Once things return to a semblance of normalcy, I have the feeling we’ll hear a lot of talk about unsustainable business models, but on the P5 level, at least, I suspect it’ll be more talk than action. The money will start rolling in again and that’ll be that.
The mid-majors may be a different story, though. The UL athletic director Bryan Maggard suggests some sort of broad, regional cooperative among second-tier conferences may be appropriate.
“Some type of alliance or cooperative scheduling agreement could work,” Maggard said. “But it wouldn’t surprise me that instead of having initially two conferences merging, you may have five to seven conferences really start talking and doing more regional non-conference scheduling.
“It might not be a governed or structured process, but I think this has opened everybody’s eyes that the current business model for college athletics isn’t the best.”
There are limits, though.
“I think everybody will dip their toe in the water for this upcoming sports season,” Maggard said. “Obviously, the sports of football and basketball are already set, but certainly for your diamond sports and your Olympic sports it’s very possible that you’ll start seeing some of that interaction among conference that are regionally close to each other to have their teams scheduling more. And hopefully, that’ll serve as a catalyst for a much larger movement down the road.”
They’ll travel for a paycheck, which makes sense. Ironically, this kind of proposal enhances regional interest, which is the thing that P5 football is slowly morphing away from. There’s a lesson to be learned there, except ESPN is too much of a distraction.