Report: College Football Playoff leaders discussing break from NCAA
With the NCAA’s approval rating at an all-time low, college football might literally take its ball and go play somewhere else.
According to a report on Wednesday from ESPN’s Pete Thamel, the 11 college presidents and chancellors who make up the College Football Playoff’s Board of Managers met via Zoom earlier this week to discuss the possibility of restructuring how college football is governed, with the idea presented of major college football potentially being governed outside of the NCAA and under the purview of the CFP.
From Thamel’s report:
Sources cautioned that these discussions are in such early stages that it could be considered the first steps of a complicated process that would resemble a marathon. The sources added that the group spoke about the idea for only about five minutes, as it was raised as something the group should think more about down the line.
The conversation is significant, however, in that it’s the first known discussion among a group that would seemingly have the power to put such a plan in action. And the CFP looms as the most likely destination for running major college football outside the NCAA.
No action is imminent or known next steps planned. College football currently falls under the NCAA governance rules structure. Unlike most college sports, the organization does not run any part of the sport’s postseason. Leaving from the NCAA governance structure would allow the sport autonomy in rules making and not being tethered in decision making to smaller-budgeted schools.
The concept of a break from the NCAA has picked up significant traction in recent years.
With the business side of college football a money-printing machine, leaders at the top have wanted to be able to make their own rules for a sport that is increasingly different from any other under NCAA guidance.
Several key figures in the sport touched on the topic earlier this summer, from Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith to ACC commissioner Jim Phillips. Particularly with regards to the NCAA’s handling of NIL matters, leaders at the FBS level have grown increasingly frustrated with NCAA decision-making.
At the ACC’s spring meetings earlier this year, Phillips said he didn’t believe a break from the NCAA would be happening “right now or the next five to 10 years.” That discussions are starting to take place might mean we’re on the clock.