Shorter King of the Universe: Aggressive drug testing is both morally correct and necessary, but, like me, you should blame the coaches for implementing it.
Monthly Archives: April 2012
Ah, BCS negotiations and the Knight Commission. You can probably guess where this is going.
While the conference commissioners continue to determine what college football’s playoff will be in 2014, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics has proposed a new — and radical way — of distributing the hundreds of million dollars in new BCS media rights revenue.
The Knight Commission’s report, obtained by CBSSports.com, recommends rewarding the individual schools and not the conferences based on academic standards and not on-the-field performance or market value.
Instead of dividing up the media rights revenues among the conferences, as it’s currently done, the Knight Commission recommends the revenue is allocated to the individual schools. “The Knight Commission wants to ensure that the projected ‘new’ media revenues from the FBS football postseason will be used to further strengthen the educational missions of our universities,” the Knight Commission said.
The proposal was sent to the 11 Football Bowl Subdivision commissioners, BCS executive director Bill Hancock and the FBS presidents.
Where I’m sure it’ll get all the serious consideration Larry Scott indicates it’s due.
“It’s noble to keep reinforcing the importance of academic success,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said.
Translation: not bloody likely, pal.
I’ve got a suggestion for the Knight Commission. Since it sincerely believes that “… the implementation of an incentive program for graduation success is consistent with promoting the enduring values that have become a central focus of this new era of reform. One of those values is that academic success must be paramount. The Graduation Success Incentive Fund described above aligns revenues to support and promote that value”, perhaps it’s time for it to come up with its own competitive event which could both be a revenue raiser and a promoter of academic success. It’s not like the market hasn’t tried it before.
I can hear the sound of ESPN cutting a check right now.
Another day, another buffet.
- Nothing like having to defend the SEC Freshman of the Year to your own fan base. Mark Richt is a patient man, bless his heart.
- If you’re looking for the conventional wisdom on Georgia Tech’s 2012 season, here ’tis.
- SEC coaches look at Missouri’s offense and shrug… a little. (I’m looking forward to seeing how their defenses handle it.)
- Another reason why I love the NCAA: “Another task force has recommended firming up the scheduling window for major college football’s bowl season, setting a calendar through the 2019 season in which the first game would be no earlier than Dec. 15 and the last game no later than Jan. 13.” January 13th? Way to put your foot down there, fellas.
- The first snarky response to this header is “because it doesn’t have to”. The second one is “it doesn’t go north or east, either”. Seriously, though, read it, because it’s probably a good model for where McGarity intends to go with scheduling at Georgia.
- Clark Howard: “High-definition, flat-screen TVs are driving down the price of tickets to live sports events in an unexpected way.”
- Mark Richt sees the NFL draft as more of a time to celebrate than as an evaluation of the talent on his roster.
Talk about adding insult to injury – it’s not enough that schools sell the paraphernalia of former players… er, ‘scuse me, student-athletes, without cutting them in on the action. Nope, they make ‘em pay for that stuff, just like any other sucker.
… And yet, Asper says, “it kind of ticks me off” that the school would sell it.
Asper has three jerseys he wore in bowl games. Under NCAA rules, players can’t be given much more. They’re allowed to buy them, but while Asper waits for the weekend, hoping to get a call from the NFL, he’s living on a shoestring budget in Boise, home of his wife’s parents, and says:
“I haven’t made a trip back with enough money in my pocket to buy a jersey.”
When Nate Costa’s career ended, he borrowed from his parents to purchase every uniform he’d worn. At least he thinks he got all of them. He does not want to see No. 7 with “COSTA” pop up on the site.
“We just don’t feel it’s right,” says Costa, speaking for several players. “You have to buy your own jersey and if you don’t, they’ll sell your own jersey to make a profit.”
That’s what amateurism is all about.
The antidote to Bill Hancock’s BCS bullshit…
… After conference commissioners met for almost 10 hours, a giddy Hancock emerged from a conference room and — for once — said something we can celebrate instead of mock.
“I can take status quo off the table,” Hancock said.
But this is the BCS. So, naturally, Hancock qualified his statement a few minutes later.
“The BCS as we know it — the exact same policies will not continue,” Hancock said. “That does not mean that there is definitely going to be a four-team event or a plus-one.”
… is this:
“Either way, everybody’s gonna be bent out of shape,” Richt said, laughing. “The way it is now, people will be bent out of shape if it’s just four.”
Ain’t that the troof.
I don’t get the celebratory reaction to Hancock’s statement. Of course the status quo is going to get reworked. The fix was in on that as soon as the conference commissioners took a close look at the attendance and viewership numbers from this past bowl season.
The problem now, as it has been all along, is achieving a consensus on what the replacement for the status quo will be. And as Staples’ article indicates, as problems go, it’s a big ‘un.
Here’s just one example of what they’ve got to overcome.
… Scott would like to see a system that weighs strength of schedule more heavily. “If we go to a four-team playoff, then we’re essentially going to put more stock in the playoff,” Scott said. “The plan, from my perspective, would be a more credible, objective, fair system that balances strength of schedule. We all don’t play over the same course. Every conference has got different caliber. Some conferences play nine conference games. Some play eight. Some play stronger out-of-conference competition. Some tend to not. They just want to get home games.”
Take that, Mike Slive. (My guess is he won’t.)
I don’t want to say a lot of the debate is insurmountable. But what they’ve got to overcome in the next few weeks is certainly formidable. While I don’t believe they’ll throw up their hands and stick with what they’ve done – that’s not where the money is, after all – it would surprise me less and less if they don’t fall back on a true plus-one, a title game after all the bowls are played in which the top two teams face off, as their default. The fans get a new shiny toy, the schools get another game from which to generate revenue and the commissioners get to put off all the hard decisions that can’t reach agreement on for another day. Which will no doubt come.
Meanwhile, nobody will listen to Mark Richt.
“Just tell me what the rules are. Tell me what the deal is and we’ll play by it,” he said. “I don’t know what is the right answer. But I would not want to change college football much. College football is a great sport. It’s an unbelievable regular season. Probably more exciting than any regular season in any sport. So we want to be careful to make sure we know what we’re looking for.”
UPDATE: A sixteen-team playoff is off the table. For now. Woo hoo!
David Ching posts some data which suggests that’s the case, although the purse strings seem to have been loosened some this year.
But here’s what I see: out of eleven programs from last season reporting data, Joe Tereshinski made less as the head S&C coach than all but one of his peers. The Florida coach made more than twice as much; Alabama’s and LSU’s coaches made nearly double. And as for assistant pay, Georgia ranked dead last.
Here’s what’s gotten better: “… Georgia’s three remaining strength assistants, Armstrong, Thomas and Gilbert, combine to make $260,000. That’s $70,539 more than UGA spent on five assistants last year.” So there’s that.
Maybe it doesn’t matter too much. But I do find it weird where this program sees fit to save a few bucks here and there – and in the context of the revenue the football program generates, this is just a few bucks. I suspect Georgia was the only place last season where its head coach had to resort to this:
… Tereshinski, Gray and former strength assistant Clay Walker were among the Georgia staffers to whom Richt paid bowl bonuses out of his own pocket — unknowingly an NCAA violation, which Georgia self-reported last year — when UGA in December 2009 cited “difficult economic conditions being experienced by the University” in refusing to make those traditional bonus payments.
(By the way, it looks like ‘Bama runs afoul of the new NCAA rule limiting S&C staffs to five total coaches. Can Nick Saban roster manage coaches like he does players? Stay tuned.)
The chafing dishes have been refilled.
- Everybody’s been focusing on Gary Pinkel’s “mammoth” comment, but I think the more interesting news from Seth’s post is that the Missouri coach is still hedging his bet on whether James Franklin will be ready when Georgia comes to town.
- Chris Low thinks it would be better to base the composition of a playoff field on the BCS standings than on a selection committee, “… because it’s farfetched to think you could truly find enough qualified people, who didn’t have a dog in the fight, to serve on a selection committee.” Did somebody have a meeting about dropping the Coaches Poll that I missed?
- The future’s so bright at Auburn, Gene Chizik has to wear shades. Or at least he will, once he figures out exactly how bright that is.
- Not surprisingly, Mark Richt doesn’t think much of Steve Spurrier’s divisional champ proposal.
- The rejiggered SEC is trying to figure out how it meshes with the bowls.
- The BCS looks like it’s going to adopt a fan-friendly format. Not: One commissioner, who is against semifinal games being played on campus, said: “The NCAA [men's basketball] tournament doesn’t have campus games, do they?”
- Even if you don’t care about the NFL (I don’t), you might be interested in this article about how its metamorphosis into a pass-happy league is affecting the value it puts on certain positions, because of the impact that may have on the college game.
UPDATE: Regarding the likely rejection of playing the semi-finals at on-campus sites, Brian Cook offers some excellent snark here.
If there’s one surprising theme emerging from the BCS negotiations, it’s that the conference commissioners sound more and more ready to throw the major bowls under the bus. As Pete Thamel puts it,
WHO IS GOING TO LOSE OUT? The bowls. It is just a matter of how much. The B.C.S. bowl games have virtually no shot at hosting a national title game. If they are squeezed out of being involved in the semifinals, they will spiral into irrelevancy.
That’s one helluva sea change. Why is it happening? You only get one guess.
… One of the dirty secrets of many bowl games is that almost nothing is cheap. The industry, in this case represented by Sugar Bowl Inc., long ago learned how to squeeze every last penny out of college football. That includes charging even the stars of the show exorbitant prices for tickets.
How about a couple of free ones for the players to give to their parents or girlfriends or high school coaches? Please. The Sugar Bowl instead charged LSU $350 a seat, full price, for every last player request. Total cost: $254,800 on the players alone.
Oh, and the Tiger Marching Band, the one that is contractually obligated to attend bowl week and provide halftime entertainment? With bowls, not even the band gets in free. LSU had to buy tickets for every clarinetist, flutist, tuba player and majorette. Some of the seats, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate, just held the tuba.
That added up to 529 tickets, almost all full price. The bill for the student band to sit was $182,830.
That’s $182,830 to get into a venue and give a free show to all the other paying customers.
All in all, the “2012 BCS Complimentary Tickets” document obtained by Yahoo! Sports detailed most of what would wind up being a $526,924 bill LSU owed the Sugar Bowl just for tickets. [Emphasis added.]
In a debate that’s over money and nothing else, the big bowls look like the guy who killed the goose with the golden eggs. They’re a luxury that the commissioners and athletic directors are no longer convinced they can afford. Or should afford.
“The Fiesta thing, to me, was, ‘Hey, that’s our money,’ ” said one major athletic director. “That’s college football’s money.”
I don’t know if this is the legacy that Thamel refers to when he writes “… the meeting rooms are filled with alpha males who realize their legacies are tied to what will be determined in the next 10 weeks”, but it sure sounds like it may very well be John Junker’s legacy to his bowl peers. And they’ve got nobody to blame for that but themselves.
And the plans for Kirby Smart’s next raise are probably in the works now, too.
LSU is finalizing a new contract for defensive coordinator John Chavis that would pay him an average of $1.1 million over the next three years and make him one of the highest paid assistant coaches in college football.
If McGarity hasn’t sewn up Grantham’s new deal yet, I bet he wishes he had.