In some ways, the NCAA’s control of college football has been ridiculed since the organization’s formation. Retelling how the NCAA has failed and how many times it has fallen short of expectations does not warrant a retelling.
The transfer gate, none and Alston’s rule, while offering decent value to athletes, has been poorly managed by the NCAA.
It is possible that the NCAA, following the advice of several college presidents, drew a line in allowing athletes to become school staff. The Big Ten has now stated that it is at least willing to pay the athletes.
Recognition of athletes as employees has long been thought of as the tipping point for the disintegration of the NCAA. A new turning point has emerged and it comes from the massive media deals for certain conferences.
When the NCAA is not reconstituted and downsized, a regulatory body will be needed to replace it. It is not known how much power will be given to the new group. Will the new Superintendent of College Football have all the FBS in its scope or a smaller selection of “best” programs? Who will enforce the new rules that will evolve? Will it be the new moderators group or will it be left to a new enforcement group created by the ‘higher’ conferences? As has often been suggested, would college football have a delegate with the authority to act in the best interest of the game?
About a week ago, for the first time ever, a group of influential individuals in college football discussed the possibility of being the new supervisors. As ESPN’s Pete Thamel reports, the College Football Playoff Board of Directors has discussed what could dramatically change college football at some point.
The Board of Directors (CFB Playoff) briefly discussed the possibility of restructuring how college football is run, while introducing the idea that major college football is potentially governed outside the NCAA. The most logical place for the sport outside the NCAA would be under the auspices of the CFP…
According to Thamel, college presidents and advisors discussed the possibility for only five minutes. Initial and potential are the key words to describe the brief conversation. Apparently, no member of the group rejected the idea of further discussion. Tamil was also clear about what was not done,
There is no imminent action or planned for known next steps.
The case will not fade. As the CFB Playoff board swings, the expanded Playoff format is a more pressing concern. There has been buzz around the interest in expanding the stadium to 16 teams and doing so sooner in the 2026 season. Not leaving “money on the table” appears to be the main driver.
A few weeks ago, I gave an opinion on why having 16 teams is a bad idea. One reason is that unlike the previous 12-team idea, the first four teams don’t get to say goodbye. Making the top four in an additional game is unnecessarily unfair and in most seasons, one of the four will be Alabama Football.
A revolutionary change in the structure of college football may take many years of planning before it can be implemented. An extended playoff will come first.