The Future of NCAA Football?

So I haven’t written in a while. To my loyal readers (both of you; hi Mom!) I apologize, but somehow I think you’ve been surviving.

One thing that’s struck me over the last few months (and, really, a couple of years) is the grand shuffle that seems to be going on in NCAA football. The Pac-10 became the Pac-12, the Big 12 reduced to 10 teams while the Big 10 expanded to 12. Teams are coming up to Division 1-A, teams who just changed conferences are doing it again, and its possible some conferences might eventually cease to exist.

I don’t really pretend to know what’s going on internally here; I worked in the NCAA for 10 months as a bottom of the rung paid intern. But what strikes me is the NCAA (at least in football) is in complete disarray. It’s a poorly kept secret that many big-time stars in the association are paid under the table, and though the NCAA continually cracks down, they can’t stop them all.

Scandal after scandal is taking down some of the good guys in the business (Jim Tressel comes to mind), the conferences are constantly reshuffling the decks, all the while money is pouring into the BCS like water while the little schools constantly need to schedule games out of their depth to break even.

Given the amount of money generated by college football these days and the unrest, it seems as if the conferences are consolidating their respective power bases so they can split off onto their own. Given the money involved, if the conferences in question removed themselves from the NCAA, began to pay their players even a little bit over and above the scholarships, it would give them a significant leg up over their competition. Thus they would get more TV money and so on.

Not advocating this, mind, just musing really…