Category Archives: It’s Just Bidness
There is something I do blame Todd Gurley for… thinking that a guy this stupid would be discreet.
I was prepared to move on at the blog – really, I’ve vented and there’s not much more to be said – but then Jeff Schultz found it necessary to weigh in with this turd of a column. So it turns out I’ve got more.
Yeah, he starts out with the obligatory “okay, we all know the NCAA sucks”, but his heart’s not in it.
Here’s the reality. Todd Gurley is a supremely talented football player. However, his two primary opportunities for being paid for his services both happen to be cartels that operate in a way to depress labor costs, the NFL legally and the NCAA in violation of federal antitrust laws, to make billions and millions in profit. (Both also receive government subsidies that add handsomely to the bottom line, but that’s a complaint for another post.)
That’s not all. Gurley’s astonishing skills have caught the public’s attention. If he were anywhere other than in college athletics, just like any other American, he’d be able to market his name and likeness for whatever Nike or anyone else was willing to pay him. Solely because of the NCAA’s atavistic refusal to share income with its student-athletes, something that’s going to be prohibited in the near future, Gurley can’t. In the meantime, Gurley, just like every other observer of the college sports scene, has seen the half-assed ways the NCAA has chosen to enforce its amateurism rules in the cases of Manziel and Newton.
That’s not the most absurd part of this farce. Four hundred dollars. That’s the amount suggested that Gurley was paid for whatever he delivered. Four hundred dollars is less than what he would receive if Georgia compensated him for the full cost of attendance, something that’s been promised by the president of the NCAA and the commissioners of all five power conferences. They’ve got their autonomy; they just haven’t delivered. Be patient, though, Todd. I’m sure that’s coming any day now.
In a fair world… no, check that, in a world in which the NCAA and its member institutions merely avoided behaving in ways that violated federal law as have already been determined in court, Todd Gurley wouldn’t have been tempted to risk his eligibility for four hundred dollars. Because he would have cashed a check every year from EA Sports and another check from the school or the conference to compensate him for his likeness being used in broadcasts.
Well, fuck me. That’s ridiculous. And shame on any of you who think Schultz is right.
For those of you who are wrapping themselves in the cloak of Butts-Mehre righteousness over l’affaire Gurley, before you get too comfortable, ask yourselves a simple question: who’s being hurt by this?
Todd Gurley? Hardly. He was turning pro after this season, come what may. This won’t affect his NFL draft standing a whit.
The Georgia athletic department? Surely you jest. The TV money and other revenues rolling in won’t miss a beat.
Nah, it’s just the fan base that suffers. Again.
If being pure of heart keeps you warm through the night, just consider the point of the rule that you think Gurley is foolish for (presumably) violating. It’s there for one reason. The schools don’t want to share with their student-athletes. The odds are pretty good that in the next year or so, they’re going to be told they can’t do that anymore.
So consider your virtue intact as Georgia allows another season to blow up for no good reason. Me? It’s a good thing I don’t have a dog to kick right now.
UPDATE: Or, to put it another way…
Another day, another buffet.
- Ole Miss has a fundraising campaign going to pay its SEC fine and for new goalposts.
- The next antitrust lawsuit over use of college athletes’ names and likenesses has been filed against nearly all of the national over-the-air and cable television networks that have significant live college sports programming; the five power conferences; and the nation’s two largest college-sports multi-media and marketing rights companies.
- Having to excuse subpar officiating in two conferences? Nobody said life would be easy, Steve Shaw.
- ESPN is confident it can spot the nation’s most deserving teams. (Mark May already knows that.)
- Can anything be sweeter than trolling a stupid Mike Bianchi column?
- What liberals get wrong about football.
- Another Georgia player keeps his cool in a downtown Athens bar.
Mmm, mmm good.
- Any time you see the line “An NCAA spokesman was unavailable for comment.”, it’s probably not good news.
- How badly does Ed Orgeron want to coach? Badly enough to want the Kansas job.
- Another mascot vote? Maybe they should just go ahead and retire the award.
- “Conduct detrimental.” Da’Rick would have had a helluva career at Georgia, if he hadn’t changed his mind at the last minute. Of course, he would have wound up at Auburn.
- For fiscal year 2012-3, Georgia generated $51.3 million in excess revenue from football.
- And that was without dynamic ticket pricing.
- My favorite tidbit from Cory Brinson’s Vanderbilt preview: “Vandy ranks just behind Georgia Tech in passing offense. Yes, passing offense.”
- You’d think if any offense would be well suited to running play-option pass plays, it would be Georgia’s.
You may be surprised to learn that there are actually some athletic directors out there pondering an O’Bannon future. Shockingly, some of them are even willing to concede that future won’t be apocalyptic.
Throughout college sports, there’s a wait-and-see approach on what the O’Bannon ruling will ultimately mean. Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said in a recent interview he has started to financially plan three- to five-year forecasts for a future in which the O’Bannon injunction goes into effect.
“You better be able to give some thought, whether it’s with your president, your board, all the key decision-makers on campus, to let them know as much information as you have,” Radakovich said. “You have to say, ‘Look, we’re going to have to do some things differently from an allocation standpoint in the future.”
Radakovich said he believes the O’Bannon ruling should be viewed within the context of NCAA autonomy “because a lot of things that are shown in the O’Bannon case are student-athlete welfare issues, and that’s what the autonomy was going to work at to try to get better.”
Jim Delany’s Chicken Little act notwithstanding, if you’re running a Power Five conference athletic program, you’ve got money rolling in. You’ll just have to be prudent allocating your resources. Unless you’re at Texas or Alabama, of course.