The Norman Transcript

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July 23, 2013

Conference commissioners want NCAA changes

DALLAS — The salvo that started last week in Hoover, Ala., was repeated Monday at Big 12 Football Media Days.

The commissioners of the BCS conferences want changes made to the NCAA. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby echoed the comments made by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive last week when he met with reporters.

“I don’t know that we can keep doing what we’re doing,” Bowlsby said. “It’s bad grammar but a good concept: If we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always got. That’s kind of where we are right now.”

Bowlsby believes the leadership of the NCAA must be “reconfigured” to best serve the schools. His belief is the NCAA’s attempt to have all schools compete under the same set of rules has not worked and is unlikely to ever work.

Universities that do not have the financial means to compete at the FBS level have been allowed into a division where they simply cannot compete.

“I think what we’ve done essentially is we have tried to accomplish competitive equity through rules and legislative changes, and it’s probably not possible to do that,” he said. “I think we’ve permitted or even sometimes encouraged institutional social climbing by virtue of their athletics programs, and I think the fact is we’ve made it too easy to get into Division I and too easy to stay there.”

There are currently 120 schools in football’s FBS division. To Bowlsby and the rest of the BCS commissioners, that has created too many diverging agendas to make it governable in its current form.

His proposal is for the NCAA to be broken into federations of similar schools in terms of size and financial resources.

“There are about 75 schools that win 90 percent of the championships in the NCAA, and we have a whole bunch of others that don’t look much like the people in our league, but yet through rule variation they’re trying to compete with us,” Bowlsby said. “It’s probably unrealistic to think that we can manage football and field hockey by the same set of rules.”

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