Anyone that follows sports has heard what Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, believe will happen to the National Football League in the next decade. Here you can read how he went on to explain more about his theory, but the main focus of the discussion on sports programs has been this…
“I think the NFL is 10 years away from an implosion. When pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. And they’re getting hoggy. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I’m just telling you, when you got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns against you.”
And while I would love to discuss this, just like I did about what Cuban thought of college versus the D League for the one and done players, the comments the Mavs’ top man said sparked another question for me. How far away is the NCAA from imploding?
Cause if Mr. Cuban thinks that when pigs get fat then they get slaughtered… the billions that the organization to help all student-athletes sure isn’t skinny either. So, if the NFL, which has taken over as American’s past time, which many say is the best sports company in the world, could implode, how is the NCAA not close to that marker as well?
Of course it’s easy to say “this or that can happen”. What I want to do is… give a way to make the NCAA something much better, at least in my opinion.
First off… the five power conference break out on their own, but still participate with the NCAA. This new adventure, we shall call it SCNCAA, would have its own governing body, which hopefully would be able to work with the NCAA. Each of the conferences must have sixteen programs in them. As far as the olympic sports they would stay the same. A conference schedule, and the OOC can be played against any other Division I team, be it in the SCNCAA or the old NCAA.
For football the changes would be much larger as it would not be just about the conferences but there would be four levels… A-B-C-D. Each level would have twenty teams in it, with no conference having more than six programs at any level. To rank them both the executives of the new SCNCAA, the conference commisioners, the athletic directors and head coachs would vote on it. Here is the key… any type of vote in this new entity would have to be public. As a matter of fact, if possible, it would be great to have members of the media to be there to witness the voting.
Each level would be divided into two groups, each program would play 13 games, playing every program in its group and four from the other group. In other words, for football there would be no mixing of SCNCAA and NCAA during the regular season. For level A the top four teams for each groups would make the playoffs, and the winner would be the champion. The bottom team from each group in level A next season would be demoted to Level B. That would work for every other levels … the top two move up and the bottom two move down. The bottom dwellers for Level D would not be demoted. Any team that is not in the playoff system, meaning 52 teams out of 60, could be eligible to play in the NCAA Bowl Games. And, if the SCNCAA and NCAA agreed on it, winners from both side would go at it for the National Title.
For basketball all programs would play their conference season plus 14 OOC games. Each of the programs would have to play seven OOC games against the non super conferences teams. All would be encouraged to play different teams from the non power conference, which would give the mid majors/other conferences 560 games vs the power conferences. Conference tournaments would be done away, but what there would be is 32 team pre NCAA Tournament, with the winner being declared the best of the Super Conference, and all the squads that made it in this tournament would be the teams going to March Madness. This means that 36 mid majors would be let into the Big Dance, and now there would be no more talk about “bias to the power houses”.
While we all know that the NCAA rules are sometimes absurd, sometimes worst, I would have a few that I would put into affect in this new venue.
- A player wishing to transfer from the SCNCAA can not transfer to any other programs in the SCNCAA.
- Each player would be given a “stipend” of 20,000 dollars a year (if the player wishes to take it). However, just like a student loan, once they have finished college the players are to pay it back to the college they attended. Even better, if the possibility was there, it would be the SCNCAA to actually give out these emoluments and then they would get them back. This was it would out of the hands of the schools.
- For the Olympic sports scholarships would be a year long. For men’s basketball the scholarships are two years long, while for football they are four seasons long. What does that mean? A team/program that fills up on one and done’s will find itself without scholarships. Making it a must for each school to be able to cope with this at all times. This, done mostly for the NBA’s rule, would take it out of the hands of big brother and let the colleges decide on how to deal with the young men wanting to go pro just after a season in college.
- Student-athletes will have five years to finish their curriculum, giving all of the players, no matter what the sport, the chance to have a small schedule on their plate, but still have a chance to get their degree. This does not mean that someone can not get it in four years (or less), but it gives them a chance to be able to deal with all that they have on their plate.
I know that a few paragraphs and some rules is not a great way to sell something like this, but I think it gives a pretty clear picture of how I would build something new. Which could still work hand in hand with the NCAA, or could work on its own.
Now, who would run all of this? Well, my choice would have to be Jay Bilas. I think that he is someone who sees the problems in college sports and I believe he cares enough to make the changes. If he was a bit younger, I would have loved to see someone like Bobby Knight being the man supervising men’s basketball. For football there would be many candidates, and each have their pro’s and con’s, and as such I will just say that I would like it to be a former head coach, who has had experience in the super conferences.
In the end, I am not sure if either the NFL or the NCAA will implode any time soon, but I am pretty sure that when it comes to college sports it’s time to make changes. These are mine… what are yours?