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SEC Pushes For Legislative Help, What It Could Mean For Syracuse

Let’s face it: the world of collegiate athletics has completely flipped on its head from what it once was. A system that once relied on recruiting success and loyalty to a program has now become a “who’s paying more” contest with the growth of name, image and likeness (NIL) and the possibility of revenue sharing between universities and their players on the rise. These new developments have put many schools at a disadvantage when it comes to landing top recruits, which has sparked some conferences to be fed up with it.

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) held its annual meetings down in Florida on Monday, where commissioner Greg Sankey took to the podium to give his opening address. In this address, Sankey laid out the framework of what he thinks that a world of collegiate sports could look like with help from the federal government, citing it as “a national system that deserves national standards.”

Sankey emphasized the importance of national standards following recent settlements of antitrust cases by Power 5 conferences against the NCAA. Sankey has been actively engaging with Congress to push for legislation that strengthens the future of college sports and has noted the increasing interest and involvement of lawmakers. The settlement, while not a complete solution, marks the beginning of a new era where schools may share revenue with athletes.

“There are those who advocate for that reality,” Sankey said. “That takes me back to a fundamental statement, which is there’s no better time to be a student-athlete than right now in the history of college sports. No better time. And again, they’re not calling me saying, ‘I want to be an employee.’”

But what does this all mean for a program like Syracuse? Well, it certainly could level the playing field, as government regulation may put an end to the Alabamas and Dukes of the world snatching up every top prospect just because they have more athletic funding than that of SU. With a guy like Fran Brown running the recruiting and his ability to land players, you would think the Orange could end up as a top dog in almost every recruitment battle, right?

Then again, if things were to follow the way Sankey laid it out, universities would have to start sharing part of their revenue with their athletes, which has recently been approved by the NCAA. Syracuse is one of the few universities that keep its athletic revenues private according to USA Today. However, the rest of the ACC ranks about 30th on average of all the Division I programs in the country. If Syracuse were to fall in that range, they would still be at a major disadvantage in convincing players to come to them through payment, because this is the new age of collegiate athletics.

While this is all speculation, more and more signs continue to point to this new generation of collegiate athletics and payments being spread to players. So it begs the question: Can Syracuse keep up with the rest? Or will it fall into its own cavern, unable to land any top-star recruits because of a lack of funds?

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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