AMHERST, Mass. -- Patience, like big, quick defensive linemen, is in short supply in intercollegiate athletics these days.
The public sees billions flowing into the five major conferences and has decided that the faucet isn't working so well for the student-athletes. That makes for a compelling, quintessentially American fat-cat/little-guy narrative. Political careers have been built on flimsier foundations.
But in this case, the fat cats, the five conferences with bulging wallets, are on the same side as the little guys. You can argue that they came late to the party, or that they converted at the point of a legislative gun. At this point, that's a waste of time. They have gotten religion.
Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive spoke for the big schools when he said, "What we're trying to give them is what they (student-athletes) are asking for."
Slive visited the University of Massachusetts last week as the Executive-in-Residence for the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management. In a keynote address, Slive laid out seven goals for the new subdivision of Division I that will house the following conferences: SEC, Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12.
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