May 13th, 2013 10:54 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: CSA, Jefferson Davis, NCAA, Rules Working Group
For a quarter of a century, sports fans and media members have chattered about colleges and universities breaking away from the NCAA to form a new organization with a new governing body. But since this site launched in May 2008 we’ve said there will not be a full-scale secession.
The reason? There is no way 65-80 rich schools with different interests from different parts of the country could agree upon a new rule book, a new org chart, or very much of anything else.
Consider the Confederate States of America. Once the Southern states broke away, their governments fought hard to avoid giving CSA president Jefferson Davis any real centralized power. After all, it was the centralized power of the federal government that had led them to secede. But without strong centralized power in the Confederacy, you had the governor of North Carolina hoarding uniforms from needy troops of other states. You had the governor of Georgia threatening to secede again, this time from the CSA. It was an experiment doomed to fail. As Davis himself said, “If the Confederacy fails, there should be written on its tombstone: Died of a Theory.”
Well, theoretically, a new body to replace the NCAA sounds well in good. But it couldn’t be created and even if it could, it would wind up having many of the same problems of college sports’ current governing body.
In fact, a confederacy of conferences is more likely than a brand new “NCAA II.” Imagine five or six separate conferences, all with their own rule books, agreeing on occasion to meet in bowl games. Even something that nonsensical is more likely to occur than everyone agreeing on a grand new sporting government.
Today, Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com tackles the recent shootdown of the NCAA’s proposed changes to its rule book. You know, the much-discussed alterations that would have erased entire pages of recruiting regulations from the NCAA’s current tome of laws.
Pay attention to Dodd’s words:
“Twenty-five pages. They couldn’t even agree on that.
That’s what would have been cut out of the 426-page NCAA Manual if everything proposed by the Rules Working Group for football had gotten through last week. Twenty-five pages or 5.8 percent. And they couldn’t even agree on that.
They can’t agree on much of anything these days as the NCAA attempts to rewire itself. Rewiring is more commonly called reform and it has been going on forever. It is needed because that manual is 426 pages. We can thank every coach/booster/player who ever though of a new and devious way to cheat for the book’s thickness.”
Now, the rest of Dodd’s piece is interesting, but for our purposes you’ve seen enough. If NCAA leadership, presidents and athletic directors can’t get on the same page regarding a few edits to the existing rule book, what makes anyone think that these same presidents and athletic directors could find enough middle ground to form a whole new organization from scratch?
Look, the next time you read something about schools breaking away from the NCAA, just roll your eyes. It is not going to happen.
What is going to happen — and what’s already happening — is the richest football-playing schools will break away from the poorest football-playing schools and carve out a new fifth division at the top of the NCAA food chain. That snow ball is already rolling downhill and picking up momentum as it goes.
A new super-division, not a new NCAA.
On that everyone should be able to agree.
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