“He ain’t happy.”

The natives, they are restless.

“We’ve got to have better outcomes from our governing structure. I am highly concerned that we are not as effective as we need to be in our current environment,” Sankey tells SI.

“Driving things at the Board of Governors level is not making this enterprise more healthy and continuing along the same thought, assigning things to big committees that take two years to come to conclusions.”

Even before last week, when NCAA president Mark Emmert expressed his interest in a decentralized NCAA in comments to three select media outlets, wheels behind college athletics’ most powerful people—the conference commissioners—were already turning. Some commissioners were planning to open their individual media days this week with remarks about this exact subject—that NCAA governance change is needed—but Emmert leapt ahead of them, a potential act to save face in a battle he lost long ago.

Here from Hoover, a suburb of Birmingham, Sankey will give his annual state of the league to kick off SEC media days. Later this week, commissioners in the ACC, Big Ten, MAC and others will do the same.

All around them, the chorus of change is louder than ever, administrators say. In fact, one athletic director believes that a new governance model can be created and adopted within two years.

“The leaders in the industry are becoming much more vocal about it,” a high-placed NCAA official tells SI. “That tells me something. That tells me that maybe things are moving behind the scenes faster than you think.”

I will be very curious to hear if Sankey uses his convenient platform at this week’s SEC Media Days to level any pointed criticism in the NCAA’s direction.

In the meantime, if you want to know how bad things have gotten…

“The frustration just builds and builds and builds to a breaking point,” says Greg McGarity, the longtime athletic director at Georgia who is now the CEO of the Taxslayer Bowl. “The tough thing is, what’s the alternative? If not this, what’s it look like? I’m sure a lot of smart people are looking at another model.”

If you’ve lost Greg McGarity (!), the living embodiment of a milquetoast when it came to all things NCAA, you’re screwed.

21 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, The NCAA

21 responses to ““He ain’t happy.”

  1. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

    If there’s no NCAA for which to bend over backwards, will Greg McGarity even exist?

    Liked by 4 people

  2. theotherdoug

    The elephant in the room is what if the top football programs leave the NCAA? Guys like Sankey and SEC ADs have to be questioning why they need the NCAA.

    Like

    • jcdawg83

      The answer to why ADs need the NCAA is the same as with most things, money. The NCAA doles out quite a bit of cash to member institutions, over $800 million annually. Some schools with healthy income and balance sheets could probably get along fine without the NCAA money but the vast majority of schools need the NCAA money.

      The NCAA isn’t going anywhere until the member schools can work out how to replace the revenue from the NCAA.

      Liked by 1 person

      • theotherdoug

        The NCAA doesn’t have a lot of revenue from football. It’s BB money. Also, the big CFB teams can make more money by cutting the lesser teams out of the deal.

        Liked by 2 people

        • jcdawg83

          I agree completely, my point was why the ADs “need” the NCAA. As soon as the ADs come up with a plan to replace the revenue, they will be done with the NCAA.

          Liked by 1 person

      • 79dawg

        Do you think CBS pays the NCAA a bunch of money because it puts on a 64 team basketball tournament, or do you think CBS pays the NCAA a bunch of money because UCLA, Michigan, Notre Dame, Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Kanas, etc. participate in said 64-team basketball tournament?
        The NCAA doesn’t generate or sell anything sui generis – all it is is a collective marketing arm for its members…

        Liked by 3 people

        • DawgFlan

          Yup. Form a new organization with the ~72 top athletic programs (average director’s cup finish for last 10 years) and it has more value than the NCAA from the word go. As great as Gonzaga, VCU, and Drexel may be at basketball 95% of fans and TV eyeballs wouldn’t miss them if a new “power” program basketball program took its place.

          Like

        • jcdawg83

          I don’t think CBS cares who is in the tournament. If all the teams you name suddenly sucked and weren’t in the field of 64, the same number of eyes would be on the tournament. If (when?) another organization is formed and puts on an equivalent tournament, CBS will gladly pay them the same thing they are paying the NCAA.

          Like

          • 79dawg

            You don’t think there’s any difference in value to CBS between a basketball tournament with the top 64 P-5 teams (which is almost all of them), when compared to a tournament with (give or take) teams 65-128?

            Like

            • jcdawg83

              Those teams would be replaced with other P5 teams, the ones who won their respective conferences and had good records. The top 64 teams would be in the tournament, only the specific teams would change. If Duke or NC don’t make the tournament I doubt the tv ratings change at all.

              People in Texas don’t care if Michigan, Notre Dame, UCLA or Kansas is in the tournament. If Georgia, Ole Miss, Iowa and Stanford replaced those four teams the people in Texas wouldn’t care at all either.

              Like

    • theotherdoug

      Here is an article from last year about the power 5 splitting off that includes stuff from the Knight Commission. It’s obvious the big teams are interested in leaving.
      https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/majority-of-power-five-schools-favor-breaking-away-to-form-own-division-within-ncaa-survey-shows/

      Like

  3. 79dawg

    LOL, Sankey should ask his bosses why they haven’t done anything about it yet…

    Like

  4. Russ

    Why do we still have to hear what McGoofity has to say?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. godawgs1701

    How in the heck did Greg McGarity manage to get in front of a reporter’s microphone? Talk about leaving no stone unturned, taking the temperature of the director of the Gator Bowl is definitely digging down deep in your reporting. Sheesh.

    I bet ol’ Greg is interested in shaking up the status quo, now that the powers that be seem to be pushing towards further de-emphasizing any bowl organization that isn’t part of the expanding playoff.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I find it hilarious that McGarity is now CEO of the Taxslayer Bowl. I met the CEO of Taxslayer in Athens before a Georgia/Auburn game about 10 years ago — he’s a CPA from Augusta who graduated from Terry.

    I guess he wanted to take care of his old friend Greg with this Bowl CEO gig.

    Like

    • jcdawg83

      The guys who made Taxslayer into a big business are tech grads and tech fans. The business started as a local tax prep company and the tech guys came up with the software that became Taxslayer. They have sort of moved on (retired/quit working because they are rich) and the guy you met is running the place now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • theotherdoug

        The family that owns Taxslayer and the accounting firm it come from, the Rhodes, are big UGA fans.

        Like

        • jcdawg83

          I know the Rhodes, the guy I’m talking about went to high school with me and went to tech or at least is a big tech fan. He retired (sold out) a few years ago.

          Jimmy, Brian and Carl are Georgia fans. Jimmy was in high school with my wife. He was a few years older than she was. I told her she should have flirted with him more and she might not be stuck with me.

          Liked by 1 person

    • PTC DAWG

      Sounds like a good gig to me.

      Like

  7. The guys that approved a contract extension for Emmert now want to eliminate his job. Brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

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