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
Great Lakes Division:
Kentucky Michigan St
Cincinnati Notre Dame
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!
North Carolina Florida
NC State Florida St
Wake Forest South Florida
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:
Penn State Rutgers
Syracuse Boston College
West Virginia Virginia Tech
**Basketball Only schools would be Villanova and Georgetown**
This blows away what they have now!
Big South Conference:
Mississippi St. Missouri
Vanderbilt Oklahoma St
This division is scary in football.
Big Plains Conference:
Iowa State Boise St
Kansas State Air Force
**Marquette would be a basketball only school**
Washington St UCLA
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.
New Mexico Houston
San Diego St Colorado St
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.