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April 25, 2014

Homework: The NCAA is creating another Council

Fine. I have a simple reaction to that:
Nothing has ever been accomplished by creating another bureaucratic committee.
- Ron Swanson (probably)
However, I will say this is the first step in what I think will become some sort of Super Division I or FBS or whatever the hell it is we are supposed to call it for the next five years. And it has been coming. I've long held the position that the NCAA is only useful as an organization as long as it is useful to the members of that organization. That is how member services organizations work.

Now, the NCAA is trying it's damnedest to keep those members with the biggest pies happy, because without those members, the NCAA is not very relevant. Or solvent. Outside of the parents, purists, and individual school fans, anyone really care who the NAIA champions are in any sport?

Which gets me to basketball. Part of what has kept the NCAA going, and what may actually save it, has been conference realignment and how those changes work with basketball. Now, with the Big East/AAC spin offs, a major impediment has been resolved. Without looking at contracts and whatnot, it isn't hard to see those Gang of Five conferences deciding to put on their own basketball tournament, or build an organization to host it for them (for a more thorough treatment, see the BCS). Actually, building an organization to host it for them makes the most sense, as they could conceivably invite Big East or AAC or whatever conference teams they want. Then it'd be back on the schools to decide what tourney they want in, like it was 60 years ago.

Any doubt the WWL would love bankroll a tourney that would feature 32 teams from the ACC, Pac-12, B1.5G, Big 12 and SEC, plus select other teams? Do you think CBS/Turner would shell out billions for a 64 team tourney that is crown jeweled by Wichita State and St. Marys?

Again, I'll grant the devil in the details are bound in contracts and membership agreements, neither of which I have the time or inclination to find and analyse. However, if you think this is about student athletes or nimbleness, I've got some nice property to talk to you about. The NCAA has until the next negotiation period for that basketball tourney contract, say 8 or so years, to figure it out.

Because if they don't, those Gang of Five conferences are likely to take their collective balls and go play elsewhere.

See also:
- Knight Commission recommends Playoff money go to NCAA
- Go home NCAA, you're drunk


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