Category Archives: It’s Just Bidness

Saturday morning buffet

It’s time to eat.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, Recruiting, SEC Football, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Mike Slive’s next problem

Okay, now that it’s fine for schools to pay student-athletes’ cost of attendance in full, it should be smooth sailing, right?

Not so fast, bacon breath.  John Infante points out the obvious:  cost of attendance not only varies from conference to conference, it varies from school to school.  Here are his calculations for the SEC:

SEC
– Alabama: $3,298
– Arkansas: $4,002
– Auburn: $5,586
– Florida: $3,320
– Georgia: $1,798
– Kentucky: $3,536
– LSU: $3,680
– Mississippi: $4,500
– Mississippi State: $5,126
– Missouri: $3,664
– South Carolina: $4,151
– Tennessee: $5,666
– Texas A&M: $3,100
– Vanderbilt: $2,730

*Vanderbilt only gives “varies” for travel allowance so it was not included.

Note the pretty massive spread between Georgia and Tennessee there.

Infante’s conclusion?

… There is no way this will fly. Not only do some schools offer more than others, but there is no rhyme or reason to why one is greater than the other. Why are travel, clothing, entertainment, and other personal expenses more than twice as expensive in Knoxville, TN as in Los Angeles, CA? Why an over $600 difference between the two Los Angeles schools.

But at the same time, the options for doing so are very limited. The power conferences have one way to normalize cost of attendance across all 65 schools: let every school go up to the highest cost of attendance figure, which in this case is Tennessee’s $5,666.

But that has its own set of problems. First, many schools would then be permitted to exceed cost of attendance, some by thousands of dollars. Not only is that philosophically troubling for the NCAA, it also complicates matters with financial aid offices. If a portion of an athletic scholarship exceeds cost of attendance and is not paid through the financial aid office, what is but payment for services rendered?

Second, this would be massively more expensive than some schools were likely planning for. Tennessee’s number is almost twice as much as the Pac–12’s average. A school like Iowa State, already worried about paying for COA scholarships would see the cost go up by more than $3,000 per full scholarship equivalency. At that point, the divide between the haves, the have-mores, and the real elite would begin to show quickly and clearly.

And finally, it does not solve the perceived imbalance of giving athletes the same living allowance across the country when the cost of living varies wildly among the cities where these 65 schools are located.

My bet is after a tremendous amount of infighting, they fall back on the default of letting each school set its own number.  It’ll be just like letting everyone come up with their own drug policies. Hey, what could go wrong with that?

40 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Tuesday morning buffet

Grab a plate and dig in.

  • What do you get if you marry college athletics revenue to player win shares?  A lot of underpaid basketball players.
  • Brice Ramsey feels more comfortable this year.
  • Georgia Tech’s assistant athletic director for communications and public relations thinks Twitter could be great for driving revenue and donations.  Any port in a storm, brother.
  • Speaking of Twitter, in hindsight, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.
  • The receivers are too good for this, but there are times when I can’t help but wonder if Georgia should just load up blockers on the line and pound the crap out of other teams this season with the running game.
  • Andy Staples has a good piece on how coaches who don’t land five-stars after five-stars have to project futures for the recruits they do get.
  • And while I think the recruiting services do a decent job evaluating talent overall, it always amuses me when they don’t see kids like Todd Gurley and Amari Cooper coming.
  • And here’s the latest “we’re from the government and we’re here to help” department.  Hey, it’s bipartisan!

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, Recruiting, Science Marches Onward, The NCAA

Larry Scott isn’t happy.

Here’s an observation of mine from my post about the O’Bannon ruling:

Her ruling in this area may have bigger ramifications than its impact on the NCAA.

Michael Hausfeld, a lead attorney for the O’Bannon plaintiffs, said his team will now consider whether to take any legal action against networks for use of players’ NILs.

“It’s an open field right now because of the antitrust violation,” Hausfeld said. “We’re going to have to take a look at what our next letter might be to ESPN or CBS or Turner. We’ve been looking at it. For example, maybe we don’t go to the larger networks, but go right to the Big Ten Network or Pac-12 Network. Here you have a conference with a most direct relationship to an athlete. They’re clearly use the name, image and likeness.”

Larry Scott’s decision to go it alone on the Pac-12 Network looks more and more expensive every day.

So guess which conference commissioner has the most strident reaction to Wilken’s decision.

Mike Slive takes it in stride.

“We are pleased that the judge recognized the educational component of college athletics, and the importance of integrating academics and athletics in this decision. There are a number of legal questions of some significance that must be answered to fully understand the ultimate consequence of this decision, and how to comply with it.

Together with the change in NCAA governance that was approved just a day earlier, this decision reemphasizes the fact that we are going through a historic evolution of the landscape of college sports and it is incumbent upon all of us to be thoughtful and deliberate in building a better future for our institutions and our student-athletes.”

In other words, as long as nobody screws with autonomy, he can live with it.

Bob Bowlsby?  Copacetic.

Bowlsby said the ruling did not move to anything that would be perceived as professional sports and that the “collegiate model” remains largely intact.

“This operates inside the higher education environment, and the fact that the payments for name, image and likeness can’t be manipulated prior to departure from school, I think is a pretty significant distinction,” Bowlsby said. “I don’t think it’s anybody’s perfect solution, but I think it falls short of having an open marketplace where the individuals are differentially compensated.”

So how about the guy who owns a network?  He’s not too happy.

“We fundamentally disagree with the O’Bannon court’s ruling that the NCAA and our collegiate model violate anti-trust laws in any way. Our system provides untold opportunities and beneficial life experiences for the almost 7,000 Pac-12 student-athletes every year, and we are intent on improving the system to do even more to benefit young people for generations to come.  While we plan to support the NCAA on their appeal of this ruling, we will be working with our institutions to develop next steps in the event the appeal is not successful.”

Maybe Larry’s just more concerned about student-athletes than his peers.  But I bet his presidents are wondering if he’s as smart as they thought he was a year ago.

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Filed under Big 12 Football, It's Just Bidness, Pac-12 Football, SEC Football, The NCAA

Money to burn

Now this is thought-provoking:

… I’ll just say very loudly:  college sports operates in a not-for-profit accounting world!  In these environments, expenditures rise to match revenues.  Reported surpluses are not a guide to profitability because their is no incentive to grow surpluses so owners can extract these surpluses as profits.  In not-for-profit settings, revenues and revenue growth are the real guide.

What about empty seats at some games, even for big time producers?  Again, the crazy world of college sports has invented this problem largely through setting up games with lower tier teams that generate much less interest.  In pro sports, these are pre-season games, not mid-season games.

So, if at some point student-athletes received a serious share of athletics revenue, would that force schools to improve scheduling to keep asses in the seats/eyeballs on the tube?

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Friday morning buffet

Tidbits to sample at week’s end…

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics, The Evil Genius

Bill Snyder wakes up, discovers filthy lucre is a problem.

This whole article may be the biggest “duh” of 2014.

Note that he doesn’t propose a solution, either.

He needs to embrace the… whatever it is that his conference commissioner is embracing here:

“The rules and the changes that might be made are an attempt to be permissive, but they’re also intended to take into account the fact that those 65 [power-conference] schools are largely the face of what most people know as college athletics,” Bowlsby said. “… I think we got to a place where we just believe that there was a need for us to perhaps be a little less egalitarian, a little less magnanimous of the 350 schools and spend a little time worrying about the most severe issues that are troubling our schools among the 65.”

Of course, Bob Bowlsby doesn’t think everything is lost yet, because the players don’t get paid.  And he’s on a mission to keep it that way.

“I think if we ever go down the path of creating an employee-employer relationship, we will have forever lost our way,” Bowlsby said. “… If you apply any form of the labor theory of value, that is to say the work that goes into something is determinant of the cost, football and basketball players don’t work any harder than any other athletes. They don’t work harder than swimmers. They don’t work harder than field hockey players. They don’t work harder than wrestlers. They just happen to have the blessing of an adoring public.

“If you’re going to compensate for expenses for football and basketball players, it isn’t even arguable that we wouldn’t do it for every other student-athlete on our campus.”

Of course, no piece about keeping the players from their market worth would be complete without a Steve Patterson observation.

Patterson, however, spoke out against the idea, contending that the name on the front of the jersey enhances the name on the back of the jersey, and that student-athletes are receiving tangible benefits right now. “I don’t think you should create a marketplace for the one half of one percent that might have a certain market value and then distort all the competitive issues around that and all the revenue issues around that,” he told a group of reporters after Wednesday’s event. “I think we have done a poor job of talking about that.”

You’ve done a poor job of communicating about a lot of things, Steve.

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Filed under Big 12 Football, It's Just Bidness