The NCAA on Thursday approved a legislative measure that allows the five power conferences — ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC — autonomy, which essentially allows them to operate by their own rules.
Now, the five power conference will form an agenda of legislation they want passed that will be voted on during the NCAA Convention next January...Full cost of attendance scholarships will be at the top of the agenda for the power five conferences. That would allow student-athletes to be paid what these conferences deem is a fair amount of money to cover not only tuition, room and board, but also some of the other expenses college athletes incur.
So they will be paying players now. There will be no spreading out of talent. There will never again be a DeAngelo Williams-type miracle signing at Memphis, or any non-power school.
And what's worse, they are getting the best of both worlds. They can hide under the umbrella of the NCAA when it suits them and ignore them when it doesn't.
Maybe college athletics has been big business for some time. But this is now a nasty business, clearly casting aside the last pretense that all of Division-1 is one unit.
The only reason power conferences have to play the "rest" of D-1 is so they can bloat their records and as many teams as possible can have winning seasons to bolster their bowl cred.
It just makes me sick. Only the most cynical of arguments would respond with "we all saw this coming."
But if this is the way it is going to be, Memphis had best do what they have to do to buy their way into the party. It's always been about money, but now we're all just being honest about it. FedEx, et al needs to go full boar at the Big 12 to get Memphis in. Pay each school and "expansion fee", whatever you have to call it. I guarantee you there are several schools who have already started to talk about this. The U of M has one last chance to get in with the big boys, and it is right now. We have good basketball and we have a good sized TV market. That can still be pitched as attractive, football or no. And where we are lacking, let money talk.
Do not dismiss the importance of this. This is now become a matter of economics. To be on the "outs" of the power will eventually mean the irrelevance of the one prize we have athletically, basketball. The longer we wait to do this, the more likely our athletic program will die. And college athletics - yes, in Memphis too - bring with them economic impact. If we let the Tigers die, it will be like the equivalent of losing a pro sports team has on a city.
The timer is ticking - down to zero. Better get to work, Memphis. We can still be rescued. But the time we have in which to do so is now officially finite.