Following up on Wednesday's Mark Emmert Madness!™ was … well, just about everyone in the world with an opinion about the NCAA, pay-for-play, and its future as the governing body of college athletics. If you don't understand what all the hubbub is about — if you are confused as to why there is so much outcry over students who are getting $150,000 to $200,000 of free education in exchange for playing sports — this is easily the best, most concise, and most insightful piece you can read.
In the meantime, once the pay-for-play hubbub — I will keep using the word hubbub, and you will never stop me — at Wednesday's IMG gathering settled, slightly wonkier NCAA news trickled forth. Namely, that Emmert expects a long-awaited revision to the NCAA governance structure to arrive by 2014, one likely to disenfranchise mid-major conferences, or curtail their outsized power, depending on which side of the divide you sit: "Generally speaking, the format would give the Big 5 conferences — ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC — more autonomy in decision-making and authority in other areas. It would also give them the ability to implement certain policies for schools in their conferences. The new model would also give athletic directors a key and more direct role in policy-making and implementation. An easy comparison to make is that of the United Nations' Security Council, a small group of members with explicit power to make decisions that affect the entire membership."
As Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said — as he has been saying for a while now, really — getting to that United Nations-style place means convincing a lot of smaller conferences to "vote themselves less political authority. They don't do that. That's not a natural thing to do." This is a key point: "When critics rip universities for spending lavishly on coaching salaries, locker rooms and facilities while athletes struggle to pay for basic expenses, Delany says they're thinking of his league and the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12, Pacific-12 and Southeastern Conference. The time has come for those five to address such shortcomings, Delany said."
Anyway, in non-bang-your-head-on-this-table news, cleanse your palette with Ken Pomeroy's fun little look at the tallest and shortest lineups in the country — and the various components therein.
The "Real Basketball Moms of Kentucky" is not yet an actual television show, but it might be, and I hope it won't be, but I kind of hope it will be -- actually never mind, there are enough abjectly horrible people on TV, let's just not, OK? OK. Phew.