Reporting Tim Kephart
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the University of Miami awaits word from the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions, the NCAA itself could be on its last legs, at least in its current form.
In a little more than a week, two of the big four conference commissioners have called for new leadership and essentially a restructuring of the NCAA. The latest salvo came from Big XII Commissioner Bob Bowlsby who took aim at the NCAA Monday.
“I don’t know that meaningful enforcement can take place under the structure that is currently in place,” Bowlsby said, according to ESPN’s Joe Schad. “This is not a time when trimming around the edges is going to make much difference.”
The NCAA has been under fire for years, but in the wake of the completely botched investigation into the University of Miami, the collegiate governing body is quickly losing any credibility it had both in the media and among fans.
Bowlsby’s critiques Monday followed up last week’s comments from SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. The SEC, college football’s most elite conference, has pushed for NCAA change including full cost-of-attendance scholarships and other changes, most of the time to no avail.
“We have supported and will continue to support the NCAA as the appropriate governing organization for intercollegiate athletics, but at the same time, however, we will continue to push for changes we believe are in the best interest of our student-athletes,” Slive said last week.
Slive continued, taking direct aim at the NCAA’s Board of Directors: “For example, what changes need to be made to the NCAA structure to provide significant roles for the stakeholders, the presidents, chancellors, athletic directors, institutional administrators, conference administrators, and coaches?” he asked. “What is the proper role, function and composition and size of the NCAA Board of Directors? Do we need all of the services provided by the NCAA’s national office, its many committees and task forces, or are some of these services better provided elsewhere?”
Bowlsby said Monday that too many schools have made it into Division I, often times at the detriment of the schools and the taxpayers. Even in the current reign of major television money being sent into the conference coffers, most schools operate an athletic department in the red each year.
One solution that has been floated is to allow larger schools to form a “super conference” or “Super Division I” that would allow those schools to set rules they could follow. ACC Commissioner John Swofford also said Monday that the next six months are crucial to reformatting the NCAA.
The move by the Big XII and the SEC puts the ball for major NCAA reform into the court of Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott and Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany. Given that Slive, Bowlsby, and Swofford have endorsed major change, it’s coming.
However, given the glacial pace at which a college football playoff was finally implemented, it could be a while before the NCAA is completely reshaped.