Big Ten commissioner says NCAA enforcement is 'overmatched'

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany is the latest conference boss to call for reform in the NCAA

It's time to tally the commissioner scorecards now that all five of the power-conference bosses have delivered their summer media-days speeches.

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany was the last, and latest, on Monday to call for reform in the NCAA system.

"We have challenges," Delany said.

The bake-off winner, in terms of headlines?

Bob Bowlsby, Big 12. He put a jolt into last Monday's meetings in Dallas by declaring there was rampant cheating in college sports and also predicted the demise of some non-revenue sports. Bowlsby said he expected to spend the rest of his career in court.

None of the other four commissioners ventured that far toward doomsday.

"Bob was a little more colorful in his language," Delany joked.

Last week, Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott painted a more optimistic picture of an NCAA future saddled with court cases involving unionization, player licensing, and who knows what's next?

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive quoted the most famous people -- Eisenhower, Gandhi, Churchill -- in getting across his message that change is coming.

Quoting Dwight David Eisenhower, Slive said, "Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run him over."

Atlantic Coast boss Jim Swofford said of the future: "That crystal ball sometimes is a little cloudy."

Delany, who started his career as an NCAA enforcement rep, offered only that the system is "overmatched" and needs to be fixed.

"We need regulations, we need a system that works," Delany said. "I think there's no doubt NCAA enforcement has struggled over the last couple of years."

Delany also anticipates major changes to the system. Beyond that, he's not sure where it will all lead. The next big date is Aug. 7, when the NCAA is expected to grant the Big Five football conferences more autonomy. The should clear the path toward awarding players additional stipends.

"We have litigation, a lot of it," Delany said. "I don't know where it all ends up. It may be a number of years before it becomes clear."

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World