Hotline newsletter: Investigation into Pac-12 return-to-play strategy, Knight Commission report, coaching salaries and more

*** The Pac-12 Hotline newsletter is published each Monday-Wednesday-Friday during the college sports season and twice-a-week in the offseason. (Sign up here for a free subscription.) This edition, from Oct. 14, has been made available in archived form.

Internal Dissent

The lengthy list of NCAA critics includes … the NCAA itself.

According to a recent survey by a respected watchdog organization, the association’s own membership isn’t pleased with the governance of major college athletics.

A survey by the reformed-minded Knight Commission found an overwhelmingly majority of respondents agreed that “Division I reform should look for ‘big solutions’ rather than incremental changes.”

Per the news release issued Tuesday:

“The Division I model has needed an overhaul for many years now, and our survey shows that most college sports leaders recognize the need for fundamental change in the structure and governance of college sports,” said the Commission’s co-chair, Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education. “The work ahead is much broader than adopting a few new policies.”

Results of the survey of college athletic leaders included:

• 79 percent of respondents believe “there is too much financial resource disparity among schools”

• 80 percent believe “some members of the NCAA governing board should be selected to explicitly represent the health, safety and well-being of college athletes”

The survey also asked for opinions about the structure of Division I.

Not surprisingly, support for keeping March Madness intact was strong. (As should be the case for the greatest event in American sports.)

However, there is broad dissatisfaction with football — the source of the massive disparity in resources across Division I.

That sentiment, by the way, isn’t limited to the Power Five.

Per the Knight Commission:

• “Almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents from Division I institutions without football were in favor of separating FBS football from the NCAA and creating a new entity to solely manage that sport. However, 42 percent of FBS respondents oppose such a change.

• “Roughly 60 percent of Power 5 respondents were very or somewhat likely to support the creation of a separate new division within the NCAA for the Power 5 conferences to compete in sports other than men’s and women’s basketball. By contrast, nearly 60 percent of respondents from non-Power 5 institutions (i.e., Group of 5, the Football Championship Subdivision, and D-I No Football) oppose creating a fourth NCAA Division.”

Football is the reason college athletics must be fixed, and the reason it won’t be. — Jon Wilner

Hot off the Hotline

• Publication of this edition was delayed 24 hours due to a Hotline investigation into the Pac-12’s return-to-play strategy. Documents acquired late last week show the conference was making slow progress in convincing the state of California to ease restrictions and allow the four teams to practice. But everything changed when the USC players went public and put Gavin Newsom on the defensive. Here’s our full report, which includes emails obtained through a public records request.

• Which game would work for a 9 a.m. kickoff later in the season? Has the Pac-12’s playoff position improved? Is Jimmy Lake’s CFP expansion plan viable? We …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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