UCLA coach Chip Kelly detailed what he sees as college football's biggest issues and offered solutions to them. Photo Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Between the emergence of NIL (Name, Image and Likeness), transfer portal and the Playoff, college football has undergone significant change in recent years. More change is coming next season with not only the expansion of the College Football Playoff from four to twelve teams, but also massive conference realignment.

One of the big early realignment moves came when two Los Angeles-based schools — UCLA and USC — announced that they would be joining the Midwest-based Big 10 in 2024. A lot of dominos have fallen since then, creating issues both in college football and other college sports.

Chip Kelly, UCLA’s football coach, recently gave a detailed game plan on how to fix those issues.

During a press conference, Kelly was asked:  “What is the biggest issue that you might have right now? Whether it be realignment, NIL, transfer portal — and what would your plan maybe be to try to solve it?”

Kelly then detailed that he felt all those were problems and offered his opinion on how to fix them. It started with the idea that football should be separated from the other sports.

“I think they’re all a problem and I think we need to have a conference commissioner. I think football should be separate from the other sports. Just the fact that our school is leaving to go to the Big 10 in football — our softball team should be playing Arizona in softball. Our basketball team should be playing Arizona in basketball. But because football left — and they’ll say, well, ‘how do you do that’? Well, Notre Dame’s independent in football and they’re in a conference in everything else. I think we should all be independent in football.”

Kelly then detailed that there should be two 64-team conferences with divisions. The conferences comprise the current Power 5 schools in one conference and the Group of 5 schools in the other.

“You can have a 64-team conference that’s in the Power 5 and you can have a 64-team conference in the Group of Five. And we separate it. And we play each other. You can have the West Coast teams and then every year we play seven games against the West Coast teams and then we play the East. We play Syracuse, Boston College, Pitt, West Virginia, Virginia. Then the next year you play against the South while you still play your seven teams. You can play a seven-game schedule, you can play four against another division opponent and you can always play against one Mountain West team every year. So we can still keep those rivalries going.”

Then, after detailing that he thinks the conferences should all have the same television deal, Kelly talked about what he called the “biggest travesty,” that the players are not part of the revenue process.

“You can sponsor each one. Instead of calling it Group of 5 and Power 5, you can call it Amazon, Nike — bid that out. You can do a lot of different things. But I think if we still do the same thing and take all that money — and I would do this and I think this needs to be done — that money now needs to be shared with the student-athletes. There needs to be revenue sharing and the players should get paid. You can get rid of NLI [sic] and the schools should be paying the players because the players are what the product is. And the fact that they don’t get paid is really the biggest travesty.”

[Jay Tust on Twitter/X]

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