Posted: 6:03 pm Monday, July 14th, 2014

SEC’s Slive: Big Five conferences could seek new ‘venue’ 

By Tony Barnhart

Hoover, Ala. — The passage from SEC Commissioner Mike Slive was only about 40 words. But it sent a very powerful message to open the conference’s annual Football Media Days:

“If we do not achieve a positive outcome under the existing big tent of Division I, we will consider the establishment of a venue with similar conferences and institutions where we can enact the desired changes in the best interests of our student-athletes.”

Slive, a former judge who still calls himself “a recovering lawyer,” chose his words carefully but the meaning was clear: For years, the five largest conferences in college athletics have worked within the NCAA system for change. They want the autonomy to provide a series of benefits to improve the quality of life for their athletes.

The time for debate is over. It is time — past time, in fact — to act.

Failure to act— and these are my words, not his — will result in something very, very ugly as the big schools could be forced to go off on their own, leaving the NCAA behind.

Nobody wants that. I have called it the nuclear option because the schools would have to blow up the entire system and start over.

The next big date in this process is Aug. 7 when the NCAA Board of Directors, made up college presidents, will vote on a proposal that outlines what this change would look like. It is expected to pass. Even if it passes, the rest of the Division I membership can veto and overturn the decision if it can get enough votes.

In December of 2011, a $2,000 stipend for scholarship athletes that had been approved by the board, was suspended and ultimately overturned because of the smaller schools said they couldn’t afford it. It was the tipping point in the power struggle that eventually led us to Slive’s statement on Monday.

The small schools cannot have a similar uprising this time because it would not be pretty.

How does this affect you, the fan? What if the 64 schools in the Big Five conferences decided they were only going to play each other? What would the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament be worth if those 64 schools went off and had their own tournament where everybody gets in?

Slive’s suggestion that the big schools would have to seek another “venue” to realize their goals is going to be unsettling to some people in the college athletics community. He’ll get some pushback.

But this day of reckoning has been put off long enough. Now that the millions generated by college athletics has become billions, the institution must change before a judge steps in and forces change.

“We are not deaf to the din of discontent across collegiate athletics that has dominated the news,” Slive said.

Then he quoted Dwight Eisenhower: “Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.”

The man is serious.

 

45 comments
GTBob
GTBob

Welcome back Tony! I'm still not buying this. If the 5 "power" conferences decide to go out on their own they will ruin the NCAA basketball tournament, lose their tax exempt status, and draw significant attention from congress. Not to mention they would have to setup their own governing board. I would be a little shocked if they even attempted it. Maybe their strong arming of the smaller schools will work but they certainly aren't blowing everything up if it doesn't.

urbanCHICKENmeyer
urbanCHICKENmeyer

Welcome back Tony!  Looking forward to seeing you on CSS as well.

PigIron
PigIron

Hello there, Mr. CFB!


Long time, no see. Nice to have you back at the AJC!

TheBystander
TheBystander

If the Div IV comes about, what happens to Notre Dame? For years they have refused to join a conference for football.  

Delbert_D
Delbert_D

It looks like the eventual outcome of this movement will be the universities in this group of five conferences forming corporations that sponsor semiprofessional teams. The players can do as they choose while not on the clock for practice and other training. Some may even attend the host university as students, but the amount of funding for tuition will need to be within the budget  allocated for player bonuses. Example: The Alabama Crimson Tide, Inc., not a subsidiary of the University of Alabama, but partners for providing entertainment for students and non-affiliated fans.

BrookhavenGuy
BrookhavenGuy

"Now that the millions generated by college athletics has become billions, the institution must change before a judge steps in and forces change."

Before a  judge steps in?  - LOL


The bench trial in the O'Bannon case has been completed and is before the trial judge for a decision

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/2014/07/10/ed-obannon-antitrust-case-against-ncaa-closing-judge-claudia-wilken/12510271/


And the O'Bannon trial is by comparison a trifling matter when compared to the antitrust case filed by Jeffrey Kessler

The lawsuit alleges that the NCAA’s rules prohibiting how much schools can offer student athletes to play college football or basketball are tantamount to price fixing.

http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2014/06/23/In-Depth/Antitrust.aspx


The NCAA and the big conferences have lost control over their future - Mr. Slive is not the only person who is serious about changing how big time college sports do business and the time for a judge not stepping in has passed



Andy123
Andy123

It's not a big secret that these kids are already getting paid big by the boosters so I'm not sure what the $2000 would so other than be above board. 

MoistDawg
MoistDawg

moist would only support this if the new leage actually did something to punish these cheating schools i salute cmr for how we go against these sickening schools every year and still were only 5 yards one-year and a freak tip pass least year from a national title this year we should have the last laugh when we hoist that Crystal and cmr will finally be recognized as the coach k of football.

BCW1
BCW1

How refreshing...a true leader with common sense!!!

almmanduane75
almmanduane75

To me this is about choice. No one is forcing HS Athletes to sign GIA's


If they want income, they can go get a job.


Stop crying about being paid. You knew there was no competition when you CHOSE to sign.

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

Ha ha - 64 team division -  ha ha  


Without the small schools who will the SEC play???   The season would be cut to 6 games.  Anyway 5 divisions that can pay millions for coaches can afford to play the players and support the middle & small school too.  

gooddawg
gooddawg

Message to the small schools. If you want to run with Big Dogs you have to P in the tall grass.

Pat_Pending
Pat_Pending

The fact is football as king is a failed plan. There aren't 5 power conferences ... there are only 16-20 power schools. Alabama, Texas, USC, ND, etc etc, you know the rest, should split off - form 2 12-team leagues and have at it. See how 6-6 tastes. But no, they bully the Vanderbilts, Dukes, Indianas, Colorados etc. to eat their crumbs and fill out the schedule, fill the stadium and helped build a gaudy 10-2 record.


What any of this has to do with the student-athlete is a mystery.

CTOTWO
CTOTWO

I just want them to stop increasing tuition so I don't have to fund college sports!

NorthwoodsDAWG
NorthwoodsDAWG

Football & basketball don't exist absent the other sports. The Bully I mean power five know this all too well. The SEC, ACC, etc. can easily afford an additional 2,000 - 3,000 per athlete and they know the additional expenditure would be difficult for the Conference USA's and MAC's of the world. This is all a power play with the union vote and suits as a backdrop to see how much more money they can grab from the pie to keep it away from real student athletes who will never see their "NIL" plastered all over ESPN.

RealLurker
RealLurker

The SEC should remove itself from the NCAA and begin a professional conference.  All attempts at pretending to be a "college" sport should end.  Coaches should recruit "players" not student athletes.  If the players want to attend classes and attempt to graduate, fine.  If the players want to ignore school and only concentrate on athletics, fine.


"College" athletics are a joke at the moment.  Universities seem to worry more about getting and keeping players who can help to win a national championship than getting and keeping students who can understand and keep up with actual college courses.  The NCAA tries to appear to care about the academic performance of the athletes, but most of the decisions the NCAA makes are tied to how much money can be made.

newnancat
newnancat

Do you think most of these athletes would actually "work" after school if they could? Probably not. You are right, a lot of the students parents could not afford some of the needs, but they also could not afford an education their son is getting that they would not have otherwise.  

peachstealth
peachstealth

How about this, A mandatory $2000 stipend for schools in conferences in which football attendance is 45,000 or more per home game. Also applies to independents who average 45K or more. That gets all the P5 conferences from the SEC which averages over 75,000 to the ACC which averages just under 50,000.

 Conferences that average less than 45,000 may offer the same or less or nothing by a vote of their members. 

Rick_James
Rick_James

Welcome back Tony!! With the folding of CSS I wondered how I would get through the season without you..

newnancat
newnancat

They are students  Mary,  not artists

MaryFraintzesMimsey
MaryFraintzesMimsey

Pay the "student"-athletes.


They are performers, not students.


They should get a piece of the action.


Not smarmy and self-serving paeans to amateurism.


The only amateur on the NCAA plantation is Mark Emmert on the witness stand in Oakland.

newnancat
newnancat

Agree with the 4year requirement for a bargaining tool, basketball as well. And on another note,  if my son gets a full ride scholarship, That will free me up to buy him a whole lot of t shirts and hamburgers , even crab legs. If I don't have to do the college loan thing. So I still agree for the most part with the scholarship and free education being valuable in its own right. As long as you are eating free and have a place to sleep, what else do you really need. Please don't say cell phone. 

leefrommeeks
leefrommeeks

We will take our ball and go home.......43LL with every one else

Old_Man
Old_Man

I wonder if the school presidents have checked off on this.  

When the benefits include prostitutes for the players, maybe some schools will have second thoughts.

Whoops, my bad.  They already do that on recruiting trips.

Just set up minor league football, and let the schools teach kids physics, chemistry, history, etc.

but wait there's more
but wait there's more

OK if that's what they want however I suggest a few requirements... college players must play 4 years of college football...no jumping to the "Big Show" . Criminal acts if convicted will require pay back of all benefits and eliminate them from any College Program and last they must keep a "B" academic average. ( no crip courses please).

Get The Picture
Get The Picture

Iwish a free education was still enough payment for playing 3 years of college football, but sad to say those days are gone. Most all these guys just see college football as a developmental league for the NFL. They also see the money that is made even though only a few schools are actually in the black financeily, UGA being one. Student Athlete is reserved for the most part for the guys on the second team who know they need the diploma and the NFL Talented guys who realize there is life after football. 

Obama_Joke
Obama_Joke

Did they discuss how 4 SEC teams are in the top 10 of the Fulmer Cup?  UGA checks in at a respectable #9.

MikeInATL
MikeInATL

@TheBystander 100% guaranteed... there will be a Notre Dame "provision" for them to play with the big boys.

Hangonsloopy
Hangonsloopy

@MoistDawg Richt will NEVER be recognized as the Coach K of college football. Are you  NUTS?

MikeInATL
MikeInATL

@blah blah blah I imagine the smaller schools that stay in the NCAA legacy league will still want to play the big 5 conferences for the revenue.  And, we all know the SEC will force the new league to allow those games... 

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

@gooddawg Like Boise State, Louisville, UCF or even Georgia Southern.   Oh, how those losses hurt those BIG DOGS



Bearhand
Bearhand

@newnancat Yes, they are students, but they are also football players and basketball players who aren't allowed to have after-school jobs. Many of them don't have parents who can bankroll them through college.

Bearhand
Bearhand

@newnancat The education is not free. They have to work for it and earn it every year.


Bearhand
Bearhand

@but wait there's more And let's not forget that colleges can't force them to skip class to hit the weight room or go to practice and immediate eligibility if they transfer schools. Because the education ain't free, they're paying for it with their time and effort and it's not just 5 hours a week, it's a full-time job.

Chipper34
Chipper34

@Get The Picture I agree that a scholarship is worth money but someone on an academic scholarship can also go out & get a job.  Athletes don't have that chance.  Plus the schools are making tons of money off these guys.  Think Aaron Murray or Matthew Stafford were seeing those shirt sales?


Contractor1
Contractor1

He's saying instead of playing ball while in school. Go get a job if you can't wait three years for the big money is what the point is. Atleast that's the way I took it.