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NCAA gives 'Big 5' autonomy, UTEP reacts

KTSM
UTEP

POSTED: Thursday, August 7, 2014 - 5:58pm

UPDATED: Friday, August 8, 2014 - 12:24pm

Today, the NCAA Board of Directors voted to give the five BCS conferences, "the big five", autonomy when it comes to their own rules. The NCAA Division I board voted 16-2 to allow the schools in the top five conferences to write many of their own rules. Mostly, this will affect scholarship compensation, but the freedom to make your own rules will be limited.

The main question in the borderland is, what will happen to the mid major conferences, like Conference USA, the WAC or the Sun Belt? NC9 spoke to UTEP Athletic Director Bob Stull, and he said Conference USA has legislation in place that will coincide with the 'big five' compensation. Not all mid-majors have this, yes, it could create a huge divide, and many schools won't be able to afford measures like cost-of-attendance stipends.

"But it's also going to create some problems within the Big 5 because it's a huge difference between, say, Texas Tech and Texas, on their budgets... Possibly 100 million dollar difference, now as rules are passed and moved on, and every conference will look at what does this mean, and what does it mean for us, and how will we fund it," said Stull.

Statement from Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson:
"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."

The Board will vote in January, and most new rules for the 'big five' won't go into affect until 2015, if approved.

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