The Realities of Conference Realignment

So with all the buzz that has been around the collegiate athletic sports world in recent days, I took some time to surf around the web and see what people from other conferences thought about the current machinations. One point of view that I found interesting was a rationale from a blog with an SEC slant. It discussed “Why Conference Realignment Won’t End Well.” I found it interesting enough to post on the ScarletNation.com Football Board.

Of course, two of the more progressive members of the board jumped right in by making the following statements:

brgRC90 states:

I agree these super conferences won’t end well but this article is stupid.

derleider states:

Sounds like a conservative wanted a reason to go off against opportunities for women, government spending, and regulation.

A bit of sanity was interjected by megadrone who made the following comments:

    I don’t think the article is stupid at all.

The amount of $$$ chasing live sports programming is mind-boggling, and seems to make no sense. Is a sports free agent really worth what he’s paid? Are the Yankees broadcast rights worth enough for their own network when there are “57 channels and nothing on”? Make you wonder where this spiral will end.

I was in the grocery store and ran into a fellow alum — we discussed one possibility that I normally wouldn’t bring up but why not.

If you question the economics of the operation (and assume we don’t have debt service on the stadium expansion or any other debts), you wonder if there is any thought to dropping down a level so that you can try to have revenues come in line with expenses, and form the equivalent of the patriot league for public schools that can’t afford big time football.

Just a thought, would never happen since 1AA football is a money loser unless you are drawing 30K a game.

We only look at this from a fan’s perspective, but every so often I wonder what I would do if I had to balance the budget and know that the TV revenues won’t go up ad infinitum.

Bob

In thinking over the first two comments, I realize just how lacking people are in terms of the ability to conduct rational thought when it comes to economics and business, especially when it harms collegiate athletics and higher education in general. Sadly, these economic realities of conference realignment are real and will be borne out in the coming years.

To brgRC90, I shake my head in disgust that you’re really going to take one paragraph and use it to claim the whole article as stupid? Really?

Most sane fans and alumni agree there is a need for rules to govern the recruitment of all players. But there is no denying just how broken the system has been for more than 30 years. Why is the NCAA still in existence? To slap USC on the wrist like they did for the Reggie Bush situation that happened years before the actual “punishment” was handed down? Or “The U” situation more recently? Or the UNC situation? Yeah, vacating those wins really helped us retroactively get into a better bowl and make more money for the TV revenue.

The fact is, the NCAA relies on “self-reporting” by member schools. Within that concept is part of the problem. Sure the schools are all going to dutifully have their compliance officers and staff, all of which cost money. But which schools, save for Rutgers and maybe the Service Academies and a few others, are actually going to report violations immediately when they know it is going to potentially harm the “brand”?

Of course the presidents and ADs of every school are going to nod their collective heads sagely and claim they want every rule under the sun in the name of preserving “amateur” collegiate athletics. But they also know that they are going to do everything they can to bend, twist, and snap those rules for their institution. Those “rules” are meant for everyone else, not for them.

But all that staff costs money. And that becomes hugely problematic for schools in terms of salaries and space. So why should they make the effort to actually meet the requirements? After the SMU debacle, they know the NCAA will never issue the “Death Penalty” again so even if they are caught, a la Ohio State, UNC, Miami, the worst steps they will need to take will be:

  1. fire their coach,
  2. lose bowl eligibility for a couple of years,
  3. be off national TV for a couple of years.

Will they lose total TV revenue from the Conference? Highly unlikely, though they may receive less. But they will still get paid.

Take that paragraph out and what else do you find “stupid” about the article?

* * *

As for “derleider,” I’m not surprised that he would try a stunt like this. He doesn’t even have a point to work with. That’s because he looks for ways to politicize discussions that threaten his own personal point of view. Title IX isn’t even being discussed in the article, the only comments about “government spending” relate to the subsidies of the state schools, and regulation, well see above.

In all, it would be well for people to understand the ramifications of the conference realignment and how it will affect higher education and the athletics. Those with eyes ought to see and those with ears ought to hear.

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About VigilantKnight

Living life on my terms.
This entry was posted in Big East, Finance, Football, Responsibility, Rutgers. Bookmark the permalink.

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