Pressure to Reform NCAA is Mounting

Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 Conference commissioner, has been making sports headlines as he speaks out against the college sports overlord that everyone loves to hate- the NCAA. The main source of contention? The elite leaders of NCAA sports- the 20% that win 92% of championships- are increasingly unable to pass legislation because the smaller schools are voting them down.

Bowlsby is speaking out against the democratic system of the NCAA itself, saying that ”┬áit’s virtually impossible right now to configure legislative proposals that have any chance of getting through the system intact that would accomplish anything in the way of meaningful change.” He, along with many others in the college sporting world, are frustrated by the bureaucratic roadblock to creating the real change that the NCAA needs to see.

What kind of reform are we talking about? Bowlsby has suggested creating governing bodies by sport, so that each individual sport is abiding by rules that make sense for them. This formation of federations by sport, he reasons, may help the issues regarding NCAA governance and enforcement that have developed over the years.

For football in particular, there has been talk of the 5 top BCS leagues playing among each other. This would cut smaller conferences out of major football, but this has arguably already happened naturally. Some believe that Division I has been made too easy to get into, and thus is now composed of too many schools who differ from each other greatly as far as level of program goes. The 5 BCS leagues forming a super-division would alleviate the problems that have arisen in Division I football, but probably not with the blessing of the schools not privileged enough to be a part of it.

Dramatic successions from the NCAA don’t seem to be a possibility at this time, but who knows what will happen if the NCAA continues to stagnate with nothing but deliberation about reforms that will never happen.

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