INDIANAPOLIS -- Rules violations and reform have been the key buzz words in the college football offseason. Now it's time to see if more talk can produce any substantial change.
A group of more than 50 university presidents, plus a handful of athletic directors, conference commissioners and other officials convene this afternoon in Indianapolis for a two-day retreat to discuss how to reform college sports. The issues that are officially on the agenda are fiscal sustainability, academic performance of student-athletes and integrity.
"I don't want to be melodramatic, but this meeting is very important," NCAA president Mark Emmert told ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil. "We do have serious challenges, and we do need to make some serious reforms. I don't think there is any debate about that. I want us to be able to build a consensus around those things that are most important for the NCAA to pay attention to and then address those things quickly."
Here are the Big Ten representatives at this week's retreat:
Gordon Gee, Ohio State president
Michael McRobbie, Indiana president
Harvey Perlman, Nebraska chancellor
Lou Anna Simon, Michigan State president
Graham Spanier, Penn State president
Jo Potuto, Nebraska faculty athletic representative, Nebraska
Gee will be spending a lot of time in Indy this week; Ohio State's case before the infractions committee will be held here on Friday.
The key question from this whole retreat will be whether the group comes up with specific recommendations and changes, or if like many university and NCAA endeavors, it simply leads to more reports and committees. The Big Ten, led by commissioner Jim Delany, has been out front in the call for changes to NCAA rules and practices, including cost-of-attendance increases to athletic scholarships. The league has some powerful people at the retreat to push forward those ideas.
I'll be here for both days and reporting on the developments. Stay tuned.