Why a Little Know Court Case May Reshape College Sports....Again
((ht: cbssports.com for making me aware of this))
For those of us over a certain age, College Football...and College Basketball bear little resemblance to the often romanticized games we once knew.
It's not a "Secret", not a surprise revelation or anything that hasn't been discussed over the past 15-years or so. The games have changed from being a tradition laden gathering that everyone gathered on campus for to a big dollar, mega-corporate, money making machine for the biggest schools.
Just a few years ago (nobody remembers that far back anymore), we went through a major reorganization of conference alignments in Division One College Sports.
If a court case currently being heard in California's Northern District is won, it could very well change the landscape again.
Alston vs. The NCAA trial involves plaintiffs trying to get an injunction vs. the NCAA's current scholarship model and allow individual schools and conferences to compensate players as they see fit.
Which you and I both know would engage a bidding war for the ages....
According to a report by CBSSports.com reporter Dennis Dodd (read it HERE), most major programs are already making preparations for the fallout, should the NCAA lose--which is apparently expected.
The irony of this---to me: While this goes on, a New York trial has exposed College Basketball's seedy underbelly where players are already bartered for and payed for by sneaker companies on behalf of schools those companies sponsor.
((Ed note: Yes, I know that case hasn't finished and the Government is likely to lose because their case is presuming the schools involved have been harmed rather than the players, NCAA or fans---another argument for another column))
Anyway---the prevailing thought is should the NCAA lose the Alston case and the ruling stands the scrutiny of any potential appeals---the College Sports world will change---though not for a few years.
Expect change. Massive change. Particularly in College Football come 2024 or 2025--or earlier. That's when the current slew of TV deals with conferences, the College Football Playoff and others come to an end and will be renegotiated.
Considering the maniacally crazy pace viewing habits are drastically changing, those conference and Playoff deals will likely be different. A lot different than they currently are. Even the biggest schools (see Alabama) are struggling to get students to come to games, largely because they are not competitive all the time.
Do not be surprised to see the "Mega/Super Conferences" come to fruition. You'll see the Top 60 or so programs---at least the ones financially in a position to do it---combine as one.
I'd love to see a 64 team FBS play their season, narrowing the field weekly. Think about it, 8 Conferences/Divisions playing a 12 week schedule amongst each other with the Winners squaring off in an 8-team, 3-week playoff.
Boom! No more arguments about worthiness, no more being left out. Let the other 64-Division one programs form a second level and do the same thing.
It gives you 2-levels of much more even College Football action. Competition among equals. No more games featuring the UTEP's of the world playing the Alabama's of world in a game nobody cares about, the winner is already determined and the visitor just comes for the paycheck and hope nobody gets hurt.
It makes the games count....
You don't think the ESPN's and other broadcasters of the world wouldn't eat this up?? That's my suggestion and what I think will happen......what about you?? Check out the OSG on CFB Podcasts each week on spreaker.com, iTunes, stitcher.com, Spotify and BarnBurner.ca