Assessing Johnny Manziel's upcoming season; more mail
It's impossible to say what the ramification will be because no one has said what exactly this new "federation" will look like. Would it really be a new "Division 4" (more appropriate title: "Division Not 4 U"), or would it be a consolidation of FBS/Division I with the smaller schools dropping down a rung? And either way, what are the eligibility criteria for the highest division? Based on recent commissioners' comments, we can probably assume that offering full cost-of-attendance scholarships would be a requirement. Perhaps a higher minimum will be established for the number of sports offered and scholarships awarded. Theoretically, under the existing NCAA structure, schools, not conferences, apply for Division I status. However, one of the current stipulations for new members is "a bona fide offer of membership from a multisport, voting Division I conference." If that holds true in this hypothetical new division, then both Boise and BYU would at the very least need to secure their own Notre Dame/ACC-type deal. And what about current BCS-conference programs Cincinnati, UConn and USF? I don't see how they could afford to meet the aforementioned financial requirements with the American's puny TV revenue. But I also find it hard to believe that one of the nation's most successful Division I basketball programs, UConn, would take a step down competitively.