NCAA

LSU Tigers on the football field.
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College football season is upon us. The first regular season game for the LSU Tigers is in two weeks. Playoffs debut this year. And the Tigers will have a new starting quarterback. There are major shifts happening off the field for Division I programs too.

Brad Wolverton is a reporter with the Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington D.C. and has been following the NCAA action.


Elite college sports conferences can set their own rules about sharing profits with student-athletes and other matters, under a new policy adopted by the NCAA's Division I Board of Directors on Thursday.

Major college sports programs could take a significant step today toward sharing their wealth with the student-athletes whose performances help line their coffers.

The NCAA Board of Directors is expected to vote this afternoon on a plan to restructure Division I athletics, which would give the five biggest athletic conferences autonomy in making certain rules and provide so-called enhanced benefits to student-athletes.

Amateurism is dead, revealed so in the trial against the NCAA now in progress in Oakland, Calif., U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken presiding. Before her skeptical eyes, amateurism has been laid out naked on a courtroom slab for a jury of all fans to see that it has no beating heart.

Amateurism, Judge Wilken has been told in the case, commonly known as the O'Bannon trial, nobly protects college athletes from being exploited by evil outsiders — so the NCAA knighthood was created in order that colleges could tie up athletes all by themselves.

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Today, the NCAA announced what could be major changes in the way it operates. Among those potential changes, more autonomy for the five wealthiest Division 1 conferences and more benefits for student athletes. The board of directors endorsed the moves today at their headquarters in Indianapolis. Final approval could come in August, when the board meets next.

Would March Madness be terribly different if the players were paid?

Probably not. The college basketball tournament might become more professionalized, but it wouldn't look much different from what we're seeing right now.

"I don't see it changing one iota," says ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas.