Power Five, NCAA are now officially adversaries, and a breakaway may only be a matter of time
The showdown is now out in the open. What was hinted at in the past is formally a conflict. Actually, it's worse. The NCAA and the Power Five are official adversaries.
That much was obvious Saturday night when CBS Sports confirmed a story Sports Illustrated first reported about the willingness of the Power Five to stage its own championships in fall sports (other than football) if the NCAA Board of Governors cancels them this week.
That board, comprised mostly of administrators and campus CEOs, is the NCAA's top governing body. The NCAA does not sponsor championship for the 130 FBS teams. That is controlled by the 10 FBS conferences, ESPN and the College Football Playoff.
By cancelling those other fall championships, the board knows it would be painting the FBS into a corner. The optics would not be good if the championships in eight sports were canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic yet big-time college football played on.
But by cancelling those championships, the board might set in motion an eventual breakaway from the NCAA by the Power Five -- the 65 total schools from the nation's largest most powerful conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) plus Notre Dame.
Simply put, those power conferences have thought for a while they could do it better than the NCAA. They've increasingly lost faith in the association.
And so, at this inflection point, it's not so much that the Power Five will break away to conduct its own championships. It's that it ...
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