Gene Smith Confident in Power Five's Bid for Autonomy

By DJ Byrnes on July 18, 2014 at 11:07a

Settle down, Mike Slive, it appears your bluff to move the SEC to a Division IV model won't be called after all.

The Power Five conferences have been clamoring for more autonomy, which would allow them to expand the compensation of their student-athletes, for quite some time. It now appears to be all but an inevitability.

Jim Delany was at the forefront of pushing a plan on how voting would work under a new model, and it appears the NCAA has taken heed. Here's an infographic from their official site:

Jim Delany's work, basically

(Click to expand.)

For those worried about this being the harbinger of the end to college football as we know it, Gene Smith believes this will, ultimately, be good for the game.

From Columbus' largest daily newspaper:

“I think the outcome is going to be highly positive. I think in the end, we’ll be able to do what we want to do for our student-athletes in our types of institutions.

“We have strong support from our presidents. Mike Slive and Jim Delany don’t make their comments without the support of the individual institutions, which means the presidents have signed off on it. So each conference in the top five has gone through a process to get agreement from the presidents that if these things aren’t in place, at the vote, then we have to look at a different structure.”

That structure won't be needed. Autonomy is coming to college sports. 


Comments Show All Comments

Sauce Bauss's picture

I wonder if Gene Smith is as confident about autonomy as he was that OSU would not get a bowl ban?

+36 HS
DJ Byrnes's picture

Cold-blooded, Sauce. Worthy of an upvote, to be sure, but cold-blooded nonetheless. 

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

YTOWNBUCKI's picture

CJDPHoS Board of Directors

Go get your shine box, Gumar!

+3 HS
spqr2008's picture

Yes, that was the worst birthday present ever thanks to Gene's arrogance.  I mean, at least pay off some people in Indy to make the bowl ban not happen, am I right?

+1 HS
DJ Byrnes's picture

yeah that was bad 

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Troy0782's picture

So, basically they've subscribed to Sex Panther's time tested model

+1 HS
ibuck's picture

It seems for decades, unaffiliated schools have worked hard to get their nose up over the bar to move from FCS to FBS, and reap all the cash they think will come in. Then those schools and the ones from the non-power conferences have been adding/changing NCAA rules to benefit the schools on the lower end on that spectrum. Trying to establish the "parity" that lets them in on more revenue. 

Yet only about 25 FBS schools' athletic departments run in the black. So they seem to oppose any increase in spending on scholarships that would increase the amount their institutions have to take from education side to fund the athletic side.

I'm not sure of the numbers, since I don't know if schools that are D1 in other sports, but not football, get to vote. Perhaps 11W staff can answer this. But if there are 120 schools in FBS who can vote and all 65 schools in the big 5 conferences vote for this, that's the simple majority (65-55) needed.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

OSUBias's picture

I don't think the schools are voting on autonomy, we (power conferences) are just dictating to the NCAA to make it happen. 

The voting in that info graphic was how things would get approved by the power 5 after autonomy was granted, I believe. 

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing

+1 HS
ibuck's picture

My post above was incorrect. Since autonomy was granted to the Power 5 conferences, says changes for those power conferences are based on majority or super-majority of the 80 votes: "65 Power 5 schools (plus 15 voting athletes,  and four of the five conferences to enact legislation." 

Under the new proposal released Friday, there are two ways for the Power 5 to pass their own legislation regarding certain issues:

* Get 60 percent of all votes (48 votes) and a simple majority support from schools in three of the five Power 5 conferences; or

* Get a simple majority of all votes (at least 41) and simple majority support from the schools in four of the five Power 5 conferences

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

Tom57's picture

The process to get there will be interesting, but the end game IMO will be 4 POWER conferences with ~64 teams. That way there is a pure playoff and no committee. The 5 conference set up will have to go, and realignment is already underway.

The BIG5 today comprise 65 teams, and all of them will want a seat at the table (the TV money) but not all of them will be able to afford the "ante" (annual cost to enter/stay). Net net if your school is not in one of the existing 5.... it will take some massive luck to make the initial cut.

My crystal ball says some teams that are currently in will opt out, and some others will take their place. It will be painful but a school with crappy FB and BB teams and crappy facilities to boot will find it financially impossible to "play" = Unless you already have a solid foundation OR Phil Knight or Boone Pickens is an alum OR you are located in/near a zip code with a few million eyeballs.... you are done.

Obvious teams on the bubble.... Washington State, Utah, Oregon State, Iowa and Iowa state, Mississippi State. There are others who may simply not want to pay the fee or have faculty/administration issues with the commitment (GA Tech comes to mind), but the previous list of schools look to be in no man's land.

From a conference perspective... the key is to start the negotiation with the optimum mix of TV rights = eyeballs. Here Delaney is a GENIUS. Rutgers and Maryland were available and who else could he get in those zip codes??

The SEC, B1G and PAC12 are IN. The Big XII as it is.... is toast. This is why Mizzou and TA&M moved among other reasons. The ACC has shitty CFB teams but great CBB teams, the U's are generally LOADED and near major media markets.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

No team is going to voluntarily give up P5 money and conferences aren't going to kick out long standing members.

4x64 is just a dream of internet commentators. The Big 12 & Pac aren't secretly thinking "We've got to get to 16 so everything is perfectly even!".

+1 HS
bucksfan92's picture

It is definitely going to happen and will happen in the next 3 years. Jim Delaney really has been the impetus behind this, as he has clearly been vocal for years about his views and it is clear he doesn't much care about what the NCAA wants.  Now if only he'd have let Maryland and Rutgers lie where they were I'd like him a whole lot more.

What I would love to see, after autonomy is get rid of the conferences entirely.  Just have that group of schools playing against each other in a rotating basis.  We'd each get to keep a rival or 2, hell even 3, but no more ties to shitty teams like Minnesota which is farther away from us than all but 2 of the SEC schools (UF is 70 miles farther and aTm is 300 miles farther).  I'd like to see 4 year series between teams across the 5 conferences.  Maybe allow each team 1 game with a "cross over" from the lower ranks (i.e. MAC, Sunbelt etc.) as the opener, but then after week 1 play 10 weeks of games between the Big 5.  5 home, 5 away.  If they ADs really want a 12 game season for more $$$ then allow 2 cross over games - that way they can get their 7 home games.  BUT neither of those wins counts toward your post-season eligibility.

Young_Turk's picture

Looks to me like they gave the "Student-Athlete" block the equivalent of non-voting stock.  


Go1Bucks's picture

I wouldnt think anything with (pos) Gene involved would be good for OSU.

Go Bucks!