The Nostradamus of conference realignment

Who had the foresight to write this five years ago?

A collateral consideration for all of us as national leaders in intercollegiate athletics is the creation of a few “mega-conferences” may result in more governmental, legal and public scrutiny. Pressure to compete may rise with resulting higher salaries and more churning of ADs and coaches. Clear identification of the highest level of intercollegiate athletics reduced to a smaller grouping of (e.g. four 16-member conferences) could cause eventual tax consequences and tremendous pressure to pay those student-athletes responsible in programs driving the most revenue and pressure, and whose coaches and administrators are receiving more and more financial rewards.

The answer may – no, check that – will surprise you.

If the handwriting was on the wall that far back, it really makes the strategy we’ve seen the schools and the NCAA pursue in the interim look that much more futile.  Though not unexpected.

Conference realignment did reset the television rights market, which did make athletic directors and coaches a lot richer. At the same time, seeing people who insisted they weren’t part of a multibillion-dollar business acting exactly like they were part of a multibillion-dollar business turned public sentiment away from the schools and toward the athletes. O’Bannon v. NCAA was already in the pipeline, but these moves helped the plaintiffs’ attorneys to take the tack that would ultimately win them the case. Meanwhile, more lawyers smelled blood—or money, or both—and jumped in with suits of their own. Northwestern football players, aware of their role in the cable television universe, petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for the right to unionize. Under intense pressure, the wealthiest five conferences convinced the other Division I leagues to allow the richest to make rules for themselves so they could pay athletes more. (Leaders also acted as if this was charity and not a response to lawsuits.)

Camel farming is easy.  Managing oil production is a lot trickier.  And so far, these guys aren’t even living up to OPEC standards.

Advertisements

16 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, See You In Court

16 responses to “The Nostradamus of conference realignment

  1. When somebody says it’s about the Student Athletes and not about the money; they are lying – it’s about the money.

    Like

  2. Beebe said some schools just fit better in the Big 12. Missouri, anyone? I don’t care if they win the East and embarrass themselves in the SECCG for the next 5 years, they are a better fit in the B12-2.

    I agree with Lrgk9. You can tell these guys are lying because their lips are moving.

    Like

    • JCDAWG83

      I’m not sure it’s embarrassing to Missouri that they are winning the East and losing big in the championship game. I think the fact that none of the traditional powers in the East can’t manage to win the East and a Big 12 team has come in and won it 2 of their first 3 years in the conference is more embarrassing for the traditional powers than it is for Missouri.

      Like

      • My point is that Missouri doesn’t fit in the SEC or the East in particular. It was badly planned by $live who was doing nothing but chasing the dollar signs that the universities told him to do. If they were going to expand one in the West (TAMU), then they should have gone after a team in the East (NC State or Va Tech). We almost lost the annual game with Auburn because of Missouri. That would have been unforgivable IMO.

        Like

        • JCDAWG83

          I don’t think A&M or Missouri belong in the SEC. They should have gone after one of the teams you said or Clemson (to hell with what the gamechickens think about it). Neither Texas nor Missouri are in the Southeast. 14 teams is too many in a conference, I’m not sure that 12 is not too many, 10 was a good number. It really doesn’t matter now, college football is pretty well ruined anyway.

          Like

          • Totally agree, JC. TAMU is a better fit from a fan base, tradition, etc. than Mizzou, but your point about 14 is right on.

            Like

          • I think A&M is a decent cultural fit. However, I knew that Missouri wasn’t a fit at all when I was working in St. Louis the week of SEC Media Days in 2012 (their first in the league) and all the Mizzou fans in the office could discuss was how they were already one of the top basketball teams in the conference. The fact that they were discussing basketball in July told me all I needed to know about them.

            Like

          • dawgtired

            “…college football is pretty well ruined anyway.”

            The landscape looks so different from the days of our youth with teams moving in and out of conferences. I guess I’ll get use to it but it’s weird having Mizzu and Tamu in the SEC. They are both good schools and formidable opponents but it’s obvious the choice hinged on TV markets and not regional fits. Of course they could have been interested in some southern schools that didn’t want to join the SEC and we just don’t know the behind-the-scenes info.

            Like

        • Noonan

          I would like to swap Alabama and Auburn for Vandy and Missouri. This would make the AU/GA and AL/TN rivalries permanent and allow more flexible cross-division games.

          Like

  3. HirsuteDawg

    Not a fan of the conference expansion, however, Mizzou fans have been great – and road trips up there for this Dawg fan bark worthy.

    Like

  4. So would the ACC exist if Larry Scott had gotten the Pac-16?

    Like

  5. 69Dawg

    I guess we will have to rename the SEC to the CSBSC “Confederate States Border States Conference”. That way we could add Oklahoma, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Delaware. Hell lets just secede from the NCAA.

    Like