April 28, 2022
With the recent news that NCAA President Mark Emmert will be stepping down, many people think now is a good time for college football to look at hiring a commissioner. Someone that can oversee the FBS level and make key decisions for the good of the game. Someone who can lead the way in establishing rules for all to follow in this fast changing world of NIL, pay-for-play, billion dollar media deals and transfer portal craze.
Sounds like a good idea, right? Sure. The Power 5 conferences spent the last year doing a pretty good job showing you they can't really get along. One league secretly worked to take the two biggest brands from another. One looked like it single handedly held up the college football playoff expansion. Three were jealous they didn't get Texas and Oklahoma so they formed something called the alliance. Now we expect these leaders of leagues to agree to let someone rule over them? Riiiiiiight.
The NCAA is becoming more irrelevant by the day and will basically become a tournament operator. But let's just imagine how a call from the NCAA to the most powerful man in college sports would go on the idea of having a commissioner oversee college football.
Greg Sankey: "Hello, this is Greg."
NCAA: "Greg, it's the NCAA. Hey, we wanted to touch base and talk to you about adding a commissioner to college football. You know, someone who can oversee the sport and create some balance and rule on things."
Greg Sankey: "Hey, hang on, I'm getting another call. Hey, this is Greg......ESPN? What's up? You want to add another prime time game to the schedule and pay another $10M? Sure we can do that......great, write up the contract......So, go on about this commissioner idea."
NCAA: "Yea, that person would have you and the other P5 commissioners report to him or her."
Greg Sankey: "Hey, hold please...I have another call........Jerry! Jerry Jones....great to hear from you......You want to add two regular season games at your stadium and pay the SEC $20M for both games? ....Yes, we can do that. That's great Jerry.....always good to hear from you..........So, you want me to report to a commissioner above me?"
NCAA: "Well, in a way but we know that you..."
Greg Sankey: "Hold please, Peyton, Archie and Eli.....my Mannings....how are you doing? That's great....Me? Never better...I'm on some odd call from somebody at the NCAA talking about me answering to a commissioner of college football..."
NCAA: "Hey Greg, I can hear you.."
Greg Sankey: "Yea, how insane is that.....anyway...I got that agreement today from Caesars Sportsbook and we are excited to make them the official sportsbook of the SEC. Yes, it's a 5-year deal worth $100M. I'm really excited about it. Can't wait to catch up and try that new fishing rod you guys got me. Hey, much love to Arch. So happy he got that NIL/directive deal from one of our schools and I don't think $10M a year is enough to be honest.....haha....ok, talk soon, bye bye."
NCAA: "So Greg, we were hoping you would be open to this idea because a commissioner of college football...."
Greg Sankey: "Stay right there, sorry, I have to take this call.....Jeff? Jeff Bezos, what is going on?.....I'm well and I really like the term sheet of that deal and the thought of being like the NFL and adding an Amazon Prime Game of the Week and combining that with that merchandise deal is going to be a huge hit....and at $1B I think it's a fantastic deal."
NCAA: "Greg, Greg......"
Greg Sankey: "Hey Jeff, hang on a second.........Hey, man, I said I'm on the phone and will get right back to you....Now don't be pushy!"....Good grief. Sorry about that Jeff, I have this annoying person on the other line talking to me pitching something, I don't even know."
NCAA: "I can still hear you, you know."
Greg Sankey: "Hey, when are we gonna do that space flight of SEC greats and televise it on the Finebaum show?......I like it. I like it...Let's get it done. Thanks for calling."
NCAA: So Greg, how it would work is the five conference commissioners would report...."
Greg Sankey: "Five? Isn't it really two? Us and that league in the midwest that can't decide to play or not to play and then when anyone other than Ohio State makes the playoff one of my teams embarrases them?"
NCAA: "Well, I don't know about that."
Greg Sankey: "I do and it's frankly a waste of time for one of my teams....Hang on, I got another call......Hey, it's Clemson. How are you doing? What's that? You want in our league? Well, I don't know we have 16 teams already but I'm open to ideas."
NCAA: "Greg, please don't expand again."
Greg Sankey: "Tell you what, have Dabo give me a call and we can talk."
NCAA: "Greg, we could use your support for this idea publicly."
Greg Sankey: "One second, I have another call...Kenny Chesney! How are you big man?...I love that idea of a series of Friday night concerts around the league. We pack the stadium, you bring some of your friends and we televise the concert and get a bunch of sponsors. I will connect you with our friends at Woodford Reserve, the official bourbon of the SEC, who just signed a $50M deal with us. Sounds great Kenny, talk soon."
NCAA: "So, Greg can we count on your support of adding a commissioner in college football....."
Greg Sankey: "I'm sorry, one more time, please hold....Mark Zuckerberg, the face of Facebook. Mr. Metaverse. What's shaking big guy?.....I'm great....How is the algorithm master of the world doing? Bet you know what I had for breakfast, don't you?.......I got time...I have some knucklehead on the other line talking about some job he wants me to take or recommend someone....what a loser.."
NCAA: "Greg, I can hear you...I'm still here. I heard that."
Greg Sankey: So Jeff, we love the idea of SEC Land...a metaverse of the SEC. We sell land, condos, virtual stadiums, NFTs, create our own crypto, AI football...it can be huge. I agree. This could be worth $2-3B a year.....Love it....And that NFT of Uga, what a cute little Bulldog....Ok, I will be in touch and can't wait to get started. Talk soon big guy....Bye bye."
Greg Sankey: "Hey, I'm here.......so let me get this straight. You want me to endorse the idea of someone becoming the commissioner of college football and have me answer to someone who is going to oversee the game and try and create a level playing field for the Power 5 leagues so we are all playing by the same rules and making about the same money and agreeing to deals that benefit all of us equally and a system that controls what I can do with my league and tell us how to run our conference? Is that what you are asking?
Greg Sankey: "Hello? Hello?......You there big guy?".............Hmmm, must have got disconnected.....Hello, hey Manchester City.....No, we don't have men's soccer in the SEC but I'm open to the idea, are you interested?"
Final note: SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey is under contract through 2026. It is believed Sankey makes well over $3M per year and likely is underpaid.