Nationally-Recognized, Quality Local Journalism..

Click here to stay informed and subscribe to the Mountain State’s Trusted News Source.

Click #isupportlocal for more information on supporting our local journalists.

Learn more about HD Media

Just about everyone breathed a large sigh of relief when NCAA President Mark Emmert announced his impending retirement.

Not so fast, folks.

Just might want to hold your breath.

As frustrating as Emmert often was, the alternative could be much, much worse. That’s particularly true for Group of Five athletics in general and Marshall University sports, in particular.

Imagine college athletes designated as employees. Just consider the consequences and ramifications of such a move. Well, that maneuver and many more are very possible, thanks to the creation of the “Transformation Committee.”

And yes, it has some radical ideas.

The concepts, according to “Sports Illustrated,” include the elimination of scholarship caps on sports such as baseball and softball that offer only partial scholarships. It also calls for doing away with a limit on the number of coaches per team.

So, the high-dollar football programs could have 25 or 30 coaches.

Then there are concepts such as the transfer portal being open for only three months a year and the recruiting calendar having no evaluation or quiet periods.

There is a distinct possibility these ideas could become more than just concepts.

It is all in the hands of the Transformation Committee, which is a team of upper-echelon collegiate officials who are working to modernize NCAA rules and mandates with some “outside the box” thinking.

Some administrators call it “radical.”

That’s because it is. Particularly as it relates to the Sun Belt Conference, American Athletic Conference, Mountain West Conference, Mid-American Conference and Conference USA.

The potential impact to those leagues could be monumental.

As one athletic director commented to Sports Illustrated, “It’s going to make some heads explode.”

So, it appears Emmert’s retirement is going to send a shock wave throughout college athletics. Is that necessary?

Aside from how out of control the transfer portal and “name-image-likeness” situations are, does college sports in general need an overhaul of this magnitude?


There are situations and rules that need to be fixed. That’s true. But across-the-board changes that will change the very culture of college athletics?

It isn’t needed.

People need to understand one concept — change isn’t always good. That’s particularly the case when the change appears to be geared completely to the benefit of the larger and richer schools.

What about the G5 schools?

They can’t begin to afford to give full scholarships to the so-called Olympic sports athletes. They can’t fund an unlimited number of coaches, either. That’s the rich school, Power Five mentality.

And that’s the problem.

If those measures are passed, the gap between the Power Five and Group of Five will widen to the point it never will be bridged again.

One Group of Five athletic director who attended the presentation in Dallas told Sports Illustrated, “Every G5 AD is like, ‘Holy s---!”

That’s how game-changing these measures ultimately could be.

Meanwhile, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith is advocating that the 10 FBS conferences break from the NCAA, move under the College Football Playoff’s umbrella and allow basketball and other sports to remain in the NCAA.

“The reality is,” Smith told ESPN, “those schools who offer 85 scholarships in football have made a different commitment and that needs to be addressed.”


The most vital issue is selling the National Labor Relations Board on the idea that collegiate athletes are students instead of employees in a multi-billion dollar industry.

Good luck with that.