Category Archives: The NCAA

Tuesday morning buffet

Eat; you look hungry.

  • StingTalk is always good for a chuckle“We should be getting great press about how there were over 2000 people huddled under the eaves for an off season scrimmage in the middle of a 45 degree torrential downpour, which was the actual truth. That’s a positive trajectory for Tech sports.”  Bless your heart.
  • It occurs to me that it won’t be that hard to figure out the fair market value for college football players’ memorabilia, if it ever comes to that.
  • And here’s a handy guideline to all the major stuff currently on the NCAA’s plate.  Yeah, Mark Emmert can handle that.
  • This is actually a pretty good idea.
  • Mike Slive says nobody’s talked to him about lowering the mandatory number of varsity sports required to be a Division I program.  (Jim Delany punches his speed dial after reading that.)
  • Atlanta wants to host college football’s national championship game in 2018.
  • Good stuff from Jeremy Fowler – anybody tells you they know what the consequences of unionization will turn out to be is making it up right now.
  • Michael Elkon wonders how the mix of special admissions for college athletes, increased athletic demands on those same kids and the “scholarship ought to be compensation enough” concept can be sustained.
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Filed under Academics? Academics., BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Georgia Tech Football, It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label, The NCAA

Mark Emmert isn’t the biggest putz at the NCAA.

That would be whoever gives Emmert PR advice.

Dude, there’s a reason Stacey Osburn rarely comments publicly about knotty issues.  You might want to ask her about that.


Filed under The NCAA

Watching the river flow

At Northwestern, they’re frantically trying to convince the players to put the unionization genie back in the bottle.  The student-athletes and their families have questions, and, hey, the school has answers.  Commence freaking out over a threat nobody’s voiced:

The “Background” section covers the school’s protocol if players strike: “Northwestern could potentially bring in replacement players, perhaps even asking the walk-on football players to cross the picket line,” and the tension from such a situation would be “unprecedented and not in everyone’s best interest,” the school states.

Boy, I’ll say.

Wonder why nobody asked the question how come schools and the NCAA didn’t take student-athlete complaints and concerns seriously until the lawsuits and the NLRB ruling started piling up.  Because it sure seems like those threats are getting somebody’s attention.  I mean, this is one helluvan analogy South Carolina’s president makes (h/t The Crystal Ball Run).

Shoring up the levee prior to Hurricane Katrina could have prevented the massive flooding that devastated New Orleans.

Determined not to make mistakes similar to those made in Louisiana, the NCAA more than three years ago began down a path toward transformation. Now, even amid rising waters, we are nearing the end of extensive work to shore up our governance structure, and soon we will provide better support for student-athletes.

On Friday, the Northwestern University football team will vote on unionizing. Regardless of the outcome of this vote and its potential ramifications, the NCAA must act now.

Admittedly, the wheels of progress have turned too slowly.

So the NCAA is voting on its new governance structure the day before the Northwestern unionization vote.  That’s some fortuitous timing there, Brother Pastides.

If the NCAA vote passes and the Northwestern vote fails, my guess is that after you hear its enormous sigh of relief, the NCAA will blather about saving the game and will return to resting on its laurels.  The short-term problem with that, of course, is that the antitrust suits are still out there and aren’t going away.

The long-term problem is that the foundational tension between amateurism and the enormous sums of money flowing into college sports isn’t going away, either.

The change has happened in part because of changing attitudes about amateurism and in part because of ­continued missteps by the NCAA. But it has mostly been about the money. And for all the money flying around college basketball, it’s college football that is raking in the craziest amounts: ESPN is paying reportedly $5.64 ­billion over 12 years for the upcoming College Football Playoff—six games each season. It is one thing to say that a $50,000 scholarship package is sufficient compensation for players when teams play 11 games a year on local television; it is quite another when the TV contracts are exceeding those of professional sports. The money has turned an abstract argument into a moral one.

The problem is that every fix seems to fundamentally alter things: You just can’t mend college sports without breaking them. At least, we haven’t figured out a way yet, as the recent challenges to the status quo show.

The biggest problem is that the NCAA hasn’t even tried to figure out a way yet.  Admittedly, I’m not sure if it’s capable of finding a solution – although I’m pretty confident current leadership can’t – but waiting for the court cases to go badly before making the attempt strikes me as a profoundly stupid way of managing the situation.

And all we can do is watch.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label, The NCAA

It’s Emmert’s world and he’s just living in it, part two.

For some reason, they keep letting the man talk.  I don’t get it, but there it is. You can read this high-minded “where we are” editorial in its entirety if you’re so inclined, but here’s a little taste of how detached it is from the facts on the ground. One of the reforms Emmert calls for is a reduction in time demands on student-athletes.

Sport-related time demands need to be reduced, so student-athletes can participate in the full educational experience while at college. This could include opportunities such as studying abroad and internships.

All I can figure is that he’s forgotten about the summer, because the NCAA issued a new rule permitting eight hours a week of required preparations then for the regular season.

Allow football student-athletes to participate in preparations for the season during an eight-week period each summer. Those weeks can include eight hours per week of required weight training and conditioning. Up to two of the eight hours can consist of film review. Student-athletes who participate in the summer activities must be enrolled in summer school or meet specific academic benchmarks. The model is similar to those adopted by men’s and women’s basketball in the last two years. Both the Football Bowl and Football Championship subdivisions supported this change.

Oh, “allow”, you say.  Let Mark Richt tell you what “allow” means.

“One thing that will be different is this is the first year in a long time that all strength and conditioning activity is mandatory now,” coach Mark Richt said. “There’s eight hours of activity per week that’s mandatory, similar to what you have in the spring prior to spring ball.”

Richt said in some ways it was good when players had to push for teammates to work out.

He pointed out that on-field throwing and catching work, pass protection and pass rush still isn’t mandated.

I sense another NCAA regulation coming.  Thanks, Mr. Emmert!


Filed under The NCAA

It’s Emmert’s world and he’s just living in it, part one.

I guess there are two ways you can look at the mess the NCAA’s gotten itself into.  One would be the way it’s put in the newly minted autonomy agenda leaked to Dennis Dodd:

These institutions are further challenged in addressing these needs by an increasingly litigious environment and confused public sentiment. They face the most public comment and criticism of all Division I institutions and conferences, often from advocates for pay-for-play or a professional athletics system for colleges and universities.

Poor babies.  Here’s the other way to see it:

Terry Rupert, athletic director at Division III Wilmington College in southwest Ohio, said he expects Division I to remain intact and credits the big-money schools for trying to improve the welfare of student-athletes.

“They kind of got away from that as the money got better,” said Rupert, a member of the NCAA executive committee.

I think the NCAA is confused about our confusion.


Filed under The NCAA

Uncooperative is the new black.

FSU drops its Title IX investigation of Jameis Winston because Winston won’t talk.  Now word comes that the NCAA has ended its probe of Mississippi State over alleged illicit benefits published in a Yahoo! Sports report. The reason?  Not because there wasn’t any direct evidence. 

Yahoo! reported that Davis purchased airfare for former MSU football players Fletcher Cox and Chad Bumphis while they were still in school. Yahoo! authenticated a flight purchase in Dec. 2011, before Mississippi State’s Music City Bowl appearance later that month. Cox declared for the draft after the bowl game and Bumphis played another season.

Nah, it’s because the NCAA “can’t find” Davis.

They hung A.J. Green with less.  We are such chumps at Georgia.


Filed under The NCAA

Membership has its privileges.

With yesterday’s news of yet another antitrust suit filed against the NCAA, this seems like sage advice.

But events — lawsuits, the Northwestern case — are moving faster than the NCAA membership is. “If we don’t find a way to funnel more benefits to student-athletes,” Pacific athletic director Ted Leland said last week, “then people on the outside are going to do it for us.”

But Mark Emmert’s never been much of a listener, I’m afraid.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label, The NCAA

An outbreak of common sense?

I’m shocked – not in the Captain Renault sense, either – that the NBA is considering a tradeoff like this:

In the dispute over what should be done about age limits for players coming out of college basketball and entering the draft, expect the NBA’s D-League to become a major battlefield.

According to multiple sources, a proposed plan that is circulating now would see the age limit extended from its current position — one year after high school graduation — to three years, essentially barring most players from entering the NBA until they are 20 or 21…

The sources said that, in order to pave the way for raising the age limit, the league would be willing to expand salaries in the D-League, giving each team a salary cap and allowing executives with each team to sign players as they wish. Not only would that allow D-League teams to sign good young players, it would allow NBA clubs to size up young executives and player evaluators…

The idea behind the potential change is that, while the NBA wants to keep out players who are viewed as too young, it does not want to deny them the chance to make a living…

Logical and fair.  Which probably means it has zippo chance of becoming reality.  But, damn, if I were the NCAA, I’d be getting behind this proposal quick and hard.  It’s a golden opportunity to drain some of the hypocrisy out of the amateurism swamp.


UPDATE:  Not so fast, says John Infante.

There’s two ways to look at college athletics: as private enterprise or a government program. Either way, changes to professional draft rules do very little to help the NCAA justify its position. As private enterprise, it still needs to establish why antitrust law should not apply, especially to an activity easily categorized as price fixing, not to mention the moral arguments raised both for and against amateurism. As a government program, college athletics should continue held to the even higher standard of fulfilling an important function and doing so in a fair way to the maximum number of people. The NBA offering a different route to even hundreds of players does little to help the NCAA in either case.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Seriously, how does Mark Emmert have a job?

The NCAA is here for you, student-athletes.

And is sensitive to your concerns.

(By the way, the median salary in the CFL is $83,000, Mark.)

When he’s not denigrating them, Emmert writes checks with his mouth that his ass can’t cash.

And that’s just from this morning.  Jeebus, what a putz.


Filed under The NCAA

“The N.C.A.A. system is messed up, and they’re doing something about it.”

After reading this and this, don’t you get the feeling that if Northwestern and the players could dump the whole unionization mess in the NCAA’s lap, they would do so in a heartbeat?


Filed under Look For The Union Label, The NCAA