FBS athletic directors say college football will remain under NCAA if it’s ‘extremely streamlined’

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LEAD1, the group of FBS athletic directors, has agreed to keep Division I college football within the NCAA, if it can be streamlined moving forward. 

The annual fall meeting occurred on Wednesday with 105 of the 131 members of LEAD1 to discuss how to operate college football, which is the only sport the NCAA has governance over. 

“It was doubly reaffirmed today that the status quo was not acceptable, and that there was a strong, very strong preference for a model in the NCAA that is extremely streamlined and much less bureaucratic,” said LEAD1 President and CEO Tom McMillen via ESPN. “That’s a lot of details to be worked out in that, but a much [more] streamlined governance within the NCAA. And if that can’t be accomplished, move it to the outside.”

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The Clemson Tigers gather n the tunnel as they get set to take the field against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 4, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida. 
(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

This is a change from what LEAD1 has been saying, which is that “schools with FBS football programs would remain part of the NCAA in all other sports except football.” However, NCAA CFO Kathleen McNeely gave a presentation that showed her organization spends $65 million on things such as catastrophe insurance as well as legal fees. 

“The NCAA is the legal shield,” she said. “It’s a substantial number. I don’t think everybody knew that.”

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While the FBS runs under the NCAA, including their rules and officiating among other things, the College Football Playoff is ran solely by the organization itself. There were some serious suggestions this past year to break away from the NCAA and create another structure to run college football, which is the most lucrative of any sport in the country at that level.

Generic view of Lucas Oil Stadium before the Big 10 Championship Game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Wisconsin Badgers on December 2, 2017 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

Generic view of Lucas Oil Stadium before the Big 10 Championship Game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Wisconsin Badgers on December 2, 2017 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.
(Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

This idea was thought out by many due to the current climate of the sport, especially after it was deemed legal for student-athletes to earn off their name, image and likeness, better known as NIL deals.

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It was also voted on that the CFP expand to 12 teams in the future from it’s current four-team setup. 

But, if the NCAA obliges, the athletic directors would like to continue the marriage with a better structure within. 

Jordan Battle #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide congratulates Brian Branch #14 after a tackle in the first half against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 10, 2022 in Austin, Texas.

Jordan Battle #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide congratulates Brian Branch #14 after a tackle in the first half against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 10, 2022 in Austin, Texas.
(Tim Warner/Getty Images)

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“After all the breakout groups, [the Ads] came to the conclusion there’s a better way to run a railroad within the NCAA,” McMillen said.

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