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Craig Thompson concerned with Mountain West being able to compete with NCAA changes

Will the Mountain West struggle to compete once the power five conferences gain autonomy?

Mike Ehrmann

The deck is already highly stacked against the Mountain West and with the pending changes which will give the power five conference autonomy Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson is afraid that his league might not be able to compete if wholesale changes are made from those larger leagues.

The two big concerns that Thompson has is the unlimited meals and full cost of attendance scholarships. For the schools like Texas and USC who already make millions upon millions do not need to worry about this additional cost which could cost $2,000 to $4,000 per scholarship and that comes out to $170,000 per year, at the very least. Every penny counts for these smaller schools and if the Mountain West can't keep up in this area then the divide gets even more wide between the top five and bottom five leagues.

Then include the playoff money which will pay the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC each $50 million in the first year of a 12-year contract. The other five FBS leagues will split a total of $75 million making the money divide even larger.

Thompson also predicts that these changes within the NCAA could be bottled up in court over the next three to six years and make a mess of the situation before everything gets figured out. Any talk of a Division Four split is not likely to happen but with these changes that are in place with unlimited meals, and the likely addition of full cost of scholarships, will very likely be another barrier for the Mountain West to land great recruits and compete with power teams on a consistent basis.