Edsall: New autonomy 'one step closer to five conferences splitting off'

Edsall: New autonomy 'one step closer to five conferences splitting off'
August 7, 2014, 5:30 pm
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(Jerry Lal-USA TODAY Sports)

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COLLEGE PARK -- On Thursday the NCAA Board of Directors approved a series of reforms in the governing structure of college athletics, shifting more power to the nation’s five biggest conferences in regards to how those organizations choose to operate.

The reforms, commonly referred to as “autonomy” for the “Power Five” conferences -- the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, and Pac-12 -- would in its most basic sense allow those conferences to enact rules within their budgetary restrictions that they otherwise were unable to adopt before due to opposition from mostly smaller-conference schools.

Maryland head coach Randy Edsall responded to the passage of the measure before his team’s fourth training camp of the preseason on Thursday. But his take on the issue was bigger, more radical, and part of the larger-scale view of the future of college athletics.

“I think it’s one step closer to the five conferences splitting off,” he told the media on campus in College Park.  “I really do, but again I think there’s bigger issues now that you have that in terms of who is really going to take charge of what’s best for football.

“Yeah, you have this autonomy but now what are we going to do with that to get the collegiate model, you know, the way it should be or back to where it was?”

[RELATED: Edsall openly critical of top Terps wide receiver]

As Edsall correctly went on to point out, the vote today does not necessarily change everything immediately.

“We won’t know until legislation is put through and what kind of legislation they want to adopt and go with.”

“They” would be the conferences and that’s the next step if the new model survives any possible veto by 75 schools who could force the board to reconsider or 125 schools who could table it until further reconsideration can take place.

Conferences would then be able to enact a host of measures that could cover healthcare, scholarships, and issues pertaining to other forms of compensation for athletes.

“What they’ve proposed there, I think that’s all good,” Edsall said. “But I still think what has to happen is we have to sit down and really do take a look at what’s in the betterment of the game when it comes to recruiting and some of the other things that are out there that I think are issues with what’s going on.”

Check back shortly to Comcast SportsNet for more comments from Randy Edsall regarding Thursday’s autonomy vote.