Daily Archives: July 2, 2009

Committed to looking around, for some reason

Any idea what this is all about?

Five-star athlete Matt Elam of Dwyer (West Palm Beach, Fla.) told Rivals.com on Monday he is still committed to Florida, but he plans to take official visits. Elam said Georgia, Alabama, West Virginia and Virginia Tech are possible destinations.

“I’m still committed to Florida,” Elam said. “I’m just looking around to see something different in case something goes down and I can’t go to Florida anymore. I’ve heard a lot about coaching changes and things like that, and I haven’t visited any other places but Florida. I want to look at other places and give other people a chance.”

Is this a case of kicking the tires, a reaction to negative recruiting or is something going on in Gainesville we haven’t heard about?  In any event, I can’t imagine the Gator staff is too thrilled about it.

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12 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Pat Dye doesn’t think the NCAA is man enough.

The Sporting News interviewed three former coaches whose programs ran afoul of the NCAA about the recently imposed FSU and Alabama penalties (which both schools are appealing, mind you).

Here’s what Mr. Dye had to say about those wussies.

“There’s no question it has changed. I don’t know about Florida State, but the thing with the Alabama case is that they didn’t really significantly hurt the program. They didn’t punish them very much. In the past, the school had to pay for their mistakes. This is not going to affect (Alabama) in terms of winning games.”

4 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Go ahead, make his day.

My perception of Matt Hinton is that for a full-throated supporter of a D-1 football playoff, he’s been quite rational about recognizing the flaws and limits associated with it.  So I’ve always assumed that his support for political hacks like Shurtleff and Barton as they showboat on the issue has been tinged with a little tongue-in-cheekiness.

But I’m not so sure about his latest post on the subject.

BCS apologists — and sometimes critics, or mere observers — like to point out that, whatever its flaws, at least the Series is obviously better than the mishmash of split champions and frustrating conference tie-ins that preceded it. So heinous was the old way of doing postseason business that Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman, new chairman of the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee, possibly feeling the heat emanating from Congress again this week, trotted out its corpse during a local interview as the ultimate warning to BCS critics:

What I think most people don’t understand is that the alternative to the current system is not a playoff. The alternative to the BCS is going back to our traditional relationship with our bowl partners.

Oooh, you’re scaring us, Dr. Perlman. Run for your lives — it’s the ghost of Robbie Bosco!

Of course, this is an idle threat: The BCS, or whatever it morphs into under external pressure, isn’t going anywhere…

And this is an idle threat because… why, exactly?  If anything, it seems to me to be an easy task to carry out, it ends the antitrust posturing from pols like Hatch and Shurtleff and it has the likely added benefit of concentrating the wealth even more strongly in the hands of the BCS conferences (well, that’s a benefit for the BCS conferences, anyway).

This is where I think playoff supporters are on thin ice in this debate.  It’s very easy to focus on what I call the competition side of this – making sure that every deserving school has the chance to play for an MNC – and downplay the economic side, the side that pushes for a redistribution of the wealth that college football generates.  You can satisfy the former with a small scale playoff; you can’t satisfy the latter without an extended playoff controlled by the NCAA or some similar entity making sure that the moneys are spread more broadly throughout D-1.  And an extended playoff is death to pretty much everything that makes college football unique.

It’s shortsighted to brush off the financial considerations here.  Next week’s hearings are being conducted by the Senate Antitrust Committee.  Whether it matters to its members or not, antitrust law isn’t about whether Utah gets to play in a title game.  It’s about business practices, monopolies and money.

Ultimately, guys like Jim Delany don’t care nearly as much about Utah playing in that title game – and don’t forget that there’s nothing in the current BCS formula that prevents that from happening – as they do about having their conferences’ revenue streams reduced.  That’s what’s at stake with these antitrust threats and that’s why I don’t think the Harvey Perlmans of the college football world should be so easily dismissed when they promise to defend their turf.

That’s why I don’t get Hinton’s blithe dismissal of Perlman.  (I also don’t get why he blithely dismisses the one true improvement the BCS has wrought, namely, that it’s impossible for a clearly unqualified team to sneak into an MNC, as BYU did in 1984, but that’s a discussion for another blog post.)  These guys are gonna fight like hell to hang on to every last cent.  We all know they’re greedy bastards.  That’s what greedy bastards do.

Orrin Hatch knows that.  That’s why he he says in his Sports Illustrated piece that:

If “those with the power to reform the system” don’t do so voluntarily, Hatch writes, then “legislation may be required to ensure that all colleges and universities receive an equal opportunity.”

So if you’re a playoff proponent and a fan of a BCS conference school (which I think covers most of my readers), forget about political philosophy, forget about competition, but ask yourself this simple question instead:  how much money am I willing to see my school give up in order to have a playoff? Because if guys like Hatch are willing to push hard enough, that may be the choice you wind up with.

9 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, The Blogosphere

Thursday morning buffet

Gearing up for the extended weekend:

  • Brian Cook does that oversigning harangue he does so well.  Relax, ‘Bama fans – it’s not your school that Cook blasts.  (That doesn’t stop Capstone Report from firing back, though.)
  • Rex Robinson is looking for a few good stories.
  • Say it ain’t so, Jim Bob. (h/t Team Speed Kills)
  • So much for “I heard it on the Internet, so it must be true.”
  • I don’t know what saddens me more about this story – that a Vandy recruit got into trouble with the law, or that, assuming it’s serious enough, the SEC could be deprived of a certain entry on the “Best Names in College Football” list. (h/t Chris Low)
  • Jerry’s getting nervous about Auburn’s dwindling numbers at linebacker.  Having gone through that last year, we feel your pain, brother.

11 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, The Blogosphere, The NCAA