What’s in a name?

I’m sorry, but, if true, this is one of the more ludicrous proposals I’ve seen.

… Two sources confirmed that the idea has been floated of a limited liability company created by the NCAA that could “house” the playoff. The NCAA wouldn’t directly control it or even the money generated by it. The revenue generated could be housed in such an LLC. The BCS currently shares money all the way down to the I-AA level.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Somebody thinks it would be a good idea for the NCAA to lend its name to whatever new postseason format the BCS suits come up with for  – I can barely bring myself to type this – credibility.

You only get one guess as to whom.

“The NCAA brand in championships is very powerful,” Emmert said here Thursday at the Final Four. “Witness what’s going on here right now. It depends on the model they come up with …

“The issues that presidents voice is making sure that the BCS doesn’t get tied up in some of the byzantine politics of the NCAA…”

Ho, ho, ho.  I suppose if by “byzantine politics” Emmert means fashioning a way to keep mid-major schools’ grubby paws off money that Slive and Delany see as rightfully theirs, he may have a point.  But, seriously, are there a bunch of folks sitting around saying, “sorry, but I can’t embrace any D-1 football playoff unless it has the NCAA’s name on it”?  Would branding the trophy with those four little letters mean things are even more settled on the field than ever?  Hardly.

So, assuming there’s anything to this story (and by the way, Dodd, according to your colleague, playoff plans haven’t exactly crystallized yet), what’s in it for both sides?  I can’t see where the commissioners and presidents would be interested in pursuing it because Mark Emmert is such an articulate spokesman for their product, but I can think of one thing that might move both sides to make some sort of branding deal.

It’s about money, of course.  If you’re Jim Delany, you’re passionately opposed to spreading wealth that your conference has worked hard to create in the market with conferences and schools that simply haven’t or can’t.  And you have to realize that slapping an NCAA label on a D-1 playoff runs a risk of letting the camel’s nose under the tent by those institutions you’ve worked so hard to exclude from the truly big money.

Unless there’s radical surgery first.

“The diversity of institutions in Division I has grown, the relative diversity of their economic bases has grown, so it’s been increasingly difficult to create rules that fit everybody and everybody’s happy with and get a consensus around those things,” Emmert said Thursday. “So we’re going to spend some time this summer and in the fall looking at what would the membership like to do, how would they like to grapple with this governance challenge and still hold together the big Division I tent.”

I suspect that Jim Delany’s idea of how to deal with “relative diversity” (nice phrase, that) and Craig Thompson’s differ rather dramatically.  Who’s in a better position to make Mark Emmert see things his way?  Let’s just say I don’t find Gordon Schnell’s question that hard to answer.

“What are they [NCAA] going to get for [putting their name on a playoff]?,” said Gordon Schnell, a noted anti-trust attorney with Constantine Cannon in New York. “The NCAA has a lot to answer for in other areas when it comes to equity. I’d be surprised if they got into the BCS storm without it being financially worth wile [sic]. Do I think it would be better for the BCS? Maybe.”

The NCAA gets a check and the BCS gets separation from grasping hands.  That’s a win-win as far as they’re all concerned.  There’s no maybe about it.  We’re not going to care, of course.  But that was never the point anyway.

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2 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

2 responses to “What’s in a name?

  1. Cojones

    Don’t understand the (sic) comment since its all about wile (as in Wiley Coyote) anyway. Their continued verbalization of their wiles is beginning to make me sick.

    Why do I feel like an inmate looking in?

  2. paul

    The NCAA is well aware that the revenue generating schools are all hard at work figuring out how to maximize profits. Ultimately, this will require completely disassociating their football programs from the NCAA all together. It’s the only way left for those who generate the revenue to keep it. The BCS was created for this purpose and now it’s falling apart. Desperate people do desperate things. The NCAA is putting their desperation bid on the table.