Daily Archives: May 9, 2014

Shaq subtract

Well, this comes out of nowhere.

The overhaul of Georgia’s secondary continued on Friday night with an announcement that returning starting cornerback Shaq Wiggins is gone from the program.

Wiggins, a promising talent among the defensive backs, has decided to transfer.

“Shaq and I have been talking over the last few days and a fresh start is what he believes is in his best interest,” coach Mark Richt said in a statement. “We respect his decision and certainly wish him nothing but the best.”

This sounds like somebody was told he wasn’t in Jeremy Pruitt’s starting plans. Pruitt’s not screwing around.  But that makes a shaky secondary even thinner. Let’s hope J.J. Green’s progress isn’t a mirage, Reggie Wilkerson gets fully healthy real soon and there’s some real help coming in the next couple of months.

Bets on where Wiggins goes?

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Filed under Georgia Football

Brute speed

Quite a week Mr. Chubb is having.

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Friday morning buffet

You should eat.

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Filed under Big 12 Football, College Football, Georgia Football, James Franklin Is Ready To Rumble, Science Marches Onward, SEC Football, The Blogosphere, The NCAA, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

Stanford is mad as hell and isn’t going to take it anymore.

Don’t say you weren’t warned, CAPA.

One of the five witnesses, Stanford athletics director Bernard Muir, told the committee that if his school’s athletes were allowed to unionize, the school “might opt not to compete at the level we are competing in.” And in an interview with USA TODAY Sports after the hearing, he was unequivocal: “If (Stanford’s athletes) are deemed employees, we will opt for a different model.”

“I just know that from our board of trustees, our president, our provost, the Stanford culture, it just wouldn’t be appropriate to deem student-athletes as employees,” Muir said. “We would deem that inappropriate, so for that purpose we would have to look at other alternatives.”

I wonder how many of those alternatives include lucrative broadcast deals.

This, of course, is so much bullshit, as Andy Schwarz, a sports economist who also testified at the hearing, explains.

“The idea that this is a money-losing industry is incredible,” Schwarz said. “If you look at a money-losing industry, you wouldn’t see rising employee [coaches] pay, you wouldn’t see firms flocking to join the industry. The money is in the system. It’s just that it’s being denied to the primary generators.”

Schwarz compared the NCAA to a rich investment banker on Wall Street who makes over a million dollars per year. That’s a lot of money. But what if the same investment banker buys a lavish apartment on the Upper East Side and a vacation home in the Hamptons, and then has some kids and needs to change his lifestyle? Of course, he won’t want to do that and could claim he doesn’t have money to raise his kids. But he does if he reallocates his money.

This is the same predicament facing the NCAA. Its schools need to operate in budget. But they also want to, as Schwarz said it, build “recruiting palaces,” shifting the burden of funding athletes to tax-funded Pell grants.

The phrase “cutting off your nose to spite your face” comes to mind, except the big schools aren’t going to walk away from all that money.  They’ll simply bitch and moan about not being able to afford it all the way to the bank.

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

Rockering

“You better be payin’ attention when I’m leaning over your ass, son.” (photo via JOHN KELLEY — John Kelley / UGA Sports Communications)

If I have a real comfort level with any position group at Georgia right now, it’s the defensive line.  Depth, talent and a good position coach who sounds like he’s not fretting so much as figuring out which pieces he likes putting together best:

“Everybody would like to have a rotation, but right now I think we’re just trying to see where everybody fits in. Because when we started out we gave everyone a clean slate. So we’re trying to see: Where does this guy fit, where does this guy fit?”

I mean, does this sound like a man who’s concerned about somebody he demoted to third-string at one point in the spring?

“Ray’s gonna be fine. Ray’s gonna peak at the right time for us. I don’t worry. Ray’s played in a lot of games, so he will be a factor for us in the fall.”

If these guys stay healthy, I think Rocker will keep ‘em hungry.  Depth already looks decent across the line and that’s before Lorenzo Carter shows up.  The big question will be how much can this bunch cover for what looks to be a shaky secondary.

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Food fight!

Honestly, I don’t know whether to be depressed or amused by this.

Three hours of the Big 12′s spring meetings in Phoenix this week were spent talking about food.

Yes, food.

Since everything else with the NCAA is cumbersome, you didn’t think the “unlimited” meals plan passed last month would be easy, right? Athletic directors are supportive of the reform, but some wonder if the plan needs guidance.

“If not better defined this is far bigger than bagels, nutrition bars or smoothies,” Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said. “It leaves the interpretation open to all kinds of abuse.”

One thing I’m not is surprised. This is what you get when you have a perverted economy – you can’t compensate players directly, so the money flows to peripheral areas to attract talent.

Another safe bet: Costs will be significant, which means another inherent arms race could be on the way.

Kansas State’s John Currie outlined his enhanced meal plan that will likely cost between $600,000 and $1 million annually.

And it doesn’t even sound that extreme – snacks in the training room, post-workout shakes, 3-to-4-hour dining availability six days a week, access to food service after workouts, in addition to meal stipends or nightly dining hall already available.

There’s no fixed cost with this, so in theory Texas or Alabama or Oregon can spend $5 million if they choose.

If?  Okay, now I am amused.

They’re on the verge of bringing Willie Williams’ wet dream to reality.

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness