as this year’s conference expansion story, it makes a helluva lot more sense.
… Then Delany said this: “How do we get back more toward the collegiate model and regulatory system that is based more on student-athlete welfare than it is on a level playing field, where everything is about a cost issue and whether or not everybody can afford to do everything everybody else can do?”
Translation: We can afford to give the athletes some money and we are going to seriously think about doing so. If you can’t, that’s your problem.
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive told me Thursday that this is something he would like to discuss. And I’ll tell you this: If Slive and Delany want something to happen, there is a good chance it will.
That sound you just heard was the commissioners of the MAC, WAC, Mountain West, Conference USA and Sun Belt banging their collective heads on the table. Keeping up with the big boys is tough enough to do as it is. This would make it nearly impossible.
When Mr. Conventional Wisdom tells you this thing’s got legs, you really should pay attention.
Barrett Sallee gets it.
Full-cost scholarships, conference realignment, a non-AQ playoff, and yes, even oversigning legislation all are indicators that we are headed to the age of the super-conference – and it’s coming sooner rather than later.
If the B1G institutes full-cost scholarships, the other five BCS conferences will follow suit almost instantaneously. It isn’t about fairness or giving athletes the proper compensation for their work (because that’s what it is). It’s about separation.
There’s an added bonus for separation, as Ivan Maisel points out.
1. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, a very smart guy, suggested Tuesday at the conference’s spring meetings that the Big Ten should consider putting more money in the pockets of its student-athletes. The AQs, nearly all of whom have lucrative new TV contracts, may be able to afford this. The non-AQs almost surely can’t. If this idea is the first step toward a new, big-money NCAA division. …
2. … Wouldn’t that end any antitrust questions regarding access to the BCS?
This is shaping up as such an obvious win-win for the power conferences, that you begin to wonder why they’re being so deliberate about it.