NCAA Supervisory Committee: Relaxation of conference title game requirements, waiving class size restrictions


The NCAA Football Oversight Committee has made new recommendations to remove requirements for FBS Conference Championship games and allow a two-year exemption for unlimited employment categories. Both initiatives were announced on the same day by the NCAA Board of Directors Issued new NIL guidelinesThe First Division Board will come to be formally ratified later this month.

Removing the guardrails of the tournament game is uncontroversial and potentially sealed, giving conferences additional flexibility in approving new ways to crown the champion. More importantly, the change will allow conferences to remove divisions, an idea that has grown in popularity in recent years.

Current NCAA rules state that any football conference with 12 or more members must hold a championship game and divide teams into divisions with league seasons for divisional opponents. The NCAA passed legislation in 2016 allowing conferences with fewer than 12 members to hold conference championship matches, paving the way for the top 12 members to hold a title match between the top two teams of the regular season.

The most significant development, especially in the midst of the Transfer Gate Era, would be the two-year blanket exemption to get rid of the initial scholarship counter of 25 men. Programs are only allowed to add 25 soccer players to scholarships per recruiting cycle among high school recruits and transfers. However, a significant transition period could wipe out the roster and render it unable to meet the scholarship limit of 85 men. The additional COVID year of blanket eligibility is only limited to scholarships, especially when players transition to use Season 5 or 6.

Perhaps the most notable example of the scholarship platform digging a program into a deep hole came after Charlie Weiss was fired from Kansas four games in the 2014 season. Thirty-nine players remained on scholarship when his successor, David Petty, joined the Jayhawks — a number that was reduced to 28 by Spring ball. The KS scholarship gap followed for a decade at this point; The Jayhawks have an 11-70 built record since Weis was fired.

If the waiver is passed, it would allow programs to fill in those gaps more quickly over a two-year period. Perhaps just as in the era of transfer gate, it could allow more high school recruits to find FBS opportunities in a suddenly happier market.

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