Swarbrick isn't quite as eager as some of his colleagues to make massive changes or divide up Division I the way it has been framed since the conference commissioners started talking publicly about it last month.
"I get really nervous when you get consensus there has to be reform," Swarbrick said. "My 'spidey senses' start to tingle. I buy the premise. But a lot of what we're talking about now is treating symptoms, not the underlying problems. The law of unintended consequences is going to be so evident if we're not careful about stuff we do here."
So if governance is the symptom, what's the disease?
That word, Swarbrick said, is too harsh for his liking. But he's frustrated that this has been framed as a have/have-not issue, because he thinks it's far more complicated than simply a difference in athletic budgets between Ball State and Michigan. Why, for instance, is nobody talking about the difference between a Stanford, which sponsors 36 sports, and an SEC school that sponsors 16?
"The economics of the two institutions aren't that different, so it's not a have/have-not problem, but what they're doing looks really different and has different implications," Swarbrick said.
"Some of the haves and have-nots have much closer operating models than some of the haves do. So it has driven me nuts, and I'll use the stipend issue. Everyone wants to treat this as a have/have-not issue, and as a member of both committees who has dealt with this, it hasn't played out that way at all. There are fundamental differences in views among the haves over this stuff. And that goes to these other differences. We just have to work our way through those, and frankly it's just sloppy thinking to say it's a have/have-not issue, and when you look at votes on legislation, it rarely is."