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Bob Bowlsby Speaks Out On NCAA's Need For Change
July 22, 2013
Wendell Barnhouse is a nationally-known and respected columnist who has spent over 20 years covering collegiate athletics. He has reported from 25 Final Fours and more than three dozen bowl games and has written about the Big 12 and its schools since the conference's beginning. Barnhouse will be updating the Big 12 Insider on happenings and behind-the-scenes information about the conference.

Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby continued the drum beat that is sounding in college sports. In his statement to kick off the Conference’s football media days Monday, Bowlsby made it clear that the five power conferences want significant changes in the NCAA structure.

"We all have a sense that transformative change is going to have to happen," he said, echoing comments made recently by fellow commissioners in the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast conferences. "This is not a time when trimming around the edges is going to make very much difference.

“I don’t think we can at this point in time move forward, and we certainly haven’t been able to configure an agenda that made the changes we need to make.”

One possible solution is for the NCAA to create a separate division for the power conferences. (Here’s what Dennis Dodd of wrote about the “Division 4” possibility.)

The power conferences are frustrated by “one-size-fits-all” rules, by the number of schools who continue move into Division I and by the NCAA legislative process that resembles a quagmire and a glacier.

Bowlsby  told USA Today that the commissioners of the five power conferences have "unanimity" on the subject. "I don't think anything I said was inconsistent with what (SEC commissioner Mike Slive) said."

Here’s what Bowlsby said on those three topics.

All-encompassing rules: “I think it may even be time to look at federation by sport. It’s probably unrealistic to think that we can manage football and field hockey by the same set of rules. I think some kind of reconfiguration of how we govern is in order.”

The Division I influx: "There are programs that have $3 million budgets and programs that have $160 million budgets. How do you begin to try and do things that are good for one that are also good for the other? I don't know how you go about solving problems other than get like-minded people together and trying to come up with a solution."

NCAA legislation: “We are very much at a point now where we can’t get anything that’s transformative through the system. I think that’s particularly felt by seven or eight conferences and the five major conferences in particular. It is just very difficult to do anything that would benefit our student athletes or our institutions that doesn’t get voted down by the larger majority.

“It’s just a very difficult process, and we’ve had one institution, one vote. We’ve had a more representative form of governance, and both of them have been incapable, unwilling, or unsuccessful in making the changes that are required.”

The main take away from Bowlsby’s time on the podium is that some sort of change is coming.

“It’s bad grammar but a good concept: If we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always got,” he said. “That’s kind of where we are right now.”

Gundy Regrets Job Search Rumors
A few months ago, when Arkansas and Tennessee were in the process of hiring new coaches, Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy’s name was in the rumor mill. The Cowboys’ coach said he “regrets the backlash” that was created.

“I think you have to realize there is a business side to all of this, too,” he said. “That is not going away. … things got out that I did not want out because no one is more committed to Oklahoma State than I am. I am an alum and I love Oklahoma State. I love living in Stillwater.”

Gundy said that reports of a rocky relationship with athletic director Mike Holder were “blown way out of proportion.” Gundy said he didn’t agree with decisions involving football scheduling.

“Look, there have been a couple of things I wasn’t comfortable with,” said Gundy. “We talked about it, came to an agreement and we move on. That’s how it works in any business. You are not going to agree on everything you do.”

Quick Slants
* Texas Tech defensive lineman Kerry Hyder, a preseason first-team selection by the media, has added about 10 pounds and weighs in the 288 to 290 range. He said he wants to prove to NFL scouts that he’s big enough to play defensive tackle.  "I'm a little heavier, but I don't feel it,” he said. “My body feels great." Hyder figures to play defensive end, defensive tackle and nose tackle this season.

* Charles Sims transferred to West Virginia from Houston and will be eligible this season. The senior running back was voted by the media as the Big 12 newcomer of the year. Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury affirms the choice. Kingsbury was offensive coordinator at Houston for Sims’ first two seasons.  "He's an unbelievable player,” Kinsgsbury said. “He can run, catch, pass … he can do it all"

* Linebacker Marcus Jenkins-Moore, one of 18 junior-college transfers at Kansas, won’t be on the field for some time though he’s not expected to miss the season. He recently had knee surgery.

* Bill Snyder has been the Wildcats’ coach in nine of the 10 seasons the school has finished with 10 or more victories. Since returning as the school’s head coach in 2009, the Wildcats are plus-42 in turnover margins in 51 games.

* In the most recent depth chart released by Texas Tech, only two seniors were listed on the offensive two-deep.

* In TCU’s last 65 games (5 seasons), the defense has 156 quarterback sacks and has forced 130 turnovers. The Horned Frogs were 2nd in the nation in 2012, forcing three-and-outs an average of 5.7 per game.

* For the 4th straight year, TCU football has set a new school record for season tickets sold. This year's number is 31,425.

* Oklahoma State senior linebacker Shaun Lewis, who was named to the Freshman All-American team, wears No. 11. But five is his number when it comes to some career categories. Lewis has five sacks, five forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, five interceptions and five pass breakups. 

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