The Norman Transcript


July 23, 2013

Conference commissioners want NCAA changes



The Big 12 commissioner met with Slive, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, ACC Commissioner John Swofford and Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany last month. The concerns with the NCAA were heavily discussed.

NCAA President Mark Emmert has been under fire for more than a year because of issues ranging from inconsistent enforcement of rules, attempts to change rules without consulting those who have to follow them and lack of communication with member schools.

Bowlsby said his comments shouldn’t be taken as shots at Emmert and that the NCAA has instituted some positive changes over the last two decades that have been beneficial.

“We’ve made tremendous progress as an example in the area of academics. Graduation rates in football and men’s basketball are higher than they’ve ever been. We’ve made real progress over the last 10 or 15 years,” he said. “It’s now impossible to major in eligibility like you once could by taking the easy classes in every department, and all of a sudden, by the end of your junior year, you find that you don’t have enough credits to graduate in anything.

“Satisfactory progress has been put in place that doesn’t any longer allow somebody to take 24 hours in the summer and get themselves eligible. We now have contemporaneous penalties that are based upon institutional APRs, and thousands of kids have been brought to a college education as a result of the initiatives that have been undertaken.”

But governing the sport people care about most — football — has created so much friction that changes have to be made.

Bowlsby said there’s been no talk of the BCS schools breaking away from the NCAA. It doesn’t seem to be something the BCS schools want to do.

He believes most of the problems can be fixed within the NCAA. However, he said without changes, leaving the NCAA could become a possibility.

“I think we’ve got lots to do. The commissioners are intent upon doing it,” Bowlsby said. “We’ve spent a lot of time talking with NCAA leadership about these issues, and I think we will make progress. But I don’t think we can continue to do what we’ve done and expect that we’re going to get a different result.”


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