Something crossed my mind as I read this Jeremy Fowler piece on how the mid-majors will cope with the looming issue of more autonomy for the power conferences. How much of a game changer could Jeffery Kessler’s antitrust suit be if he won, not for student-athletes, but for mid-major schools?
No, if the Wild West comes to college athletics, Boise State isn’t suddenly going to have as much money to spend as Ohio State. But it doesn’t have the enormously expensive infrastructure Ohio State maintains, either. So what if the more nimble Broncos did a little outside-the-box thinking and decided to put most of their resources into player payment? Might that not serve to level the playing field somewhat?
I get that there are some places, like Alabama and Texas, that simply wouldn’t allow themselves to be outspent, and that there are schools at the other end of the spectrum that simply don’t have enough coming in to make a meaningful effort in that way. But that still leaves a lot of programs in the middle. You’d have to think there are enough talented kids out there who would prefer the cash being paid directly to them than being put into facilities or administrative salaries whom a smartly run program could sign in an open market that it could make some mid-major schools, or even bottom feeders in the bigger conferences, more competitive. (Especially since you’d have to figure there would be a bunch of ADs out there ill-equipped to operate in such a world.)
Anybody think that might work?