Autonomy — What key players in college football, C-USA, UNT officials are saying

Opinions are flooding in from across the college football world on the top five conferences in college athletics being granted autonomy from the rest of the NCAA world.

We have seen this coming for some time. I asked Dan McCarney about what the move would mean at Conference USA media day, when Britton Banowsky also addressed the issue in his state of the league address.

I will be back with some thoughts later, but here are some quotes from people in the world of college athletics:

“We are going to do everything we can in Conference USA to be a role model, blaze trails and be the beacon of light for everyone else that is not in one of those conferences. This is how you do it and do it with a little less. We want to still have bowls and great destinations and great expectations and improve attendance. Why can’t we be the example for the rest of the country?”

– UNT head coach Dan McCarney

This is perhaps the most challenging time in the history of college athletics. It’s certainly a historic time. I have been associated with college athletics for 25 years and grew up around college athletics before that. We are at a point in time where the model is being reviewed. It’s being reviewed internally by our athletics administrators and presidents and is being reviewed externally by the judicial system and legislators. The collegiate model is very healthy and bedrock for what we do. It makes college sports meaningful, but we expect there to be change. We see it on the horizon and need to make sure we manage the change in a way that is thoughtful and benefits our student athletes.

– Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky

“We are pleased that the NCAA Governance Redesign Model was adopted today by the NCAA Board of Directors. We extend our congratulations to Dr. Nathan Hatch and to the NCAA Steering Committee for its excellent work in designing a model that we believe will enjoy broad acceptance. We also appreciate the exemplary efforts of our NCAA Board representative, Dr. John Hitt of UCF, and our Conference Board chair, Dr. Gerald Turner of SMU, who were deeply engaged in this process.

Our conference membership supports the new governance model and the opportunities it will present to enhance the student-athlete experience and student-athlete welfare. Our presidents and athletic directors are steadfast in their commitment to these ideals and also to providing our student-athletes with the ability to compete at the highest level of collegiate athletics.”

– American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco

“Today’s vote by the NCAA Board of Directors will have a significant impact on the future of intercollegiate athletics and more than likely will result in an increase in the cost of operating the athletic programs of the universities of the Sun Belt Conference. While there will be challenges ahead, our universities are committed to the continued academic success of our student-athletes along with providing the necessary benefits to protect their overall health and welfare. Our universities have integrated the values of intercollegiate athletics into their respective academic missions on each campus and the SBC looks forward to continuing to play a prominent role within the new NCAA governance as one of the 10 FBS conferences.”

– Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson

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