NCAA, NIL, Realigment, More Realigment, $$$, Title IX, etc

With the Power 5/NCAA settlement, what does the future hold for everybody else? I cant see any WCC school, except Gonzaga and Grand Profit Canyon, being able to compete.

The “system” we all held in such high regard for so long is over.

Whats next???

Is it sport by sport conferences?

Or is it 30+ schools in the Premier League and the occasional fortunate Wrexham’s that can break in with the big boys?


I am afraid you nailed it. Unless the NCAA distributes $ equally to all sports teams and everyone gets paid the same, then it’s over. March Madness is destroyed. No more UCONNs Gonzaga’s Creightons St. Peter’s Florida Gold Coasts to mess things up for the “power conferences”. All 20 big ten SEC Big 18 schools are in because they play each other. Just like women’s softball this year when every single SEC team made the tournament. The excitement of March madness was literally anyone could win
Next step is to pay high school,athletes. 1% or less make the pros. College used to mean student athlete. This move takes that away. Will players need to be academically eligible anymore? If the money is all equal fine. The players should not have to sell jerseys to have money to eat but otherwise I believe college sports is over and the NFL NBA and baseball have a new minor league system.

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Expect a lot of sports to get cut at mid-majors in the coming few years. That will be the only way for a lot of these ADs to make the numbers work as their small cashflow from NCAA tournament units is withheld.

One possible irony here: because the payment from the NCAA is coming from withheld tournament units and because Gonzaga negotiated to keep much of the tournament units for itself, the Zags look to take the biggest hit here. The other WCC schools have adjusted their budgets for less revenue coming from the NCAA and will see a smaller impact while the Zags are going to have a lot of their success over the past several years taxed by the NCAA. I haven’t read the fine print, but that seems like the logical implication of how this is playing out. Santa Clara may be in better position here than your average Big East school, for instance, because Gonzaga is going to take the hit for the rest of the WCC.

Here’s a good article on all of it:

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It all disgusts me, doesn’t surprise me but does disgusts me.

Money is the root of all evil…

I haven’t read all the articles and settlement specifics in detail so maybe I’m misunderstanding. But I have a hard time understanding how the power conferences can get all the $$$ and the remaining D1 get little to nothing. I understand the big schools are driving much of the value but it’s not a binary deal…the remaining D1 schools contribute in some fashion…ie- Gonzaga, San Diego St., Houston (prior to joining B12), etc. It would seem the remainder of D1 would have a legitimate legal claim in all of this instead of being left out of the deal. But I’m not a lawyer…others here are, so maybe they can enlighten me.

Combine all this with the NIL nonsense which has quickly devolved to something that has nothing do with a player’s actual marketing/brand value. Yes, there’s a handful of college stars with national brand deal that relate to whatever the market says their value is…but that’s mostly the likes of Caleb Williams and Caitlin Clark who are effectively just starting the marketing/branding side early heading towards what was destined to occur for them as Pros. And there are a few local/regional deals or social media revenue for the few who have ascended to legit ‘influencer’ status (ie- the gymnast from LSU). But beyond those limited examples, the NIL $$$ are not legitimate $$$ based on market and business value as an spokesperson, endorser, etc. It is largely boosters funneling dollars through collectives to turn around and recruit and retain players…basically legalizing what occasionally happened ‘under the table’, primarily at the big football/basketball schools. And at the regional level you also have monied donors using their privately held businesses to funnel dollars to players in promotional deals that far exceed the value to the business…ie- pay a kid $1M to appear in a few local commercials or advertisements and make a few public appearances, but the true value to said businesses based on that player’s involvement is pennies. Making it worse, the business can probably consider it a legit business expense for marketing, reducing their on-paper profit and reducing their tax liability shifting burden to other tax payers (the rest of us).

So the deal is structured in this way because the NCAA doesn’t own the College Football Playoff (the real money maker) nor the football tv deals between the conferences and Fox/ESPN. The NCAA doesn’t have a share of the WCC’s deal with ESPN either, but there’s not much money to take from that anyways.

The only resources that the NCAA has for settlement purposes are insurance and the NCAA basketball tournament. So short of bankruptcy, they have to get insurance to pay as much as possible and then pilfer the tournament tv revenue. Which means taking money that the schools, vis a vis their conferences, were expecting.

Then you decide how to take the money proportionally. They decided based on # of scholarships, which is an immediately flawed premise. The schools with football have athletes across the board who would have commanded a lot more in NIL than even football players at Prairie View A&M. But all of that is speculative and, let’s be honest, if the NCAA taxes Ohio State 20x as much as Santa Clara (which is still not even enough to capture the revenue differences most likely), you’ll kick off the rebellion amongst the power players in the NCAA. The scholarship thing is objective and easily measurable even if wholly inadequate.

I like that the article also mentions that this is coming at a time of severe decline in student enrollment due to birth rates. So the financial pressure is coming from both ends.

But yeah, this sucks. And I hope all of the women’s gymnastics players whose sports are about to get cut picket the house of Jay Bilas and others who have been asked “what happens to non-revenue sports?” for years and never cared to provide an answer. This was the result that so many saw coming: robbing thousands of students who actually need their athletic scholarships to pay more to Caleb Williams.


Some won’t like this but IMO the players at the center of the suits and even more so their attorneys are complicit in this mess as well. Short term, D1 athletes will benefit including those going back to 2016 but long term the football and basketball players are basically screwing over other varsity athletes because as Patty notes most schools will probably resort to cutting sports…those future benefits for tennis, track, softball athletes can’t happen if their opportunities don’t exist or are severely cut as schools cut those sports or maybe drop down to sub D1 level. And even D1 football and maybe basketball opportunities (both scholarship, direct payments and NIL) may diminish if lower tier D1 schools cut football or drop to a lower level because they can’t survive vs. the Power conf schools.

And I have a hard timing seeing how schools like San Jose State, New Mexico State, Temple, Toledo, etc. can survive long term playing football at the D1 (FBS). If they drop to FCS, that’s fewer future scholarship opportunities for football athletes and playing at a lower tier where there is probably less or no net revenue sharing to spend on athletes.

Best case scenario…maybe Power Conf football and basketball split off entirely from the NCAA and remaining football and basketball continue with the NCAA along w/ other sports and with players receiving relatively modest payments that don’t break the bank and back of those schools.


NCAA is toast.

If we’re lucky we get maybe 2 more march madness tournaments before it’s just the power confrences and a mess of D3 type sports for the remaining teams that decide to continue playing sports and even then not under the NCAA umbrella. Aside from Gonzaga basketball (and perhaps GCU hoops) I’d venture to say that the rest of the WCC ceases all sports completely within 5 years. It’s painful, but it’s coming like a train off the tracks.


Last night I was watching softball CWS. Announcers were talking about the growth of college softball–the popularity, new stadiums, TV exposure, yada, yada. At the same time I was reading an ESPN article that SEC football coaches are not willing to sacrifice walk-ons to reduce the number of athletes that are going to be paid.

Something is going to have to give. And it may spell the death of Olympic (and other sports) or a whole new paradigm in which there are a few paid and many, many athletes who agree to be unpaid.

I don’t see the NCAA going away. If it does, it will be replaced by another entity that assumes the same role. Even the greedy schools need somebody to keep the foxes out of the hen house.

The ONE thing that gives me pause from believing that absolute Armageddon is upon us, is that right now ESPN3 is airing Reinhardt v Tennessee Wesleyan NAIA baseball. That network, and others to a lesser extent, crave content. There is demand for college athletics–any sport at almost any time.

So I don’t know how NAIA deals with NIL, etc. But the problem won’t go away when there are only ____ (pick your number) teams in D1 because of football.


I tend to agree w/ Weave’s view of the future, not Bettererer’s.

Whether under the NCAA or it’s future replacement, college varsity athletics will continue in some fashion. Maybe more D2 and D3 schools and fewer D1 schools.
Keep in mind, similar to D1, there are over 300 D3 schools (all non-scholarship), operating generally with a reasonable degree of stability. Includes a lot of elite academic institutions from the Claremont schools and Cal Tech to East Coast Baby Ivies. In my neck of the woods, Spokane, we have Whitworth University, part of the Northwest Conference which includes schools you may have heard of from Whitman College to Lewis & Clark College, Linfield (D3 football stalwart); 9 schools total, all private of somewhat similar size. Whitworth, with enrollment 1/3 of Santa Clara (a little over 2,000) and limited grade school and 1/8th the endowment of SCU still manages to support more varsity sports than Santa Clara.
The difference is the investment made is more reasonable on a per athlete basis, with less of the keeping up the Jones’ $$$ without the ongoing increase in expenditures greater than inflation we’ve seen at D1. Coaches generally make the same as professors sometimes less. Coaches are sometimes required to wear other hats in the athletic dept. in their off seasons. Athletic Dept. administration is leaner. Football and basketball players don’t get a dozen pair of shoes and thousands of $ in gear and swag, there are no player-only dorms, etc. Athletes aren’t put on pedestal separate from other students. It’s college sports as we used to know it. D2 isn’t a whole lot different, just add some scholarships though max scholarships are lower than D1.

Also agree that ESPN and regional sports networks have a significant need for content. Why do you think you see cornhole and professional Tag on ESPN and FoxSports. If D1 as we know it contracts, ESPN will go down the ladder and televise more D2, NAIA, D3…ESPN may not pay much for that content but that’s no worse than the near zero $ the lower divisions currently receive in media $.


The whole concept of “Cinderella Story” teams in the tournament will be lost. Or perhaps we’ll see more of a Premier League model where teams can get promoted or demoted based on previous year’s performance.


March Madness is the one thing that holds out hope that D1 (at least D1 basketball) can continue to function similar to how it has. I would think the TV media and at least some (hopefully most) of the Power Conf commissioners and AD’s understand the value and appeal of a March Madness composed of a broad spectrum of teams from Ivy league and the likes of St. Peter’s on up through Power conf schools…that all adds to the fan/viewer interest and appeal.
If it evolves to solely or mostly Power conf schools fighting each other will fans or anyone really care when a .500 Penn State upsets a #2 seed???..I doubt it. The improbable recent runs of St. Peter’s, Princeton, Loyola-Chicago, etc. create compelling story lines that interest people and make the games themselves more interesting.

That one thing may motivate the power conf schools to keep D1 more viable as a whole in some way. Maybe in some form of revenue sharing that allows some non-Power schools to continue to compete at D1…though I can’t see D1 staying at 360+ schools; there are already plenty who probably shouldn’t have been at D1 even prior to this recent suit and settlement, NIL, etc.

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If the future of “March Madness” is just watching top seeds play one another - I’m out. If I want to see that - I’ll watch regular season play.

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Did he replace the spot Renee just vacated?

That was my first thought. Perhaps. But during this period of transition, I’m glad the league is represented.