What does it say that college football, warts and all, is more comfortable with a person of great character than the NFL is?
Category Archives: College Football
If you’re facing the same weather conditions I am, it’s not like you’ve got anything better to do right now than to slip into the buffet line.
- Sorry, Missouri, but you just got the KC Joyner kiss of death.
- Stewart Mandel throws in the towel on oversigning.
- Clowney says he might have stayed in Columbia for his senior year if he were paid enough to support his family. Now he tells ‘em.
- The NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors hopes to have a new management structure in place by August.
- Here’s a coach who’s on his eighth job in eight years.
- It turns out that among all the Vols who were arrested at that wild party last weekend, a man who identified himself as an assistant strength coach for Tennessee’s football team was handcuffed and put in the back of a squad car when he tried to intervene.
- “An online survey by a group of Canadian researchers suggests that Internet trolls are more likely than others to show signs of sadism, psychopathy and “Machiavellianism”: a disregard for morality and tendency to manipulate or exploit others.”
- The NLRB held its first hearing yesterday on the Northwestern players’ move to be certified as a union.
They’re at GAYCON1 in Mississippi, or something.
Coaches and administrators from Ole Miss and Mississippi State said they hope they’re ready for it, even if the situation has not presented itself yet.
The question, though, was unavoidable Monday, a day after former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam announced via ESPN and the New York Times that he was gay.
“To say that are we ready? We don’t know,” Ole Miss athletics director Ross Bjork said. “We haven’t had anybody approach us. But I feel confident in who we are as coaches and as administrators and as a campus. We would want someone to feel welcome and free, and to be who they are.”
That should work out well, given his school’s track record.
Ole Miss became the subject of national headlines in October when an audience at an on-campus performance of “The Laramie Project” allegedly used a homophobic slur. The university later said it could not determine what was said and who said it, and the school’s investigation made a point of clearing the athletes (including freshmen football players) in attendance.
Eh, maybe they were interacting with the performers. Kinda like “Rocky Horror”.
And this is probably just a coincidence.
No worries, mon. They could always let the Rebel Bear mascot sport a rainbow jersey out of solidarity.
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany — who might be the smartest man in college sports — stood outside the Big Ten’s brand new offices recently, telling a group of reporters, “Maybe in football and basketball, it would work better if more kids had a chance to go directly into the professional ranks. If they’re not comfortable and want to monetize, let the minor leagues flourish.”
(Before you chuckle over the concept that Delany might be the smartest man in college sports, consider the possibility that he might actually be the smartest man in college sports. Not so funny, hunh… but I digress.)
The problem with this, of course, isn’t identifying a solution. It’s how you get the pro leagues to drink the water you want to lead them to.
By challenging the NFL and NBA to start their own minor leagues, Delany doesn’t have much to lose. He knows they won’t, because they have every reason not to. They’ve used the college leagues to develop their players from the day the pro leagues started. Why would they derail the gravy train now?
Yes, why would they? More to the point, how could the colleges force their hands? The author thinks he has a solution to that question.
OK, but why would the NFL and NBA ever go for this, and voluntarily invest millions of their own money to create something they’ve been getting for free since they started? They wouldn’t, of course, so you’d have to force them.
But forcing them can be accomplished in one step: bring back freshmen ineligibility. If you want to make it honest, that’s how you do it.
In fact, freshmen ineligibility was the rule from 1905, the year the NCAA was founded, until 1972, and for a simple reason: colleges actually believed their athletes should be students first, and this is how they proved it. It gave all athletes a year to get their feet on the ground, and catch up where needed. Dean Smith and Terry Holland argued before the Knight Commission about the merits of freshmen ineligibility — but that was nine years ago, and nothing has changed. Until the NCAA, the leagues, the presidents and the athletic directors bring back freshmen ineligibility, you should not take them seriously when they speak of “student-athletes.” They do not mean it.
By requiring all student-athletes to be actual student-athletes, many elite athletes will opt out — but there’s no way the NFL or the NBA will let talented 18-year olds wander off if they might be able to help their teams win games. So, the NFL and NBA would almost certainly do what they should have done decades ago: Prepare players for their leagues, with their own money, by starting their own minor league teams.
I’m ready to grasp at any straw here, but I don’t find myself convinced. For one thing, there’s a kind of chicken-and-egg thing going on with his basic assumption that elite athletes will opt out, at least for football. As long as college ball remains the only option for making it to the NFL, exactly where else are those talented 18-year olds going to wander off? For another, as he notes, freshmen ineligibility was the rule until 1972. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t remember the NFL developing a minor league for itself in response back then.
Read the whole thing. He makes a lot of good points about how college football would survive the pros giving elite players a paying option. I also agree with his argument about how it would make college sports less hypocritical. So maybe I’m missing something with his proposed solution. Let me know what you think.
Pity the poor oligarchs. They’ve got a free developmental league in college football. They got the player’s union to agree to a rookie salary cap so that nobody gets a really big deal until he reaches his second contract.
That leads players—and the agents and buddies whispering into their ears—to the following thought: Get into the NFL as soon as possible to get that free agency clock started and get to that big money.
The result is that you’re getting more and more players leaving school early, many of whom aren’t ready. “The college programs are having a big problem,” said one prominent NFC general manager who spends a lot of time on the road scouting. “That means the NFL has a big problem. I can only speak for me, but I want guys who have skins on the wall. A lot of these guys don’t have them, and you’re having to project even more.”
Quick – to the waaambulance!
There’s a suggestion that more education about life in the NFL is on its way to college players, but that ain’t gonna fly because who wants to knock the very thing that tempts so much talent into playing college ball in the first place?
Nah, my money’s on a more elegant, yet simple solution – the end of underclassmen being eligible for the NFL draft. Blame it on Obama and concussions, or something. Do it for the kids is always a popular working thesis. Pay no attention to that bank account behind the curtain.
This is easily my favorite what-if take on the news of the Northwestern student-athletes seeking union certification:
SI: Northwestern is a private university. Would the process be any different if players at a public university sought to unionize?
MM: The National Labor Relations Act, which the Northwestern players are using, does not govern employees at public universities. Student-athletes at public universities who want to join Northwestern in the union effort would have to instead use state labor laws to unionize. This will be a problem for some. States’ laws vary considerably on whether, and how easily, public employees can unionize. Twenty-four of the 50 states are considered “right-to-work” states in that their laws limit opportunities for employees of public institutions, including those employed by state universities, to unionize. Right-to-work states are typically in the south and include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Nebraska, Utah and Iowa are also right-to-work states.
This legal twist means that if college athletes want to be in a union, they need to attend schools where unions not only exist but are possible under the law. In theory, this dynamic could disadvantage public universities in right-to-work states while recruiting high school athletes: If those athletes want to be in a college sports union, they may not be able to do so at public universities in right-to-work states. [Emphasis added.]
Can you imagine what would happen if Nick Saban asked that Alabama do away with right-to-work laws? Kinda like Bear Bryant demanding that sports segregation end after his team got beat by Southern Cal. LMAO.
Ron Morris thinks that “COLLEGE athletes should not be paid. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.”… because Pell Grants.
There also is this little secret that many head coaches choose to ignore when they talk about how college athletes live in virtual poverty while they compete: Those athletes who qualify on a need basis receive a federal supplement every semester.
It is called Pell Grant money. Qualified athletes receive up to $5,645 per year, money that is deposited in their bank account by the federal government. The money can be spent any way an athlete chooses. Some send a bulk of the money home for family needs. Others use it to make monthly car payments. Still others use it for spending money.
The money helps athletes from impoverished backgrounds live the life of an average student without hardship.
Now here’s the thing. As Morris notes, Pell Grants are handed out strictly on a need basis. So it’s not that every scholarship athlete qualifies for one, or even for the full amount. As Morris also notes, the average Pell Grant payment to a Clemson student-athlete has been less than $2500 per year.
Let’s take a minute and do a little back of the envelope math here. College football officially runs for about a five month period, during which student-athletes take part in twenty hours a week of athletic activity. Call it 22 weeks – at 20 hours a week that’s 440 hours. 2500 bucks for 440 hours works out to $5.68 per hour. That ain’t even minimum wage, Ron. (And before anyone goes on about tuition, room and board, I’ll make a deal with you. You don’t talk about that, and I won’t talk about the rest of the year’s “voluntary workouts”.)
There’s a picture of everyone’s poster boy for gettin’ paid accompanying Morris’ piece. Perhaps it’s worth remembering that Manziel’s agreement to sit at a table with a bunch of boosters netted $20,000… for the school. That’s the part of this that Morris doesn’t get, or perhaps more accurately, refuses to get. Why should a bunch of punks make bank anyway? Not because Steve Spurrier says so.
UPDATE: John Infante has more thoughts on Morris’ column.
A few choice morsels to get your day started:
- The only program in the SEC since 2001 that’s changed less than thirty members of its coaching staff in that time? Georgia, at seventeen.
- Seth Emerson has a list of the players from teams Georgia is scheduled to play next season and the underclassmen they lost to the draft here.
- When it comes to minority hires, Sylvester Croom suggests that athletic directors have moved ahead of head coaches on the curve.
- It didn’t take long for Tony Brown to become shit that Nick Saban has to make time for.
- Speaking of Saban, Stewart Mandel makes an interesting point about his hire of Junior: “Saban’s last two offensive coordinators — Jim McElwain and Doug Nussmeier — worked in relative anonymity. But with Kiffin, I have no doubt he will get the requisite praise or blame for the Crimson Tide’s offensive performance.” I wonder if that will turn out to be a feature or a bug.
- Hal Mumme lands his seventh head coaching job.
- Supposedly FSU was willing to go toe to toe with Georgia on Jeremy Pruitt’s salary, but couldn’t come up with the jack to outbid Mississippi State for Geoff Collins’ services. Interesting.
Ladies and gentlemen, the hardest working backwards baseball cap and towel in college football are back!
The last of Gene Chizik‘s former assistant coaches at Auburn has found a landing spot.
Former wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor has been hired as the cornerbacks coach at Arkansas State, ending a season away from football for the former Tigers assistant.
“Excited to welcome the last & latest addition to the RedWolvesNation (cornerbacks coach) Trooper Taylor,” new Red Wolves coach Blake Anderson tweeted on Wednesday night. “Safe travels on your way to Jonesboro tonite.”
What do you figure the over/under is on how long until Trooper makes a triumphant return to the SEC? If Junior’s back, anybody can come home.
Believe it or not, there are other happenings in the world of college football beyond the Pruitt hire.
- Georgia Tech’s AD has a four-hour meeting with Paul Johnson, declares the genius to be “as focused and energized as he has seen him”. As long as you keep him on the job, I’m fine.
- You know how the NCAA keeps vowing to take litigation all the way to the Supreme Court? Well, you can take the litigation to the Court, but that doesn’t mean the Court is going to accept the litigation from you.
- Damon Evans has a new gig.
- James Franklin says kids commit to a coach, not the school. Funny how that works out when a coach leaves the school freely while a player is blocked from transferring.
- Speaking of which, they’re not making that any easier.
- Title IX vs. football: “(A)t most Division I schools, 80 percent of all sports funds go to two men’s sports: football and basketball.”
- John Infante looks at the new NCAA governing proposal designed to give the big schools more autonomy and notes the curious absence of the word “amateurism”.
- Maryland AG counterclaims in the ACC suit, alleging that ESPN provided “counsel and direction” to the conference as it attempted to poach teams from the Big Ten. Pass the popcorn, please.
- Brian VanGorder, on the lessons he learned from Rex Ryan.