Oh, yeah, there’s gonna be another division.

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.



Filed under The NCAA

23 responses to “Oh, yeah, there’s gonna be another division.

  1. TennesseeDawg

    Are you listening Orrin Hatch? Nothing like sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong.


  2. JRod1229

    Is there some way to turn this into a relegation situation (ala European Bouncyball)? Start the major conferences in the new division then bottom 10% go south and top 10% (or whatever) go north. It’d probably work out regionally that a Kentucky would be horrible and face relegation and Louisville would do well and come up to the big boys world. That’d be awesome (and also never happen).


    • paul

      I like that idea. Unfortunately, like most good ideas, it will probably never happen precisely because it’s a good idea.


      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        The Senator’s right. “This puppy’s a done deal.” If not, nobody would be saying anything. Sayonara NCAA, at least as to big-time college football, because you screwed up too many times.


        • paul

          I have no doubt. Haven’t since at least last year if not earlier. We’re just quibbling over details now. Even though this is all about the golden rule, as in he who has the gold makes the rules, there is still a need to maintain appearances. We are, after all, still talking primarily about state institutions at least partially funded by taxpayer dollars. The big boys still have to maintain plausible deniability, um, I mean, retain some illusion of fairness and accessibility. After all, the lack of such led to the demise of the BCS.


  3. If it is so far along that mid-major conference commissioners are already begging to be included, it has been in the works behind the scenes for several months, and could happen within the year. <— that purely uninformed opinion qualifies as journalism on ESPN.


  4. Go Dawgs!

    Great, we’re finally going to get a big-boy football division again and we have to bring the freaking AAC with us? Why can’t we just have the big boy teams and just leave behind the Connecticuts of the world once and for all? Life was good when Division 1-AA existed. I’d like that world back again.


    • AthensHomerDawg

      Yep welcome to Semi-pro. Sweet deal if you can get in as a coach or administrator. State bennies too! Top NCAA coaches and administrators are paid on par with the 32 team NFL coaches and administrator’s system that knocks down 9 billion a year. Of course semi-pro players have a slightly lower salary cap. Look on the bright side. It makes it possible for all those other athletes to play their sport at the college level. And of course those salaries. Those with the gold write the rules indeed.


  5. Hogbody Spradlin

    Apologies to Bill Cosby:

    American Athletic Conference: What about me! What About me!
    Big boys: You go long!


  6. Mayor of Dawgtown

    The “Superconferences” model is the way this can and should work in the long run i.e. 4 Superconferences of 16 to 20 teams each with 2 divisions each having a conference championship game to determine their respective conference champs that functions as a first round on the playoff. That way 8 teams are in the playoff, the 4 then 2 and a real champion crowned. ND? Get into a conference or miss the bus. AAC members that are serious teams (Rutgers?) get into one of the 4 Superconferences or miss the bus. This also means that one of the current BCS conferences (SEC, ACC, Big 10, Big 12, PAC 12) is going to have to go away. Some may say bye-bye ACC but I’m betting the one that disappears is the Big 12.


    • You’re right about the Big 12.

      I don’t know about the playoff format, though. Just one team from each conference in the final four? Why not give each division winner an automatic berth, and the championship game winners determine home-field in round 1? If you put the division winners from each conference on either side of the bracket, they would only play each other again if they both made it to the final. If they each beat two other division winners, it’s hard to argue that a rematch isn’t deserved. The championship game may seem duplicitous, but it does make money… oh, and it also allows you to crown a champion.


      • sUGArdaddy

        Each division winner WOULD essentially get a birth. Win the division, and you’re in the ‘playoff’ to win your conference and go to the tourney.


  7. Macallanlover

    It has been surprisingly transparent how the major conference coaches and commissioners engaged in an attack conspirarcy to change the NCAA rules regarding payment of players. The NCAA has been put on notice to stand down on this point: create a new division for the Big Boys, or watch us leave you and form a new alliance. The message has not just been for Emmert, it is more subtle for the smaller schools but just as pointed because if the large schools bolt the money will surely follow. When the time to vote on the matter comes, the gun will be to the head of many mid-majors and all the small schools.

    There can be no disputing the degree of difference between the haves and have nots, and the smaller schools have been able to thwart these type moves before but it is over. I have never seen such unanimity from all coaches and conference commissioners in their prepared statements and interviews. It started with the SEC Media days and has been followed by every conference since. I expect no chage in the script when the PAC 12 is over this week. Emmert and the dwarfs have been neutered, it is just a question of where the lines will be drawn.

    The other major topic of the week that is getting unanimous support is the ridicule of the new targeting rules from fans and media. The conferences are having to say all the PC things in support of the nobility of the intent but they have to be staggered by the strong criticsm of how this will be handled from the people who fill their cofers. Only the NCAA and officials could rival the approval ratings of Congress, no one seems to trust them to make rules or handle enforcement. The strength of ridicule has been encouraging, fans are standing together on this horrible attempt to change the game as we know it; they will have to tone down the rule/penalty as it is currently being discussed.


    • 69Dawg

      The biggest problem is that the refs can’t or won’t enforce the rules we have had for years. It has long been a foul to target a defenseless player but it has been rarely called. Has anyone looked back at the Auburn game where Fairly all but knifed Aaron and was not called for it until the game got to the fighting stage. That game along with the LSU game AJ call convinced me that the SEC refs either turn their heads or deliberately ignore these calls for certain teams. You can argue till the cows come home but either the refs are the worst in the business or they get paid to “follow orders”. I would welcome Steve Shaw saying that from now on the refs game ratings will be public and any punishment or suspension will be public. If they would suspend some of these aholes without pay, they might run some of the idiots out of the league.

      This year we will see a totally arbitrary calling of targeting any time a DB gets a hit on a WR/TE. Somebody wrote the mother day that you are about to see the CFB equivalent of “Flopping”. The receiver coaches are making their guys watch soccer matches on how to create phantom fouls by grabbing their necks or by not getting up from a hit. The game as we know it will chance forever if this starts happening.


      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        69, you and Mac are right that this is going to completely change college football. I just don’t see how you can take the contact out of football without completely changing the game and that is what they are doing. I heard discussion on the radio about how DBs are not supposed to go low on receivers because of the threat of “flipping” and the possibility of landing on the head (a serious injury potential), now they are told they cannot go high-even with the shoulder first. Where CAN they hit the receiver? And there will be “flopping.” You can take that to the bank.


      • indemnitor

        I know its just an incidental typo but it made me think-can we make CONSPIRACY a word please ? Just make sure Mike Leach doesnt find out


  8. Dog in Fla

    “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.”

    “the gun* will be to the head of many mid-majors and all the small schools.”

    * All we need is music


  9. Debby Balcer

    Kolton Houston is eligible. I just read it. Sorry this is on the wrong article. Great news.


  10. 69Dawg

    Just read an article out of Indy where Emmert has called a full blown conference for January of all the D-I Pres, AD’s, Commissioners etc for the purpose of restructuring the NCAA D-1. And so it begins.


    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Emmert is going to try to avoid a mass exit from the NCAA of the top college football programs. Let’s all hope he fails.


  11. Lrgk9

    Fait Accompli.