Monthly Archives: March 2012

“Control and money are the driving forces.”

Jon Solomon has a good follow-up on the story that the NCAA is going to take a look at severing some D-1 schools from the current governance structure over the division.  It’s been coming for a long time.

The haves, meanwhile, will continue to spend because they can negotiate their own lucrative TV deals, thanks to a landmark 1984 Supreme Court decision. They will dictate terms in the football playoff talks because they possess the teams the public wants to see. And they will want NCAA rules that serve their interests, believing there are too many schools playing Division I football as it is.

There’s some kind of separation coming.  Bank on it.  The only question may be whether the NCAA as we know it survives the split.

Of course, if it doesn’t, there’s always the familiar last refuge.

“That was discussed even in 1996: ‘If we can’t have control of the (NCAA voting) structure, we’ll do our own thing,'” Dempsey recalled. “I think to accomplish their goals, the threat will always be there.”

But Dempsey warns of consequences if the haves break away from the NCAA and stage their own basketball tournament.

“I think many schools would go to Congress and seek their involvement,” Dempsey said. “I’m not sure the institutions want to go into the political arena and get Congress involved…”



Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Derrick Lott and the AJ-C: a new low?

I suppose there are two ways you could look at the news that Derrick Lott is leaving the team.

There’s the way that takes the announcement at face value, based on how the defensive two-deep is beginning to take shape in Grantham’s mind.

… This spring Lott was hoping to take advantage of the graduation of DeAngelo Tyson, one of only two starters leaving the team. But he was still behind Garrison Smith, who started when Tyson got hurt last year, and this spring Cornelius Washington and Ray Drew were getting snaps at end.

“Derrick and I met, and he believes he will have opportunities for more playing time elsewhere,” Richt said in a statement. “We support him and will assist in any way possible during this process.”

Pretty cut and dried, no?  Kid sees the writing on the wall and decides he wants to go elsewhere.  (Happens every day in the SEC, it seems like.)

Then there’s the AJ-C‘s way.  Cue the prairie dog.

This is a pretty shameless inference:

… If you find the timing curious, I do, too. For one, defensive line coach Rodney Garner spoke glowingly of Lott’s progress and abilities earlier this week. Though a career backup, Lott had tripped over some bad fortune — he ripped his leg open in a scooter accident before this past season — and appeared to be coming into his own this spring. According to several accounts of recent interviews with Lott, he spoke excitedly and optimistically about the upcoming season and the prospects it held for him.

Lott’s decision comes on the heels of the news that two more defensive players — All-America safety Bacarri Rambo and star linebacker Alec Ogletree — had flunked drug tests and are going to be suspended for multiple games at the beginning of the season. Alan Ingram, Rambo’s coach at Seminole County High School, said yesterday that as many as five Georgia players had failed surprise post-spring-break drug screenings.

If you know something specific, Chip, spit it out.  Otherwise, all you’ve done is cast aspersions some kid’s way.  I’m sure Lott will appreciate your speculation as he looks for another program.

And while I’m on the subject, WTF is with “Lott could not be reached for comment. He was probably attending a show”?

If I were Richt, I’d be pretty pissed right now.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

One thing that NCAA playoff label brings

USA Today looks at the rising salaries of college basketball coaches, which is now percolating down to schools with smaller athletic budgets.  It’s a classic case of keeping up with the Joneses, brought on by an expanding tournament which is the gauge for success.

Football is different.

VCU digging deep to thwart the get-Smart bids by Illinois and N.C. State is emblematic of a widening dollar gap between major-conference schools and so-called midmajors.  Football TV contracts and attendance for the six power conferences of football’s Bowl Championship Series mean big money, while competitive ambitions at midmajors often outrun their athletics departments’ ability to pay for them.

VCU is paying for Smart’s raise with increased student athletic fees.


Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness

Mmmm… tacos.

This FSU snark about Erving Walker’s arrest is pretty funny:


Filed under Gators, Gators...

That nine-game conference schedule ain’t so tough after all.

Take note, Mike Slive and the rest of you SEC wussies.


Filed under ACC Football

Not exactly Wayne’s World

Okay, it’s not on spring break – hell, it’s not even in America – but there’s something about a drunk dude in the back of a police car belting out “Bohemian Rhapsody”…

Now that’s some funny shit. [h/t Balloon Juice]


Filed under Crime and Punishment

What’s in a name?

I’m sorry, but, if true, this is one of the more ludicrous proposals I’ve seen.

… Two sources confirmed that the idea has been floated of a limited liability company created by the NCAA that could “house” the playoff. The NCAA wouldn’t directly control it or even the money generated by it. The revenue generated could be housed in such an LLC. The BCS currently shares money all the way down to the I-AA level.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Somebody thinks it would be a good idea for the NCAA to lend its name to whatever new postseason format the BCS suits come up with for  – I can barely bring myself to type this – credibility.

You only get one guess as to whom.

“The NCAA brand in championships is very powerful,” Emmert said here Thursday at the Final Four. “Witness what’s going on here right now. It depends on the model they come up with …

“The issues that presidents voice is making sure that the BCS doesn’t get tied up in some of the byzantine politics of the NCAA…”

Ho, ho, ho.  I suppose if by “byzantine politics” Emmert means fashioning a way to keep mid-major schools’ grubby paws off money that Slive and Delany see as rightfully theirs, he may have a point.  But, seriously, are there a bunch of folks sitting around saying, “sorry, but I can’t embrace any D-1 football playoff unless it has the NCAA’s name on it”?  Would branding the trophy with those four little letters mean things are even more settled on the field than ever?  Hardly.

So, assuming there’s anything to this story (and by the way, Dodd, according to your colleague, playoff plans haven’t exactly crystallized yet), what’s in it for both sides?  I can’t see where the commissioners and presidents would be interested in pursuing it because Mark Emmert is such an articulate spokesman for their product, but I can think of one thing that might move both sides to make some sort of branding deal.

It’s about money, of course.  If you’re Jim Delany, you’re passionately opposed to spreading wealth that your conference has worked hard to create in the market with conferences and schools that simply haven’t or can’t.  And you have to realize that slapping an NCAA label on a D-1 playoff runs a risk of letting the camel’s nose under the tent by those institutions you’ve worked so hard to exclude from the truly big money.

Unless there’s radical surgery first.

“The diversity of institutions in Division I has grown, the relative diversity of their economic bases has grown, so it’s been increasingly difficult to create rules that fit everybody and everybody’s happy with and get a consensus around those things,” Emmert said Thursday. “So we’re going to spend some time this summer and in the fall looking at what would the membership like to do, how would they like to grapple with this governance challenge and still hold together the big Division I tent.”

I suspect that Jim Delany’s idea of how to deal with “relative diversity” (nice phrase, that) and Craig Thompson’s differ rather dramatically.  Who’s in a better position to make Mark Emmert see things his way?  Let’s just say I don’t find Gordon Schnell’s question that hard to answer.

“What are they [NCAA] going to get for [putting their name on a playoff]?,” said Gordon Schnell, a noted anti-trust attorney with Constantine Cannon in New York. “The NCAA has a lot to answer for in other areas when it comes to equity. I’d be surprised if they got into the BCS storm without it being financially worth wile [sic]. Do I think it would be better for the BCS? Maybe.”

The NCAA gets a check and the BCS gets separation from grasping hands.  That’s a win-win as far as they’re all concerned.  There’s no maybe about it.  We’re not going to care, of course.  But that was never the point anyway.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

One last thought on Browniegate

Whatever you might think about Rambo’s high school coach’s story about what led to Rambo’s suspension last year and what may be coming down the turnpike shortly, he’s put his finger on another part of the story that isn’t getting much attention – yet, anyway.

“To me, and I’m not condoning anything anybody has done. But I think it was a stupid thing to do to test college athletes the week after spring break. Unless they want to catch something. I doubt if there’s many universities out there that are testing their athletes the week after spring break.”

I doubt it, too.  (In fact, I wonder if Georgia tests many of its other student-athletes the week after spring break.)

Maybe it’s a slight stretch, but I suspect when all is said and done we’ll be able to divide Dawgnation into two camps here:  those who approve it as a deliberate strategy to ride herd on the kids and those who think, deliberate or not, it’s a really stupid thing to do, especially given the school’s tough substance abuse policy.

Which means – time for a reader poll!


Filed under Georgia Football

It’s only a problem in Athens.

Look, people, whatever moral high ground you choose to seize in the wake of the Rambo/Ogletree suspensions, can we please keep specious bullshit like this out of the conversation?

… Players at other schools get suspended, yes, but they have the leadership from the top, for Alabama for example, that a slap on the wrist probably won’t come the second time. When the coach is known as no nonsense, like Nick Saban is, there is little room for misdeeds off the field.

The reason I ask is because… well, it’s not exactly unknown in Tuscaloosa.  Although at least Calloway knew better than to be caught dealing.  That’s progress of a sort, right?

And as for “Teams that win championships don’t have guys getting into the same situations repeatedly”,  no doubt that will come as a surprise to many in Gainesville, Florida.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Rumors abound that Da’Rick Rogers may be thinking of swapping SOD for Bill Curry.  Now there’s a Butch and Sundance pairing for you.


UPDATE:  Bonus coverage!  At Tennessee, players don’t get suspended, they get… they get… hell, they get told they have something to do.  No, really.

“I wouldn’t call it anything other than he’s got to do some things. When he does, he’ll come back, and when he doesn’t, he’s not going to be here.”

And to think we’re complaining that Richt isn’t a severe enough disciplinarian.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange