Yesterday’s news that the nation’s five biggest football-playing conferences are going to be granted further autonomy from the rest of the NCAA figures to have wide-ranging implications.
As a member of the Big Ten, of course, Penn State is one of those so-called “Power 5″ schools. Yesterday, Pitt athletic director Steve Pedersen said he was “pleased” with the decision, which will weigh votes from the Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, Pac 12 and SEC greater than other conferences. It also, for the first time, gives an official voice to athletes.
Late Friday afternoon, Penn State Athletics expressed its offical support for the new governance structure when it released this statement to the Tribune-Review and two other Pennsylvania media outlets:
“We at Penn State fully support the governance structure and autonomy provisions passed this week by the NCAA Division I Board of Directors.
At the core of the decision is the ability to provide optimal care and enhanced opportunities for student-athlete success in the classroom and on the field of play. Anything that puts students first is to be applauded. Like many things in college athletics, there will be costs associated with change. It will require that we exhibit extreme discipline and establish a prioritization based on our values. All of this will be healthy for the enterprise, both at Penn State and nationally, and good for our student-athletes.”