Smith, who stated in a brief interview with ESPN during the Big Ten spring meetings that he was “just tossing ideas out,” added that schools offering 85 scholarships “require different standards.” He asserted that they may establish membership minimums.
“We have the ability to define our own rules, governance structure, enforcement, and regulations, whatever they may be,” Smith explained. “This might be in the medical field, for instance, if a senior student-athlete is injured or harmed. When they’re finished, you look after them till they heal. And we have the resources necessary to accomplish this. The NCAA has no involvement in anything else. You adhere to established academic standards. The truth is that those colleges who grant 85 football scholarships have made a unique promise, which must be addressed.”
Smith stated that he had discussed the notion with a few of his peers and received varying responses. His offer comes at a time when both the NCAA and Big 12 are looking for new leaders, the NCAA is revamping its governance, and weighty topics such as name, image, and likeness, as well as the transfer portal, have dominated talks here.
Smith stated that the FCS college football championship should be preserved, but the FBS may adopt the same approach. He said that while the FBS commissioners continue to examine expanding the postseason beyond the 2025 season, they are focusing only on those ten conferences and Notre Dame.