SBD/August 8, 2014/Colleges

College Commissioners, ADs, Coaches Weigh In On NCAA Autonomy Vote

Reactions varied to Thursday's changes to NCAA governance. Among the thoughts and comments:

FROM POWER FIVE OFFICIALS
  • Florida State AD Stan Wilcox said, "Moving forward it's going to be helpful to student-athletes as we are able to provide hopefully more resources to help them have a better collegiate experience, on and off the field, and obviously in the classroom." FSU Faculty Athletics Rep Pam Perrewe: "I don't think you're going to see any crazy rule changes. These schools, these conferences, they just needed the autonomy" (TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT, 8/8).
  • Colorado AD Rick George: "What it really does is pave the way for us to enact changes that will benefit student-athletes in a more significant way" (DENVER POST, 8/8).
  • Purdue AD Morgan Burke: "We're not pure amateurs anymore. We're not pure professionals. We've created a hybrid. Let's not kid ourselves" (Lafayette JOURNAL & COURIER, 8/8). More Burke: "People think the autonomy has the potential for a runaway freight train. I don't think that's a fair assessment" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/8). 
  • Georgia AD Greg McGarity: "You're seeing a situation where we're able to help those young people out" ("Press Row," ESPN Radio 105.1 Chattanooga, 8/7). 

FROM NON-POWER FIVE OFFICIALS

  • Charlotte AD Judy Rose: "The biggest issue for all of us nationally is, 'What does autonomy encompass?'" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/8). 
  • Boise State President Bob Kustra: "For those who already think that Division I athletics has devolved into a business that too often dictates university priorities rather than the other way around, it's about to get worse. ... No president within Division I should be in favor of these changes. They take Division I athletics down the wrong road to professionalism" (IDAHO STATESMAN, 8/8). 
  • SMU AD Rick Hart: "At the end of the day, this redesigned model allows our programs to continue to compete at the highest level of collegiate athletics" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/8).
  • Univ. of Texas-Pan American AD Chris King: "If I worked at a Power Five school, I would think this is a fantastic day. For those that aren’t in the Power Five, I think there’s a lot of uncertainty at this point to see what direction the Power Five is going to take and to see if there’s going to be such a disparity on the competitive side, where there already is" (BROWNSVILLE HERALD, 8/8).
  • Rice President David Leebron: "There is a risk the gap will grow; I think we ought to be candid about that. We're in a world of radically different resources" (ESPN.com, 8/7).
  • IUPUI AD Michael Moore: "A lot of institutions like ours recognize there never was a level playing field simply because of resources." He added, "If those schools have the resources to provide extra benefits to their student-athletes, I think that's a good thing. But it doesn't necessarily mean institutions and conferences that don't aren't providing a good experience for our athletes. Unfortunately, that's what some of the public perception has been. Just because I can't spent a million dollars on a training table doesn't mean my kids aren't being cared for" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/8). 
  • Memphis AD Tom Bowen: "This is not a doomsday at all. ... It will allow athletic directors to be more involved in the decision process and the governance. That's a key component here" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 8/8). 
  • Univ. of Denver AD Peg Bradley-Doppes: "This will create incredible discussions on every campus throughout the country. I hope those discussions cause people to get their heads out of the sand. I would love to keep Division I athletics intact. This will only increase the gap" (DENVER POST, 8/8). 
  • Air Force AD Hans Mueh: "The big five say they are doing this for all the good reasons. I would like to believe that. But I hope the educational and ethical standards we have aren't eroded by this. ... Those five conferences already get 97 percent of the television revenues. What do they want, 100 percent?" (DENVER POST, 8/8).

FROM COMMISSIONERS

  • The Big 12's Bob Bowlsby: "The storyline on this is that student-athletes win. This is an opportunity for them to gain an additional measure of expense money. We all know it costs more than room, board, books, tuition and fees to go to college. This is reflective of that. It sets us up for a new covenant that is reflective of 21st Century reality" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 8/8).
  • WAC's Jeff Hurd: "It’s hard to determine at this point whether it’s a negative, positive, or somewhere in between. And my guess, purely a guess at this point, is it’ll be somewhere in between" (BROWNSVILLE HERALD, 8/8).
  • The AAC's Mike Aresco: "The biggest concern is we would like to be in the room. We would not like to see a great degree of separation between (Power 5 conferences) and others. We think we have proved that competitively within our conference in football and basketball. We don't like the term 'Power 5' particularly. That's not written anywhere in this model" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 8/7).
  • The Horizon League's Jon LeCrone: "Now the Big Five will have their own legislative proposals that we will have to react to. That will be a significant change" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/8). 

FROM FOOTBALL COACHES

  • Gardner-Webb's Carroll McCray: "I just hope this doesn't dampen the strength or tear down the integrity of what we have in the NCAA now" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/8). 
  • Minnesota's Jerry Kill: "The schools I was at before, I feel bad for because it's going to be tough for them to get that type of money" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 8/8). 
  • Maryland's Randy Edsall: "It's good that we have that. I think it's one step closer to the five conferences splitting off. I really do" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 8/7). 
  • BYU's Bronco Mendenhall: "If the true intent is to benefit the student-athletes and their well-being, within reason, I am for parts of those ideas. In the discussions that I have been part of, I wish I could say sincerely that that is the motive. It usually is: 'Who has the most money? Who can provide more for the sake of themselves and their program, not really the student-athlete?' And it is moving much more toward professionalism than amateurism" (SLTRIB.com, 8/7).
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