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Volume 24 No. 115


Pac-12 presidents last week "sent a letter to their colleagues" at the Big 12, ACC, Big Ten and SEC "calling for sweeping changes to the NCAA model and autonomy for those leagues," according to Antonio Gonzalez of the AP. The presidents "outlined a 10-point plan for reform that includes many proposals commissioners have been advocating for several years, including a stipend for athletes." Arizona State President Michael Crow said his counterparts in the Pac-12 are not "happy with where things are going. We're not happy with the nature of the debate out there. And we felt like our voice is not well understood." The list of proposals in the letter include permitting schools to "make scholarship awards up to the full cost of attendance," and to "decrease the demands placed on the athlete in-season." They also call for the schools to "provide reasonable ongoing medical or insurance assistance for student-athletes who suffer an incapacitating injury in competition or practice," and to "guarantee scholarships for enough time to complete a bachelor's degree." Included is a call to "decrease time demands out of season by reducing out-of-season competition and practices, and by considering shorter seasons in specific sports." The proposal also seeks to "further strengthen" APR requirements for postseason play and to address the "'one and done' phenomenon in men's basketball." If the NBA and NBPA are "unable to agree to raising the age limit for players, consider restoring the freshman ineligibility rule in men's basketball." Meanwhile, it seeks to "provide student-athletes a meaningful role in governance at the conference and NCAA levels," and "adjust existing restrictions so that student-athletes ... are not unnecessarily deprived of the advice and counsel of agents." Finally, it looks to "liberalize the current rules limiting the ability of student-athletes to transfer between institutions." The presidents are "asking for a response to the proposed reforms by June 4" (AP, 5/20).

While Big Ten schools "make millions from football games in their campus stadiums, they also are paying large guarantees for opponents to show up and play," according to Adam Rittenberg of Big Ten teams paid nearly $42M "to visiting teams in all sports" during the '12-13 season. That figure "includes Rutgers and Maryland, but not Northwestern, a private institution that doesn't report figures." The Big Ten paid "more to opponents than any other conference," which is "not a surprise considering many Big Ten teams make more than" $3M per football home game. In '12-13, Ohio State "led the nation in money paid to opponents" ($8M), followed by Minnesota ($4.8M) and Wisconsin ($4M). OSU has "spent more on visiting teams in each of the past six years," averaging $7.4M per year. OSU VP& AD Gene Smith said, "We’ll net north of about $7 million off of each (home football) game. That's why we can afford to pay that guarantee." But Rittenberg noted the "problem going forward is inventory." Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez said, "You're trying to schedule all (FBS) schools. The inventory becomes questionable. People don't want to go home-and-home. You try to stay at seven games at home, it's very difficult to do that in the year that you have four Big Ten games at home. So there are some issues." Michigan State AD Mark Hollis: "As the supply shrinks, those that are in the window of who you want to play have the ability to ask for more." Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, while "reiterating the need to avoid scheduling FCS opponents," said that he will "assist member schools with the scheduling dilemma" (, 5/20).

Ohio State
Michigan State
Penn State

Mountain West Conference Commissioner Craig Thompson said that the conference is “evaluating its scheduling philosophy regarding BYU,” according to Dennis Dodd of The MWC “becomes the third conference to consider how it views the FBS independent in terms of scheduling” following the SEC and the ACC not recognizing BYU as a Big Five team last month. Thompson said that the MWC evaluation “isn't necessarily a negative” for BYU because the school “might bring schedule strength to certain schools” in the conference. However, such a move by the conference “is sure to heighten concerns” at BYU and “creates the perception that BYU could negatively impact schedule strength” among the Big Five Conferences in the College Football Playoff era. Thompson said of BYU, “We're playing them more out of history, geography and convenience than schedule strength. Now that will bite me in the (backside) but you know what I'm saying. We have a history with them.” Dodd noted during conference realignment, the Big 12 “did not invite BYU -- in part -- because of concerns about geography.” Troubled in part with the MWC’s TV visibility, BYU announced a four-year deal with ESPN in ‘10 “to go independent” in which the net “reportedly pays BYU between” $800,000-$1.3M per home game. On the high end, that is as much as BYU was "earning per season” in the MWC. The current situation has become an “unintended consequence of conferences trying to develop schedule strength to impress the selection committee” in the upcoming CFP era (, 5/19).