Bob Bowlsby touched off huge debate about the future of the NCAA when the Big 12 commissioner began Big 12 meetings by railing on the ineffectiveness of that organization in dealing with like-minded institutions of varying size.
However, he stopped short of suggesting the five power conferences are threatening to break off from the NCAA and forming a counter organization that would give them more autonomy.
“We haven’t wanted to put the threat of secession on the table,” Bowlsby said, “and I think in all honesty there aren’t many that think it’s a legitimate threat.”
Bowlsby wouldn’t be shocked to see a fourth division arise out of bigger schools’ frustrations.
“There are a lot of different models out there,” he said. “It’s always about the people at the margin, too. There are a lot of people that will support a given proposal if they’re included rather than excluded.”
Bowlsby said he could envision more “federation” within individual sports where there could be different rules that could better fit the schools that play those sports.
The schools in the larger conferences have advocated rules changes that could provide stipends to all athletes above the cost of a basic scholarship and could loosen some recruiting regulations.
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