Thursday, August 07, 2014

Power 5 move towards autonomy only increases uncertainty for UConn

With the news that the NCAA governing board votes to give autonomy to the Power 5 Conferences was not unexpected and leaves UConn in a similar predicament  that it was in before the vote went down.

The fact of the matter is that UConn was already on the outside looking in compared to teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Big 12, Southeastern Conference and Pac-12. UConn, with an operating budget comparable to some programs in the Power 5 Conferences, can continue to do business as it had before but today's events only continued the trend of UConn being in a state of uncertainty.

Despite all the success of UConn's basketball programs, this move is all about big-time collegiate football and the Huskies' lack of on field success as well as mediocre drawing power for football has placed them in a conference which is losing power with each passing week and month. Assuming the other conferences don't rise up and attempt to override today's vote, a move that could throw things into a state of complete disarray, teams outside of the five major conferences will be left reacting to the actions of those higher in the collegiate football pecking order rather than being part of the group setting policy.

UConn and the American Athletic Conference continue to say all the right things of believing they are part of a Power 6 conference and will continue to conduct their business this way but today's vote only makes things all the more precarious moving forward.

Ideally what would be in the best interest for UConn is that Bob Diaco turns the football program around in a hurry making the school more attractive for the ACC or Big Ten to come calling during the next wave of conference realignment because staying in The American bring a future that is really impossible to predict  despite the proclamations all over social media.

For those interested in such things, here is the statement from the American Athletic Conference following today's vote.

We are pleased that the NCAA Governance Redesign Model was adopted today by the NCAA Board of Directors. We extend our congratulations to Dr. Nathan Hatch and to the NCAA Steering Committee for its excellent work in designing a model that we believe will enjoy broad acceptance. We also appreciate the exemplary efforts of our NCAA Board representative, Dr. John Hitt of UCF, and our Conference Board chair, Dr. Gerald Turner of SMU, who were deeply engaged in this process.

Our conference membership supports the new governance model and the opportunities it will present to enhance the student-athlete experience and student-athlete welfare. Our presidents and athletic directors are steadfast in their commitment to these ideals and also to providing our student-athletes with the ability to compete at the highest level of collegiate athletics."

Stay tuned.


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