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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

May 21, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Pac-12 presidents advance their own ideas for NCAA reform

Pacific-12 Conference presidents have penned a joint letter to the other 53 schools in the so-called Big Five conferences — also including the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC — with a 10-point reform platform.

The proposal includes some of the recently discussed initiatives, such as full-cost-of-scholarship provisions and insurance coverage for incapacitating injuries.

UPDATE, 3:45 p.m. Here’s a link to the letter itself.

Two of the notions will probably have a hard time flying, I would guess — those of decreasing the demands on athletes both in-season and out-of-season.

True, those are factors that have gotten out of control over the years, to the point that many sports are year-round endeavors. In fact, there was once debate about NCAA rules limiting athletes’ ability to have a part-time or summer job. Now it’s a given that there’s no time even to consider one.

The job, in essence, is playing college football or basketball.

Bigger picture: If the presidents, in the Pac-12 and elsewhere, are going to sanction construction of expensive facilities (primarily for football and basketball) and pay coaches ever-escalating salaries, can they realistically expect to diminish the time spent by those athletes — who are the ones propping up the $4-5 million salaries and the grand football-operations buildings?

And along those lines, there will be costs associated with some of the proposals. Tough to advocate for reining in some excesses while simultaneously leaning on the big-ticket sports to keep the college-sports machine humming.

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