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SBD/December 7, 2012/Colleges
IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum: Commissioners Discuss Viability Of NCAA
Published December 7, 2012
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PLENTY OF THINGS IN COMMON: Slive said there is a “tendency because of revenue and television to talk about separation,” but the reality is that “all of us at the NCAA have more commonality than we do separation.” Slive: “This is about higher education, we come here and we talk about television and about all the glitz and the glamour of the national championship game, but in the final analysis, what we all have in common in the NCAA is that we are competing athletically as part of higher education. That we have in common. We don’t need another organization for that purpose. Now the question is how do we just manifest through various ways some of the differences that we have. But the NCAA and us, even though we don’t get a lot of credit for it, we are involved in an enterprise that is part of higher education and part of the culture, so we have that in common and that shouldn’t change." Delany said, “I want to be in the same large tent with the Ivy group. I want to be in the same large tent with Ohio Valley and the Southern Conference, the MEAC and the SWAC. I want them to have an opportunity to play major college sports. They may play a little bit differently; their goals may be a little bit different. I just want to be able to do certain things, to have certain flexibility and not be restricted." Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco said, “We need the NCAA for a lot of reasons.” He added, “The conferences can’t look to the NCAA to solve certain problems. The NCAA can be an enforcement mechanism, but the conferences have to figure out governance, the conferences have to figure out the best way to proceed when it comes to how we recruit, how you deal with student-athlete life and other issues."
needs of the various conferences
GROWTH SPURT: Delany discussed the conference’s recent addition of Maryland and Rutgers, saying, “The paradigm has shifted and all five major conferences are outside their footprint. … We saw continuing changes and we thought there were more risks embracing the status quo.” Delany acknowledged that realignment at times is not popular with the conference fan base, and “we have lost some things that are very valuable.” Delany: “There may be some ambivalence (about new markets), but I think over time that can be overcome if the institutional connections and the competition (are able to grow.)” When asked how much Fox and Big Ten Network influenced the decision to add the two schools, Delany replied that they were not consulted and surprised many in the room. “We made the move we made because we thought the Big Ten as a conference, not for the Big Ten Network, but as a conference (the Big Ten) would be in a great position for the next decade.” Meanwhile, Slive said in regards to realignment, he prioritizes geographical identity over media possibilities and has to ask himself before adding a new school, “Will the SEC be the kind of preeminent conference 20 years from now that it is today?”