National Re-Alignment For Conferences Coming?

Azz ChapperContributor IMarch 23, 2010

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 30:  President of the United States Barack Obama watches the college basketball game between Georgetown Hoyas and the Duke Blue Devils on January 30, 2010 at the Verizon Center in Washington DC.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

We all know that the NCAA is overspending in two key areas that are within their control.  The question is how long will it take them to begin making radical changes before congress steps in and does it for them.  We have all heard about Congress stepping in to oversee drug testing for professional sports.  Wexler has recently looked into challenging the NCAA over the BCS.  So, why wouldn't Congress consider spending restrictions for college athletics in the near future?  They have to find a way to pay for the health care plan somehow!!!

I have two possible solutions that the NCAA should consider, so that Congress does not feel obligated to "help" the NCAA out with their spending problem.

The first key spending problem is coaches salaries.  Yes, I agree that some coaches have come in and made magnificent turnarounds for their universities.  But, what is the true cost to these changes and what happens when it doesn't work?  Kentucky is the perfect example.  They brought in a coach and all of his assistants to replace Tubby Smith.  Gillespie did not win the hearts of the Kentucky faithful.  So, what did UK do?  They fired him and his staff. 

They got lucky that the alumni backed up the Brinks truck personally to Calipari's estate in Memphis, which did turn their fortunes around overnight.  Was the price really worth it in a "college environment"?  I know the answer of the Kentucky faithful, but for those outside of UK nation, what do you think?  We each know a coaching situation in college that is in our area of the country that simply did not work out and the universities are going to pay for these bad hires for the next 5 to 10 years.  Is this right?

In college, we are suppose to learn how to deal with adversity.  Mommy and Daddy (aka "Donors") will not always be there to bail us out of trouble in the future.  It is their money to do with it as they please, but isn't this kind of spending better off in professional sports?  Maybe they should use that money to fire a horrible GM or Coach in the NFL or NBA?

How do we fix it?  Simple. 

Head coaches that are employees of the universities that belong to the NCAA can no longer sign contracts in excess of 1 to 4 years.  Yes, a university could extend the deal every year to protect the recruits that are coming in each season, but there is a risk to this with my plan for the coaches.  Coaches who decide to resign their position must sit out one full year.  If a university decides to fire a coach, then the coach can move along without penalty.  Assistants must be resigned every year!  They will no longer be allowed multi-year deals.  The cost of this change would impact college sports dramatically across the country.

The biggest spending problem that universities have is the travel expenses of the non-revenue sports. 

How do we fix this problem? Simple.  Re-Alignment

Projected Re-alignment:

Great Lakes Division:

South                                      North

Louisville                           Michigan

Kentucky                          Michigan St

Cincinnati                          Notre Dame

Indiana                             Wisconsin

Illinois                               Northwestern

Ohio State                         Purdue

**Basketball only schools added would be Xavier and Butler**

I know that Ohio State would dominate the South Division, but look at this from a basketball perspective.  Exciting!

Southeastern Conference:

North                                      South

North Carolina                    Florida

NC State                          Florida St

Duke                                Miami

Wake Forest                      South Florida

Clemson                            Georgia

South Carolina                    Georgia Tech

**Basketball only schools would be Charlotte and Richmond**

I know the SEC fans are freaking out, but seriously the state of Florida and Texas could have their own conferences.  Just consider it for a moment.  How would your team fair?

Big East Conference:

North                                        East

Pittsburgh                          Maryland

Temple                              Connecticut

Penn State                         Rutgers

Syracuse                           Boston College

West Virginia                      Virginia Tech

Buffalo                              Virginia

**Basketball Only schools would be Villanova and Georgetown**

This blows away what they have now!

Big South Conference:

East                                           West

Alabama                              Texas

Tennessee                           LSU

Auburn                                Oklahoma

Mississippi                            Arkansas

Mississippi St.                       Missouri

Vanderbilt                            Oklahoma St

This division is scary in football.

Big Plains Conference:

East                                          West

Minnesota                           Utah

Iowa                                  Wyoming

Iowa State                          Boise St

Nebraska                             Colorado

Kansas                                BYU

Kansas State                        Air Force

**Marquette would be a basketball only school**

Pacific Conference:

North                                        South

Washington                        USC

Washington St                    UCLA

Oregon                              Arizona

Oregon St                          Arizona St

Stanford                            Texas Tech

California                           Texas A&M

**Basketball Only Schools are Gonzaga and St. Mary's**

Texas Tech and A&M would add a nice touch to this conference.

WAC Conference:

West                                        East

Hawaii                               TCU

New Mexico                        Houston

San Diego St                      Colorado St

UNLV                                Baylor

Idaho                               Rice

Nevada                             UTEP


East                                North/West

Akron                              C Mich

Kent St                            E Mich

Miami (OH)                        W Mich

Ohio                                 N Illinois

Toledo                              W Kentucky

Ball State                          Bowling Green

**Basketball Only Schools would be Dayton and DePaul**

Atlantic Conference for Basketball Only:

Providence, St. Johns, Seton Hall, Massachusetts, St. Joe, GW, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, La Salle, Fordham, and Duquesne

The other conference should be geographically realigned to make the most logistical sense.  While many conferences are somewhat geographically sound, many schools have developed over the last 30 years and conferences have changed.  Making changes every 20 to 30 years should be a part of college athletics.

These trips don't make economic sense anymore and the NCAA needs to step in and help these conferences make good sound decisions:

Iowa to Penn State

South Florida to any Big East School (West Virginia)

South Dakota (Great West Conf) to NJIT

North Dakota State or South Dakota State (Summit) to IUPUI

There are hundreds more to look at and consider especially in the smaller conferences.

If all conferences went to 12 teams per conferences and two divisions through re-alignment, then travel budgets would be reduced by nearly 40%.  Many of these trips are less than 4 hours, which equals a bus ride in which they can still prepare for classes. 

Saving money, creating new rivalries, and protecting our AD's from their alumni would make a great deal of sense before Congress steps in and changes it for us.


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