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SBD/July 21, 2014/Colleges
ACC's John Swofford Confident In Autonomy Vote, In Favor Of Four-Year Scholarships
Published July 21, 2014
SCHOLARLY THINKING: Swofford said that the ACC would "be in favor of granting four-year scholarships, and believes the other Power Five conferences would be on board with that as well." He said, "There's going to be a lot of work to be done if this passes, in order to start the ball rolling and determine how we are going to function" (ESPN.com, 7/20). Swofford said of the restructured model, “I don’t think it has to weaken the NCAA. I think it strengthens the five conferences. But I think we have a responsibility, as five conferences, to take that autonomy and do the right things. I think we’ve found a way to address the issues that are most specific to the five conferences, while at the same time not damaging the rest of Division 1. Hopefully, that’s where we’ve landed" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/21). Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said that increasing scholarships among Power Five schools "isn't being considered and isn't a topic for autonomy." Delany: "I think the numbers are where they ought to be. That's not why we went down this road. That has a direct bearing on competitive balance." Delany added that he "thinks the reason other leagues have brought up the topic of scholarship limits is that 'it's a concern they've always had,' and 'they're just re-emphasizing how important that is to them.'" He added, "We never asked for autonomy over scholarships; there's no assertion. We did ask for a provision that allows us to move things from shared governance into autonomy, and so we have a list of things that are in the autonomy of jurisdiction" (USA TODAY, 7/21).
PICKING ON THE LITTLE GUY? ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy noted commissioners from the non-Power Five conferences "vehemently disagreed" with SMU football coach June Jones' "suggestion that those leagues should play in the spring to avoid going head-to-head with the bigger conferences." American Athletic Commissioner Mike Aresco, Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson and MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said that they "have 'no interest' nor do they even expect to consider moving from the fall to the spring." Aresco: "We have no interest in doing that and have no plans to discuss or look into it. Our position is clear. We are an integral part of the fabric of FBS college football." Steinbrecher added, "I have not reviewed this concept with our membership but I cannot imagine we would support such a concept" (ESPN.com, 7/20).