Category Archives: Political Wankery

Wednesday morning buffet

Grab a plate.

  • Tracy Rocker sounds pretty no-nonsense about his charges:  “You produce, you stay,” Rocker said. “You don’t produce, next. It’s all about playing with the right combination and to get guys to produce with full-speed effort. That’s the most important thing. That’s what I’m working on up front is effort. Try to eliminate the MA’s (missed assignments) and go forward.”
  • Bill Connelly looks at how the 2013 FBS teams ranked in order of their per-game difference between projection and reality as to offensive and defensive scoring efficiency.  Georgia ranks 116th.  He didn’t speculate how much of that to chalk up to luck, randomness or something else, but perhaps I need to dust off the ol’ “regression to the mean, bitchez!” meme.
  • Another day in paradise on Finebaum.  (Do any of his listeners actually care about basketball?)
  • Athlon ranks the SEC head coaches.  I don’t get how you can put Malzahn ahead of Miles, but that’s just me, I guess.
  • Kirby Smart is coaching defensive backs again, drawing upon his experience at Georgia“He just coaches us at a different level, trying to get us to understand it from his point of view because he played the position and he knows what’s going on…”  They should be awesome in run support this year, if that’s the case.
  • Today, Quayvon Hicks is Georgia’s only healthy scholarship tight end.
  • One reason CAPA is going to Washington “One obstacle in securing some of the protections we want is the NCAA is colluding and excluding opportunities for trust funds. To solidify an antitrust exemption would be to the detriment of player protections.”
  • Malik McDowell has outlasted his momma.
  • I missed this when it came out, but Pete Fiutak’s April Fools’ story about Herschel finding a loophole in the NCAA eligibility rules and announcing a return to Georgia is a fun read.  Richt then joked, “If you can find an extra year of eligibility for Champ Bailey and Richard Seymour, we’d find a spot for them, too. ”
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Filed under Georgia Football, Look For The Union Label, Media Punditry/Foibles, PAWWWLLL!!!, Political Wankery, Recruiting, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Monday morning buffet

As you might expect, there’s a little extra union-y seasoning in the chafing dishes this morning.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, Look For The Union Label, Nick Saban Rules, Political Wankery, Stats Geek!, The Evil Genius, Whoa, oh, Alabama

“I think these great men and women should be able to at least have money to wash their underwear.”

Yeah, Harry Reid actually said that about student-athletes.  It’s certainly easy to mock.  But maybe not so easy to dismiss.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes there’s the growing possibility of Congress getting involved. Allen Sack, president of the Drake Group, said the organization is gaining progress with one “very interested” U.S. senator and several members of Congress about tying NCAA reform to federal aid that universities receive.

“We’ve gone to the senator level and we’ve got a nice relationship going, especially in the context of what’s going on with college sports and millions and millions of dollars are going to our universities and we find our athletes are not being educated?” said Sack, who declined to identify the senator. “There are some irate Congress people. Some of these things hit a chord with Congress.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told The Washington Post he would help the unionization movement.

“Of course they should be able to organize,” Reid said. “The way these people are treated by the NCAA and the universities themselves is really unpardonable, and I wish them well. I’ll do anything I can to help.”

This is the reward for blind arrogance, Mr. Emmert.


Filed under Look For The Union Label, Political Wankery, The NCAA

“Don’t let calculus get in the way.”

If you caught Meet The Press yesterday, you were privileged to see Mark Emmert live down to expectations.   Emmert continues to pretend there is some concrete difference between the $2,000 stipend the he would like to see the big conferences hand out and pay for play in general.  Charlie Pierce shreds that distinction into tiny pieces.

The star of the proceedings was Mark Emmert, who makes six figures as the head of the NCAA and who works in a $35 million headquarters in Indianapolis, all of which was paid for primarily by the proceeds of unpaid labor. But, I paraphrase.

EMMERT: Well, the gap needs to be closed around the context of being a student at a university. So if we provide the N.C.A.A. members, universities and colleges, provide a young man or a young woman with all the expenses they have, legitimate expenses as a student athlete, including this so-called stipend, right, that extra amount of money.

The “stipend” is the last redoubt of the buffet-grazers who rake in the cash. Unfortunately, once you institute a “stipend” for athletes, that’s the ballgame. You are doing pay-for-play no matter what you choose to call it. And you won’t be able to argue that a $200 a month stipend is all right, but a $2000 stipend is wrong. Not if you want to make sense, anyway.

Like pregnancy, there is no “little bit” to payment.  There is no slippery slope here.  Instead, you simply step off a cliff.

But I can’t say that Emmert was the individual most detached from reality on the show.  That honor would go to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who evidently believes that athletic directors can sit down and reason with the likes of Jimmy Sexton to usher in a better age for all men.

Universities need to tie bonus pay of their coaches and athletics directors more prominently to their college athletes’ academic performance, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said today on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“The incentive structures for coaches, the incentive structures for ADs have to be changed so much more of their compensation is based not upon wins or losses but around academic performance and graduation,” Duncan said. “And university presidents and boards have been very complacent and soft in this issue, and you have to really look at the leadership of universities here.”

The university presidents and boards have followed the wishes of their constituents to the letter.  That’s how you wind up with circumstances such as Bruce Pearl being hired at Auburn at $2 million+/year four months in advance of a show cause order being vacated.

Nobody’s paying Nick Saban ungodly sums of money to boost academic performance and graduation rates a decimal point beyond what it takes to keep his players eligible and his program out of APR limbo.  And barring government action – fortunately, that wasn’t a shoe Duncan was prepared to drop yesterday – that ain’t gonna change.  At least not until the day when ESPN is paying big bucks for the broadcast rights to psychology class.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

I want my, I want my, I want my SEC TV.

Gulfport, Mississippi city council unanimously passes a resolution demanding the local cable provider carry the new SEC Network.


Filed under Political Wankery

Thanks, college football!

I’m not really sure how I came across this, but, hell, it’s worth sharing.  Speaking about the 2012 presidential campaigns, some experts posited an interesting observation about the role college football played.

What do Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, and Wisconsin (states that were neither solidly Democrat nor Republican) have in common?  The audience will tell you that these states not only gave their electoral votes to Obama but also possess some of the largest concentration of college football fans.  Now one might ask – is this merely coincidental or does a link really exist?  If it does, what should we make of it?  Do college football fans love Obama more than Romney?  Not necessarily.  Did Obama outspend Romney in his purchase of ad time during televised coverage of college football games? While it is certainly true that Obama had a tremendous advantage in the number of ads placed during college football games, any good political scientist who is vigilant about spinning a causality story will not conclude that Obama won the election because he did more to appeal to college football fans than did Romney.  What they can conclude however, is that Obama’s advertising activities during college football season were part of an overall campaign effort that differed remarkably from that of Romney not only in terms of strategies but also in terms of goals and objectives.

Say what you will about the man’s politics, he knew how to campaign effectively.  So what is it about college football that Obama’s camp found useful in reaching potential voters?  And what, if anything, did Romney’s folks miss about that?


Filed under College Football, Political Wankery

Thursday morning buffet


  • You know, there’s a guy every year who seems like he’s been around forever.  My 2014 nominee for that guy is Florida’s Andre Debose, who was just granted a sixth year of eligibility.
  • “I just don’t want to see any University of Alabama (logos).”
  • David Ching makes a case for a guy we probably haven’t thought about much yet, tight end Jordan Davis.
  • SEC basketball crowds suck.  And here I thought continuously loud music packs folks in.
  • So, the question becomes would college basketball be better served as a one-semester sport?  What I love about this discussion is that there isn’t a single word about what fans might want, other than to blame our limited attention spans.  “It is a big challenge to get people to care about college basketball when football is still being played.”
  • Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney thinks it would be swell if college football players didn’t come out early.
  • The day Georgia football almost died.
  • Pretty good column in the Boston College student newspaper about March Madness“Thanks to March Madness, regular season success is overlooked.”
  • Auburn’s AD has fired the football, baseball and men’s basketball coaches he hired since 2008.  Think he’s indebted to Malzahn right now?


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, SEC Football

Mark Richt has lost control of the state legislature.

Obviously nobody in Georgia government has the first clue about big games.

It was for these reasons among his other contributions to the state of Georgia that Representatives deemed it appropriate to commend Murray for his achievements as a student-athlete as well as his work in the public service realm. A document titled House Resolution 1457, drafted by Representatives Williams of the 119th, Ralston of the 7th, Ehrhart of the 36th, England of the 116th, O’Neal of the 146th and others was put in place to commend Murray for his service.

Murray was a hit with House Members, and received no shortage of applause.

Here’s a pic:

No word on when they’re honoring Georgia Tech’s quarterback.


Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery

Roll over Joe Barton, and tell Orrin Hatch the news.

Jay Jacobs announces the death of socialism.

Northeastern athletic director Peter Roby said this would widen the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” in Division I. What would your rebuttal to that be?

My response to that would be that we’re in a competitive environment, so if one business is doing exceedingly well in what they do, should we subsidize the businesses that aren’t as efficient and effective as we are? Should that hold us back? That doesn’t sound like the capitalism that this country was built on. I think that he’s correct that it will widen it. But I think that also there’s a need for that to be widened. It will put people that are actually competing for the same thing in the same pool or pod together and let them make decisions based on what they can do and what they think is important. Whether it’s us or a league or division that the (Northeastern) AD is in. Give him more stability, so when he’s competing (against) schools in his league, they’re all on the same level playing field (in) recruiting, competition, support services and academically.

Now I don’t have a problem with that… except government giving enterprises making millions and millions non-profit tax exemptions doesn’t sound like the capitalism that this country was built on, either.  On the other hand, it does sound like today’s capitalism.


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

Delany’s latest idle threat

Look out, boys, he’s pretending he’s serious again!

Delany said if college football players were able to unionize, the NCAA would likely seek congressional guidance to help determine the future of college athletics.

Orrin Hatch and Joe Barton are standing by, ready to help, Jim.  Just give ‘em the heads up.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA