Pac-12's George Kliavkoff says NCAA shouldn't govern FBS football, per report
The 10 FBS conferences can and should take their ball and do their own thing.
That’s according to Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff, who told The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach recently he thinks the NCAA doesn’t necessarily have to be the governing body for the Football Bowl Subdivision. Kliavkoff said he thinks the sport of college football can and should be handled independently of the NCAA and that he thinks he’s not alone on the hill.
“We have to be realistic about the fact that football is a unique animal among the rest of the college sports and that there are conferences that should be more aligned and should be more in control of the future of high-level college football.
“I’ve had conversations with several of the FBS commissioners, and I’ve been surprised by the unanimous support for the idea among the folks that I’ve spoken to about taking football rule-making and football rule enforcement out of the NCAA and investing it in an organization that is run by the 10 (FBS) conferences.
“… For me, it would make sense to have self-governance for a smaller group of conferences than the 32 that currently make up Division I. But that doesn’t necessarily mean being separate from the NCAA. You can do that within the NCAA, similar to the way certain autonomy was given to the (Power 5) conferences for certain issues.”
Should the College Football Playoff manage the sport? Should a similar but new governing body emerge to run the show? Such a break would require some kind of rule enforcement mechanism and an operations division to manage the business side of the sport. All logistics that could prove tricky for any kind of restructuring.
But Kliavkoff isn’t the first to suggest such changes. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith floated the same ideas in an interview with The Athletic in May. The SEC’s Greg Sankey—arguably one of the most powerful figures in the sport—suggested the new for a new governance model in interviews with Sports Illustrated a full year ago.
As Kliavokff said to Auerbach, with leadership atop the various Power Five leagues changing and NCAA president Mark Emmert stepping down, there might not be a better time for hard conversations about what a restructuring would look like than now.