I just watched the Outside The Lines episode on Kolton Houston. This is how outrageous the situation has gotten: Houston recently underwent surgery to remove fatty tissues containing traces of the steroid he was injected with, not because there was a danger to his health, but simply to lower his count for NCAA approval.
It didn’t work. He’s gone from 260 nanograms per milliliter at his first test to 4 ng/ml. It’s clear he’s not using steroids. But he’s not under the mandated limit of 2.5 ng/ml, so he continues to sit.
The NCAA refused to comment for the story. Can you believe the organization didn’t want to take the opportunity to explain how this is about protecting the student athlete?
It’s even harder to believe that Houston’s parents haven’t done what Mark Schlabach suggests, which is to sue the NCAA. Maybe they’re still hoping that Houston will become eligible and the NCAA will accept a petition to grant him back a year of eligibility. If things ever get to that stage, I suspect that Mark Emmert will express surprise over the request.
This should be fun.
An attorney helping to represent former and current college football and men’s basketball players in an anti-trust lawsuit told USA TODAY Sports a U.S. magistrate judge is allowing their legal team to take depositions from a college president and two conference commissioners who had made statements in the case saying that some schools and conferences might exit Division I or the Football Bowl Subdivision because of the financial and legal burden that would result from needing to share revenue with football and men’s basketball players.
Speaking after a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins on Wednesday in San Francisco, plaintiffs’ attorney Renae Steiner said Cousins allowed depositions of Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, Horizon League commissioner Jon LeCrone and Fresno State president John Welty.
Big Jim gets to elaborate on the Division III future of the Big Ten. That should help with recruiting immensely.
That noise you hear in the background is Mike Slive snickering over how Delany let himself get put in this position.
The steady drip, drip, drip in the O’Bannon case continues apace. I don’t think this is something the NCAA wants to have the public hear as the class certification hearing approaches:
College sports video games were designed to replicate actual players without using their names, a former Electronic Arts Sports executive producer said in his deposition as part of the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit.
Jeremy Strauser, who worked at EA from 1995 until 2011, testified last December that computer-game avatars were linked to specific player identifying numbers and biographical information, such as team depth charts, was used to make the game realistic.
“We generally tried to make the players perform as their real life counterparts, short of their name and likeness,” Strauser testified.
They all knew what they were doing with these games. Either the NCAA can make itself look sillier by insisting otherwise, or it can start blaming EA for what happened. My money’s on both.
Lots of goodies to sample today.
Any time I see an editorial on college athletics mention Adam Smith, I’m gonna toss a nod in its direction. And this is a particularly good point made in response to the Jim Delanys of the world:
O’Bannon’s response to the NCAA may be the most powerful case ever assembled against the association’s propaganda machine. Among other things, it systematically dismantles the NCAA’s argument that the vast majority of its members lose money on sports. In fact, most Division I schools are not caught in an expensive arms race for coaches and athletic facilities. They have simply obscured the profitability of their football and basketball programs with accounting tricks, such as shifting revenue from sports concessions to the food service budget.
The NCAA advances these false claims of poverty so it can argue that its member schools can’t possibly afford to spend more money on sports, much less pay their athletes. O’Bannon’s lawyers put the lie to this, too, invoking foundational truths of economics dating to Adam Smith and David Ricardo: “Redistributing rents does not change true economic costs. It simply takes money from one person or group and shifts it to another.” Translation: Paying athletes wouldn’t result in schools spending additional money on sports. They would just spend less of it on coaches and facilities and more on students.
It’s not so much that I’m at the point where I want to see the schools cut checks to players as I am wanting to hear the O’Bannon defendants admit they’re FOS.
You’ve just about made it through another working week. Reward yourself by indulging in a few of these tasty morsels:
The man whose rapier-like wit has been directed at the likes of Karl Benson turns on the charm with the O’Bannon plaintiffs.
When asked his response to high-profile athletes such as Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel producing more jersey sales and revenue for their schools because of their play, Delany cited A&M’s storied history (founded in 1876).
“If Johnny Manziel was playing arena football tomorrow, what is his uniform worth?” Delany said.
Gee, Jimbo, I don’t know. Maybe we should ask Kevin Ware about that. Or any other athlete in any other sporting venue who’s allowed to make a buck off his or her name. Or maybe we could ask some of these good folks. I’m sure somebody could come up with a number for you, not that you’re willing to pay a penny of it.
By the way, the NCAA just announced it turned a nifty $71 million dollar profit – “surplus”, as the organization prefers to call it – last year, in large part based on the nearly $709 million it earned from television and marketing rights fees. Sounds like they’ll need it to pay for all that lawyering coming up, per Delany.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is preparing for a fight in the Ed O’Bannon antitrust lawsuit that could alter the college athletics amateurism model.
Delany told reporters on Wednesday that he’s not expecting a settlement in the case, which began in 2009 over the NCAA’s profits from the likeness of former athletes. Delany believes the case — which could cut into the conference’s multibillion-dollar television revenue streams — will likely “go all the way.”
“There should be no compromise on it,” Delany said.
Suck it, Manziel.
Hey, remember that whole Penn State investigation (or should it be “investigation”?) where the NCAA felt like it had to do something and sort of made things up as it went along to get to the result it wanted? Good times. Many of you weren’t concerned about it, as the cause was so noble and just and all.
So if this turns into a new crusade, I presume you guys won’t have a problem in the world with it. Because Mark Emmert means well.
“Female athletes, particularly basketball players, seem to be getting singled out in gender identity during games. What can the NCAA do about this?” one woman from Purdue asked.
Emmert asked what she thought could be done. The woman suggested sanctioning schools for improper behavior from fans.
“I would certainly support a proposal that would do that,” Emmert said. “If that’s a rule that makes sense and there ought to be some sanctioning like that, then I hope the membership brings that forward. I think that would make good sense.”
Who doesn’t like busting into a couple of choruses of “Kumbaya” now and then?
Yeah, this crap is nuts. Although I have to admit if it turns out that Alabama and Auburn could get into trouble over the callers on Finebaum, I might have to reconsider my objection to it.
I know he’s got a long way to go, but I’m willing to bet right now that cooperating with the NCAA will go down as the dumbest thing A.J. Green ever does his entire life. And whichever compliance genius in Athens advised that course of action ought to be unceremoniously shown the door.
In case you can’t tell, I’m still not over that damned suspension.
Mercifully, it’s a Tebow-free buffet.
- “The cool thing is I would’ve beat the crap out of my body and now I don’t have to,” Pollack said. “I couldn’t do what (David) Greene has done and be an insurance guy. I have to have football in me and it’s in my blood. If I weren’t doing this I’d be coaching.”
- Here’s a suggestion to let current players serve on the selection committee. Would they be paid for that?
- David Greene likes what he sees out of Georgia’s offense.
- How bad was Auburn’s offensive line last season? This bad: “Ball carriers got back to the line of scrimmage less than 80% of the time…”
- Fighting the NCAA – it’s not just for Jerry Tarkanian anymore.
- Athlon ranks the SEC running backs, and Georgia finds itself with #1 and #4 on the list.
- Before you ask yourself what kids like Bray and Geathers were thinking by leaving school early for the NFL draft, consider that they could have taken steps to keep the option of returning to college after the draft, but chose not to do so.
- Tech fans, the AJ-C has your consolation for the lousy draft right here.
- Mark Schlabach’s preseason top 25 list (I know, I know) is ordered by which teams have the easiest path to an undefeated season, which is how you get Ohio State at number one and Louisville fourth.
- Or if you’d prefer to look at another man’s win projections for next season’s top 25, here you go.