On Thursday the NCAA voted to give the five major conferences autonomy in how they handle student-athlete benefits like health care.
What may be a great thing for the players may be considered not so good for all the other conferences, like the Mountain West and San Diego State University.
“Everybody is trying to make a big deal out of it, and it makes no difference,” said Aztec Head Football Coach Rocky Long. “If you look at the advantages they’ve already had for the last 20 years, this is no more of an advantage.”
Starting October 1, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, as well as Notre Dame can start writing their own rules that don’t apply to other schools in other conferences.
“We can run with their rules too if we can afford it. Now, we’re not going to be able to afford it but that’s how it’s been forever,” Long said at Tuesday’s briefing with local sports media.
Some sports writers say the effects of the new NCAA policy won’t be known for some time.
Coach Long had a few predictions of his own and some advice for schools like his.
He believes in the next year or two, college football is going to be in for an eight-team playoff instead of a four-team playoff.
He also sees teams that have what he called “TV value” will be invited into new conferences. He put SDSU in that group of teams with “TV value.”
“A four-team playoff gives somebody in our league no chance of being in,” Long said. “All they gotta do is let us in.
“And if you get in, guess what? They don’t want it. They don’t want it because we may have a good enough team to beat ‘em. And they don’t want that to happen,” Long said of the “power conferences.”
His advice is for teams in the so-called “non-power conferences” to say no to those preseason games.
“If they can get four teams on their schedule that they can beat, they can start their season 4-0 without winning one league game,” he explained.
“So they can go 2-6 the rest of the year and they’re in a bowl game. So they’re always going to schedule us.”
“Do we want to be included right away? Then we shouldn’t play them.”