Lombardi is waiting for the NCAA to split Division I-A, separating the Floridas, Texases and others at the high end from those with more modest resources and ambitions. "It may be," he says, "that ... there'll be a second tier of I-A that has conferences capable of mobilizing some bowl money and mobilizing some television exposure. For people who don't get (a share of) the ABC contract, there'll be an NBC contract.
"That may be an opportunity to get in at a lower price."
So, if I'm understanding him correctly, the goal is to become another Tulane or Cincinatti?!!
Personaly, I'd love to UMass be involved with the BE schools, and I do think it stands to increase it's exposure a la UConn. I've mentioned how the BE schools without 1-A football are the only such schools that are privvy to big time TV contracts. Otherwise they are grouped with the A-10s of the world because they're only in our minds during basketball season. I think UMass senses this, and are willing to make the move that Villanova and Georgetown would not. (Not that this move is guaranteed success or right for everyone.) They may be one of the very few schools that could do this, but it hurts them that the NCAA report is coming out today.
ESPN noted that a highlight of the report suggested, if I'm recalling this correctly, that 2/3 of the football programs (1-A) made money, but that only 6% of schools had overall athletic budgets in the black. Interesting from of sponsorship here.