SEC Commissioner Sankey Outlines Plans for NCAA Division I Future, Reveals New Playoff Payouts

Destin, Florida – Following the conclusion of the SEC spring meetings, Commissioner Greg Sankey expressed confidence in the ability of NCAA Division I schools to continue operating collaboratively amidst unprecedented changes. Sankey emphasized the importance of working together as college athletics navigate these historic transformations.

“We’ve allowed Division I to grow,” remarked Sankey, highlighting the complexities surrounding conference membership, competitive issues, calendar concerns, and economic implications. While recognizing the need for adjustments, Sankey remained optimistic about maintaining the unity of Division I, particularly through events like the NCAA basketball tournament.

In response to the recent settlement in the House v. NCAA case, the SEC has established multiple working groups to address critical issues. These groups are tasked with evaluating conference rules, federal legislative efforts, oversight and governance, as well as roster structures within the league. Sankey underscored the urgency of addressing these matters promptly to ensure a smooth transition in the wake of the settlement.

As discussions continue regarding the revenue distribution and its impact on players at each campus, Sankey emphasized that decisions will unfold over the coming months. Collaborative efforts between SEC and Big Ten, including an advisory committee, reflect a commitment to leadership in navigating the changing landscape of college athletics.

One notable announcement from the SEC included new payout amounts for teams qualifying for the 12-team playoff, scheduled to begin this fall. Teams making the first round will receive $3 million, with increasing amounts for subsequent rounds, culminating in $4 million for participation in the national championship game. Sankey clarified that these payout amounts reflect SEC policy, allowing each conference to determine its own payout structure.

Looking ahead, Sankey expressed a willingness to further engage with the Big Ten and other conferences to address key decisions independently while leveraging collective influence where appropriate. The evolving nature of college athletics necessitates strategic decision-making and collaboration to ensure a smooth transition through this period of historic change.