Daily Archives: March 25, 2014

Not the kind of pay for play you were expecting.

Honestly, can it get any more shameless than this?

Athletic director Gene Smith will receive a bonus of more than $18,000 — one week of his base salary — for Ohio State’s Logan Stieber winning the 141-pound weight class at the NCAA wrestling championships.

Smith signed a new contract this year that pays him a bonus for “exceptional athletic achievements,” including Final Four and Bowl Championship Series appearances or titles won by individuals in any of 20 sports.

Logan must be very proud to play a part in growing Gene’s bank account.

It’s okay for somebody to profit directly from the achievements of a student-athlete.  Just not the student-athlete.

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UPDATE:  I disagree with Dan Wetzel on playoffs, but he sure nails the compensation story.

College sports leaders claim that college sports is nothing but a non-profit running extracurricular activities designed to enhance the educational experience, all while refusing to engage in not even a hint of austerity that would seemingly come with it.

Their contracts are loaded with country club memberships, comp cars, hours of private jet usage and other perks that have nothing to do with supporting the student-athlete. They don’t protest when bowl directors bilk millions off their schools. They build outrageously opulent facilities and offices. They don’t hesitate to wring every last concession right down to a synchronized swimming bonus.

All the while they keep telling us they are overseeing something akin to a Little League team, yet they keep paying themselves like it’s the Red Sox.

 

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43 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

Spring has sprung.

Plenty of juicy nuggets in Gentry Estes’ list of things to know from the first week of spring practice, the two most intriguing being…

  • Offensive line depth:  “The difference now is that there seems more risk of a second-stringer doing something to take a job as opposed to a first-stringer doing something to lose a job.”
  • Escaping the doghouse?:  “It’s way too early in spring to draw any definitive conclusions about lineups and depth charts under new coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, but AT THIS POINT, these two players’ standing looks to have increased a bit from where it was to end last season under the previous regime: Toby Johnson and Brendan Langley.”

Bonus snarky observation:

Perhaps the biggest switch is that first, second and third units are all practicing simultaneously on different fields to maximize reps and experience. Georgia has the depth to this now…

Better late than never.

5 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Footbaw!

This is almost too awesome for words.

I wonder if Coach O intends to give a few pointers about his decision making in his last Egg Bowl.

3 Comments

Filed under Coach O Needs Another Red Bull

What’s on your G-Day checklist?

I’ve mentioned that two things I’ll be checking at this year’s G-Day game are the defense’s comfort level with Pruitt’s new scheme and the backup quarterback battle.

Assuming you’re not obsessed with QBR, what will you be interested in seeing at G-Day?

45 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

It’s money that they love.

Just to amplify on the threat made by the former president of Northwestern referenced in my previous post, here’s his rationale:

Bienen didn’t specifically speak about players being paid, but if the unionization is successful, that would be on the bargaining table, and critics of pay-for-play say they fear that would hurt the academic side of collegiate athletics.

Bienen alluded to that when he said a win for the players could lead private institutions with high academic standards — he specifically cited Duke and Stanford — to abandon the current model in order to preserve academic integrity.

He compared it to the pullback of the Ivy League schools decades ago, when the Ivy League conference decided to opt out of postseason play and to end athletic scholarships, preserving the emphasis on academics for the players.

How noble.  Except Duke, Northwestern and Stanford are still offering athletic scholarships, playing in the postseason and claiming that they’ve preserved academic integrity.  So how is a student-athlete union suddenly a bridge too far?

Well… since you asked, let’s study a set of figures for some clues:

  • The University of Alabama athletics department recorded a $21.2 million surplus for its 2013 fiscal year.
  • Since 2006, Alabama has reported annual surpluses totaling $106.5 million.
  • Alabama reported $143.8 million in total athletics revenue.
  • Alabama’s revenue has increased 84 percent since 2006, the year before Nick Saban became football coach.
  • The largest expense continues to be compensation for coaches, support staff and administrators, which reached $42.2 million in 2013.
  • In the 2013 fiscal year, Saban received $6,385,824 in total compensation, including salary, benefits, bonuses and third-party pay.
  • The gap between an athletic scholarship and the university’s listing of what it actually costs to attend school was $4,332 (in-state) and $5,662 (out-of-state).

As we like to say around here, one of those sets of numbers isn’t like the others.

Sure, Alabama is one of the biggest financial success stories in college athletics.  But if this were really nothing more than a fight to preserve academic integrity, why hasn’t Northwestern marched down a similar road to the one Ivy League schools chose (or, closer to home, the path the University of Chicago took long ago) and ditched the whole enchilada already?

Jerry Price, senior associate athletic director at Princeton, said that change for the Ivy League allowed those schools to maintain academic integrity in the sports where, at other schools, academics can often be compromised in the name of the game.

“It was sort of a breaking point moment,” Price said, saying the Ivy League schools made the decision not to move forward like the bigger conferences — to “draw the line with the commercialization of what football was becoming.”

Anybody really think that Northwestern has somehow managed to keep itself above the commercialization fray so far?  And that a players’ union would be the straw that breaks that particular camel’s back?

Maybe they should make a documentary about that and run it on the Big Ten Network.

9 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label

Let them eat cake.

Shorter Verbatim Marie Antoinette Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson “If you don’t want to be a student-athlete, you can say no and not go to school.”

That’s like saying that if you don’t want to deal with a student-athlete union, you can say no and not have an athletic department.

Do these people really not grok that they sound like a bunch of colossal, whiny-ass dicks?

18 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label

Tuesday morning buffet

The line is open.

  • CFN thinks the Pruitt hire is swell.
  • The next Georgia Tech stud is running back Travis Custis, who was a highly rated recruit in 2013 but had to sit out last season to meet NCAA eligibility requirements.  I almost hope he pans out, just so he can provide a ready source to rag Tech fans about when they bring up academics.
  • A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that a large majority of the general public opposes paying salaries to college athletes beyond the scholarships currently offered.  The public is split on unionization, though.  Too bad there wasn’t a poll question about players’ being compensated for their likenesses.  (h/t John Infante)
  • Generally, I’m not in favor of parents blocking their sons from choosing where to play college ball.  But when I see a quote like this“… It would be nice to have an offer from Oregon because of their uniforms…” – I can understand where some mommas are coming from.
  • Mark Cuban can see a future when the NFL moves some of its games to Saturday.  That means war!
  • Hugh Freeze no doubt welcomes this development at Alabama for recruiting purposes.
  • John Infante sees college football going down the same road as college basketball if the coaches don’t get their act together and come up with a more comprehensive approach to reforming recruiting rules.

2 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., College Football, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label, Recruiting, The NCAA, Whoa, oh, Alabama