What exactly that change will be remains to be seen. But it's clear SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who spoke to the Associated Press in advance of SEC media days Wednesday, is of the opinion that the NCAA is set to undergo serious, fundamental changes in the coming years.
Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive thinks change is in the air for the NCAA — and to him that's a good thing. Slive says he and other college and league administrators "feel like change is important," including having investigations "handled in a timely way."
Vague as it is, it's hard to disagree with that sentiment. Count the ways in which the NCAA's old world is being threatened: Lucrative league-specific sports networks; giant TV rights deals; larger and more frequent investigations and sanctions for rules violators; mass appeals for cost of attendance scholarships; outdated reaction to communication rules; the changing dynamic in the pay-for-play discussion; and on and on and on.
Slive only directly addresses one of those -- speedier action in violations investigations -- and it's a pretty minor long-term issue. But he could be talking about any of them. But the important thing is that he's talking at all. The SEC, Big Ten, and the rest of the power six conferences are the revenue generators in college sports. More than ever, they're where the money is. And yes, cliche though it is, money equals power. That isn't going to change anytime soon.
How that dynamic changes college sports -- and how the NCAA reacts to those changes -- is more important than any tattoos scandal or cost of attendance proposal could ever be.