Category Archives: It’s Just Bidness

In 2020, Mark Cuban loses his mind. Not.

Let me go out on a limb and say this will not be in anyone’s future, for the simple but obvious reason that if Mark Cuban thought there was money to be made with a football minor league, he’d already be doing it.

About these ads

4 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

“That’s a pro model, completely different.”

Boy, after reading this Larry Scott Q&A, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think everyone in college athletics was working for free.

“The money that is generated is invested back in student-athletes and programs and enhancements for fans and making sure the programs are successful going forward. What would happen — in my view — if this unionization effort or these pay for play lawsuits are successful and you had to go down this path with football student-athletes and men’s basketball student-athletes, what it would do is take all the resources that are available for these other sports away and that would be a big concern from my perspective…”

Larry, by the way, made more than $3 million in 2011-2, and currently is working under a five-year deal.  At least somebody’s getting pay for play.

2 Comments

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

Branded

Jeebus.

Hey, there’s Steve Patterson’s favorite word!

“As a University of Texas alumnus I have long enjoyed the Texas-Oklahoma series and the great tradition it represents for Texas and Oklahoma fans,” said Steve Patterson, The University of Texas Men’s Athletics Director. “We look forward to working with AT&T representatives and the University of Oklahoma to generate excitement for the new name and brand, and continuing our relationships with the State Fair of Texas.”

Yeah, because a 109-year tradition between two of college football’s most storied programs at a famous neutral-site location isn’t really special unless you can refer to a shitty telecommunications company in the name.  First.

If they ever do something similar to the Cocktail Party, I’m losing it.  Unless they sell naming rights to a bourbon distiller, of course.

35 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, It's Just Bidness

Friday morning buffet

Plenty to sample…

  • Here’s a shocker“But as the College Football Playoff’s selection committee wrapped up two days of meetings at the Gaylord Texan on Thursday, it’s clear that objectivity is a sticking point as the college football season draws closer.”
  • Patrick Garbin tells us that over the last two decades, experience has nothing to do with the performance of Georgia’s offensive lines.  I think that’s supposed to relieve us.
  • For some reason, Vanderbilt has decided to move its home game against Ole Miss to the Titans’ stadium, which seats 68,798.  That seems like an invitation for OM fans to come fill the place up.
  • This doesn’t sound good:  “The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has opened an investigation of Florida State University into whether its handling of the Jameis Winston rape allegations violated Title IX laws…”
  • How would you like it if Finebaum hosted a live show from Sanford Stadium?
  • Texas paid $266,990 to a search firm to help find Charlie Strong.  I bet most of us would have offered to do the job for a tenth of that.
  • Here’s a look at how much of a role conversion rates and big play potential on both offense and defense as well as field position played in determining the last ten BCS champs.
  • Marc Weiszer takes stock of how Georgia’s new focus on special teams is going.
  • Tramel Terry, on life as a new defensive back:  “Each day it’s getting better and better. I’m just trying to get all the little terms and get them out on the field instead of thinking so much. Other than that I’m fine. I’ve just got to work hard in the summer time and get my feet right. I feel like I’ll be fine and be ready to play this year.”

8 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, PAWWWLLL!!!, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Instead of wondering if student-athletes can pay taxes…

… a better question might be whether schools are prepared for this shot across the bow:

The House Ways and Means Committee, under the direction of chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), is circulating a draft of what could become a bill known as the Tax Reform Act of 2014. Under one provision, tax-exempt organizations – including, committee staffers say, nearly all public and private colleges and universities – would be subject to a 25% excise tax on compensation in excess of $1 million paid to any of its five highest-paid employees for any given tax year.

It’s not exactly chump change, either.  The non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the excise-tax provision would increase tax revenues by $4 billion from 2014 through 2023.

Do I think it’ll pass?  Maybe not.  Do I think it will stir the already roiled waters the NCAA is attempting to navigate?  You tell me.

But the staffers are well aware of its potential impact on colleges and what they pay high-profile college coaches, who are among the nation’s top-paid and best-known public employees. And reflects growing skepticism about big-money college sports programs’ place at institutions that enjoy broad tax protections and whose donors gain tax benefits from their gifts.

“Large salaries at non-profit organizations beg the question: Are dollars really going to the core mission — whether that be charitable work, providing health care or educating students — or is that money serving another purpose?” committee communications director Sarah Swinehart said in an e-mail to USA TODAY Sports. “The draft is an opportunity to discuss whether or not the tax code should provide an incentive for multi-million dollar salaries at non-profits.”

When you start talking tax code, you start scaring the crap out of university administrators.

I hope somebody asks Emmert about tax code incentives at the Final Four presser.

25 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, The NCAA

“The NCAA had a chance to [change].”

Dennis Dodd gets all “the times, they are a-changing” (seriously:  “At some point in recent years college athletics became a Bob Dylan protest song.”) on the NCAA’s ass.  It’s an easy mark – see what I did there? – when your target is tone-deaf like this:

Emmert will most likely endure probing questions Sunday when he conducts his annual state of the union press conference at the Final Four. But in the current big picture, he admittedly has nothing more than a bully pulpit.

It’s the way his term has played out. Emmert’s mandate to reform from the NCAA board of directors went flat. Witness the overreach at Penn State, the screw up in the Miami case and the failed 2011 presidential summit. His organization is now attempting to restructure from within before the courts or Washington intercede.

“I’m apprehensive in that the system right now serves 450,000 student-athletes and provides remarkable opportunities for them,” Emmert told the Indy Star. “Should that model be blown up, yeah, it would be a significant loss for America. So, of course we want to continue to support the collegiate model of athletics and think it’s worth saving. Others disagree.”

Yeah, that presser’s gonna be awkward.

No question that the guys in charge of college athletics have been slow to recognize the need for change.  But even taking into account the role inertia – the most powerful force in the universe! – plays in big organizations that have been used to getting their way for decades, there are a couple of structural flaws that make it even more difficult for the NCAA and its member schools to react nimbly to the changing times.

One, unlike the pro leagues, college athletics don’t form a monolithic structure.  Instead, you have a bunch of conferences that compete with each other commercially, have separate rules and management and have had no reluctance to raid each other for members over the past few seasons.  What limited common purpose they share is overseen by an organization that is distrusted to some degree by much of its membership and derives a part of its authority from the control it exercises over a lucrative basketball tournament.  Some of what the NCAA has to do, then, is akin to herding cats.

That’s not an easy task in and of itself.  But it’s even more difficult when you consider the second structural flaw:  its fearless leader, Mark Emmert.  I’m not sure about the vetting process, but somehow the schools accepted a guy in the head slot with this kind of track record:

“When you Google ‘Emmert,’ you do sort of see this pattern, which is he’s a great front man, but there always seems to be these problems with the people around him,” Pelto said. “Does he trust bad people? Is the problem that he doesn’t know what’s going on? Is the problem that he does know what’s going on and doesn’t do anything about it?”

Either way, he’s a winner.

By the way, the next potential nail in amateurism’s coffin is scheduled for April 25.  Be prepared for another round of how America lost.

9 Comments

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

Steve Patterson, poster boy for what’s wrong

You know, there are plenty of candidates for biggest jerk in college athletics.  We’ve discussed our share of them here, that’s for sure.  But I’m keeping my eye on Texas’ athletic director these days.  Patterson’s always had plenty of potential, but he’s really stepped up his game lately.  I mean, how else do you explain somebody who thinks scheduling a game in Dubai is more important than the rivalry with Texas A&M?

What’s really special about that is Patterson’s not dissing TAMU merely out of a sense of arrogant petulance like DeLoss Dodds did.  Naw, it’s just good bidness.

“There’s a lot of great tradition with Texas A&M. At some point in time, does it make some business sense, some branding sense to play again? I don’t know,” Patterson said. “It’s not at the top of my list. I’m really more focused on how we grow the footprint of the department.”

… Patterson reportedly has expressed interest in playing a nonconference football game in Mexico City. Another possibility Patterson acknowledged Tuesday could be a future sporting event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

“We have a lot of folks in the oil and gas industry,” Patterson said. “Houston is the center of the world in terms of the gas industry. A lot of those alums spend time in the Middle East, and Dubai is a place that wants to use sports to help put itself on the map. So we’ll have some conversations, and we’ll see where they lead.”

This, we are assured, “… should be done in a fashion that grows the profile and the interest of the university of a broad scale internationally.”  Because?

This is the distillation of everything that’s sucked about college football in the last decade.  Note the complete absence of the word “fans” in his master plan.  But podnah, Steve Patterson’s gonna do what he can to make sure them oil and gas fellas have a great venue to pursue a couple of Mideast energy deals.  That’s why we love college athletics!

There’s something else missing from Patterson’s inspiring vision.

Stupid kids.  Don’t you know employees never play in Mexico City?  Leave the bidness to bidnessmen.

21 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

$81,499.59, including taxes

Especially in light of the previous story about Auburn’s finances, this sure strikes me as money well spent.

Georgia picked up the tab for the buyout in Jeremy Pruitt’s Florida State contract when it landed the national championship-winning defensive coordinator in January.

The school made a one-time lump sum payout of $81,499.59 to Pruitt to cover his buyout and taxes, according to Georgia executive associate athletic director Frank Crumley.

Both Pruitt and Bobo are under contract now.  (Comparatively speaking in the context of what other SEC coordinators are making, Bobo’s deal looks like a steal for the school.)

16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

You’ve got to spend money to lose money.

In a year in which it won the SEC and played in the national title game, Auburn managed to turn in an athletic department operating deficit.

Severance payments totaled $2.7 million in 2013, largely for Chizik and his staff after the Tigers went 3-9. Auburn Senior Associate Athletics Director Jack Smith said the athletics department drew upon a cash reserve of more than $15 million to cover last year’s operating deficit.

Jay Jacobs is the bizarro Greg McGarity.

But that’s not even the most remarkable part of the story.  This is:  “Student fee subsidies also prevented Auburn from reporting deficits on its NCAA reports in 2011, 2010 and 2009.”

How do you win a national football title and lose money (but for what you forcibly extracted from students)?  Shoot, Tennessee used to be my gold standard for financial mismanagement in the conference, but at least the Vols have the excuse of not winning anything for a while.

Even Maryland managed to avoid finishing in the red last year.

Maybe Saban’s master plan is for Alabama to spend so much money that it forces Auburn into bankruptcy trying to keep pace.

10 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, It's Just Bidness

The lighter side of unionization

A high schooler can dream, can’t he?

Quarterback Jaylend Ratliff of Laurinburg, N.C., has committed to Georgia Tech, according to multiple reports.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Ratliff also had offers from North Carolina, N.C. State and Wofford. He is rated as a 3-star and the state’s No. 28 overall prospect, along with the nation’s No. 76 athlete.

“I want to win a championship,” Ratliffe told 247sports.com’s Ryan Bartow. “I want to make money. I want to be a Yellow Jacket.”

I don’t care how down you are about the prospect of college athletes getting paid.  If the thought of the genius dealing with the aftermath of unions and O’Bannon doesn’t bring a smile to your face, there’s something wrong with you.

4 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football, It's Just Bidness