Does college football need the NCAA to run the sport? PAC 12 commissioner George Klyavkov does not think so. Nor does he think he is alone.
“We have to be realistic about the fact that football is a unique animal among the rest of college sports and that there are conferences that have to be more consistent and have to be more in control of the future of high-level college football,” Klyavkov told the athlete Friday.
“I’ve been in conversations with several FBS commissioners, and I’ve been surprised at the collective support for the idea among the people I’ve spoken to about taking football rule-making and implementing football rules out of the NCAA and investing in a 10-conference-managed (FBS) organization.”
Whether this form should be within the purview of College Football Playoff – which is run by 10 FBS Conferences Plus Notre Dame — or in a separate but similar governing body led by a single official but backed by representatives from all FBS tournaments, Kliavkoff said he was not sure. He doesn’t know the feelings of the commissioners he hasn’t spoken to yet, but he said he expects the group to discuss the topic when it meets next week at the commissioners’ meetings in Park City, Utah. Among the regularly scheduled meetings that will be held is an annual CFP meeting, with these ten FBS commissioners.
“Having a business organization representing over 1,000 schools (across divisions I, II and III) working on very different business models is very challenging,” Klyavkov said. “Coming up with a common set of common sense rules for everyone was difficult before (the) Alston (Supreme Court ruling)Having come up with the rules and specifically imposing these roles, Alston proved nearly impossible.
“To me, it would make sense to have autonomy for a smaller group of the 32 conferences that currently make up Division I. But that doesn’t necessarily mean breaking away from the NCAA. You can do that within the NCAA, similar to how certain conferences have been granted autonomy ( Power 5) for specific issues”.
Klyavkov said he understands that enforcing the rules requires an executive arm similar to what the NCAA has, and that bureaucratic elements will be required for any non-NCAA entity formed to administer football. He also said he believed five conferences organizing sports are “too small” but 32 conferences that organize all college sports “too big”.
“The way I think about it is: Control of everything related to college football except for media rights during the regular season would come down to one organization – rule making, rule enforcement and post-season management,” Klyavkov said.
Klyavkov is not alone in sharing this kind of sentiment. Ohio State Athletic Director Jane Smith spoke earlier this spring about the potential for the CFP to run college football. And the ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said last month He believes ‘It is time for us to look at alternative models of football, perhaps other than what we have now. If we are going to do something – and you hear about the future of football and sponsorship of football – now is the time to do it. This is the time to do it,’ When you reorganize a structure like the NCAA.”
Phillips is a member of the Division One Transformation Committee, tasked with charting the course for the future of Division One. As it works at Weed on certain rule changes, it will also eventually establish minimum requirements for DI membership and an examination of who should govern what. There has long been criticism from those from well-resourced consortia that they do not have enough in common with less-resourced schools under the DI umbrella for everyone to be subject to the same rules and regulations.
“What do you do with football?” Phillips said. “Do you need to manage them separately? Do you need a governance structure? Those are questions we have to ask ourselves. And when I talk about football, I’m really talking about the 10 FBS conferences and Notre Dame. Those are the conferences that have said we are committed to this kind of resource “.
(Photo: Kirby Lee/USA Today)