Interestingly, ESPN feels the need to post a statement on the ACC broadcast rights agreement. I don’t recall any similar explanation appearing in the midst of last year’s conference shuffling, so what makes this go around different?
Daily Archives: May 15, 2012
Missouri’s second string quarterback, who played at the number one slot in the spring because of James Franklin’s shoulder surgery gets arrested. If Franklin’s not healthy by the time the season rolls around and this kid has to sit, what’s left behind them isn’t too pretty.
Missouri has only one other scholarship quarterback on its roster, junior Ashton Glaser, who was third on the depth chart before Franklin’s injury. Incoming freshman Maty Mauk of Kenton, Ohio, is expected to join the team this summer.
The real issue here is prep time. Even if Franklin is cleared to play, he’ll only have a month of fall practice to get ready. And Pinkel has to decide how to allocate time to the backups, given Franklin’s shoulder. In short, the passing game playing field for Georgia’s conference opener has the potential to be leveled more than we might have anticipated.
It’s no secret how much regard I have for Chris Brown and his blog Smart Football. I read a lot of folks who blog, but there are few of whom I’d describe their work as essential. Chris is that good.
Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that he’s publishing a book that I expect will be terrific.
You can get all the info about it here; for ten bucks (less if you use the coupon code he’s furnished), it’ll be a steal. I’m getting my copy in a week or so and will offer a review, if you need further convincing.
It’s May. I blog about Georgia football. I miss Munson. Somebody’s got to step into the pessimist’s role. So, without any further ado, here are the four areas which concern me most, which have the greatest chance of derailing what could be a terrific year for the Dawgs:
- The offensive line. When even Coach Richt refers to the o-line as a “question mark”, it’s something to worry about. Maybe a lot. I do think there’s talent, but when there’s a strong possibility that the starting left tackle hasn’t set foot on campus yet, there’s going to be an adjustment period. You have to hope, like Richt does, that’s it’s not a long one. Which brings me to…
- The Missouri game. I think Barrett Sallee overstates Missouri’s strength, but between a green offensive line and a secondary which will be missing some key cogs against an offense that lives out of five-receiver sets, Georgia’s going to have its hands full. And I would expect the home crowd to be nuts about this game. Lose to Missouri, and it’s hard to see how the season won’t be a disappointment.
- Malcolm Mitchell’s hamstrings. It’s all well and good to drool over how much of a contributor Mitchell could be this season, but let’s not forget that he’s already missed parts of last season and this year’s spring practice. He goes down, especially early in the season, and it could be grim (see Missouri game, above), given, not just what the coaches hope to get out of him, but what they need from him.
- Special teams. Maybe I should call this a frustration and not a concern. It’s an area that’s been treated it seems like a bastard stepchild and it’s shown. There’s little excuse for the shortcomings we’ve all seen over the past few seasons. Richt has promised greater focus and that’s welcomed. But let’s also remember Georgia will be introducing a true freshman punter and a true freshman place kicker. Welcome to the SEC, kids.
I don’t want anyone missing out of the fun/misery, so here’s a reader poll. Leave comments, especially if you think I’ve overlooked something. (It’s okay to blame Bobo.)
I’m not sure if any issue exposes the have/have-not fault line in D-1 athletics more than this issue does right now.
In the coming months, the NCAA will seek feedback on a topic that divides opinions based upon wealth and could eventually change how the association is governed. These three options have been floated for consideration:
* Let schools provide up to $2,000 in additional aid without financial need as a requirement. Athletes on partial scholarships could be limited to a proportional amount of the stipend, such as $500 for an athlete on a 25-percent scholarship.
* Require athletes to demonstrate a need for the stipend by applying through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
* Allow schools to use their Student-Athlete Opportunity Funds for the optional stipend.
NCAA Division I Vice President David Berst said there is no clear leader among the options and other ideas are welcome before a recommendation goes to the board in August or October.
If the membership is that split, there’s nothing coming. And that’s just more fuel for the fire for an upcoming break in D-1. Really, if you think about it, this is something that probably drives that future no matter how it gets settled, because there’s a block of schools which can afford to pay it and want to and another block that can’t, regardless of intent. Maybe they just ought to get this over.
USA Today has published a breakdown of college athletics revenues/expenditures for the period of 2006 – 2011 in handy chart form here. If you’re interested in that kind of stuff, there’s some fascinating data worth a look.
And if you’re a Georgia fan, you ought to be more than interested. Here’s why:
Put another way, in 2006, of the eleven public institutions in the SEC, Georgia ranked second in revenue. Five years later, it ranks sixth. Graphically, here’s how that looks:
The red line is Georgia’s revenue. The blue line is the median for the conference.
The big story is contributions, which are defined as “Includes amounts received directly from individuals, corporations, associations, foundations, clubs or other organizations by the donor for the operation of the athletics program. Report amounts paid in excess of a ticket’s value. Contributions include cash, marketable securities and in-kind contributions such as dealer-provided cars, apparel and drink products for team and staff use. Also includes revenue from preferential seating.” There is only one SEC school which saw a decline in 2011 contributions from their 2006 level. That would be the school in Athens.
It’s hard to put a finger on an exact cause for that. The economy? Maybe, but that hasn’t stopped every other school in the conference from registering an increase. Disappointing seasons? You’d certainly think that played a major part, although Florida seems to have weathered its recent storm better than has Georgia.
The other area that explains the slide is called “other revenue”. That is “All other sources of revenue including game guarantees, support from third-parties guaranteed by the school such as TV income, housing allowances, camp income, etc.; tournament/bowl game revenues from conferences; endowments and investments; revenue from game programs, novelties, food or other concessions; and parking revenues and other sources.” The amount Georgia collected in this category last year ($2,116,893) was over $3 million less than what was received in 2006 and ranked eighth in the SEC.
Now this is all athletic revenue, so you can’t hang the entire story on the football program, but let’s not kid ourselves. Football is the main driver of money for Georgia athletics. If the numbers are flatlining, that’s more about what Mark Richt is putting on the table than the rest of Georgia’s coaches put together. Does that mean Richt’s seat is warmer than we thought? Probably not, but I’d be surprised if this was a trend that doesn’t concern the people Richt answers to. And the people those people answer to.
One thing’s for sure, there’s a pretty big gap growing between what the top programs in the SEC are bringing in and what McGarity’s programs are taking in. And in a league where you have to spend money to excel – or at least think you do – falling behind isn’t something to get comfortable about if you want to keep your job.
In other words, it sure wouldn’t hurt if the football team had a great season this year.