If the NCAA moves forward with a plan to allow schools from five power conferences to operate with some autonomy from the rest of Division I, it will lead to challenges for the Colorado athletic department, athletic director Rick George said.

The Division I Board of Directors endorsed a plan in April that would allow the Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, Atlantic Coast and Southeastern Conferences to operate separately from the rest of Division I when it comes to certain issues. The biggest impact to CU would be if schools are allowed to offer student-athletes the full cost of attendance, likely in the form of stipends beyond the traditional scholarship.

George supports the plan but it would mean adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to the department's operating budget and CU is already deeply in debt to the school on its operations side. The plan will be voted on in August.

"It will certainly impact us, there is no question about it, when they start talking about full cost of attendance and stipends and a lot of different things," George said. "A lot of it is talk right now, but once this is approved and done in August and the legislative team looks at in the fall, we discuss it in January and implement it in the fall of 2015

"We know it's going to cost us more tomorrow than it does today. What that number is and where it is, we don't know at this point."

Estimates are that each scholarship athlete will receive between $2,000 and $4,000 per year depending on which school they attend and the cost of living at each campus. With more than 300 student-athletes in the CU athletic department potentially receiving a stipend right in the middle at $3,000 a year, it would add nearly $1 million to the athletic department's expenses.

George said the department would approach the problem of managing that cost by growing fundraising as well as raising prices and potential cuts in the department, though it's too early to know what might be at risk specifically.

"I think there are a lot of things you have to consider when you do that," George said. "One, you're going to have to generate more revenue. If you don't generate more revenue, you're going to have to find that resource somewhere, and that may mean cutting different things that you're doing. We're going to have to figure that out.

"My guess is a lot of this language will be permissive. If they say you can do this and you can't do it all, there might be a point in there where you're somewhere in between what you're allowed to do and what you can do. We'll have to do that based on the resources we have. It will be very challenging."

Contact BuffZone.com Writer Kyle Ringo at ringok@dailycamera.com or on Twitter: @kyleringo.