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Big 12 commish criticizes NCAA, calls for change

Written by Jenn Menendez on .

DALLAS -- A lot of very interesting thoughts from Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby to kick off Big 12 Media Days this morning in Texas.

Most interestingly he strongly criticized the NCAA, calling for transformative change, and a need of the organization to reevaluate its core purpose. He went as far to suggest reorganization, perhaps in the form of federation by sport, and stopped short of calling for secession.

Bowlsby said he hasn’t spoken anyone else in the business of college football that seriously believes the major football conferences should go find another organization. He did say secession would be a last resort.

Other hightlights? Bowlsby revealed the Big 12 will add an eighth official, will now use in-game highlights during long TV timeouts to try and combat sliding attendance nationally, will address concussions with a public service announcement, and add a chip to players’ shoulder pads that will allow the league to track velocity, and their path around the stadium.

On federations:

Bowlsby: “I really think the time has come to think about federation by size and scope and equity brought to the system.  There are about 75 schools that win 90 percent of the championships in the NCAA, and we have a whole bunch of others that don't look much like the people in our league, but yet through rule variation they're trying to compete with us.”

Bowlsby: “I think it may even be time to look at federation by sport.  It's probably unrealistic to think that we can manage football and field hockey by the same set of rules.  I think some kind of reconfiguration of how we govern is in order.”

On how difficult it is to enact change: 

Bowlsby: "I think it's virtually impossible right now to configure legislative proposals that have any chance of getting through the system intact that would accomplish anything in the way of meaningful change.  I think all of us are feeling that."

Bowlsby: "The five major conference commissioners met about six weeks ago to talk about these issues.  I think we're probably making some progress, but I don't know that we can keep doing what we're doing.  It's bad grammar but a good concept:  If we always do what we've always done, we'll always get what we've always got.  That's kind of where we are right now. 

On secession:

Bowlsby“So I don't see secession as a legitimate point of leverage except as a last resort.  I really think that leadership and the rank and file believe that there's a solution within the NCAA, and it's been along those lines that we've had the conversations. Could that change to something that's a ltitle more harsh down the road? Possibly could, sure." 

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