MAC Matches Power Five, Opens Checkbook
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The Other Five aren't gonna go quietly.
When the Texas Longhorns posited their plan to pay student-athletes for both their cost-of-commitment and the rights to their images for promotional purposes, the immediate question that came to mind was whether the entire Power Five membership would swallow hard and match it.
That's still a question, but the Pac-12 and Big Ten quickly followed with policy statements covering added benefits. They've yet to mention image rights, but when the NCAA's appeal to the O'Bannon suit is concluded, they'll no doubt do what Texas does.
But if the big brands thought that would be the separator from the FBS pack, perhaps they should've consulted wtih upper campus first.
So it does.
And because college sports span more than football, the Mid-American Conference has decided to jump into the deep end with those big brands and make the same cash splash.
They're not alone. Boise State has deep pockets, and they're in. Fresno State will be there. Anyone who's seen North Dakota's hockey arena -- it rivals some pro rinks -- know they could take what's needed out of petty cash.
Actually, they could all be capable of handling this better than Maryland.
Bottom line: Never underestimate any great minds wandering those hallowed halls of higher learning. And be well aware that they could be raising the student-athlete stakes in ways heretofore unimagined.
Yes, big brands may come and go, but the geeks shall inherit the earth.