Category Archives: 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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Filed under Look For The Union Label, The NCAA

The NCAA does reform like nobody’s business.

Also from that Maisel post I linked to:

The reduction of training table to one meal per day took effect in the NCAA’s cost-cutting reforms of 1991. That was the same package that included the 20-hour rule, which has become a mockery, and the “restricted-earnings” assistants, who could be paid only $16,000 per year. The NCAA had to pay a $54.5 million settlement in 1999 to undo that decision. Undoing the cutback on meals nearly guts the entire reform package.

“Nearly”?  What’s left?

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Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

The NCAA comes up with another subjective safety rule.

I guess they felt officials might have idle time on their hands with the change to the targeting rules.  Good luck on figuring out when a running quarterback behind the line of scrimmage is in a passing situation, fellas.

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Filed under The NCAA

“We didn’t get to this problem overnight.”

I know my focus on the threats facing the NCAA’s amateurism standard is a sore spot with some of you.  I do it because, like it or not, those threats have the potential to change college football as much as, say, conference realignment has.  Both are driven by the same engine of commercialism that is engulfing college athletics.

Don’t take my word for that.  Take it from the former commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.

Beebe agreed.

He said realignment increased students’ desires to get their share of the money generated by football and men’s basketball. He noted programs like women’s volleyball and softball in the Big 12 now fly to games and stay in first-class hotels with the bills paid by the revenue generated from football and men’s basketball.

In a capitalistic world, kids aren’t any less motivated by financial considerations than adults are.  And that’s not simply meant in the purest sense of “I want some of what you’re getting”.  It’s also meant in the sense that it becomes harder and harder to swallow amateurism as a defense to practical demands for changes.

That’s why the NCAA suddenly announced it’s getting the hell out of the food service business.  That may sound like a minor tactical retreat, but this is the NCAA we’re talking about, the same organization that until recently prohibited schools from letting players schmear a little cream cheese on their bagels.  No retreats are minor.

That’s why Mike Slive is bleating.

“We also have to accept the fact that college sports are evolving,” Slive said. “We are in an evolutionary mode.”

Translation:  the players are winning.

The thing Conley needs to realize is that the players got what they wanted and Napier got the attention he did for the same reason – the heat that’s coming down on the NCAA and the schools from the NLRB ruling and the antitrust suits.  The public may not be thrilled with a college players’ union or Johnny Football getting paid, but it’s not so blind to miss some of the obvious indefensible positions being taken in the name of amateurism.  And that’s having an effect.  Tell me where you would have heard talk like this from college administrators ten years ago:

Barnhart pointed to the Olympic model.

He said the organization changed from purely amateur athletes to today’s system where many, but not all, Olympians earn money without turning off fans.

The thing is, we’re in the low-hanging fruit part of the contest.  There are plenty of easy decisions to make about things other than how a school can feed its student-athletes.  That the NCAA membership is struggling even with those isn’t a good sign.  Change is coming and if the suits don’t come up with a satisfactory course of action soon, a quote like this a couple of years from now is going to sound much more dire:

“We’d be in a better place,” Beebe said, “and if it happened a couple years ago it could’ve held off some of these outside pressures.”

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

Coach, you’ve gotta ask yourself a question: “Do I feel lucky?”

Michael Carvell reports that the SEC won its appeal of the NCAA’s restrictive interpretation of the rule about high school seniors who qualify to enroll early and sign financial aid agreements with more than one program.  He sees this as a game-changer, leading to a return of an era when coaches camped out on the doorsteps of the most sought after recruits.

Me, I’m not so sure it’s as big a deal as he hopes.

Because there’s a big caveat in the very first paragraph of the NCAA’s official announcement:

As a part of its April meeting, Division I Legislative Council members decided that schools may continue to recruit prospects who sign financial aid agreements for mid-year enrollment. But if that prospect does not enroll at the school, the school will be considered in violation of recruiting rules.  [Emphasis added.]

What it looks like the NCAA has done is to shift the risk from the unknown…

The change created an unintended scenario in which prospects (most often mid-year enrollees) signed multiple offers of financial aid and coaches were incentivized to recruit prospects to sign so they could recruit without restrictions. The act of signing the agreements then lifted recruiting restrictions for that prospect with more than one school and created what some termed an unhealthy recruiting environment surrounding mid-year enrollees.

The official interpretation said that only the first school to sign a prospect to a financial aid agreement was allowed the unlimited recruiting access, but many schools indicated a concern about inadvertent violations. Schools often aren’t aware when prospects sign financial aid agreements with multiple schools and in what order.

… to the known.  If you’re a head coach who agrees to let a recruit sign a financial aid agreement, you no longer have to worry about how many other agreements he’s signed.  You now have to worry about making sure he’s part of your next class.  That strikes me as a tough gamble to take, unless you’re awfully sure about the kid and your chances to sign him.

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Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

One man’s potential for corruption is another man’s hypocrisy.

Those of you who are firmly convinced that student-athletes who take part in revenue generating sports at major universities are fairly compensated for their efforts with a scholarship, tell me something.  If the NCAA’s amateurism protocols expired today, do you think those kids would receive greater compensation tomorrow in a free market setting?

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Tuesday morning buffet

Go get a plate and dig in.

  • Keith Marshall makes a funny about Bubba Watson.
  • It’s springtime, and you know what that means:  this year, the Florida offense is going to be good.
  • The SEC’s appeal of the NCAA’s interpretation of the rule permitting recruits to sign early multiple financial aid offers is being heard today.
  • A student task force at the University of Michigan found that Brady Hoke likely lied about a player who was alleged to have been involved in a sexual assault?  Whoa.  We’ll see if the rule about the coverup being a bigger problem than the original incident plays out in Ann Arbor.
  • Brice Ramsey, on his G-Day performance:  “I was picking up blitzes, making the right reads. I just need to put the ball on. I had a bad day throwing.”
  • ”In theory, it could give the private universities a recruiting advantage.”
  • John Pennington argues for a rule that would prevent SEC teams from signing kids who had been kicked out of other SEC programs for violations.  One rationale for that: “The fact that a booted player could come back to haunt a coach down the road might lead some to hang onto players a bit longer even if they’ve proven to be bad news.”  That’s never been a concern at Georgia, obviously.
  • And Seth Emerson says the NCAA can’t find a middle ground.  Wouldn’t it have to be looking for one first?

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Look For The Union Label, Political Wankery, Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA

Their problem was they didn’t love the game enough.

I mean, it’s either that or these ladies were victims of a preemptive strike against unionization, right?

The circumstances of each departure also make it difficult for the three athletes to transfer and play immediately. The NCAA’s “run off” waiver requires that the athlete not have an opportunity to participate for reasons outside the athlete’s control. That would preclude Davis and Barger from getting the waiver. The waiver is also based on the opportunity to participate rather than the scholarship. Hvisdak’s scholarship was not renewed but she was offered a walk-on spot, which means she had an opportunity to participate. In cases where a new coach comes in and wants their own players, the least they can do is facilitate an easier transfer to another institution.

The system, working.

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