First, an important read from Dennis Dodd of CBSsports.com as the annual NCAA Convention kicks off today in San Diego. In short, Dodd says “paying” college athletes will happen.
A portion of his story:
“We want to self-regulate so Congress doesn’t have to, so a newspaper [media] doesn’t have to,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said this week.
In the end, it will be a battle for the NCAA’s relevance. Without a new model that includes player compensation, the Big 5 conferences — SEC, ACC, Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten — have suggested they could break away and form their own organization. There would be little use for having an NCAA without those 65 schools.
Leveraging their power, the Big 5 have told the NCAA that change must come or else. They are tired of being more observers to the process than direct participants.
It will start with paying athletes. Nine-figure athletic budgets built with the sweat of uncompensated amateur athletes are now viewed as a grand injustice. It’s just the tenor of the times. In the big picture, the amount won’t be much. The richer schools will be able to afford more (perhaps upwards of $5,000 per player) than less-affluent institutions.
Paying those athletes some amount of money above their scholarship probably will be optional. But a day when an Ohio State point guard making $5K plays against a Bowling Green counterpart making $1,000 is upon us.
And most everyone seems to be OK with it.
“It seems to be a much less controversial notion today than it was 18 months ago,” Emmert admitted. “As we’ve talked about it more and membership has had a chance to digest, it is being seen as less threatening.”
— Elsewhere, an update on practices in Florida for the East-West Shrine Game, in which Keith Price and Sean Parker are participating.
— The recruiting dead period ends today, and UW appears to be pushing for a quarterback in this recruiting class. K.J. Carta-Samuels, a former Vanderbilt commit, will visit UW this weekend, and Houston’s Aaron Sharp apparently has a visit to UW scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 24.
— Losing five players early to the NFL Draft will be a challenge for USC.
— The former UW assistants, including Marques Tuiasosopo, were introduced at USC on Tuesday.
— Oregon introduced its new defensive coordinator, Don Pellum, on Tuesday.
— Athlon analyzes the Pac-12 schedule.