April 17th, 2006, 07:09 PM
Ralph, The only thing these few enhancements are targeted at is post season play. The point I have been attempting to make is what about the regular season? Other than a cosmetic name change nothing being done to help this division become stronger and gain respect.
If 1-aa, or the whatever it is to be called, was a business plan for a start-up corporation there wouldn’t be a bank in the country that would loan a dime to get it going. Other than being a member of Division One there are no standards for participation. 1-aa schools are not required to meet any specific criteria like 1-A programs. No minimum scholarships, no set numbers of coaches, or average attendance numbers. Although requirements like these do not necessarily guarantee a solid program, what they do is show a desire and commitment to a high level of competition on the part of the university. It also guarantees a more competitive field by weeding out those who only stick their foot in the water without actually jumping in.
The ONLY way to make this a viable and respected level of college football is to attract a group of schools BACK INTO the division that have a commitment to playing football at a high level. I'd be willing to bet the farm the people who created 1-aa football had no idea it would cause the turmoil it has in D-I football. No way did they forsee the flight of better programs out of the division only to be replaced by an a influx of D-II programs. If the NCAA truly wants to correct the mistakes of the past 28 years they had better do something along the following lines.
Number One: Get rid of the insane rule that requires a school that participates in Division One for all other sports to play football at the Division One level as well. In an attempt to level the playing field the NCAA has diluted the quality of Division One football by requiring non-scholarship and low scholarship programs to play at a level that should be reserved for programs that have made the commitment to the level. Please understand, I am not saying there is anything wrong with how theses schools chose to participate in football. Just give them the opportunity to go back and play at the D-II & D-III level like they used to do. After all, wasn’t that the reason for those divisions to begin with? What makes this rule even more ridiculous is when you consider all schools that play D-I, but do not field football teams. Do they not have a competitive advantage in those other sports by not having to fund football?
Number Two: Establish minimum standards for scholarships, coaches, and attendance. All members must fund a minimum of 60 full grants, but cannot exceed 75 full grants. A school can choose to give 65 full grants and split five between 2 players each to reach the75 player limit. Schools must average 12,000 per home game against all opponents.
Number Three: A national television package with someone like ESPN2 that will broadcast two televised games each Saturday. These games should be in addition to any regional games already being shown on any other regional cable channel. Some form of cash compensation to be established for the conferences with members being shown.
Number Four: Make the playoffs financially attractive and a more bowl like atmosphere. Although 12,000+ Mountaineers filled the stands and spent a ton of cash in Chattanooga, the ASU department of athletics lost money on the national championship run. No bids for the right to host elimination rounds. The higher seeded team always plays at home and in the case of a tie the attendance of the previous week determines the host school. Perhaps that will cause the school to do some aggressive marketing for those early round games. After the school deducts their expenses for running the game (as per NCAA regulations) the NCAA takes the money and splits it into four shares among the two participants and themselves. Winning team gets two shares, loosing team one and the NCAA one. NCAA continues to pay expenses for traveling teams involved in the playoffs. However, if the NCAA truly wants to make this a well-respected division they are going to have to attract a number of mid-major conferences back into the fold. In order to make it attractive to name programs they must attach financial rewards to the playoffs. Much like they do in the NCAA basketball tournament. First round players receive a minimum check. Advance to the second round and the check increases a little more. Then so on and so on up to the championship game. I’m not talking about some huge windfall, but a nice reward.
You are cleared to tear apart as you please.