Ben Jay reacts to talk of NCAA reform - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Ben Jay reacts to talk of NCAA reform

     Are you ready for talk about the landscape of college football changing... again?

     You may not have a choice.

     This week schools from around the country held media days for their respective conferences, however, there was a unified message delivered by commissioners from the big-five conferences (SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten, Big-12 and ACC) against the NCAA.

     The threat: give us more control of our schools assets or risk losing us all together.

    "I really do think that we need to reconfigure the leadership," Big-12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said during the Big-12's media day this week. "We certainly haven't been able to configure an agenda for the changes that we need to make."
     Among the changes, providing student-athletes a two-thousand dollar stipend in addition to a scholarship.
     University of Hawaii Athletic Director Ben Jay isn't against the spirit of the proposed rule, but he states, if enacted, there would be a clear dividing line between the haves and have-nots.

     "Depending on who, or which group you're talking about, it would cost an additional cost of 450-thousand to 800-thousand dollars a year by paying these stipends," said Jay. "That obviously has an impact on a lot of schools who they feel would be competitively disadvantaged in recruiting."

     Money aside, big-revenue schools are also seeking greater power for their membership in the NCAA. There are 349 football programs (between division-one, DII and DIII) nation wide, each holds an equal vote in matters pertaining to NCAA reform. That doesn't sit well with the big-five.

     "There are about 75-schools that win 90-percent of the championships in the NCAA and there are a whole bunch of others that don't look like the people in our league," says Bowlsby. "It may even be time to look at a federation by sport."

     Jay's not ready to push the panic button just yet, but says his three-year window to stabilize the University of Hawaii's athletic department is shrinking each day.

     "In our terms we need to get healthy and financially fit. We need to show that academically that we can compete. And that we have assets in terms of...our assets to Asia, I think (it) will be important with the decision making."

     The big-five commissioners say they will meet again to discuss their plans in a month and hope to make a final decision at the start of 2014.

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