IM(ns)HO, there should be another division created, of about the top 70-80 schools in terms of athletic budgets. Why? Because you're essentially bankrupting schools like ODU and Troy, who are spending all they have and more in order to move up to the top level and compete with the big guys. But they never will be able to compete, not realistically, because the big guys can afford to build the weight rooms and locker rooms and support facilities, not to mention the stadiums, that bring in the top recruits. Things that the North Texas' of the world will not be able to afford.
So create a top division, have a middle division (top part of FCS and bottom part of FBS) and a lower division (the remainder of FCS). Rename the divisions if you want. Have the top division pay full cost-of-attendance scholarships with a small stipend for spending money. For all sports. The middle division has fewer scholarships than the top division. The lower division extends even fewer scholarships. Like now, as FCS gives out 65 scholarships for football, I believe. Divisions II and III remain unchanged, save for nomenclature (if you choose to rename the top three divisions).
And here's the kicker. Allow for some sort of promotion/relegation between the divisions. If you wish to move up, fund your athletics at the next level up, and if you're spending more than somebody in the upper division (over a five year period, or some such like that), you take their place; you get promoted and they get relegated. The Wakes and Dukes and Northwesterns of the world don't get carried by their conference mates. Sure, they get money from the conference, but if they're not investing it in their athletics at a rate greater than somebody in a lower division, they have the chance to get relegated to that lower division.
Why does it have to be an us-vs-them? Because there *are* different stratifications inherent in the sport. You don't expect a Mount Union to be able to compete against an Alabama, but they can compete (and do so very well) against a collection of similar schools. Let schools compete against their peers, and allow for a chance to move up if they truly *can* compete.
Mon Jun 18 2012, 04:32 PM #45No trees were harmed in the making of this post. However, billions of electrons were horribly inconvenienced.