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Conference Realignment: Congress now taking a hard look


Pete Thamel has a great piece in today's NYT with some interesting observations.

The congress angle is close to being in play, if isn't already..

"Congress has the nexus to engage," he said. "These are tax exempt organizations now making billions of s off of unpaid athletes. When it’s a regional league it seems to make sense. When you’re taking schools practically from coast to coast and putting them in big profit revenue leagues, we may be at a point where the N.C.A.A. has lost its ability to create a fair system for all u to play in."

A lawyer who has higher education clients and has been involved in discussions with Congress about the legal ramifications of conference realignment said the threat of Congressional involvement is real.

"The sudden consolidation of the BCS conferences may raise any number of issues that Congress will want to explore, especially because these conference affiliation decisions have been made quickly and out of view of all concerned constituencies — student athletes, alumni, fans, and the governments who control the public universities that overwhelmingly populate the BCS," said the lawyer, who was not authorized by his clients to speak publically on the subject."

The extent of Congressional interest could come down to how many schools get squeezed monetarily from the shift in landscape.

"If my school is somehow left out, my constituents are going to demand I do everything in my power to stop that," the Congressman said.

Two things come to mind here...

Is the congressman quoted in this piece just as concerned with the NCAA's arbitrary and hypocritical rulings as much as he is about his constituents losing dollars? Those horrible rulings affect other schools bottom lines as well...not just "his" constituents.

Everyone eats at the same trough.

Just because a member school in his district is affected shouldn't be the only reason to exact change. Because in order of exact change it takes multiple heads getting together. With so much money changing hands there has to be some horse trading make sure all the bases are covered.

The reasons is obvious...

Rulings like we see in the USC case are harsh with a lack of fair or due process while rulings in cases with far more egregious, blatant rule breaking are lighter in the penalty phase affect some schools like USC more in the wallet than say schools like Ohio State.

If congress wants to get involved then they need to go the distance. If the NCAA wants to keep their tax exempt status then congress needs to outright threaten the NCAA to use the standards that the citizens of this country expect or lose the privilege of their tax exempt status.

As far as contracts being broken, it happens all the time. Remedies are made, contracts are rewritten.

I can see where some schools and conferences will use the courts and/or the government to try and save what little there will be left, but based on what we have seen from the NCAA (and the their mouth piece the BCS) they are too slow to change. They use old models and antiquated rules to govern their member institutions.

They are hypocritical in their rulings and clearly make things up as they go along, (Cam Newton Ruling, Tat-5 ruling).

They want the money and will work the rules in their favor to get the best result possible...whether looking out for the good ole boys, or hammering a school like USC (with COI chairman with blood on his hands with significantly worse infractions happening on his watch numerous times) because it threatens the old boy network.The NCAA brought this on themselves.

Super conferences render the NCAA impotent. They can and will dictate the rules to the NCAA.

Anarchy is about to ensue.

The NCAA's Ronnie Ramos says the member institutions are the ones that force change...he doesn't know just how right he is, but this is more than they bargained for. Member institutions are voting with their wallets seeing that the NCAA in its current form is roadblock to member institutions controlling their own destiny because of their brand.

There are tiers...USC, ND, Texas, tOSU, Mich., and some of the SEC schools are on that top tier in football. The tables turn in hoops with other programs in the top tier. Those brand names realize their worth and want to cash in.

Congress is now seeing what is happening and looks to want their cut.

If the NCAA was able to keep up with the times and work as a partner and not an antagonist we would not be where we are today.

Super conferences will introduce a whole new set of problems but if it cripples the NCAA then I am fine with it.

They get what they deserve.

That's just how disgusted I am.