“We Eat What We Kill”
For a while, the vast sums of tv cash brought to these organizations through Byers’s discounts made them prepared to submit. Nevertheless the football that is big grumbled concerning the percentage of the tv income redirected to almost one thousand NCAA user schools that lacked major athletic programs. They chafed against cost-cutting measures—such as restrictions on group size—designed to greatly help smaller schools. “I don’t wish Hofstra telling Texas simple tips to play soccer,” Darrell Royal, the Longhorns advisor, griped. Some of the big football schools began to wonder: Why do we need to have our television coverage brokered through the NCAA by the 1970s and ’80s, as college football games delivered bonanza ratings—and advertising revenue—to the networks? Couldn’t we have a larger cut of the television cash by working straight because of the companies?
Byers faced a rude revolt that is internal. The NCAA’s strongest legions, its big soccer schools, defected en masse. Calling the NCAA a price-fixing cartel that siphoned every television buck through its coffers, in 1981 a rogue consortium of 61 major soccer schools threatened to signal a completely independent agreement with NBC for $180 million over four years.