Andy Hodges

Does Sankey have guts to address SEC joining NCAA breakaway?

The big question is a breakaway from the NCAA by the big boys and if it’s already been discussed.

With SEC Media Daze starting Monday morning, Greg Sankey will be one of the first in front of the microphones and the elephant in the room is going to be the NIL stuff.

Make no mistake about it, but every person there is going to be queried about it.

The more important question, though, is whether there will be a breakaway by the biggest schools in college athletics and do their own thing.

The NCAA likely would breathe a sigh of relief. Any resistance would be for show. In an institution that has been functioning like a kangaroo court for the last 50 years, they have been hanging on by a mythical thread for a few years.

Football was gone in 2014. When the College Football Playoff started, what was left after the BCS disappeared along with any realistic control the NCAA had left.

CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd asked the same question I’ve had for awhile in a column Sunday.

“”The NCAA is imploding and in retreat because of actual and potential litigation, Congressional and state intervention and public antipathy,” Tom McMillen said in the story.

He should know. The former Congressman, Olympian, pro basketball player and head of the Lead1, an organization representing FBS athletic directors, and if you want to start looking for leaders of a breakaway group he would be in the conversation.

What is almost a foregone conclusion now is the commissioners of the Power 5 conferences along with Notre Dame will control college athletics and every sport may have it’s own governing body sooner rather than later. The CFP has shown that works out fairly well … financially and competitively.

It’s about time, really.

Exactly why schools like Little Rock, Arkansas-Pine Bluff or Central Arkansas vote on the exact same issues as the UA-Fayetteville has always escaped logic to me. They have completely different financial pictures.

Now that the NCAA has finally conceded publicly they have no interest in continued pursuit of schools that have ticked them off, the door is open to the Power 5 taking advantage of the opportunity to finally get away, make their own rules and it will be too expensive for the non-Power 5 to keep up.

Forget about fair. Things aren’t even equitable in all sports, including the SEC. Arkansas has been there for 30 years and hasn’t won a conference football title yet. The Hogs did win the West twice (no, they didn’t win the division outright in 2002, backing into the title game because Alabama wasn’t eligible).

No, forget about asking Sankey about the NIL. He’ll give some wandering answer that will be politically correct for all sides because there’s not another viable option. Nobody knows what rules can even be enforced.

The big question is if the SEC is going to join a break away from the NCAA by the big boys.

Of course that’s assuming it hasn’t already been discussed.

And if the commissioner has the guts to answer it honestly.

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