The future of the NCAA as the governing body of college football is being discussed by the College Football Playoff's Board of Managers.
Per ESPN's Pete Thamel, the 11 members who make up the Board of Managers recently met via Zoom and "briefly discussed the possibility of restructuring how college football is governed, with the idea presented of major college football potentially being governed outside of the NCAA."
According to Thamel, the talks are in "such early stages that it could be considered the first steps of a complicated process that would resemble a marathon."
The NCAA has been the official governing body for Division II and Division III programs in 1973 and Division I—renamed the Football Championship Subdivision in 2006—in 1978.
This week's meeting also included a discussion about the future of the College Football Playoff. Thamel noted the next iteration of the playoff could be put in place before the current contract that runs through the 2025 season.
The Board of Managers is made up of 11 college presidents and chancellors from each of the 10 major conferences, as well as Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins. The group is separate from the College Football Playoff Management Committee, which had no members on the call with the Board of Managers.
According to Thamel, there is a feeling among the presidents and chancellors that college sports leaders have left "perhaps as much as a half-billion dollars" on the table by not implementing a new playoff structure before 2026.
Despite some talk of playoff expansion earlier this year, CFP executive director Bill Hancock announced in February the current four-team format would remain in place through the end of its current deal that expires after 2025.
"Much of the obstruction to the 12-team playoff appears to have dissipated, as media day comments from multiple leaders revealed some of the obstacles now appear to have been more performative than grounded in reality," Thamel wrote.
The NCAA doesn't officially award a national champion in college football. It does recognize the winner of the College Football Playoff as the national champion.
The College Football Playoff was established in 2014, replacing the Bowl Championship Series. The 13-member selection committee debates the merits of the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision teams, with new Top 25 rankings coming out weekly in the second half of each season.
The top four teams in the rankings after conference championship weekend play in two semifinal games. The winners of those games advance to the College Football Playoff National Championship.