Kevin's interview with WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart
WKU’s athletic director is predicting there will be changes coming to the organization that governs collegiate athletics. But Todd Stewart doesn’t think the country’s most powerful conferences will break away from the NCAA and form their own organization, as some have suggested.
Stewart will attend a summit in January called by NCAA President Mark Emmert in response to pressure by big-revenue generating schools who want more say in how the NCAA is run. Some large schools want to increase compensation for collegiate athletes beyond what is currently allowed—something opposed by many smaller schools who say they couldn’t afford it.
Stewart came to the WKU Public Radio studio Wednesday to discuss the upcoming NCAA football summit, the future of college football, and his approach to putting together future WKU football schedules.
WKU Public Radio: WKU has been invited along with all the other Division I football schools to attend a Jan. 16-17 summit in San Diego that coincides with the NCAA’s annual convention. From what you understand so far, what’s going to be discussed?
Todd Stewart: A lot of things are being discussed right now, and I think what President Emmert wanted to do was get everybody in the room and hopefully come out with some form of solidarity. Because you have what people refer to as the “power five” conferences—the SEC, ACC, the Big 10, the PAC 12, and the Big 12—and there are some reforms they would really want to see.
The WKU football team is hoping to continue the momentum established last weekend when they host Southern Mississippi Saturday night. The Hilltoppers are 2-1 following their win at Kentucky, and a big crowd is expected to watch the first-ever meeting between WKU and the Golden Eagles from Conference USA.
When WKU beat Kentucky for the first time ever in football Saturday, the significance was not lost on Todd Stewart. He was part of the WKU athletics department when the Hilltoppers lost 26 straight games, including a winless 2009 season.
Up until now, college coaches from all sports have been forbidden from sending messages to recruits via text, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. They’ve also been limited to how many phone calls they make to recruits.