SBD/April 22, 2013/Colleges

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  • Is Major College Football Breaking Away From NCAA Only A Matter Of Time?

    Sources said a structural change in college football could be in the works

    Although the notion that "big football schools might eventually break away from the NCAA is not new, the overwhelming sense within the industry is that some sort of major change is on the horizon,” according to Wolken & Schroeder of USA TODAY. Sources said that "whether that change includes the NCAA completely, in part or not at all is now talked about openly and frequently among administrators.” If a group of schools or conferences “decided to break away from the NCAA and form a new organization, there is no consensus on what schools and sports it would include, how it would operate and whether it would alleviate the fundamental problems in college athletics.” Univ. of Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione said, "For every minute one thinks something like that would make life easier, they have to ... step back and look at how many other moving parts there are to that type of a decision. I can't begin to list all the issues that we would have to face in looking at something like that. It doesn't mean we wouldn't; it just means we'd have to be very mindful of what we're going to be up against." Wolken & Schroeder note the “most logical jumping-off point revolves around football" because the NCAA "has minimal involvement in the sport at the highest level.” NCAA President Mark Emmert during the Final Four said that “nothing had changed in the NCAA's relationship with college football since schools won the right to negotiate their own television contracts” in '84. But Wolken & Schroeder write it is “practically a consensus among administrators at the ground level that some sort of structural change" will happen. How change occurs “could be determined in large part by the outcome of an antitrust lawsuit originally filed by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon against the NCAA” (USA TODAY, 4/22).

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