DALLAS — Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said schools and conferences around the country are not talking about leaving the NCAA.
But, Bowlsby said Monday in his state of the conference address at Big 12 Media Days, things needed to change in the enforcement of rules and the structure of the organization.
“I don’t know that meaningful enforcement can take place given the structure that we currently have,” Bowlsby said. “It’s probably unrealistic to manage football and field hockey by the same set of rules.”
Bowlsby all but endorsed the idea of a “fourth division” of college football, with the major conference schools — the Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12 and ACC — breaking away from the rest.
While Bowlsby went a step further than SEC commissioner Mike Slive did at last week’s gathering of SEC media, Bowlsby said he was not alone in his feelings that the league had to make “transformative” changes going forward.
He said Slive, the ACC’s John Swofford, Pac-12’s Larry Scott and Big 10’s Jim Delaney were on board with his comments.
“I would say unanimity,” Bowlsby said when asked if other commissioners of the major conferences shared his view.
The lack of movement to give college football players a stipend to cover the difference between the scholarship amount and the actual cost of attendance, the lack of teeth to the enforcement process and the inability to make substantive changes through the current process are major issues.
“I think it’s virtually impossible right now to configure legislative proposals that have any chance of getting through the system intact that would accomplish anything in the way of meaningful change,” Bowlsby said. “I think all of us are feeling that.