Daily Archives: May 2, 2011

“They had a point spread. They got a point spread for little league football.”

I think even Captain Renault would have a reaction to this story.

… But the exchange of money in the stands was the small stuff, OTL found — sometimes the games had tens of thousands of dollars bet on them, and players were often paid for making big plays.

Former players and coaches say the gambling and paying of players and their parents has gone on for years, yet some league and law enforcement officials told ESPN they were not aware of the extent of the problems until “Outside the Lines” conducted interviews and showed the officials its undercover video. One man seen on video exchanging money in a group at the league’s super bowl is a longtime coach in the league and city recreation leader.

Man, what a cesspool.

Two things:  first, this is how entitlement attitudes are born.  Second, recruiting South Florida’s got to feel like stepping through a mine field sometimes.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness

Preparing to play on the next level

Fascinating post from Black Heart Gold Pants that spins off the question of what value recruiting rankings have to this:

… We’ve calculated the fraction of each rank of recruits that are developed into draft picks by the average BCS program. We can then use that to evaluate the player development of individual programs (or conferences). The Development Ratio is a simple way to measure the effect of a program on player development: take the number of recruits a program turned into draft picks and divide that by the number that an average BCS program would have produced from the same recruiting classes. For instance, let’s say some college program brought in 20 4-star recruits, and 80 3-star recruits, and that 15 of them were drafted. The average BCS program, by the numbers above, would have had 10 of those recruits drafted. So our example program has a development ratio of 15/10 = 150%, very good!

Back to the original question – we know USC produces more draft picks then Stanford, but is that just because of all those 5-stars they bring, or does USC have a better development program as well? If I am a recruit with NFL aspirations, which schools are the best choice to fulfill that dream? How much does it matter?

By that metric, ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the SEC’s top program for development:  the Georgia Bulldogs.

Don’t let your brain freeze up after reading that, as there might be a couple of reasons for it that appear later in the post.

First, this.

… And as a side note, the SECs development profile suffers by its addiction to oversigning. While few doubt that oversigning is advantageous for the programs that do it, the players are the ones that pay the price in the form of a lowered chance of turning their talent into an NFL career.

Richt doesn’t oversign, so Georgia’s NFL-level talent pool doesn’t get diluted as much as at some other SEC schools.

Second, a note about our old friend the spread:

Play-style matters: Big Ten defenders rejoice, Big 12 defenders despair

One aspect of the modern Big 12 that has attracted both praise and criticism is the wide-open pass-heavy style of football that has spread through the conference. While entertaining for fans, the ubiquitous spread offenses and deemphasized run games depart significantly from the NFL norm. Could this the culprit for the subpar development of players? One way to answer this question is to look at conference Development Ratios for players categorized by type, i.e. development of offensive vs. defensive players, skill players vs. linemen.

Conference Offense Defense Skill (Offense) Line
ACC 104% 101% 94% 110%
Big East 108% 97% 108% 87%
Big 12 89% 76% 96% 76%
Big Ten 104% 123% 99% 125%
Pac 12 99% 114% 103% 93%
SEC 94% 97% 99% 101%

The breakdowns for the Big Ten and the Big 12 really stand out. First, while the Big 12 does an acceptable, albeit subpar, job of developing offensive prospects, the league is brutal when it comes to developing defenders and linemen. This seems like strong evidence for the play-style hypothesis, since those are exactly the areas one would expect to suffer under an passing-emphasis style. The Big Ten’s development profile also reflects its reputation, but in a good way. The Big Ten does not struggle in any area of player development, but it truly shines at bringing along defenders and the men in the trenches. Smash-mouth football is alive and well in the Big Ten, and tangibly benefiting its players. I’m sure that Big Ten and Big 12 programs go head to head for more than a few prospects each year, and defenders in particular should heed these numbers – choosing the Big 12 means you are accepting a big hit to any NFL aspirations.

He doesn’t mention it, but it’s interesting to note that there’s less variation in the SEC percentages than for any of the other BCS conferences.  The study relied on the ratings for the 2002-8 recruiting classes; since then we’ve seen the spread go to Mississippi State and Auburn (although we’re now seeing Florida go back to a pro-style offense).  But for the most part, pro-style offenses constitute the rule more than the exception in the SEC.  Certainly Georgia falls into that category.

Sure makes for a good sales pitch to recruits with professional ambitions.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Question of the day

From former Maryland great/US Congressman Tom McMillen (h/t The Daily Fix):  “Why aren’t well-compensated coaches and others in athletic departments held accountable for the problems they leave behind?”

McMillen proposes something out of the Sarbanes-Oxley law he voted for while in Congress.

… Recently at a meeting of the Board of Regents at the University of Maryland, I suggested that it’s time to use the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 as a model for college athletics. What Sarbanes-Oxley provided for public companies is a “clawback” provision — the ability to retract compensation, even after an executive has left a company.

We’ve seen this process work. In just one instance, two former executives of UnitedHealth Group Inc., accused of compensation abuse, agreed to give back over $600 million under the clawback provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley.

Why not have athletic directors and coaches face clawbacks too? If the NCAA imposes penalties for problems that existed during a coach or director’s employment, why not require them to return some salary and bonuses to the university — even if they have moved on to another job? After all, many coaches get bonuses for good academic performance by their teams, why shouldn’t there be penalties for poor performance?

If there were significant clawback provisions in the contracts for athletic directors and coaches as I proposed to our board of regents, I guarantee they would be more vigilant about what happens on their watch. Substantial financial incentives would encourage them to insure that rules are followed, that they wouldn’t be able to afford to look the other way…

Money do talk.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness

Understatement of the day

UF’s drug policy is viewed as being a little more tolerant than most other schools in the SEC.”

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Gators, Gators...

I really don’t know what else to say.

(photo via Michael Appleton for The New York Times)

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Filed under Uncategorized