Monday, August 22, 2011

IU's Glass Takes a Look at NCAA Reform

So here is Indiana athletic director Fred Glass, a man for all seasons, and this time of year that means football, well aware that change is coming to the college sports world.

Reform is a top priority, everything from cutting out the silly and unenforceable rules to basing postseason participation on meeting minimum academic standards to boosting the amount of scholarship money to include the full cost of going to college, and more.

This could be radical stuff, radical enough that Cedric Dempsey has said he sees a day when the landscape is ruled by four major conferences made up of high-resource universities (such as those in the Big Ten) breaking away from the NCAA and forming their own organization.

That leads to the obvious question -- who’s Cedric Dempsey? He’s the former president of the NCAA. He ran things from 1993 to 2002 when he was succeeded by IU President Myles Brand.

Anyway, while conference expansion could lead to four superpower conferences, that seems to be quite a ways into the future. As far as any group breaking away from the NCAA, Glass isn’t so sure.

“I supposed anything is a possibility and he’s a lot smarter about it than I am,” Glass said, “but it seems to me that most people want to stay together as the NCAA.

“It seems to me there are a lot of opportunities to create an environment where the high-resource universities get the kind of governing structure and regulatory structure they need, while enabling the less-resource universities to get what they need.”

Glass admitted a lot of work has to be done to ensure fairness among all the NCAA Division I members.

“Some of the reforms being talked about will create pressure between the haves and the have-nots,” he said. “Like deregulation (reducing the number of rules). It sounds good, especially when I’m chasing my tail running down things to the ground that don’t seem like we’re advancing the ball very much. But in a deregulated environment, who does that favor? It’s the got-bucks people who have the money to spend on something that was previously forboden. Now you can do it, so do you do it or not? Money might be a factor.

“The cost of attending college is the same thing. If a kid sees he can get an extra $3,000 at a high-resource school and zero at a less-resource school, and you’re sometimes competing for the same kids, especially in basketball, there is an impact. It’s a competitive impact and I’m sure the presidents will take that into account.”

They’ll take it into account fast. NCAA president Mark Emmert wants changes to be enacted as fast as possible. What does that mean? That’s a topic for a future blog.

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