Can you quit the NCAA?

To the best of my knowledge the NCAA is simply a membership association, they have no legal authority. What’s to stop a whole slew of teams from breaking away? Seems it could make sense for a lot of schools. Some of the larger schools may chafe under the regulations regarding paying players. After all they can pay their teaching assistants, why not players. Some schools might be pissed about the new rules about Indian nicknames. Getting out from under the NCAA could relieve them of the headache.

Is there anything that could legally prevent the bigger conferences from telling the NCAA to get stuffed and setting up a new association? I would think that with the quality of athletics in those conferences, they could attract other schools to follow along.

What could the NCAA do about it? Do they own trademarks to the various bowl games? I would think that the Rose Bowl committee would have to play along since the alternative might be to have U of Montana vs. East Carolina in Pasadena?

Great Ghu, I hope so! The NCAA has done nothing but honk me off the last few years. I’d like to see some of the big name schools tell them to get stuffed.

The way the Pac 10 gets screwed over every year in football, I’d love for them to leave and take the Rose Bowl with them.

The two big sports, football and men’s basketball, are going to be the big obstacle to dropping out of the NCAA and forming a new organization. Those are the two sports that make money for most colleges. Not many schools make a lot of money off of their swimming teams, for example.

In football, especially at the Division 1A level, the biggest schools all have contracts through the bowls and networks with the Bowl Championship Series. The NCAA approves that. If the schools that ran the BCS wanted to form a new organization, they’d have to wait for the contract to run out (which wouldn’t be for four more years I believe).

Basketball would be a bigger problem. The NCAA men’s basketball tournament makes a lot of money. It’s a big deal. A huge deal. CBS pays a lot of money. And the NCAA owns the rights to all the names we associate with the event “Sweet Sixteen” and “Final Four”. You can try to form your own basketball tournament, but unless everybody goes along, no one will care much.

For a different example, you can look at women’s sports. For a while, they were not under the aegis of the NCAA. They were under the control of the AIAW (Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women I believe). Then in the early 1980s, the NCAA started to sponsor women’s sports. For a few years, both organizations co-existed. But eventually the NCAA “brand name” won out and the AIAW disappeared.

Yup, you can quit the NCAA. There’s even another association, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

However, the real problem is that the NCAA is largely beholden to the member universities and they don’t really wield much power over them. The NCAA is there as essentially a benefit to it’s member universities and as such there’s no motivation for any schools to leave.

The NCAA is by charter a voluntary association. If anyone were to leave it it likely wouldn’t be the larger more powerful schools since those are precisiely the ones who gain the most.

Sure, they can quit the NCAA. The NCAA dictatorship got seriously challenged awhile back when the big football schools forned the CFA (College Football Assosciation). They got together because they thought the NCAA was being too restrictive and too petty towards these large programs while favoring the smaller programs. They started negotiating TV contracts, etc. While they stayed within the NCAA, they fired the warning shot over the bow.

Actually, the colleges stay in the NCAA to protect their smaller programs. The NCAA provided the governing rules, scholastic rules, revenue sharing, structure and tournaments that make it much easier to manage the minor sports.

Probably the big hammer that the NCAA wields is the “March Madness” basketball tournament. They spread around billions of dollars of revenue from that and nobody wants to mess with that. Basketball used to be small stuff, now it’s the big revenue engine. Texas, So. Cal and everbody else wants to make sure that they get a piece of that action.

And the NCAA and CBS are making enough money from the men’s basketball tournament that they are going to show all games in the first three rounds for free on the web this year.

I’ll be a very busy man this year on March 16 and 17!