Category Archives: The NCAA

What’s worse than using college players’ likenesses for financial gain?

Using them for political gain.

That violates NCAA rules, but I’m not exactly sure whom the NCAA can punish.  I bet if Prewitt and Love were threatened with suspension over it, heads would roll, though.

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

Todd Gurley is not a crook.

I realize I run the risk of getting virtually bitch-slapped for what I’m about to post.  And I’m sorry about that.  I have no doubt of the sincerity of the author of this post.  As sincere as she may be, though, she’s way off base with her sentiment.

Todd Gurley hasn’t broken the law.  He hasn’t broken a team rule.  He’s still in good standing with his coaches and his teammates.  He still practices with them.

What he stands accused of is exactly the same thing Mark Richt does every time he gets behind the wheel of that big Ford truck and faces the camera:  getting paid for being himself.  And if Todd Gurley left Georgia tomorrow, he’d be free to pick up where he left off.

That isn’t to excuse Gurley.  The NCAA rule exists and he’s alleged to have violated it.  There are consequences.

But there’s nothing noble about his suspension.  Georgia isn’t taking some brave stand here.  And, with all due respect to Mary Grace Alston Lyon, it’s wrong to romanticize the situation.  All you’re doing is encouraging the greedy bastards who are well on their way to ruining our beloved sport to stay greedy.

College football may have a soul.  But the people forcing Todd Gurley to sit out and be unable to contribute to his team have money market accounts and reserve funds.  Don’t make the mistake of confusing the two.  Gurley and college football deserve better than that.

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

The best things in life are Free Gurley, but you can keep ‘em for the birds and bees.

Here’s something else about which Mark Emmert would like to remain totally clueless.

Calling this stuff farcical would be an insult to farces everywhere.

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Filed under The NCAA

Musical palate cleanser, “la-la-la, I can’t hear you” edition

Mark “There’s not anyone talking about change in that rule right now” Emmert, this one goes out to you, my man.

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Filed under The NCAA

“A logical person would say to hell with all this.”

Will Leitch’s post about Todd Gurley and his future is an eloquent rebuttal to every “it’s not what’s on the back of the jersey that matters, but what’s on the front” argument you’ve ever heard.

It would make me, and everyone in my town, and millions of college football fans, sad if Gurley was finished as a Georgia Bulldog. But with all due respect: Why should anybody care about us? We allow this corrupt system to exist. If we want players to put their bodies on the line every Saturday while we scream off all the bourbon we consumed pregame, we should make it worth their while. If we do not change the system, we cannot complain if someone begs out of it because it is not in their best interests.

You know what would make the NCAA and the schools take a hard look at their amateurism model?  If every star player entering his third year like Gurley announced he was leaving school, hiring an agent and spending the year preparing for the NFL draft instead.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

“If the money wasn’t there, would there be litigation? No, of course not. But the money is there.”

While I don’t doubt Vince Dooley’s sincerity in his support for the current NCAA amateurism model – hell, I even give him credit for consistency (“I don’t agree with the fact that you should be selling jerseys with their names on the back of them, the school or NCAA,” he said. “I don’t think that’s right.”) – it’s more than ironic, considering that he was a primary player in the matter that set the wheels in motion for the battle over amateurism.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

The other Gurley scandal

(AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Obviously, as Georgia fans, the Gurley suspension has hit us in a personal way. But as John Infante points out, it’s likely to hit the NCAA differently.

But while a majority of people are opposed to paying student-athletes, that majority is getting more silent (if not smaller) by the day. Few people have spoken out against Gurley’s actions. And many who have invoke only a “rules are rules” explanation, less along the lines of “do the crime, do the time” and more along the lines of “come on, what did you expect would happen?”

There are a lot of factors involved in these types of changes in public opinion but the NFL’s tumultuous summer and start to the season looms large. Scandal fatigue with the NCAA began setting in a long time ago. The long wait for penalties in the USC case started it; the Penn State penalties, misconduct in the Miami case, and lack of action on UNC’s academic scandal were other major milestones…

… The result is we can expect support for the NCAA’s enforcement of its amateurism rules to hit a new low. That seems to be playing out with the Gurley accusations. Faced with a crisis that might one day represent an existential threat to the sport (and thus college athletics), it is easy to understand people who wonder why the NCAA is worried about some autographs.

Here’s an example of that kind of sentiment (h/t Lrgk9).

Throw in the antitrust road map on which O’Bannon is just the first mile marker, and it’s easy to see why the NCAA is finding less public support – if not downright hostility – for its amateurism policy.  All of that adds up to something Ed Kilgore wrote a couple of days ago:

Reading various comment threads collecting the reactions of an overwhelming white, male, and conservative fan base, I’m struck by the extent to which I am reading expressions of fury at the economic exploitation of poor African-American young people by powerful institutions. There’s almost zero support for the NCAA’s existing (if legally zombie-like, given recent court decisions all but tearing up its “amateurism” doctrine) policies prohibiting sale of autographs and likenesses of “student-athletes,” and a great deal of anger at both the NCAA and its member-colleges for harvesting this material for enormous profits. Indeed, the general feeling is that Gurley’s being punished less for breaking rules than for threatening the power of a cartel…

Ed’s not sure that’s going to lead anywhere on a general basis, but I can think of one place where it’s very likely that it might.  Politicians may not be good at many things, but they’re usually very gifted at sensing which way the winds of public sentiment are blowing.  If the feelings Gurley’s situation are stirring up continue to develop, don’t be surprised in the least if that factors into the reception the schools and the NCAA get from Congress as they inevitably seek an antitrust exemption.  It isn’t hard at all to see how sympathy for kids like Gurley can be generated from both the left and the right.

How ironic would it be if Gurley’s college legacy not only included his brilliant playing career, but also his impact on the history of player compensation?

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA