Woodson: Simpler, stable NCAA would be nice

N.C. State chief also says athletics need close ties to school

acarter@newsobserver.comJanuary 17, 2013 

— N.C. State Chancellor Randy Woodson on Wednesday voiced his support for a simpler, scaled-back NCAA rulebook and said he hoped major conference realignment had reached a point of stability.

Woodson spoke before a crowded audience at a meeting of the Raleigh Sports Club.

“My guess is if you got a whole room full of university presidents and asked them to tell you what they thought of the NCAA and the regulations, they would tell you they’re too complex, too difficult to comply with,” Woodson said when an audience member asked him a broad question about NCAA reform.

Leaders in college athletics have gathered this week in Grapevine, Texas, for the NCAA’s annual convention. After his public remarks on Wednesday, Woodson said the issue affecting college sports that most concerns him is maintaining amateurism and integrating college athletics into the overall academic mission of higher education.

“The most important issue to me is that athletics remains a part of the student experience – the academic student experience,” he said. “I am not in favor of professionalizing college athletics. And so all the discussion about paying student-athletes and those kinds of things falls on deaf ears with me.”

Even so, Woodson said he wouldn’t necessarily be against an NCAA proposal to increase athletic scholarships by as much as $2,000. The additional money, which college athletic officials often refer to as a “miscellaneous expense allowance,” would help athletes pay for expenses their scholarships don’t cover.

“I just want to make sure it’s transparent and it’s a level playing field and the haves aren’t able to do something the have-nots cannot do,” Woodson said.

Woodson also spoke about a variety of other issues affecting college sports.

• On ongoing concerns about conference realignment: “Obviously, we want it stabilized. And I think most people do. We were surprised as a conference by Maryland, and I’m not going to say a lot about that because there are some legal issues involved in that. But I think what most conferences have done to try to stabilize is make leaving the conference cost-prohibitive. And frankly I think it has stabilized, except for I would worry a little bit about the Big 12, because they only have 10 teams. … So that’s a conference that I worry a little bit about, being stabilized. But some of these things just don’t make sense.”

• On the “one-and-done” culture of college basketball, and players leaving for the NBA after just one season: “I am definitely against one and done. And the NCAA is. But this is the NBA. And they have the opportunity, just like (Major League Baseball), to change their rules to help us with this.”

• On concerns over the rising cost of coaching salaries: “It’s certainly getting expensive. But our commitment is to hire people that are committed to success and committed to the student-athlete and competitive success. And in today’s market that’s an expensive (commitment).”

• On his level of satisfaction with the ACC’s TV rights contract with ESPN, and the possibility of the ACC starting its own network: “We’re definitely satisfied with the level of coverage we’re getting. We’re getting a lot of national exposure as a result of our new contract. And it was a fair contract relative to everything. But this is a really strange time, and who knows what’s going to happen with television, frankly, and cable and everything is kind of in an unusual place right now … the Big 10 started this. I was there when that started, I was a provost in the Big Ten when they started their network. So I know we’ll continue to evaluate what’s the best way for us to deliver our product, get it out in front of the fans and bring back the resources necessary to run the program.”

Carter: 919-829-8944 Twitter: @_andrewcarter

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