Track runs and jumps, tennis romp, and the NCAA ratifies a new constitution

Good morning, Coug fans. I hope you have plans today, because with the cancellations of the men’s and women’s basketball, there isn’t much Cougar sport this weekend. The track team is in Moscow, Idaho for an indoor meeting today, but otherwise it is very quiet.

The tennis team dusted the BYU Cougars in yesterday, 6-1. Congratulations to freshman head coach Raquel Atawo on her first win. Here’s a lot more!

I suppose we can check out some NFL Cougs to see what they’re up to today. The only one playing is River Cracraft with the San Francisco 49ers. Keep your eyes on No. 13 during dot coverage and dot returns. In fact, Cracraft is the only former Coug left in the NFL playoffs.

We must also emphasize WSU’s recognition of the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Former WSU athlete Karen Blair played a key role in demanding gender equality as a plaintiff in the Blair vs Washington State University court case.

We could shut up and get in touch with the NCAA and how it voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new constitution. What that means remains to be seen, but expect D-1 to have more subdivisions and thus more autonomy in making decisions. That sounds good at first glance, but as always, the devil is in the details, and the details are in everyone’s imagination until now.

Sports Illustrated had a long feature giving an example of the ratification vote, and it’s very interesting, so if you have time, read it. At the risk of taking a section out of context, I’m going to do just that because this part caught my eye:

Another problem is what’s not in the rewritten constitution: there’s no guarantee of automatic qualifiers for NCAA championships and no revenue-sharing model, two of the key items for the lower subsections of Division I.

“It’s not like those things are going away, but they’re on the table to be discussed,” said Horizon League commissioner Julie Roe Lach. “Those are damn important to everyone in the division.”

Each Division I conference champion, or tournament champion, earns an automatic bid for NCAA-approved championship events, most notably the DI Men’s Basketball Tournament, the NCAA’s one and only money-maker (about $900 million in annual revenue). Conferences earn distribution units based largely on their qualifying teams (1) advancing in the tournament, (2) sponsoring the most sports, and (3) offering the maximum number of grants. Leagues then divide the units among their members.

If the revenue distribution of auto-qualifying bids and distribution units stops or slows down, the benefits schools provide to athletes are at stake, says Downer, the athletic director of FCS Saint Francis (PA), a school with a sports budget of approximately $16 million. St. Francis earns about $600,000 in NCAA distribution each year, or about 4% of its budget. Last year, the school received a kind of bonus: $52,000 in scholarship money from the CFP. It helped with book fairs for football players. “There’s a misconception that this money goes toward salaries and facilities,” Downer says. “The reality is it’s designed at this level to benefit the student-athlete.”

Eliminating automatic qualifying bids (AQ) and changing the revenue distribution model is a recipe for political backlash. Automatic qualifiers are one way to grow Olympic sports, DeBoer says. The impact of their elimination would be “dramatic,” she says, and would result in some programs being shut down. And imagine the response from local or state lawmakers whose state universities no longer have a shot at the Big Dance, one executive said. Another asks, what about the historically black conferences?

The old NCAA was bad. I’m not sure if the future NCAA will be much better, which begs the question: What’s the role of the NCAA anyway?

Somewhat related is this Jim Moore column on the name, image and likeness sweeping the nation.

That should give us all something to chew on. Happy Saturday, Coug fans.

Left

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Atawo scores first head coach win in 6-1 win over BYU – Washington State University Athletics
WSU swept all three doubles matches en route to the 6-1 win.

Jim Moore: Recruitment, transfers and NIL money are ruining college football
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NCAA ratifies new constitution and clears way for restructuring | AP News
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NCAA, college sports and a heated fight for the future – Sports Illustrated
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