Monthly Archives: June 2013

Tuesday morning buffet

The buffet line is open.

  • Jeebus, has ‘Bama been a dominant program the past few years.
  • First look at Vegas win totals for 2013 – limited, though, to only 19 teams.  (Georgia’s not among them.)
  • I have to admit one thing the NCAA does well is chutzpah.
  • Phil Steele explains his thinking when he names freshmen to his All-Conference teams.
  • Here’s another “no-huddle comes to the SEC” piece.
  • Yeah, yeah, rocks, glass houses and all that stuff, but I still like the sound of “Incarce-Gators”.  (Also known as Huntley Johnson’s Hall of Fame.)
  • Why the Tide won’t three-peat.
  • The way Coach O describes Reggie Carter“He was a good football player in high school. He was an instinctive guy. He was a guy who made a lot of tackles and had production. He caught the balls that were thrown at him and he made nice plays.” – seems reminiscent of another Gwinnett County product, Rennie Curran, no?
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Filed under College Football, Crime and Punishment, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

Envy and jealousy: ‘Hey, I can run a little bit.’

I’ve linked to this remarkable Joe Posnanski piece about Herschel before, but since he chose to repost it in the wake of Willis Walker passing, I thought it was worth mentioning it again.  Read it; you won’t regret it.

My favorite bit in there?  Hands down:  “And then there was this freshman from a little town in Georgia who people were whispering about. He was the new thing. Rogers was Pat Boone. Herschel was James Brown.”

11 Comments

Filed under Envy and Jealousy

Dawgs for O’Bannon!

Yesterday, they held a presser for the Countdown to Kickoff charity event, and a player compensation discussion broke out.  Given it was the two Stinchcombs and David Greene doing the talking, it was pretty thoughtful.

“These players feel as if their images and likenesses have been used, and they didn’t realize any type of value for having had their likeness used, then that needs to be addressed in some capacity,” said Stinchcomb, who was a first-team All-American at Georgia in 1998, and a first-round pick in the 1999 NFL draft. “I know this, when I signed a college scholarship, it was to play football at a university, and I was going to be afforded room and board, and the cost of tuition and books. And that’s exactly what I got. What I think we’re seeing now is it’s going beyond some of that. Now there may be language in the scholarship or the letter-of-intent that says they can do that. But I don’t think that was implied in the contract, and I don’t know that any 18-year-old, even after having it explained to them, would fully grasp what they’re granting to the NCAA to use their likeness as individuals, if in fact that’s what’s going on.”

When Greene was in school, his number 14 was sold all over Georgia. But his name was not on any of those jerseys, so he didn’t receive any of the income. Still, it was clear whose jersey it was supposed to be, just as this year plenty of No. 11 jerseys are being sold, without Aaron Murray’s name on the back.

“You could consider college sports as amateur, which it is … but there’s a big business around it,” said Greene, the winningest quarterback in Georgia history, who spent three years in the NFL. “There’s a lot of pressure around it too. You can’t tell me there isn’t a lot of pressure on these kids, even though they’re not being paid to play. There’s a lot of pressure on these kids to perform.”

The idea that what surrounds college athletics in just the past few years has changed significantly was a recurring theme.

The three former players seemed sensitive to the notion that student-athletes get a free education, and that some consider that sufficient payment. Matt Stinchcomb also made clear that he doesn’t have sympathy for athletes who don’t get their degrees.

“If you’re out here and you’re playing football and you’re complaining for free, (but) you’re not taking advantage of the academics and the diploma, then in a lot of ways yeah, you’re playing for free, and that’s your own choice,” he said. “But where I think that scenario looses traction, and the push-back I guess I would have at the NCAA level is they have gone above and beyond this implied contract that says: You play ball, we give you the education. Except now, it’s you play ball, and in compensation we’ll allow you to go to school here, we’ll pay room and board here … and by the way on the side here, we’re gonna have a contract with whatever licensing company for them to have the rights to sell your jersey in the bookstores, and we’re also going to contract with video game makers, and we’re gonna use your likeness, and we’re gonna capture that value, and none of that will be realized by you as an individual.”

The more money that flows into collegiate athletics, the more cash-starved the schools and the NCAA behave, the more discontent is going to be generated among student-athletes who see the disparity Stinchcomb describes.  It’s inevitable.

Especially because the kids get smacked in the face with it every day they’re on campus, as Weiszer points out.

Greene addressed all of those No. 14 jerseys that were sold when he was quarterback for Georgia from 2001-04, which he did not get a cut.

“The game has evolved over time and the business behind the game has evolved as well,” Greene said. “I don’t know if there were a whole lot of Charley Trippi jerseys being sold (in the 1940s) even though he was the biggest stud on campus at the time.”

Georgia’s official athletic website is currently auctioning off team-issued football jerseys including the numbers of Todd Gurley (3), John Jenkins (6), Tavarres King (12), Bacarri Rambo (18), Sanders Commings (19) and 83 (Cornelius Washington).

Their perspective is interesting, because as former NFL players, they all received compensation for their likenesses being used in video games based on NFL play.  Jon Stinchcomb grappled with the question of why that should be different on the collegiate level:

“It’s tricky because from a fans’ perspective it’s balancing, `Oh, all these players are greedy. They see an opportunity when they should appreciate the opportunity to play and represent your school and enjoy a game at a collegiate level.’ And we do. That’s the awesome side of football. I don’t think any player would ever leverage that, but you have to separate the two. Is it greed or is it somewhat being taken advantage of on an individual level?”

Heartfelt stuff.  Which makes you wonder how much this issue is on players’ minds these days.  Will it be that hard for the O’Bannon plaintiffs to find a student-athlete ready to step up and add his name to the complaint?

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

We’ll always have Colonel Reb.

Sadly, five-star recruit mocks Ole Miss for racism.

Even sadder is what passes for a rebuttal:

There is no evidence that there have been any KKK rallies on the school’s campus this year, let alone monthly.

The last known KKK rally at Ole Miss was in 2009 when KKK members protested the school’s removal of the song “From Dixie with Love” from the song list. At the time the Associated Press noted about 12 KKK members protested, while as many as 250 people protested the KKK’s presence.

Correction duly noted.

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Filed under Recruiting

Amateurism is good for business.

Moody’s downgrades the NCAA’s credit outlook based on concerns about the O’Bannon case.

This quote is a doozy:

“The escalation of risks reflect the growing perceived disconnect between the amateurism of student-athletes, as codified by the NCAA, and the commercial success of high-profile college sports,” the agency’s report said. “Increased public discourse about the best interest of student-athletes combined with highly publicized litigation could destabilize the current intercollegiate athletic system and negatively impact the NCAA and its member universities.”

“Perceived disconnect”?  The NCAA?  Mark Emmert has no idea what Moody’s is talking about.

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Filed under The NCAA

Why would anybody care about that?

Radi Nabulsi tweets that Ole Miss is recruiting the dickens out of offensive tackle Dyshon Sims.  Sims happens to be a Georgia target.  He also happens to be Josh Harvey-Clemons’ cousin.  Think they’ve talked much about JHC’s one-game suspension?  Think Ole Miss’ coaches will talk even more about it?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Musical palate cleanser, RIP edition

With the news of Bobby “Blue” Bland’s passing, I thought I’d share my favorite song of his, “I Pity The Fool”.

The man had some serious vocal chops.  (And judging from the last time I saw him live, an ego to match.)  Rest in peace, man.

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Filed under Uncategorized

When they say it’s not about the money…

You know, my original intent in posting about this USA Today interview with Bill Hancock was to note that even the BCS’ own flack won’t deny that the college football playoff isn’t going to grow past its current four-team configuration.  But then I got to the last paragraph…

“From the start, this was not about the money,” he said. “Sure there’s more money. There will be more money for everybody in the playoff. It’s a very good thing, obviously. But what this was about was doing what’s best for the game, preserving the regular season, preserving the bowl experience for all athletes in college football, not just the ones in the playoff. That was the central core of all the discussions.”

… and realized the whole piece was nothing more than a bad how-can-you-tell-when-Bill Hancock-is-lying joke.

Stay tuned a few years from now when he assures us all that the move to twelve teams is about doing what’s best for the game, too.  Bigger is always better, right?

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Blowing Smoke

What if the “Curt Flood of major college sports” turns out to be a Dawg?

The judge in the O’Bannon case has ordered the plaintiffs to add a current college student-athlete to the litigation roster.  Andy Staples speculates that

The player who steps forward will need to be either a football or men’s basketball player. For maximum effect, he’ll need to be a starter at a school in either the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 or SEC. He’ll need to be the type of player who gets lots of screen time when ESPN or Fox or CBS shows his team’s games. Essentially, he needs to be the type of player the networks are paying to show, even though an NCAA attorney argued — with a straight face, no less — on Thursday that networks merely pay for exclusive access to the venues and not the right to film the players at work.

Whomever that player may be, he’s going to take some heat.  And he’ll be looking at facing Manziel-level media attention.

Any player who does will get ripped in the media and by fans who want to cling to the illusion that sports with billion-dollar television deals are amateur enterprises. That player will have to be strong. Coaches and athletic directors will want him to fail, because money diverted to athletes means less money for them.

So here’s this morning’s question for you:  what if that player – Staples’ “Curt Flood” – is, say, Todd Gurley?  Would it change your perception of him?  And before you answer that question, ask yourself first if this fact makes any difference:

… According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average tuition at a four-year public school cost $2,550 in 1980. By 2011, that number had jumped to $15,918. That’s more than five times the price. That’s a steep rise. Now let’s look at the growth in revenue for one of the nation’s most successful conferences. In 1980, the SEC distributed $4.1 million to its member schools. In 2013, it distributed $241.5 million. That’s more than 58 times the 1980 figure…

Oh, and one more thing.  It’s not as if the NCAA shouldn’t have seen this coming.

… Steve Mallonee, the NCAA’s managing director of membership services, sent an email to Kevin Lennon, the NCAA’s vice president for membership services. The email came after a Princeton compliance official wrote to David Berst, the NCAA’s vice president for Division I, asking how EA Sports’ NCAA Football 06 could include such accurate, identifiable information about current players. Berst asked Lennon and Mallonee for an answer. Mallonee provided it. He closed with a question of his own.

“The jersey number along with the position and vital statistics is clearly an attempt to have the public make the association with the current student-athlete,” Mallonee wrote, according to a copy of the email placed in the O’Bannon case file by the plaintiffs. “And it appears to be working. The Best Damn Sports Show was aired several weeks ago and had Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush acknowledging that they were in the video game.

“That then raises the issue of whether getting in line with technology means being more restrictive or lenient with our rules. The article would imply that we might relax our rules a bit. The biggest concern I have is that such a position really does allow for the maximum commercial exploitation of the [student-athlete] and if that occurs, will it be long before we can defend not giving them a piece of the profits?”

That e-mail was sent eight years ago.  It’s amazing it’s taken this long for the NCAA to have to face the consequences… assuming there are any beyond legal fees.

But enough of that and back to the original question.  How much would it change your perception of the player and the sport if it were a Dawg who stepped forward to become the face of the O’Bannon complaint?

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Filed under College Football, The NCAA

Today’s dose of Preseason Homerism

Let’s say you’re an offensive backfield in 2013.  Your quarterback is a returning starter who finished with the tenth best passer rating in the conference.  Last season’s starting tailback graduated.  Your fullback can block, which is good, because he was only trusted with six touches all of 2012.  As for depth…

They have four scholarship players, but none have played at the collegiate level at the position. Tyler Murphy emerged as the No. 2 QB in the spring after competing with redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg. Both, however, struggled with consistency and do not appear ready to take over if something happens to Driskel. The wild card here is Chris Wilkes, a former pitcher in the San Diego Padres’ farm system who left pro baseball and will be a 23-year-old freshman. He’s got good size and a strong arm, but he hasn’t played football in more than five years. Depth is also a concern at tailback.

Where would you stick that bunch in a list ranking all fourteen SEC schools?  Well, if you’re the beat writer in Gainesville analyzing the Gators’ backfield, you’d place ‘em fifth.

Next Sunday, he looks at the receivers.  I can’t wait to see where he puts them.

13 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Media Punditry/Foibles