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Maybe the "collegiate model" isn't dead....and I was right


Not gloating, just saying that I wrote it before the writer from The Athletic did.

True, I was speculating and pontificating and Nicole Auerbach was actually reporting, but she does some speculating, too.

I cranked out my thesis in three parts, here, here, and finally here. And the primary point was that while the SEC is trying to overwhelm everyone by creating the we're-too-big-to-challenge-and-therefore-we're-the-best conference, the other football playing institutions that actually are concerned about academics and the Olympic sports are saying, 'Not so fast'.

Auerbach writes in her piece:

Schools within the three conferences believe they are like-minded, that they want to continue to prioritize broad-based sports offerings and that the academic profile of their institutions matters — as does graduating athletes. For example, Big Ten schools sponsor an average of 24.8 sports per campus, with the ACC (23.8) and Pac-12 (22.9) not far behind. SEC schools offer an average of 19.9 sports.

I said pretty much the same thing, feeling that a lot of those university presidents and chancellors, while really interested in all the money that football and TV bring in, are also interested in maintaining collegiate athletics that go beyond football, as well as looking at "institutional fit" among conference members. From The Athletic:

The Alliance — which really needs to be the official name of this, with capitalization, please — goes far beyond the concepts of scheduling and television inventory.

There are many administrators in the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC who believe in the collegiate model and want it to continue; even those who have enthusiastically embraced name, image and likeness reform don't want to see college football become an actual minor league system for the NFL with a draft, player salaries and the like. They worry that the SEC's aggression could lead to something like that.

And with the NCAA pretty much on its death bed, the real issue seems to be all about governance of college athletics. The big boys, including the SEC, B1G, ACC, and Pac-12 are trying to get more power, feeling that the G5 schools as well as the D2 and D3 schools, are not looking at things as they are. As a former football official, I know that a lot of rules were made to address things happening at the D1 level, not at D2 and 3 where I worked. For example, officials have to be on the field an hour before the game to "babysit" players; not because of issues at the D2 level but because, as an example, Notre Dame and Miami coaches couldn't control their own teams!

There's no question that change is coming to college football, in one form or another. The B1G, ACC, and Pac-12 are working together to protect their interests. And - thank heaven! - Rutgers is in the B1G.

Life is good.

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