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Following the NCAA’s Board of Directors vote to approve autonomy Thursday for the schools from the five major conferences,   Maryland football Coach Randy Edsall said he believed the move meant that the schools from the power conferences are closer to cutting ties with the NCAA.

“How it’ll change us in terms of how we operate, we won’t know until legislation is put through and what kind of legislation they want to adopt and go with,” Edsall said before Thursday’s practice. “I think it’s good that we have that. I think it’s one step closer to the five conferences splitting off. I really do.”

The NCAA’s board voted 16-2 Thursday morning in Indianapolis in what could potentially be a landscape-shifting move for schools in the five major athletic conferences – the Southeastern Conference, Big Ten, Big 12, Atlantic Coast Conference and the Pacific-12. The approval could give the schools from the five major conferences power to govern themselves. It could also be the first step in schools adding additional stipends for players in the NCAA’s highest revenue sports.

“We are committed to enhancing the student-athlete experience. Today’s vote on autonomy for the Big 5 conferences is a strong step in that direction,” Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderso said  in a statement.

Edsall echoed that sentiment. He addressed early recruiting of high school players as problematic, tying it in with the issue of autonomy. He also said he supported cost-of-attendance stipends and keeping players on scholarship for four years. It wasn’t the first time that Edsall has been vocal about the pay-for-play issue.

“That’s my whole thing, I want to do whatever we can to enhance their experience and to help them out and I think that’s probably the biggest thing from the autonomy standpoint,” Edsall said.