oh well, the article isn't about any actual realignment.  Just about some legal mumbo-jumbo that could be possible if there IS some actual realignment.



Since: Apr 1, 2007
Posted on: August 16, 2011 6:39 am
 

Breaking: NCAA head contacts CEOs on realignment

Your absolutely right, change is coming and it's being driven by media. I think some change will be good, e.g. Perhaps leading to a true playoff system. But the idea of super conferences and super teams with super networks stuffing their pockets seems dirty. I don't know if the ESPN-UT marriage will be good for either. I can see UT losing rivalries, especially if the big 12 folds, and ESPN could lose fans who are tired of feeding the machine, tired of the hype and shoddy reporting, tired of their self promotion and promotion/degradation of specific teams and conferences. I, for one, am tuning out.



Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: August 16, 2011 3:51 am
 

Breaking: NCAA head contacts CEOs on realignment

ESPN's concern over the Texas network should center on Texas having a season tihs year that is worth the bother and expense of its own network.  A repeat of last year will undoubtedly increase the calmor for broadcasts of high school games just to keep viewership.



Since: Jun 8, 2011
Posted on: August 15, 2011 9:59 pm
 

Breaking: NCAA head contacts CEOs on realignment

Change is coming...whether we want to embrace it or not.  The amount of money the networks make on college football is so massive, that I don't think anything, short of putting every rule breaker on probation (including TV bans), is going to change it.  I get the sense ESPN drives a good bit of this, thus many of my friends still in the media refer to them as DSPiN. 

I would rather the networks focus more resources on the other college sports that are gaining "grass roots" popularity such as college baseball and Lacrosse.  If the networks could use similar spin to turn those sports into money-makers for the conferences, just think about how us fans could shorten the college sports down-time.  College baseball lasts well into the month of June.  After that it is just MLB and golf.



Since: Apr 1, 2007
Posted on: August 15, 2011 9:12 pm
 

Breaking: NCAA head contacts CEOs on realignment

Just saw the LHNetwork commercial on the FOUR letter and just about got sick. It doesn't feel right! I think ESPN is treading on thin ice and runs the risk of turning college football fans away from their network by pairing so closely with UT. The whole idea seems like a major conflict of interests; however, the NCAA can't really put a halt to ESPNs involvement unless they also take on NBC and ND.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com