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Monday, June 13, 2011

Adams to attend NCAA summit, and more on eliminating kickoffs

A couple items for a Monday in June:

- NCAA president Mark Emmert is organizing a meeting of about 50 college presidents and chancellors to discuss the state and future of college sports. If that sounds far-reaching, then yes, it is.

Here's an excerpt from a press release/story about the event on the NCAA's web site:

Emmert, who began his term as the NCAA’s fifth chief executive officer in October 2010, is convening a presidential retreat to discuss continued expectations for student-athlete academic success, fiscal sustainability in Division I and fortifying the integrity of the enterprise, among other things.

Emmert did not identify a specific agenda, but he indicated discussions will be purposefully broad.

Georgia president Michael Adams is among the invitees, according to school spokesman Tom Jackson.

"It is on Dr. Adams’ calendar and he is committed to attending at the invitation of Emmert," Jackson said.

The proposed agenda will almost certainly include full-cost scholarships, which people in the NCAA appear to be rallying around. The above-linked story also indicates that the NCAA's enforcement and penalties will be under discussion.

And it also mentions that Division I is the only one to be sub-divided (between FBS and FCS), so that could mean the long-rumored breakup of Division I football powers, or it could even mean discussion of a playoff. But I'd bet on the former, not the latter.

- Here's another good look at the proposal to replace kickoffs, which is being pushed by Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano. The web site Football Outsiders, run by Bill Connelly, breaks it down and suggests that the fourth-and-15 situation should actually be fourth-and-12.

Connelly, supportive of the change, writes:

Typically, Step One in having a "Serious Debate" on a topic, one that would constitute a major systemic (but, again, not spiritual) change, results in the old guard and opinion-makers saying something resembling "We need to have a serious debate about this topic (though I'm not even remotely willing to actually consider any changes)." Step Two is to have the serious debate. Clearly the Schiano proposal has reached Step One. Hopefully makes it to Step Two; it deserves consideration.

So far the idea, as far-fetched as it seems, hasn't caught on with any notable non-media members other than Schiano and Rogers Redding, the NCAA's director of officiating. Then again, it's the summer and a lot of coaches haven't been asked yet, or had much time to hear or consider it.


Russ said...

Eliminating kickoffs = dumb idea

Jeff Wood said...

Thanks Russ for the insightful comments. I received my first concussion (2nd was playing hoops in grad school) on a kickoff in high school. That was almost 20 years ago and it was scary then. With advanced strength programs and better equipment I can only imagine today especially at the collegiate level.

There was also a great National Geographic article showing the hits on a UNC player in practice, a couple of which caused concussions (not sure if link will work below). Scary, real scary.