CFP board considers moving college football from NCAA
August 18, 2022
During a meeting on Monday, the College Football Playoff Board of Managers, which consists of 11 college presidents and chancellors, discussed the possibility of restructuring the governance of college sports. This included removing college football from the authority of the NCAA.
The board said the CFP was the best candidate to take over the duty. The reason was the CFP had already overseen college football postseason playoffs and had ongoing contracts with other postseason bowl games.
Additionally, the NCAA has been reluctant to implement and enforce Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) benefit regulations over the fear of being sued for anti-trust violations.
The College Football Playoff Management Committee, comprising the ten conference commissioners plus Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, did not attend the meeting.
The discussions in the meeting were first reported by ESPN's Pete Thamel.
"Sources cautioned that these discussions are in such early stages that it could be considered the first steps of a complicated process that would resemble a marathon," Thamel wrote.
"The sources added that the group spoke about the idea for only about five minutes, as it was raised as something the group should think more about down the line."
Currently, college football is governed by the NCAA, but the organization does not control any aspect of the sport's postseason, unlike in other college sports.
Should the move be finalized, the sport would be free to set its own rules without being restrained by the financial constraints of smaller colleges.
Other discussed topics
Another topic discussed in the meeting was the possibility for the next iteration of the college football playoffs to be held before the expiration of the current CFP contract.
The current contract has four seasons remaining. It will expire by the end of the 2025 season.
Another topic covered on the call was the possibility that the College Football Playoff could be revamped before the current CFP contract expires.
"A source told ESPN that the general feel among the presidents and chancellors on the call was that the college sports leaders have left too much money on the table by not implementing a new playoff before 2026, perhaps as much as a half-billion dollars," Thames wrote.
Since the CFP's inception in 2014, a four-team format has been the standard. However, earlier this year, plans to expand to a 12-team format were announced, and the four-team format will end in 2025. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said last month that support for a 16-team model has also been building.
"Sixteen just seems to be out there," Smith said. "You can't ignore it."
Smith said that although this idea had not been explored in a formal meeting, it repeatedly came up in discussions. Big Ten's special adviser for football and former Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez argued that a 16-team playoff would provide better access. He said although the admission method needed further discussion, the two 16-team leagues would benefit from having more at-large bids.
"I can live with 12, I can live with 16 -- I just think we need to expand," Alvarez said. "I think access is important. I can live with 16."
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren also showed his support.
"Yes, it's been coming up a lot lately, but that's why I think going through this stage of conference realignment and expansion," Warren said. "It'd be interesting to see where all that lands."