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SEC, Big Ten unveil joint advisory council to tackle issues in college sports

We may have taken a significant step toward the decentralization of the power held by the NCAA on Friday.

According to a report from Yahoo Sports’ Ross Dellenger, the SEC and Big Ten are planning to form a joint advisory council that will address wide-reaching issues facing college sports. In Dellenger’s report, both SEC commissioner Greg Sankey and Big Ten commissioner Tony Petitti spoke optimistically about the ability of the advisory council to find better solutions for athletics in the future.

Dellenger elaborated on the purpose of the joint advisory council, which comes as a reaction to the changing landscape in college athletics and could serve to challenge the NCAA’s authority.

This nameless joint effort, a historic cooperative movement between the country’s most powerful leagues, is an initial step in their intent to steer the future of college athletics — the latest example of authority shifting from the NCAA’s age-old national governance model to its more prominent conferences.

The joint advisory board is tasked with tackling the most pressing challenges before the industry in what Big Ten and SEC commissioners describe as an “urgent” mission to find solutions for issues such as ongoing antitrust lawsuits, most notably the multi-billion dollar House case; disagreements over the NCAA’s new governance proposal, Project DI; and the unsettled landscape of athlete transfer movement, tampering charges and name, image and likeness (NIL) inducements.

Sankey and Petitti pushed back on the idea that this is a step toward a separation from the NCAA for the two most powerful conferences in the country, as many have speculated. Sankey said the council would not have the unilateral ability to make any declarations, but he did offer one slightly ominous thought.

“Pressures are mounting,” he said, per Dellenger. “We’re going to have conversations about what might a path forward mean for college sports.”

It’s not clear exactly what this will mean for the future of college athletics, but it’s clear that the SEC and Big Ten are trying to influence the sport even more than they already are.

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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire