Daily Archives: June 23, 2014

The Alabama-ization of Georgia’s staff continues.

Darryl Jones’ replacement is on board and, yes, he’s served time in Tuscaloosa.

Former college coach and offensive analyst Ronnie Letson has been named Director of Player Personnel at the University of Georgia according to an announcement Monday by head football coach Mark Richt.

“Ronnie has a vast wealth of knowledge in both on-field coaching and organizational skills that will be a great asset to our program,” said Richt. “His career has been spent in the southeast and he knows the landscape of college football.”

Letson most recently served briefly as wide receivers coach at Samford University (since February, 2014) but spent the 2013 season as an offensive analyst at the University of Alabama.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think this was part of a deliberate strategy to make Kirby Smart feel more comfortable when Richt leaves Athens.

One interesting side note to this:

[Insert name of current member of Saban's staff here.]

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Filed under Georgia Football

Steve Patterson’s charm offensive

When last we heard from Texas AD Steve Patterson, in the midst of showing his angry ass about the current state of affairs, he did express one regret.

Patterson did admit Thursday that he felt the NCAA and the schools were losing the public relations battle.

Well, that’s all over now, Baby Blue.  Don’t say you weren’t warned.

What’s clear is that Patterson, who was named AD at his alma mater in November and has spent more than two decades as an executive in pro sports, is tired of college athletics losing the public relations battle, and he isn’t afraid to go on the offensive.

And that he does, on the one hand telling everyone outside the power conferences to eff off…

“It’s a part of the everyday business right now. There’s five conferences that want to do the best they can for their student athletes and provide them with the best outcomes. There’s a bunch of other schools that are fairly atavistic in their viewpoints and want to take the rules back to 1950. That’s not going to happen. They need to let the more well-resourced conferences operate, or these five conferences need to leave. It’s that simple. We’ve waited far too long and we’ve been far too accommodating. … I think there’s a harder and harder resolve as each day goes by for the institutions in higher-profile conferences to take the necessary moves.”

… next, telling college athletes to eff off…

“We’re spending all of this time talking about one-half of 1 percent of our student athletes [who have the power to market their likeness]. Not the 99.5 percent of student athletes who are supported by these programs. What we’re giving our student athletes, in terms of academic, athletic, financial aid, support for room and board, training, mentoring, student services, tutoring, is more than the average household income. And for some of our teams, it’s pushing into $70,000 a year per student athlete, and pushes into the top third of household incomes. Tell me one guy whose likeness is worth more than the average household income. … There was one guy last year. [Patterson holds his hands up and rubs his fingers together like Johnny Manziel.]

… and then, wrapping it up by telling agents, lawyers and Jay Bilas (!) to eff off.

“It’s absolutely agents and trial lawyers that are the whole reason we’re talking about this. You’ve got guys like Jay Bilas out there making the claim that scholarships aren’t worth anything, and nobody says anything to discredit that. … So who is saying with any rationality or any fact that student athletes on a full ride aren’t getting something? They’re just flat-out wrong and they’re liars. And they’re doing the bidding of agents and trial lawyers. The longer everybody waddles around acting like it’s not about agents and trial lawyers, the more silliness we’re going to have out there.”

Steve’s good at calling others liars while ignoring his own ability to color outside the lines.

“But the football coach generates the vast majority of the revenue. You’re compensating the coach based on the marketplace. Only football and men’s basketball, and just a few schools in baseball and ice hockey, can make money. Everything else operates at a deficit. So what is the model that’s going to replace that? If you take all of the money football generates and put it back into football, what’s going to pay for everything else?

“The point of paying a football coach based on the market is the hope that he generates enough revenue to support the rest of the athletic department. Now, people make mistakes on hires. But if you have a successful coach and a successful football program, you can support scores of teams. If you can’t, what happens? The same thing that happened at Arizona State before I got there. You start whacking sports. Same thing happened at Maryland. Same thing happened at Berkeley. Sports are getting whacked and that’s bad. The other way you balance the budget — you cut the number of football scholarships. You want to go down that road?”

Nick Saban gets paid what he gets paid in part because Alabama doesn’t have to spend money on student-athlete compensation.  If Patterson believes that a change on the expense side wouldn’t have an effect on what a school spends on its coaches, either he’s full of BS, or he’s a really bad manager.  Admittedly, that’s a close call.  (Although, now that I think about it, there’s no reason he can’t be both.)

But just like before, he’s got some advice for his peers.

Jeffrey Kessler’s antitrust suit: “I’ve been on the other side of the table from Jeffrey Kessler for 30 years. I don’t think administrators understand what they’re getting into.”

Maybe they could all get in a room and insult Kessler to his face.

***************************************************************************

UPDATE:

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Filed under Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

Since you asked…

Hey, look who’s joining the blogger ranks!

Former South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia is getting a voice in the media world.

Saturday Down South on Sunday revealed via Twitter on Sunday that it was bringing Garcia on board later in the summer.

You can probably guess what’s coming next.

Suggestions?  You guys got a lifestyle editor?

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, The Blogosphere

A river of money runs through it.

In one of our many discussions here on the subject of a post-amateurism college football world, someone took the position that the Kentuckys of that world would be constantly outbid by the Georgias for top-flight players.  (Nevermind that the difference between the two schools’ 2013 revenues was less than $4 million.)

This, though, can’t hurt things.

The point here is that I don’t think any of us has a real handle on how much money is flowing through college athletics departments these days.  Which is a good reason not to jump to apocalyptic conclusions.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness

Nobody’s fooling Herbstreit.

You can almost hear the **sniff** in this Tweet.

https://twitter.com/KirkHerbstreit/status/481066282750447617

Of course, it only takes a couple more suspensions/dismissals to change that.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football

“Imagine what a dynamic return man could do for Georgia’s special teams.”

As you might guess, I’m down with Seth Emerson’s first choice for Georgia’s most important players this season.  Let Mike Bobo explain the hole McKenzie is trying to fill:

“It could be the difference in one ballgame, and obviously help us on offense if we can sometimes just get 10 yards on the punt return. That’s the first down for the offense. And field position is so crucial, it sometimes doesn’t matter how effective you are as an offense, the percentages go down if the field position isn’t in your favor. It’s hard to go 80 yards on anybody, I don’t care who you’re playing.”

I’m starting to get nervous that McKenzie’s getting too much attention and the pressure that comes with it.  People shouldn’t expect him to hit a home run the first time he touches the ball, because that kind of thing doesn’t happen in Athens… sorry, what?…

Okay, almost never.

Seriously, I’d be happy if McKenzie showed enough consistency to allow Richt to quit playing not to lose in the punt return game. Here’s hoping.

36 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

The slippery slope begins.

In its Auburn preview, CFN drops a line I’ve been expecting, but hadn’t really seen until now:

The season will be a success if … the Tigers get into College Football Playoff. Of course they want to win the SEC title again, but that doesn’t really matter so much in the new world – it’s all about being ranked in the top four.

Before you sneer and accuse me of overreacting to a throwaway media line, keep in mind that the College Football Playoff is officially on record as saying that conference championships are nothing more than a tiebreaker in the grand scheme of things now.

On the occasion of the two-year anniversary of its birth Friday, the College Football Playoff released a document to USA TODAY Sports and other outlets that reveals its vision for how teams should be selected. The document, drafted June 20, 2012, also details the order of criteria its founders envision for the selection committee to break ties when setting the four-team playoff field.

“Strength of schedule, head-to-head competition and championships won must be specifically applied as tie-breakers between teams that look similar,” the document reads. Those were proposed to differentiate between “teams with similar records and similar pedigree.”

Don’t be so surprised.  It’s the natural consequence of using a subjective formula to name the participants in the national playoffs.  And it’s the first step that makes people like me nervous about what kind of effect postseason expansion will have on college football’s regular season.

The problem with such a formula is that it’s inherently unstable.  Picking a top four based on the feelings of a selection committee is going to invite the inevitable second guessing that comes with the territory.  And that’s likely to intensify the first time a non-conference winner gets the nod ahead of a school that holds a power conference championship trophy.  There’s too much money and too much media attention involved to expect otherwise.

And there’s one obvious way to fix that problem.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs