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SBD/July 15, 2014/Colleges
SEC's Mike Slive Renews Call For Autonomy, Threat Of "Division Four" If Reform Fails
Published July 15, 2014
ON THE MIKE: The AP's David Brandt noted Slive during the SEC's summer meetings in June said that the Big Five -- which also includes the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 -- would "consider forming a 'Division IV' if they weren't granted autonomy on some NCAA governance issues." Slive was "optimistic then, and also on Monday, that such a drastic measure won't be needed." Slive "didn't make any references" to Division IV yesterday. But he "wasn't afraid to pull from the history books to make a point on the rapidly changing world of college athletics, quoting Dwight Eisenhower, Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela at different moments" (AP, 7/14). In Atlanta, Tony Barnhart wrote the "failure to act" on Slive's request for autonomy, will "result in something very, very ugly as the big schools could be forced to go off on their own, leaving the NCAA behind." Slive’s suggestion that the "big schools would have to seek another 'venue' to realize their goals is going to be unsettling to some people in the college athletics community," and he will "get some pushback." But this "day of reckoning has been put off long enough." Now that the "millions generated by college athletics has become billions, the institution must change before a judge steps in and forces change" (AJC.com, 7/14). ESPN Radio's Mike Golic said, "There is going to be a change coming, but I don't think the big five are going to separate from the NCAA. What I think is going to happen is they're going to get all or close to all of what they want" ("Mike & Mike," ESPN Radio, 7/15).
NOT SO SUBTLE: In Tennessee, Jay Greeson wrote Slive was "as subtle as a chainsaw" yesterday. If the NCAA "forces the big five's hand, here's believing the big five would outlast the rest of college sports -- and focus on the message and the simple fact that the NCAA has failed" (CHATTANOOGA TIMES FREE PRESS, 7/15). ESPN's Jesse Palmer said, "If I'm a student-athlete, I love what Mike Slive is saying. You're going to get me more money and you're going to get me more time to get my degree." But he added, "When I look at it and take a step back and think about the good of the game, I'm not so sure it's the best thing. We're creating a much bigger rift" between the larger and smaller schools. ESPN's Danny Kanell said, "One thing I like about Mike Slive's comments is he's not saying we need to completely blow up the model as we know it" ("College Football Live," ESPN, 7/14).