College Football needs reform, and while there are insane ideas floating around the sports world, someone actually came up with a legitimate set of recommendations.

FOX Sports’ analyst Joel Klatt has made some very colorful analysis in his career as a sports personality, however, he had some ideas recently about reform in college football that piqued some interest. I think we can all agree that with how long it takes games due to the always changing and arbitrary rules, to defining parameters for teams to be considered for the College Football Playoff, things have to change, and perhaps it’s time for the NCAA to start listening before it’s too late.

Lucky for the NCAA, Joel Klatt created a hypothetical set of recommendations that should not be overlooked.

  1. Get rid of divisions
  2. Everyone plays the same number of league games
  3. Must win the conference to compete for the National Championship
  4. Move ineligible downfield barrier to one yard  instead of three
  5. Give players their name and likeness back
  6. Notre Dame must join a conference
  7. The clock does not stop for first downs until the last two minutes of each half
  8. Two categories of targeting:
    1. Penalty, no ejection;
    2. Ejection
  9. Must play a true road game in the non-conference
  10. Open transfer if coach leaves

Here are Klatt’s Tweets:

I think we can all agree that several of these things do need to happen, although, I’m not sold on getting rid of divisions. For example, when a conference like the SEC has 14 teams it’s logistically impossible to play every single opponent in a season,  and have a bye week unless the season is expanded. For a conference that seems to be in no hurry to expand like the Big 12, expanding the season makes no sense, and adding extra bye weeks to accommodate the schedules of other conferences would hurt business. Moreover, this would make Klatt’s second point impossible, because how can a conference with 10 teams play the same number of league games as the SEC?

All things considered, I think Klatt’s recommendations on reform in college football are certainly steps in the right direction to improve competition.

One point I am in complete agreement on, however, is giving players their name and likeness back. Logistically, allowing “pay for play” is impossible, as schools such as Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, and USC would have the resources to pay players, thus making them more desirable programs that could open a nightmare scenario of antitrust lawsuits throughout college football.

In 2017, the NCAA agreed to a settlement that paid $208 million to student-athletes who claimed that their scholarships were illegally capped. Although the NCAA continues to fight cases involving pay-for-play, if the purpose of college is to promote education, then student-athletes should be encouraged to be enterprising. While I think there should be some stipulations, like mandatory business classes and networking events for student-athletes to put the mechanisms in place in controlled environments so that people aren’t taking advantage of their entrepreneurial endeavors, this could help mitigate the NCAA’s ever-growing problem involving paying student-athletes.

Sure, Klatt’s recommendations are based on the hypothetical idea of a “College Football Commissioner,” but these recommendations are certainly something NCAA President Mark Emmert ought to take a serious look at.


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