“Michigan has been Michigan for a long time.”

With its latest, ballyhooed reform package, the NCAA finally admits what we’ve known all along:  it’s Nick Saban’s world, and they’re all just living in it.

Coaches can now make an unlimited number of contacts with recruits via text messages or social media. Printed recruiting materials sent through the mail are now completely deregulated in terms of frequency or expense. And schools will now have the ability to hire a recruiting coordinator who isn’t a head coach or full-time assistant coach, which is a particularly big deal for football.

All three of those things favor schools with major resources. Alabama, if it wanted, could now hire a staff of people to do nothing all day, every day but send mailers and text messages out to recruits – something the many schools with much smaller athletic budgets probably couldn’t afford.

A change like that, Emmert said, would have probably been a “drag-out fight” as recently as last year. But with the NCAA coming under heavy attack for its lengthy rulebook and how it approaches the increasingly complicated issues of amateurism, a new philosophy is necessary. There are bigger issues to deal with than how many times coaches text recruits.

“We’re not going to overcome those natural competitive advantages people have, but when student-athletes step onto the field they know the other team has same number of players and scholarships,” Emmert said. “They may have a fancier stadium, but we have a chance to beat these guys because there’s competitive fairness. We heard that again and again from student-athletes. That’s what they wanted. They’re smart kids. They know who’s got the shiny locker room and who doesn’t. It’s, ‘Can I go out there and play against these guys?’ I think the students got that faster than the rest of us.”

“They may have a fancier stadium, but we have a chance to beat these guys because there’s competitive fairness.”?  Seriously?  Does Emmert really believe others are buying the horseshit he’s shoveling out there?

There is certainly a logic to cleaning up some of the absurdity, but let’s be honest here and call a spade a spade.  It’s an abdication in favor of the haves.  What I can’t figure out is what Emmert thinks he’s saving with this.  It does nothing to ease the tension between D-1’s larger resource schools and the rest.  The split still seems inevitable.


Filed under The NCAA

16 responses to ““Michigan has been Michigan for a long time.”

  1. sniffer

    Senator, i’ll take a shot. Emmert has spent millions defending the “basketball issue”, and believes he may spend millions more litigating the Penn State ruling. He is attempting to line up the big players in football behind himself. At some point, he will need friends. Allowing the monied programs to spend whatever amount they want on recruiting is a step toward aligning himself with their wishes.


  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    “They may have a fancier stadium, but we have a chance to beat these guys because there’s competitive fairness.”?

    Nuh uh? Really? Is he serious? Hee hee hee, haw haw. No way. C’mon now. Good grief. Oh sure Mark. How long did he practice that to say it with a straight face?


  3. TennesseeDawg

    I’m hoping for the split. Screw the have nots. There is simply too many D-1 teams in CFB.


  4. 69Dawg

    “They may have a fancier stadium, but we have a chance to beat these guys because there’s competitive fairness.”?

    The fact that that fancy statium comes with 85 players who are bigger, faster and better than your 85 must mean nothing to the NCAA. UGA better hire some consultant right away cause Alabama is about to consolidate their position as the “Kings of College Football”.


  5. Go Dawgs!

    He’s right though. There is a reason the five stars don’t list Marshall or Tulsa their finalists when they are juniors. It has nothing to do with the amount of letters they get from Georgia, Auburn or Alabama. It is because they know where the big programs are. They know where they’ll be stars. Richt and Saban being able to turn up the amount of contact doesn’t mean Tulane is out of the running on the guys UGA or UA are targeting. They already were. It just means the competition at the top gets hotter. Competition at the middle gets hotter. And competition at the bottom gets hotter. There hasn’t been a level playing field since Suwanee was in the SEC.


  6. Cousin Eddie

    Emmertt hopes he is saving the NCAA by appeasing the big boys for alittle while longer


  7. Lrgk9

    Saban doesn’t have time for Emmert’s She-et and Emmy Get’s It and Buy’s In…


  8. Chadwick

    Emmert is trying to keep his job. His ass will say anything to placate the big schools. The NCAA is close to being the overlord of CBB and the non-revenue sports, not football.


  9. DawgPhan

    I think that the lives of marginal to high profile high school students just got ripped out of the rule book.


  10. JasonC

    Emmert is such and idiot, I don’t see how Adams could have done a worse job.


  11. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Emmert’s job is to oversee the NCAA’s transition from a “everyone has a seat at the table” conference to a “we pay the freight, we make the rules” conference. Emmert’s words could have come straight from the mouth of Jim Delaney: “You still have the right to send your 85 to play our 85. Be thankful, and shut up.”

    Emmert isn’t preserving anything and never had those marching orders. He’s blowing the place up, although perhaps not exactly in the fashion people have been clamoring for..

    As long as he’s fronting a power-play to lock 85% of “amateur” college sports revenues into 60-70 schools (they’ll take back basketball eventually, too), he’s going to be shelling out nuggets like this once a month for the foreseeable future.

    Question: What would people like the NCAA to be? Frankly, I’m perfectly content to see the existing “power conferences” lock in visibility, access to revenue, and access to recruits. I have no interest in watching the UNC-Charlottes and Western Michigans of the world swamping the system and turning CFB into CBB – which is where all of this seemed headed until about 18 months ago.


    • JasonC

      I don’t mind some separation between the haves and have nots, but it’s the guise of amateurism that bothers me. They want to talk about integrity and doing what’s right but they’re just a bunch of lying whores.


  12. Think Ralph Sampson is a little bitter right now? LOL.

    I actually think this is a good move. They need to simplify and dump tons of the stupid “secondary infractions” and focus on the big things.

    Honestly, who cares about text messages and crap like that anyway.

    Stuff like Cam Newton getting paid to play at Auburn and coaches looking the other way on child molestation is the stuff they have to stamp out before it does real damage to the product.


    • Cojones

      Old memory, Ralph Sampson. Wasn’t he taken BEFORE he went to college? Seems the old memory bag sees him (as a Senior in HS) leaning against a car in a photo on the front cover of SI. Would imagine that he got paid regularly and more often than Cam.