Category Archives: Blowing Smoke

Fool me once…

Gee, where have I heard stuff like this before?

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Filed under Blowing Smoke

“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.


Filed under Blowing Smoke, The NCAA

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.


Filed under Blowing Smoke, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

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.


Filed under Blowing Smoke

“Well, I don’t know. Why don’t y’all go talk to them?”

The OBC wants you to think that Jadeveon Clowney might not be available for South Carolina’s opener.  Really.


Filed under Blowing Smoke, The Evil Genius

Mike Slive keeps shoveling.

If you want to read a tongue bath about Mike Slive’s leadership, this article’s for you.  The capper is this wonderful quote in which he explains the secret of his success:

“By definition, a conference has two seemingly incompatible components that have to operate simultaneously,” explains Slive, “(1) passionate competitive rivalries, and (2) a group of institutions that needs to come together as a single organization to strengthen each and every unit and the conference as a whole.  We’ve had to try and balance that for almost 80 years, but only now is there an expectation that even in the pursuit of our individual goals, the conference needs to get stronger by moving forward together.”

In English, it’s very simple:  whatever pays the most, that’s what he’s for.


Filed under Blowing Smoke, SEC Football

When they say it’s not about the money…

You know, my original intent in posting about this USA Today interview with Bill Hancock was to note that even the BCS’ own flack won’t deny that the college football playoff isn’t going to grow past its current four-team configuration.  But then I got to the last paragraph…

“From the start, this was not about the money,” he said. “Sure there’s more money. There will be more money for everybody in the playoff. It’s a very good thing, obviously. But what this was about was doing what’s best for the game, preserving the regular season, preserving the bowl experience for all athletes in college football, not just the ones in the playoff. That was the central core of all the discussions.”

… and realized the whole piece was nothing more than a bad how-can-you-tell-when-Bill Hancock-is-lying joke.

Stay tuned a few years from now when he assures us all that the move to twelve teams is about doing what’s best for the game, too.  Bigger is always better, right?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Blowing Smoke

Just haggling over the fee

Gag me with a spoon:

The conference commissioners and college administrators who oversee college football’s new championship format, which will begin in 2014, expect to unveil its name and logo at their meeting in Pasadena, Calif., next month, executive director Bill Hancock said.

That title, Hancock said, will not include a sponsor.

“It won’t be ‘The Vizio Championship Tournament,'” Hancock said, using the Rose Bowl title sponsor as an example. “The Final Four doesn’t have one. The Masters doesn’t. The Super Bowl. That’s the kind of event we have.”

The group has narrowed the candidates for the name to a “small number,” Hancock said. It will be simple, straightforward and, as he described it, “not cutesy.”

So, the man who said we didn’t need the event now says the event doesn’t need a sponsor.  This is just an oblique way of saying “nobody’s offered us enough money – yet.”  One day, somebody will.  And I’m sure it will be totally classy.  Bill will let us know that.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Blowing Smoke, It's Just Bidness

Open bar at Texas!

Today’s load of bull comes, appropriately enough, from DeLoss Dodds, as Texas considers selling beer and liquor at football games:

The thing I will say is that it’s not a money thing. If we did do it, people would say that they they’re just doing it for the money. It’s not a money issue. It’s a do-the-right-thing issue.

Yeah, sure.  That’s why you’ll be giving drinks away.

By the way, what’s the over/under on the year booze comes to Sanford Stadium (outside of the luxury boxes, that is)?  You’ve got the money angle and the give the people more of what they get at home angle.  Plus, it’ll generate more, um… opportunities for Jimmy Williamson’s boys.  That’s a win-win-win in my book.


Filed under Blowing Smoke

Big 12 championship – it’s not us; it’s you.

Big 12 commissioner attributes conference’s decision to back off holding a championship game to ratings/attendance concerns over other conferences’ championship games rather than acknowledging the stupidity of such a game for a conference with a round robin regular season schedule.


Filed under Big 12 Football, Blowing Smoke