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SBD/April 22, 2014/CollegesPrint All
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive does not think college athletes "should have employee status, but believes there is some common ground with the proposal from the five power leagues and a union movement," according to John Zenor of the AP. The NCAA BOD on Thursday is expected to consider a "recommendation restructuring the NCAA to create autonomy in specific areas" for the SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12 and ACC. Slive said, "It's not unfair to say that to turn the NCAA is not unlike turning an aircraft carrier from north to south. It's taken time. These are [some things] that we believed in and wanted to get on the table much earlier than we have been able to" (AP, 4/21). Slive said that the proposed pact would "not change the Division I structure, but mid-major leagues such as Conference USA 'may not be as happy as they otherwise would be' in the current setup." Slive said that there is "no initial concern of backlash from those lower-revenue conferences or any sense of major exclusion, but he added that such a perspective is better for those schools to answer." Slive: "It will still be Division I. Our goal is not to change that. Our goal is to participate and not change the (NCAA) basketball tournament, not to change the (football) championship. Our goal is, we call it the big tent, T-E-N-T. We would like to stay in there, but we would like to have the autonomy to make the rules that benefit the student-athletes." He added, "I don’t know if there would be a backlash. I don’t know what a backlash would be" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 4/22).