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Thursday, August 7, 2014

NCAA Board Hands 5 Biggest Conferences More Power

Quarterback Cody Kessler #6 of the USC Trojans hands the ball off against the Fresno State Bulldogs during the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 21, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2010, as a result of recruiting violations, USC was required to vacate wins, return Reggie Bush's Heisman Trophy, and forfeit a BCS national championship. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Quarterback Cody Kessler #6 of the USC Trojans hands the ball off against the Fresno State Bulldogs during the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 21, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2010, as a result of recruiting violations, USC was required to vacate wins, return Reggie Bush’s Heisman Trophy, and forfeit a BCS national championship. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The NCAA Board of Directors overwhelmingly approved a package of historic reforms Thursday that will give the nation’s five biggest conferences the ability to unilaterally change some of the basic rules governing college sports.

If the 16-2 decision stands, there will be striking differences between the 65 largest schools and the more than 280 others in Division I beginning as early as Oct. 1, though few expect change to come that quickly.

Representatives from the five richest leagues – the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC – will hold nearly twice as much voting power (37.5 percent) as any other group on a newly created council, where most legislation will be approved or rejected.

Critics worry that the impact will create an even greater split between wealthy leagues and everyone else.

Doug Tribou of NPR’s Only a Game joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the reforms.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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