Editorial: New game of power in town

Aug. 07, 2014 @ 11:46 PM

Dismantling of college sports’ governing body took a significant step Thursday when its board of directors approved a reform package. Future athletes and coaches here in Vance County were handed a significant change, too.

Over the last three decades, colleges not in the NCAA have steadily migrated and positioned themselves to benefit from the moneymaking behemoth. Its grip has been tight, its motives questioned, and its ability to function positively through all its tentacles tested.

Ultimately, the monster was too big. And within it, five leagues of wealth, power and prestige have broken the stranglehold. Called the Power 5, the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12, and their 65 institutions, are on a new course still operating as part of Division I but also unshackled from the remaining 1,000-plus members of the organization.

They shall never be retrieved. Other schools, leagues and the NCAA itself can only hope to operate alongside them, or become one of them.

The Power 5’s move shows, should they desire and feel capable, they can completely step away from the NCAA and be self-sustaining. As Kansas State’s Bill Snyder said Wednesday, they’ve sold out.

Major facility enhancement projects aren’t just happening in football and basketball. There’s rowing and tennis, just to name a couple, in the Big 12 alone. Everybody is trying to keep up as a deeper chasm grows between the have nots and haves.

A small group of athletes in Vance County elite enough to play college sports will covet the new offerings from the Power 5 — things that could include cash for college expenses, health care, continuing education and guaranteed four-year scholarships rather than one-year renewables.

Vance’s coaches could feel anxiousness from parents clamoring for little Johnny or Susie to be recruited by the Power 5, not just any old college. We’ve already seen them getting that to a degree.

There’s a new game in town with many unknown variables, both good and bad. Rest assured, the NCAA isn’t what it was on Wednesday.