Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

July 18, 2021 — Is the NCAA about to implode?

I wrote this blog entry eight years ago.

The day may be coming for a top-to-bottom reformation of college athletics. And it may be coming quicker than you think.

Last week, Mark Emmert made some remarks in front of a small group of reporters that are going to be poked at like statements from either the Supreme Court or the Federal Reserve Board. And with good reason: the NCAA should be flush with as much optimism as it is with cash.

However, the name, likeness, and image (NLI) rules which are now the supreme law of the land have promoted Emmert to re-evaluate the landscape of college athletics.

“I think this is a really, really propitious moment to sit back and look at a lot of the core assumptions and say, ‘You know, if we were going to build college sports again, and in 2020 instead of 1920, what would that look like?’” Emmert said. “What would we change? What would we expect or want to be different in the way we manage it. And this is good. This is the right time.”

One of the major changes would be allowing existing national governing bodies of sport, such as USA Field Hockey, to administer national competitions like they did in the 1970s.

“We need to reconsider delegation of a lot of the things that are now done at the national level,” Emmert said. “When you have an environment like that, it just forces us to think more about what constraints should be put in place ever on college athletes. And it should be the bare minimum.”

A deregulation of college sports would see the abolition of an NCAA rule book which has been seen as cumbersome, anti-competitive, and sometimes contradictory in terms of the rules inscribed therein.

Emmert mentioned a number of single-gender sports which are likely to have to decouple from the rest of college athletics at large.

“We need to be ready to say, ‘Yeah, you know, for field hockey, field hockey is different than football. Wrestling is different than lacrosse,’ and not get so hung up on having everything be the same,” he said.

This site has been tracking these things since the O’Bannon decision came down, and now that revenue streams outside of sneaker companies, ladder companies, and television networks are being identified, I find it interesting that the NCAA is ready to spin off just about every sport that loses money and are looking to maximize profit.

We’ll see what happens when or if the football golden goose is killed by way of head injuries and parents pulling their children from the sport.

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