|Pay to Play?|
The Big 12, ACC, Pac 12, SEC and Big 10 are now empowered to govern themselves and push through rules changes as they see fit.
Make no doubt about it, this is a huge seismic shift in college sports as we know it -- and not just football. The three R's -- repercussions, reverberations and ramifications are epic.
Some are saying, this is the biggest college sport decision since the landmark Title IX.
When I attended the ACC Media Days this past July 20-21 in Greensboro, NC, ACC commissioner John Swoford addressed the Big Five demands and confidently declared:
“The good ship status quo has sailed.”
And as the NCAA big money makers, few doubted autonomy would be denied. Smart money was on them being granted authority to create a Big Five governing board, or saying adios to the NCAA Division I altogether.
Perhaps, other factors influencing the board of directors include.
- Former UCLA Ed O'Bannon suing the NCAA for compensation of former players used for marketing.
- Northwestern University players voting to unionize.
Now, about the three R's: What does this decision mean?
Will players have a more prominent national voice?
Will athletic scholarships get redefined?
Will players receive stipends?
Will players receive compensation for usage of their likeness?
Jon Solomon National College Football Writer reports:
What issues will the Power 5 tackle on their own?
The first big one is a cost of attendance stipend to cover the gap between an athletic scholarship and what financial aid offices determine to be the actual cost of attending college. Other topics could include medical coverage for athletes, time demands on athletes, allowing schools to pay for athletes' families to attend games, loosening the rules on contact between athletes and agents, and putting in dead periods when athletes can't officially workout at their school.
In the end analysis, college sports, particularly men's football and basketball, may be amateur sports but, they are billion dollar enterprises. Pulling back the NCAA curtain leads to discovery of the big profit reapers of college sports (note to readers, it ain't the main entertainers aka the players).
Players' issues, as delineated by Solomon, have historically been at best secondary or worse not even on the table. If autonomy gives the Big Five more juice and leverage to adequately address these issues then it's a step in the right direction.