Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.

Last week, Pete Thamel at ESPN wrote a thoughtful column about the state of college athletics.

This was one of the lead paragraphs:

The dam is breaking, they screamed again. Let's get a subcommittee together for a temporary solution that won't last long enough to pacify everyone until next year's boondoggle. Many even acknowledged it probably wouldn't work. Outrage for everyone! Find the bubble gum!
This pattern is as predictable as it is dispiriting. Especially because the real issues that the sport's leaders should be worried about -- the kind that have billions at stake, not millions -- loom much larger.

I couldn't agree more. The industry is changing, the leaders have lost control of the enterprise, and the approach that has mostly been used over the last two decades, death by a thousand blue-ribbon committees, isn't going to work.

He continues:

College athletics needs revolution, not the same incremental and ineffective evolution. Leaders should stop legislating to satisfy the complaints of the now and start envisioning what college athletics should actually look like in the next generation. Then start moving and leading toward that vision. And it's one that should involve much less of the NCAA.

Preach! Right there with you. Hell, a lot of ADs, coaches, even players, would tell you the same thing. The time is now to imagine and move towards something substantially different from before.

But, if I understand the story correctly, Thamel points out that conference revenue projections create a systemic threat greater than NIL...that because the Big Ten and SEC are projected to substantially out-earn the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 in the future, the remaining schools would become effectively locked out of elite competition.

Via the story:

Navigate Research projects that each Big Ten and SEC school will be making in the neighborhood of $100 million in league payouts and the next three leagues -- ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 -- will be taking in about half that.
Projections are fickle, and specifics that far out are tricky. But even a $30 million gap annually -- the most conservative of estimates -- would be unsustainable competitively for big brands like USC, Oregon, Clemson and UNC.
Florida would never lose a recruit to Florida State if it could flex the inevitable financial superiority. Same for Ohio State going up against USC.

It's a similar argument to what Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick said a few weeks ago.

I bring this up not to pick on Pete, because I thought his column was thoughtful. This is an argument I've heard from plenty of others.

It's a compelling argument. But at least as far as college football is concerned, I don't think we should automatically assume it's the correct one.