SBD/January 25, 2011/Colleges

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  • NCAA Boss Mark Emmert Talks Football, College World Series

    Emmert describes conference-owned networks as a "fascinating phenomenon"

    NCAA President Mark Emmert in an interview with the Omaha WORLD-HERALD's Dirk Chatelain yesterday discussed a "range of topics, most notably college football controversies and the College World Series." The following is a portion of the Q&A:

    Q: What are your thoughts on ESPN's deal with the University of Texas? They will team up to launch a 24-hour TV network devoted to Longhorn sports. Texas receives $300 million over 20 years. Do you have any concerns?
    Emmert: Not from what I've seen. The development of these independent or conference-based networks are a fascinating phenomenon. I think in the case of the Big Ten Network, it's provided really good access to a lot of sports that wouldn't have been on TV before. It's provided even some academic programming that wouldn't have been there before. So I think it's a useful development for higher education. We'll have to wait to see what the Texas model really looks like. But overall, I don't find them alarming. I find them intriguing.

    Q: I have to ask you about a proposed college football playoff. What are your thoughts?
    Emmert: Right now, the membership is very supportive of the BCS model. If there is a desire to move toward a championship model, we run 88 championships. We know how to do it. We're very good at it and we'd be happy to help.

    Q
    : How do you foresee conference realignment in the next five to 10 years? Will we see dramatic changes?
    Emmert: It's a bit like getting your information from the Ouija board, but the fact is that conferences have pretty routinely been in flux. If you were to go back 20 years and asked the same question, you wouldn't have described what you see today. At the end of the day, the movements among the major conferences this last year were relatively modest. I worry about the domino effect that they have on the mid-majors and some of the other conferences. I suspect there will be stability among some of the majors and continued movement among some of the others.

    Q: There's concern locally that the [College World Series] could lose its local flavor as it leaves Rosenblatt Stadium. ... To what degree is that issue on your radar screen?
    Emmert: I would be shocked if, within a few days of the World Series starting up this year, that people aren't, they'll remember Rosenblatt fondly, but they aren't even more pleased with the new locale and the new stadium (Omaha WORLD-HERALD, 1/25).

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