Daily Archives: February 14, 2010

“It’s all behind him now.”

If the NCAA really wants to do something about “maintaining our game’s image and reflecting the ideals of the NCAA overall”, it seems to me a better place to turn its attention than eye black and on the field gestures would be here.

Improper phone calls and text messages to football recruits by two former athletic department staff members led the NCAA on Thursday to place the University of Central Florida football program on two years’ probation, the school and the NCAA jointly announced.

Former UCF recruiting administrator Ed Marynowitz and former director of player personnel Steve Rubio combined to place 209 improper phone calls and about 100 improper text messages to 27 football prospects and their parents, NCAA and UCF investigations found…

The school suffers with a two year-probation penalty.  The bad actors?  Not so much.  They’ve moved on.

… Marynowitz is now the director of player personnel at the University of Alabama, while Rubio was a recruiting intern at the University of Tennessee last season. In the report, they were not named and were identified only by their positions at UCF.

They were not members of the school’s coaching staff and were not allowed to have any phone contact with recruits under NCAA rules. All college coaches were banned from sending text messages to recruits in August 2007…

That’s some system you’ve got there, guys.  And while the staff members or the coach who employed them didn’t receive much of a penalty, the players – who, after all, aren’t the ones who supposedly spend money on compliance officers and training sessions – were looking down the barrel at a pretty serious threat of one.

Unauthorized phone calls and text messages by two former University of Central Florida football staff members nearly cost 27 players their eligibility.

UCF automatically deemed 27 football players ineligible when school officials learned that former recruiting administrator Ed Marynowitz and former director of player personnel Steve Rubio combined to place 209 improper phone calls and about 100 improper text messages to the prospects and their parents before they had signed letters of intent…

… The NCAA decided to reinstate the UCF football players contacted by Marynowitz before the start of the 2008 football season and the players contacted by Rubio before the start of the 2009 season, according to UCF documents obtained exclusively by the Orlando Sentinel.

Even the probation doesn’t strike me as much of a deterrent.  After all, it’s not exactly  like Rubio cleaned up his act when he went to work for Junior.  Or that his services don’t continue to be valued.



Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Recruiting, The NCAA

Because that’s where the money is.

If you mosey on over to the Department of Education’s OPE Equity in Athletics Data Analysis Cutting Tool site, you can find all sorts of cool data on US colleges and universities – including how much revenue each school’s athletic department generated in 2008.

Take, for example, this breakdown of the SEC’s income comparison of basketball, football and total revenues, by school (in order of total revenues) and for the conference overall:

SCHOOL Basketball Rev. Football Rev. Total Rev.
Florida $   10,016,431.00 $   66,150,063.00 $ 108,309,060.00
Alabama $      8,766,826.00 $   64,606,392.00 $ 103,934,873.00
LSU $      6,034,178.00 $   61,868,953.00 $ 100,077,884.00
Tennessee $   12,576,715.00 $   42,805,360.00 $   92,524,125.00
Auburn $      7,187,457.00 $   58,618,819.00 $   87,001,416.00
Georgia $      7,266,018.00 $   65,218,406.00 $   81,496,357.00
S. Carolina $      8,101,086.00 $   57,118,519.00 $   76,254,236.00
Arkansas $   14,391,769.00 $   38,630,265.00 $   63,978,641.00
Vanderbilt $      8,021,361.00 $   18,564,940.00 $   45,582,274.00
Kentucky $   14,773,034.00 $   26,143,126.00 $   72,057,751.00
Mississippi $      4,725,911.00 $   18,688,648.00 $   41,318,068.00
Miss. State $      6,199,698.00 $   18,732,248.00 $   36,536,152.00
TOTAL $ 108,058,484.00 $ 537,145,739.00 $ 909,070,837.00

Note that for the conference as a whole, football generates five times as much income as basketball and more than half of all SEC revenue.  Given those numbers, it’s not a surprise that no SEC school generates more basketball revenue than football revenue, but only Kentucky has a basketball program that even earns more than half as much as its football program.

On top of this, keep in mind that these are the numbers for 2008, the season before the new TV contracts kicked in.  The disparity will be far greater in the next report.

I’ll do some more exploring, but a quick check only revealed only a couple of schools in 2008 playing D-1 football and basketball in a BCS conference that generated more basketball money than football money – Louisville and Duke.

I recognize that football enjoys greater popularity than does basketball, but still, that’s an enormous spread. Given how the money is currently generated, is it any wonder that the BCS-conference commissioners and presidents are at least somewhat apprehensive about what sort of an effect a football playoff might have on the regular season cash flow?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

It beats four hot dogs and four Cokes.

Florida International University came up with a unique approach to building student support of its nascent football program:  bribery.

In an attempt to get students to come out and support their football team during home games, Florida International University is offering some creative incentives.

Here’s the pitch:

During each of the next four home games — starting with Saturday’s contest — three students will be chosen at random in the fourth quarter to receive a $500 scholarship for college expenses.

Another four students will win coveted parking upgrades. The sweet deal would allow the winners to park in faculty parking spots for a month.

“We are doing this because we want to create a fan experience and build an affinity for FIU,” said Sandy Gonzalez-Levy, senior vice president of external affairs.

There wasn’t much else they could do, since attendance at games is already free.

(h/t The Business of College Football)


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness