Category Archives: Blowing Smoke

They ain’t drunk. They just buying beer.

C’mon, Joe.  You know better.

Alleva said the possibility of selling beer isn’t about money. Has he even run the numbers?

“I haven’t studied it,” he said. “I have no idea.”

First rule of life:  when they say it’s not about money, it’s about money.

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“There’s no reason for the NCAA to exist. None.”

Especially when you make shit up out of thin air.

“I think what will end up happening — and this is my opinion, not that of the league — is if the colleges don’t change from the one-and-done, we’ll go after the one,” Cuban said.

Gee, Mark, exactly how would the colleges change from the one-and-done if the professional organization you belong to continues to prohibit high schoolers from being eligible for the NBA draft?  I guess they’d just add the NBA as another recruiting competitor.

“We can get rid of all the hypocrisy and improve the education,” Cuban said. “If the whole plan is just to go to college for one year maybe or just the first semester, that’s not a student-athlete. That’s ridiculous.

“You don’t have to pretend. We don’t have to pretend. A major college has to pretend that they’re treating them like a student-athlete, and it’s a big lie and we all know it’s a big lie. At least at most schools, not all. … But we can put more of an emphasis on their education. We can plan it out, have tutors. We can do all kinds of things that the NCAA doesn’t allow schools to do that would really put the individual first.”

Cuban’s biggest concern about one-and-done prospects is that they’re often not mentally, emotionally and psychologically prepared for the NBA after spending only one season in a college environment.

He believes the D-League could provide a better atmosphere for freshman-age players to develop on and off the court.

If by “better atmosphere” he means a steady paycheck, well, sure.  But the idea that the NBA will be better able – not to mention more motivated –  to offer kids who don’t want an education educational opportunities is laughable.  Bottom line, just like the NCAA’s members, his league will be getting the stars on the cheap for a year.  That’s all this is about.

Yeah, the NCAA is hypocritical.  Big surprise there.  Cuban?  To quote Rick from Casablanca, I don’t mind a parasite. I object to a cut-rate one.

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Coach speak about coach speak

You’ll never guess what sold Doug Nussmeier on moving from Alabama to Michigan.

… something that really resonated with me the first time I spoke with coach Hoke (in the process), we were just talking about life and things, and he made a statement to me – I’ll never forget it.

“We were talking about what we do football-wise, and he said, ‘The most important thing we do is to make an impact on these young men in order to be successful for the rest of their lives.’ Having known coach Hoke for a long time, I know that’s what he’s about, that’s what he stands for and it’s what everybody in this room stands for. That’s the main thing that resonated with me and why I’m here.”

Incredibly profound, that.  Seriously, is there a college head coach in America who hasn’t uttered that same banal message?  (And, yes, I’m including Bobby Petrino in that count.  And Nussmeier’s former boss.)

Maybe it’s the way Brady Hoke delivers the message.  Kind of like the way Putin let George Bush see his soul.

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Fool me once…

Gee, where have I heard stuff like this before?

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“Every time I call it a game, you call it a business. And every time I call it a business, you call it a game.”

Let me see if I’ve got this straight. College football has survived, even flourished, in an era when sheer greed has driven it to blow up longstanding rivalries, remake conference alignments at a dizzying rate, explode the amounts paid to head coaches (the average salary for head coaches in the SEC West next season will be $4 million), create conference networks that require us to pay extra money for games we were already getting, enlarge the postseason to squeeze even more money out of fans…

But it’s player compensation that’s gonna drive a stake in our hearts.  Right.  Got it.

The idea that college athletes “play for the love of the game” is the core notion of college sports, Pilson said. “To the extent that the viewing public believes in this ideal, paying student-athletes would undermine the cornerstone of the viewing public’s belief that student-athletes play for the love of the game,” Pilson wrote.

It’s sure killed the Olympics.

Oh, but this wouldn’t be complete without a disclaimer.

In a deposition, Pilson said he has not run an economic model on model [sic] on his prediction of a 15- to 20-percent ratings decline.

And one of the greatest example of logic chopping you’ll ever see.

What the O’Bannon plaintiffs “call the ‘commercialization’ of college sports is nothing more than schools’ decisions not to refuse revenues available to them,” Pilson wrote.

Yeah, not refusing money must be exactly how it works when Mike Slive sits down with ESPN.  Too bad the players don’t get the same opportunity.  But at least they’ve got the love of the game to keep them going when they don’t have enough money at the end of the month to do anything.  It’s a win-win:  the players stay pure of heart and the schools don’t get their revenue streams cut.

All of this puts me in mind of a (definitely NSFW) clip from North Dallas Forty:

You can’t put a price tag on love of the game.  Well, at least the players can’t.

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

UPDATE:  Can’t believe I missed this.

In court papers filed last Thursday, the NCAA argued that college athletes are not entitled to revenue from live broadcasts of their games. The NCAA’s theory rests on the First Amendment, which generally allows broadcast companies to televise live news events (such as political events or press conferences) without compensating persons shown in those events. The underlying logic is that the public has a stake in knowing about live events and broadcast companies should not be deterred from covering news out of concern they may be sued if they don’t pay. The NCAA contends this same principle applies to live broadcasts of college games.

That begs for a rebuttal so obvious, even a caveman could do it.

O’Bannon will likely ask why does the NCAA and its members demand payment from broadcast companies to televise games if those games are free news?

Love of the game, beyotch.

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Getting while the getting’s good

LSU is raising ticket prices again.  When asked why that was necessary in light of the increased revenues expected to roll in from the SEC Network, here’s what the AD had as a response:

“I know there’s a lot of talk and discussion about the SEC network, however, we don’t have any idea of how much money that is going to generate,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said…

“It has to be sold to the carriers. It has to be sold to COX, Time Warner, and to Dish TV and satellite TV,” Alleva said. “As of right now, it hasn’t been sold. We have no idea how much revenue it’s going to bring in.”

So… you’re telling us that the SEC embarked upon a path of massive disruption to its conference scheduling – something which you and your head coach have been bitching about on a non-stop basis ever since, by the way – without having the faintest notion about how much the bank account would grow?  Yeah, sure.

But there is a consolation prize.

Alleva said if the athletic department is fortunate and the SEC network contract does generate a significant amount of money, the department already has a revenue sharing agreement with the university.

“So if that does come to fruition, the university is going to benefit significantly from that situation,” he said. “And that will alleviate the need for us to increase ticket prices in the future because our expenses continue to go up $2 to 3 million a year.”

Well, that’s a relief.  Unless state governments that don’t have a problem with starving their college systems see that new revenue stream as a great source to tap as a substitute.  Gee, I wonder where that might happen.

Don’t put that checkbook away just yet, peeps.

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Today’s profile in BS

Responding to a question about student-athlete compensation in the context of the Arian Foster allegations, David Cutcliffe said schools can’t pay kids the full cost of attendance because “…nobody is really getting rich off of this”.

Cutcliffe is making somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.8 million per year.  Rich?  As we like to say here at the blog, I do not think that word means what you think it means.

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