Orlando, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Central Florida head coach George O’Leary criticized SEC commissioner Mike Slive for threatening to form Division IV, together with ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, if reforms for “Power Five” aren’t passed by the NCAA board of directors in August.
“They sound like the South during the Civil War,” O’Leary said. “If they don’t get their way, they’re going to secede and start their own country… I think college football is in real trouble.”
O’Leary added that such a move would be extremely detrimental to college football as a whole.
The 67-year-old O’Leary coached at Syracuse in the 80′s and was the head man at Georgia Tech from 1994-2001, so he has experience at the “power five” level.
He has worked for a decade to build Central Florida’s program up to compete at the highest level, and last year’s Fiesta Bowl win proved that it can be done.
“The thing that’s disturbing is that college football has been fighting for years to create a level playing field and now they’re trying to go the other way and create an even wider gap between the haves and have-nots,” O’Leary said. “I think some of these schools have forgotten where they came from.”
The proposed reforms would give the five power conference the “autonomy to make rules on specific matters affecting the interests of student-athletes.” Those matters include financial aid, insurance, academic support, and other expenses associated with practice and competition.
The Division I Board of Directors endorsed the proposed reforms in April.