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Three-point stance: Knight Commission's diminishing impact

6/17/2010

1.Two decades ago, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics made recommendations to curb the spiraling cost of college sports. Those suggestions slowed down the arms race. On Thursday, the commission will issue its third report on the same subject. The report will be buried by the press conference at which Utah will announce that it’s joining the Pac-10. That pretty much explains the effect that the Knight Commission will have this time around.

2.The Mountain West Conference traded Utah for Boise State. On the football field, the MWC may have gotten the better of the deal. Each athletic department sponsors seven men’s sports and 10 women’s sports, so that’s a wash. But metro Salt Lake City is twice the size of Boise, and the Utah athletic budget of $25.5 million dwarfs Boise State’s $16.7 million. My analysis: the MWC drops down the ladder a rung.

3.So the Big 12 is now smaller, more efficient, “downsized” as they say on the business websites. The league shrunk by 17 percent, yet revenue will go up. That’s great for the members. But if you’re not Texas, Oklahoma or Texas A&M, you have to feel like you just signed up to be one of the other Jacksons. Keep your mouth shut, allow Michael to be Michael, be content to remain in the shadows, and you’ll be wealthy. If you demand equal treatment, the whole deal may fall apart.