In his opening remarks at SEC Media Days, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive stared down the NCAA in a game of chicken and the NCAA blinked. Speaking at the opening of the media event, Slive reiterated the Big 5 Power Conferences’ threat to break a way from the NCAA and start a new collegiate governing body if the NCAA did not grant their wishes.
The NCAA steering committee was scheduled to meet August 7, to consider the Five’s request for authority to govern themselves. However, the NCAA Board was apparently listening when Slive said, “I think when push comes to shove, it will pass;” because after his latest “push,” the NCAA announced Friday a restructuring plan that would essentially give the big boys what they want – autonomy.
The Steering Committee will still meet on Aug. 7 to vote on it but the restructuring plan assures its passing is a forgone conclusion. The move will give the Big Five (SEC, Big 10, PAC 12, ACC, Big12) more power to run their own affairs without much of a threat of being voted down by the rest of the membership.
Had the other (smaller) Division I schools not overrode their proposal of a $2,000 player stipend three years ago, this may have never happened. Now the new super majority will be able to implement their wishes with near impunity.
The immediate impact of all this will be that “cost of full attendance” scholarships (paying players) will go in to effect before the 2015 football season and possibly within the next six months. In addition we can look for changes in the transfer rules, increasing the number of scholarships, revising of recruiting rules, as well as any number of concerns of the Big Five.
To be sure it was political hard ball, by Slive and his fellow commissioners, and it paid off. If the conferences had not gotten their way, it may have ultimately meant the demise of the parent organization altogether.