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UCF coach George O'Leary: SEC is 'like the South during the Civil War'

George O'Leary celebrates after leading Central Florida to a Fiesta Bowl last season. (Getty Images/Christian Petersen) George O'Leary celebrates after leading UCF to a Fiesta Bowl win last season. (Getty Images/Christian Petersen)

Central Florida coach George O'Leary has some strong opinions about talk of the Southeastern Conference forming a "Division IV" if the league and the other Big Four conferences don't get autonomy to make their own bylaws.

The Power Five conferences, a group which includes the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten and the Pac-12, want the ability to bypass the smaller schools, like UCF, in getting their own legislation passed. The NCAA board of directors will vote on the autonomy issue in August.

O'Leary said it reminds him of secession.

"They sound like the South during the Civil War," O'Leary said to the Orlando Sentinel. "If they don't get their way, they're going to secede and start their own country. … I think college football is in real trouble."

"They're trying to go the other way and create an even wider gap between the haves and have-nots," O'Leary said. "I think some of these schools have forgotten where they came from."

O'Leary, 67, has a 72-56 record in his 10 seasons at UCF, including a 12-1 record and a Fiesta Bowl victory last season. He received a four-year extension last month that will pay him more than $2 million per season.

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