WVU AD Luck Addresses Call for NCAA Change - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU AD Luck Addresses Call for NCAA Change

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West Virginia University Athletic Director Oliver Luck has remained out of any discussions regarding the current state of the NCAA, but after Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby spoke on the subject in Dallas last week, he shared his thoughts.

On Sunday's episode of Decision Makers, host Bray Cary asked Luck how he would respond to recent remarks by Bowlsby and other commissioners from the likes of the SEC, the Big Ten, the ACC and the PAC 12.

"There is a lot of discontent among the big schools with the NCAA for a whole variety of reasons," Luck said. "The governing structure of the NCAA is byzantine. It's completely outdated. There are 200-and-some committees and nothing ever gets accomplished."

Bowlsby did not hold back when he spoke for 45 minutes to kick off Big 12 Media Days on Monday. He made it quite clear that he and others at the top of their leagues are at the point of demanding change, not simply asking for it.

His opinion is that the changes cannot come with the current structure of the NCAA, starting at the top of the organization. For too long, he argued, the NCAA has done the same things while expecting a different result.

"I think the fact is we've made it too easy to get into Division-I and too easy to stay there," Bowlsby said. "I think it's virtually impossible right now to configure legislative proposals that have any chance of getting through the system in tact that would accomplish anything in the way of meaningful change."

Much of that discontentment Luck speaks of comes from what he calls the "Big 5" conferences and their vision for how student-athletes should be treated. When comparing a program like the University of Texas, which brings in $160 million per year, to another in a mid-major conference, there is no way to use the same rules for each.

The search for a solution has brought proposals ranging from a possible secession to the introduction of a fourth division to the NCAA. No one seems to give any credence to the idea of leaving the NCAA, but Luck believes adding a division has a real chance at resulting in the sort of changes he and others feel are best for their programs.

"I do think, though, that these Big 5 schools are looking for their own classification – ‘Super I-A' or whatever you want to call it – where we can do things a little bit differently," Luck said. "In a sense, set our own rules, but change the rules to where they affect us in a different way than perhaps they're affecting the Mid-American Conference or the Sun Belt Conference."

Luck says schools are looking for ways to better compensate their student-athletes, citing current scholarship provisions that are no longer viable in the business of college sports, namely football and men's basketball.

"A lot of the bigger schools want to do more for the student-athletes. They'd like to provide a little bit of a stipend, they'd like to provide more than just one meal a day to these kids," said Luck. "Long story short, there's a growing consensus, at least among the Big 5 schools that do have the resources now, that we should provide more for the student-athletes and not just in terms of dollars and cents, but a better educational experience with perhaps more academic support, as well."

Luck was asked about one specific threat to the way college sports currently operate – a lawsuit against the NCAA and EA Sports regarding the names and likenesses of various student-athletes in video games.

"Using your name, image and likeness is a real issue," said Luck. "There's a real likeness of Robert Griffin playing for Baylor, No. 10 with dreadlocks, and it's clear that they intended that No. 10 to be Robert Griffin. They were very lifelike. I think that may end up hurting the defendants in this lawsuit."

Originally filed in 2009, there is an anti-trust suit as well as a right of publicity claim from the plaintiffs. The lawsuit is currently await a decision regarding its big for class-action certification, which could bring many former players into the case and put billions of dollars in damages at stake.

"If the plaintiffs do have some sort of a partial victory – remember, in anti-trust claims, if you win, you get your damages tripled, times three – if the plaintiffs do have a partial victory, that could really turn upside this whole compensation system where we'd be under an obligation to better support financially our student-athlete," said Luck.

The lawsuit could bring about major changes of its own, while Bowlsby and others push toward amending the issues they feel their conferences are currently facing.

"I think what's happening is those Big 5 conference schools are all sort of moving in a little bit of a different direction," said Luck, "But there's a lot of unanimity, there's a lot of commonality among those Big 5 schools."

 

Watch all of Luck's comments from Decision Makers in the videos below. 

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