Category Archives: Political Wankery

Saturday brunch buffet

Slide up and load a plate.

  • Fans get to vote on where the Goodyear Blimp shows up opening weekend.  Georgia vs. Clemson is one option.
  • Groo has some thoughts about the Star position.
  • Phil Steele, the New York Times and conference predictions.
  • Paul Myerberg has Auburn at #9 on his preseason preview list.  (He thinks Kansas State is more likely to beat the Tigers than Georgia.)
  • It sounds like Ramik Wilson’s coaches are trying to send him a message.
  • John Sununu thinks it’s time to tax college athletics.
  • It’s a sign of what people think of the NCAA that some thought Oklahoma’s request for a waiver for Dorial Green-Beckham to play this season might be approved.  It wasn’t.
  • Think there’s much of a talent gap in the ACC?  One conference coach does: “According to one ACC coach, FSU is so stocked with talent across its depth chart that he believes about half the league’s teams do not have one player who would start for Florida State this year based on what he’s seen on film.”
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Filed under ACC Football, Auburn's Cast of Thousands, College Football, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, Political Wankery, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

Help the NCAA, Obi-Wan Congress; you’re its only hope.

So how dire are things with collegiate athletics?  So dire somebody actually said this with a straight face:

The NCAA has reached the point on unfavorable legal rulings that retiring University System of Maryland chancellor William Kirwan, co-chair of the reform-minded Knight Commission, said he now views Congress as “our last, best hope for getting anything right with intercollegiate athletics.”

Oy, vey.

Tom McMillan, former member of Congress and now a board member at the University of Maryland, isn’t willing to see his former mates go that far, but does think a joint Congressional-Presidential Commission wouldn’t be such a bad idea.  Eh.  In any event, he’s spot on with this observation:

McMillen said the O’Bannon ruling shows public sentiment will continue to move against the NCAA regarding the rights of players.

“You can only put so many fingers in the dikes,” McMillen said. “I think it’s clear that the old model is unraveling, it’s just a matter of time. It reminds me of the Soviet Union trying to keep the old USSR together, and all of a sudden it just broke apart one day. The model is built out of a very flimsy facade that’s falling down.

“The whole idea that players have no rights and they’re student-athletes and they’re not supposed to get anything is just so antiquated. When you go down the commercial road so far, you better be prepared for the commercial consequences. We have swung so far down the commercial road that it may be difficult to turn it back.”

So, is Mark Emmert more like Brezhnev or Gorbachev?

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

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

Wednesday morning buffet

Another day, another buffet line.

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, ACC Football, Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Gators, Georgia Football, Political Wankery, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

I guess Mark Emmert really cares.

Money is the language of concern.

Over the first half of 2014, the NCAA already broke its record of yearly lobbying expenditures. During 2013, the NCAA spent $160,000 on lobbying. This year, as of June 30, it has already spent $240,000. That includes $180,000 just in the second quarter, which covers April to June.

Gee, I wonder what’s been going on lately.  Maybe this is an indication.

A new topic appears on every lobbying disclosure filed after March 2014: the “welfare” or “well-being” of student athletes.

Isn’t that just the sweetest?  Why, I bet those folks in Congress are ever so impressed.

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

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

Autonomy, if you can keep it.

Welp, they’ve up and done it.

The NCAA Division I board of directors on Thursday voted to allow the 65 schools in the top five conferences to write many of their own rules. The autonomy measures — which the power conferences had all but demanded — will permit those leagues to decide on things such as cost-of-attendance stipends and insurance benefits for players, staff sizes, recruiting rules and mandatory hours spent on individual sports.

The Power Five (the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12) could begin submitting their own legislation by Oct. 1 and have it enacted at the January 2015 NCAA convention in Washington, D.C.

In a remarkably pessimistic piece, John Infante says it’s the beginning of the end of Division I.

Sooner rather than later, Division I will be gone. NCAA governance reforms have a short-shelf life and it would be shocking if this one sees the next decade before we hear agitation for the next logical step (a fourth NCAA division) or the next realistic one (separation of the power conferences from the NCAA). That day will be lamented as this end of Division I, but that will be like putting down an undead zombie. Today is the day that Division I as an idea, its soul, is well and truly dead.

I get his point.  When you think about it, what’s the only thing holding D-I together right now?  That’s right, March Madness revenue.  That’s a pretty weak glue in an era when chasing down every last dollar counts.  The big boys already don’t want to share football revenues with the little kids.  What do you think will happen when they come to the same realization about basketball?

That is, if they’re allowed to.  Infante makes another good point when he writes,

But that leaves Division I as simply a grouping of teams that play against each other. For some, that is enough. But college athletics is not simply a sports league, and it’s not a private business. It is a massive taxpayer-backed (when not explicitly taxpayer-funded) government program. The members of the NCAA are all either public universities, tax-exempt private universities, or for-profit universities heavily dependent on federal student-aid. A portion of every dollar that is guaranteed in a coaching contract or issued as debt by an athletic department might potentially be paid off by money that came from taxpayers. For that investment, we should demand more of our public institutions than simply playing games against each other.

Cue an old friend.

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) issued a statement Thursday saying the NCAA’s new model may warrant Congressional review from the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which he is a member.

“The NCAA should be responsible for promoting fair competition among its participating institutions and their student athletes,” Hatch said. “I am concerned that today’s actions could create an uneven playing field that may prevent some institutions from being able to compete fairly with other schools that have superior resources to pay for student athletes. I also worry about how this decision will affect a school’s Title IX requirements and whether this consolidation of power will restrict competition and warrant antitrust scrutiny.”

Hatch and other Congresscritters like Joe Barton were easy to mock during the Great BCS/Playoff debate because it was a foolish, mockable quest in which they were engaged.  This go ’round is likely to be a very different animal, mainly because I’m convinced that sooner or later the NCAA is going to make a hard go at Congress to get an antitrust exemption.  Not sharing involves a lot of heavy lifting.  These guys have no idea what asking for help from the likes of Orrin Hatch involves.

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA