Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this is the first time I’ve seen a power conference commissioner answer this question with something other than “no”.
When asked whether he could support the “Olympic” model permitting athletes to receive money off their own name, Slive replied, “It’s a model. There’s lots of different models. Whether that model is the right model or a modified NCAA model is the right model, it’s imperative we look at those models. I’m not prepared to say one is better than another. One thing we know for certain is the status quo is not satisfactory. I think the first step is restructuring the NCAA to create the kind of platform that allows us to look at different models moving forward.”
“The status quo is not satisfactory” is not necessarily the same thing as saying the players are being treated unfairly. It could just as easily mean “I’m tired of the time and money Emmert is spending in O’Bannon waging a war he’s going to lose on worse terms than he could have had in a settlement and looking foolish in the process”. Are guys like Slive and Delany pragmatic enough to cut their losses on this and move on? Compared to Emmert, sure (admittedly, a low bar). The question is whether the NCAA would allow a restructuring that would significantly modify its amateurism reason for being. It bears watching closely how much autonomy those pushing for a new “Division 4″ are seeking.