NCAA football restructuring seen inevitable by ADs

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The richest college football programs almost certainly will be allowed to spend more money on athletes once their national governing body rewrites rules in the coming months, according to a panel of sports administrators and marketers.

Paying players — from small stipends that supplement their scholarships, to savings accounts reimbursing them for use of their images — has played a big role in the call for rules changes in the last year.

It’s unlikely specific pay proposals will be resolved until the Indianapolis-based National Collegiate Athletic Association decides whether to create a new division for elite programs, adopt rules that allow smaller programs to opt-in if they can afford it, or some other governing structure, University of Notre Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick, a former Indianapolis sports attorney, said Tuesday.

“NCAA reform is going to come first,” Swarbrick said at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit hosted in New York. “But I think on the heels of that, redefining core elements of the model will be the next thing on the agenda. This is the central issue in college athletics right now.”

NCAA President Mark Emmert two years ago proposed giving athletes a $2,000 stipend to help pay for living expenses not covered by scholarships. Some schools are now saying it should be as high as $4,000.


While the richer programs could afford the $500,000 to $1 million annual cost, many small programs couldn’t and voted it down. Emmert plans a summit of Division I schools in January to discuss athletic governance with hopes for making major changes within a year.

Swarbrick said athletic departments with different business models are all trying to play by the same rules and that approach isn’t working.

“On one end, there are schools that are fully integrated into the university, and on the other, it’s almost like licensing the university name,” he said. “In any business association, once members don’t have a common business model, you have enormous tension.”

Mike Aresco, commissioner of the American Athletic Conference, said he’s concerned his conference may get left out if a new division of elite programs is formed. The American Athletic was formed from remnants of the Big East after that conference’s smaller basketball members broke away.

‘Share goals’

“We are not the SEC or Big Ten,” he said. “We have to make sure that if there is another division, people are permitted to be in that division that share the goals, financial resources and are committed to being at that level. We don’t want exclusion.”

Ben Sutton, president of IMG College, said that once the NCAA resolves its governance issues, the pay-for-play discussion will go far beyond football.

“If you pay players, you are not going to pick out the star quarterback and pay him,” Sutton said. “You are going to pay the field hockey player, too. There is no way the government won’t get involved if you don’t pay across the board.”

Aresco said a pay-model could evolve into star players asking for more than their teammates and eventually dip into high school sports.

“It’s a slippery slope,” he said. “You are getting into workers comp, lawyers, etc. I think the collegiate model has served the country very well. I don’t think we’d be a better country without women’s sports, Title IX, Olympic sports. A wide variety of students benefit from this.”


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Gay marriage is coming, whether or not these bigots and zealots like it or not. We must work to ensure future generations remember the likes of Greg Zoeller like they do the racists of our past...in shame.

  2. Perhaps a diagram of all the network connections of all politicians to their supporters and those who are elite/wealthy and how they have voted on bills that may have benefited their supporters. The truth may hurt, but there are no non-disclosures in government.

  3. I'm sure these lawyers were having problems coming up with any non-religious reason to ban same-sex marriage. I've asked proponents of this ban the question many times and the only answers I have received were religious reasons. Quite often the reason had to do with marriage to a pet or marriage between a group even though those have nothing at all to do with this. I'm looking forward to less discrimination in our state soon!

  4. They never let go of the "make babies" argument. It fails instantaneously because a considerable percentage of heterosexual marriages don't produce any children either. Although if someone wants to pass a law that any couple, heterosexual or homosexual, cannot be legally married (and therefore not utilize all legal, financial, and tax benefits that come with it) until they have produced a biological child, that would be fun to see as a spectator. "All this is a reflection of biology," Fisher answered. "Men and women make babies, same-sex couples do not... we have to have a mechanism to regulate that, and marriage is that mechanism." The civil contract called marriage does NOTHING to regulate babymaking, whether purposefully or accidental. These conservatives really need to understand that sex education and access to birth control do far more to regulate babymaking in this country. Moreover, last I checked, same-sex couples can make babies in a variety of ways, and none of them are by accident. Same-sex couples often foster and adopt the children produced by the many accidental pregnancies from mixed-sex couples who have failed at self-regulating their babymaking capabilities.

  5. Every parent I know with kids from 6 -12 has 98.3 on its car radio all the time!! Even when my daughter isn't in the car I sometimes forget to change stations. Not everybody wants to pay for satellite radio. This will be a huge disappointment to my 9 year old. And to me - there's so many songs on the radio that I don't want her listening to.