11:06 AM - January 15, 2014 by MMChrisS
The coming shift on major issues when it comes to 'student-athlete welfare' within the NCAA power structure can be seen coming from a mile away.
This week, the NCAA is holding its annual convention and one of the items up for debate is a proposal for large changes within the Division I power structure. Up for debate is the proposal by the Power-Five conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC) to be granted more autonomy in how they are allowed to operate.
You may remember this past summer, each commissioner within the Power Five made public comments about their dissatisfaction with the current setup.
At issue is the ability of the bigger and wealthier schools to meet "21st Century Needs" for student-athletes, which the biggest and most wealthy schools are unable to do according to their claims.
Things on the table include stipends for players, paying for travel for parents to games, 'lifetime' education opportunities, and more. What is not on the table is a pay-for-play model apparently, and a wholly separate division seems unlikely.
What does seem likely is a relaxation of what can and cannot be done for players and players' parents, and things which are clear violations of NCAA rules now might not be violations in the future.
This shift towards a more welcoming format could encourage the Power Five schools to reconsider their stance when it comes to video games as well in the future, but their need to act fast will be imperative. There would likely be interest from both schools and from EA to revive EA's college football title, which always sold well, within a format where litigation was no longer a risk.
At the end of the day, this move from the Power Five is being made because of the threat of litigation from student athletes who feel they are not being reimbursed properly. Since the NCAA series was canned due to ongoing litigation, it's entirely possible that if and when that threat is gone, the series could be revived in the future.
We will, of course, be keeping an eye on this to see if the possibility of college video games returning becomes reality into the future.