Daily Archives: July 19, 2013

Saving the NCAA’s bacon

Mark Emmert’s bold move with the Penn State sanctions has drawn a predictable reaction.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association, which is facing mounting legal challenges and criticism over missteps in its enforcement process, may soon have to fend off another threat: federal legislation.

Rep. Charlie W. Dent, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania who criticized the association’s punishment of Pennsylvania State University during the Jerry Sandusky scandal, is considering introducing a bill that would seek to make the NCAA more transparent and provide due-process protections to players and coaches.

The bill may also attempt to establish a new oversight mechanism for the association’s judicial process.

The measure, which still must pass legal muster, is expected to include language taking aim at perceived problems in the NCAA’s enforcement and infractions processes.

Aides on Mr. Dent’s staff said they were looking to ensure that NCAA athletes, coaches, and institutions received more consistent treatment when they violated the association’s rules.

Inevitable.  Predictable.  Workable?  John Infante suggests the NCAA ought to grasp this situation as an opportunity to get relief from its biggest current threat.

So if the NCAA is not in a position to fight, the best move is to play ball with Congress. Rep. Dent and any other supporters want to remake the NCAA’s enforcement process. The NCAA already has to do that. The association might as well get involved as early as possible to craft federal oversight into something the NCAA and its members can live with.

But more importantly, this is an opportunity for the NCAA to get out of the O’Bannon case without long-term damage. In exchange for submitting to greater federal regulation and beefing up due process for athletes, coaches, and institutions, the NCAA could ask for an antitrust exemption that is much clearer and stronger than the one they enjoy from the Board of Regents case. The NCAA might have to give some additional ground, like full cost-of-attendance scholarships, looser rules on athletes’ relationships with agents, and maybe some sort of limited outside income model. It would be like negotiating a settlement in the O’Bannon case, but without those pesky plaintiffs.

That exemption is the NCAA’s holy grail.  No telling how much enforcement ground it would be willing to cede to get that, or how much of a “clearer and stronger” one would be offered.  I feel pretty sure about one thing, though.  The only thing worse than the NCAA we have now would be an NCAA with government backing.

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

Musical palate cleanser has an appetite today.

All that Aaron Murray talk about being hungry has put me in the mood for some tuneage from the cheesy, yet enjoyable Paul Revere and the Raiders.

It may be best to watch that with your eyes closed.  These guys didn’t exactly have James Brown moves.  But the song is great.

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Filed under Uncategorized

“I think everybody’s beatable.”

Definitely the weirdest vibe from SEC Media Days is this – is it possible for the media pick to win the SEC East to be flying under the radar?  Richt certainly did his part to contribute to that by staying in typical low-key character.

Mark Richt waits to enter a network interview room in the bowels of the Wynfrey Hotel. Les Miles emerges from an interview table.

“Hey there!” Richt says loudly.

“Professor Richt!” Miles says.

The Hatter and the Professor exchange pleasantries. Richt asks how former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger, now Miles’ starter, is doing. Miles said he’s doing great, then tells Richt how imposing Georgia defensive end Garrison Smith looks at this week’s SEC Media Days.

“Isn’t it nice to coach good people?” Miles asks. Richt nods.

Richt was in his most professorial state Thursday, relaxing against a wall, ready to dispense his faith-based wisdom, seemingly allergic to stress.

There’s this quiet statement, too, though.

But for a few minutes in a dim hotel hallway, Richt briefly ponders his legacy on the SEC and Georgia.

“I’d like to have a national championship and a couple more SEC titles,” said Richt, who has two conference and six division titles.

We all believe Georgia does better when nobody’s looking its way, but let’s face it, if the Dawgs emerge after the first two weeks as the state champions of South Carolina, they won’t stay hidden.  How Richt manages expectations from there will be interesting to watch.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Now this is a run.

Let me throw out my nomination for best Todd Gurley run of 2012.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that’s six tackle attempts he ran through on that play.  Dayum.

Your thoughts?

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Filed under Georgia Football

Amateurism is good for business.

The bulk of the attention of the plaintiffs’ amended filing in the O’Bannon case will focus on the six current players who agreed to participate in the litigation, but it’s the additional allegations in it that caught my eye.  Particularly this beauty:

In August 2007, when licensing of video games was being negotiated, EA allegedly “offered to establish a ‘players’ fund’ for the use of the (student-athletes’) names, images, and likenesses. CLC, negotiating on the NCAA’s behalf, instead suggested that the money should go to the NCAA. EA agreed to pay a kicker to the NCAA in order ‘to align interests and incentivize all parties to help build the category with new rights.’ EA made this offer contingent on ‘no royalties . . . to a player fund.’ “

Has greed ever served a cause so nobly?  The NCAA probably uses that money to fund those TV ads trumpeting how much it supports student-athletes.

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UPDATE:  Not to say that some of these players aren’t compelling.

“Honestly, I stepped forward for the future well-being, safety and health of student-athletes,” Fischer told ESPN. “We have both met a ton of people since we’ve been here who have lingering effects from injuries, not getting a great education, not having all the capabilities or the opportunities that a regular student would have, and honestly, we would just like to try to fix that.”

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Filed under The NCAA

The Thousand-year Process

Let me preface this post by saying that in no way do I think this is representative of the Alabama fan base, but, damn, y’all, this dude has shit for brains:

“He’s a winner, he just does what he wants to do,” says Lee Allen, an Alabama fan from Decatur. “He’s kind of like Hitler. He’s a dictator. He brought us back to the top and I figure we’re going to be here for a while. Money well spent.”

Wait, what? Hitler? You mean that as a compliment? “Yeah,” Allen says in between discreetly spitting tobacco juice into a water bottle in the lobby.

Of course he did, bless his heart.

There’s a logo missing on that football, bro! (Photo via Jon Solomon/jsolomon@al.com)

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Filed under Whoa, oh, Alabama