If you had any doubts about the likelihood of a new NCAA division to accommodate the power conferences, let Jim Delany put them to rest for you with as condescending dismissal of Mark Emmert as you’re ever going to hear.
Although Delany’s talk centered on the NCAA going forward, he also addressed the organization’s embattled leader, Emmert, saying that the NCAA president has done some good things and also made some mistakes along the way while he’s “learned on the job.”
“We’ve tried to work with him in every way we can on every major issue that’s come up,” Delany said. “I wish him the best and have no motive other than to see him and the NCAA succeed, but there’s no doubt that we have challenging times and he’s the leader of an entity that’s our group but also is responsible and accountable for where we are over the last three years.
“But most of the challenges we have at the NCAA predate Mark Emmert.”
Translation: go sit over there, Mark, while the grown ups figure out how to take care of this.
But if you’re really looking for a tell on how far along this move is, we’ve already got a conference trying to maneuver itself into the big boys group.
The American Athletic Conference will likely push for inclusion if the power conferences break into a subdivision or so-called “Division 4,” commissioner Mike Aresco told CBSSports.com.
Aresco said he will expound on this topic at the conference’s media days in Newport, R.I. early next week, and he wants to know the parameters of a subdivision before discussing further with his presidents.
But on the surface, Aresco believes the American would fit certain criteria such as market size and long-term viability on the field.
“We want to compete at the highest level,” Aresco said.
Even better, somebody’s broached the dreaded “a”-word.
If a separate governance agreement could be subject to anti-trust lawsuits, perhaps the subdivision will include a membership threshold that any school can meet assuming they are willing to spend the necessary money for inclusion. In that case, the American, the Mountain West and others might have a chance to join, and the big schools still get what they want – the ability to spend their money as they choose.
But the power conferences could up the ante until the smaller conferences can’t afford it.
Shoot, all we’re missing to complete the picture are a couple of congressmen and an attorney general vowing to get to the bottom of things. This puppy’s a done deal.