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SEC commissioner Mike Slive continues push for autonomy, but doesn’t dismiss breakaway

07/14/2014 1:24 PM

If talk of the five major conferences forming their own structure outside of the NCAA had died down, Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive fired a reminder Monday to kick off the league’s annual football media days.

If the five major conferences don’t receive support from the rest of the NCAA, they can exist separately.

“We will need to consider establishment of a venue where we can enact desired change,” Slive said.

Change being the five conferences — SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, Atlantic Coast and Pac-12 — working for the issues that are most meaningful to them, which is related to how the schools can spend the billions they receive from television contracts.

The major conferences want to give athletes full cost of attendance, among other benefits. There hasn’t been much public resistance to the idea of the five leagues creating their own governance structure within the NCAA, but Slive used his state-of-the-conference address to offer a reminder.

“I’m optimistic it will happen,” Slive said. “If it doesn’t, we would have to sit down and consider what venue would be most appropriate for us to accomplish what we’ve set out to accomplish.”

The NCAA vote is Aug. 7, and schools will have until January to develop the structure.

“The first item of agenda will be the full cost of attendance,” Slive said. “That’s clear. If we can get the whole structure in place, implement a full cost of attendance and maybe a couple of other things in the first four or five months, we’ll have accomplished a lot.”

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BlairKerkhoff.

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