After the NCAA’s amateurism model was eviscerated by the Supreme Court, and after players everywhere were finally granted the freedom to make money, it was fair to wonder how exactly the NCAA fits into the new landscape.
What purpose does it have, really, if it no longer has any right to enforce cruelty in the name of amateurism? That was a pretty big part of its existence, steadfastly upholding a status quo that has been dismantled. The NCAA probably could have done itself a favor by taking a proactive approach on the NIL subject but instead ran and hid, leaving the leagues and schools to figure that one out by themselves.
There is a lot of underlying frustration with the NCAA among college administrators, as this report from Ross Dellenger at Sports Illustrated outlines. While I’m not convinced that a clean breakaway by power-conference schools is likely, it does seem clear that some broad changes will be necessary.
All around them, the chorus of change is louder than ever, administrators say. In fact, one athletic director believes that a new governance model can be created and adopted within two years.
“The leaders in the industry are becoming much more vocal about it,” a high-placed NCAA official tells SI. “That tells me something. That tells me that maybe things are moving behind the scenes faster than you think.”
It’s tough to figure what form those changes will take, but when the guys with all the money ain’t happy, that usually leads somewhere. With conference media days getting started this week, it’ll be interesting to see how power-five commissioners approach the topic.