Daily Archives: March 20, 2013

“I never went to South Beach.”

Instead of punishing A.J. Green over the jersey nonsense, the NCAA should have given him a major pat on the back for having the good judgment and sense to steer clear of the whole Marvin Austin debacle.

What a joke.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The NCAA

The world’s strangest business model

Minnesota claims that it was never the intent that the school turn a profit on beer and wine sales at football games.

At least it was successful at that.

11 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

Jim Delany needs a new pair of shoes.

Jim Delany’s offended shoe pusher Sonny Vaccaro with his escape to DIII comments?  Shit’s gettin’ real, dawg:

“It’s the most irrational statement I’ve ever seen from a person who’s in power to do something for the players,” Vaccaro said. “Pay-for-play is not a true statement. What it is and what it always will be is compensation for these kids when they’re no longer at the school so they’re part of the process.”

Vaccaro makes a good point about certain real world ramifications if Delany made good on his word to flee.

Vaccaro said Delany’s comments are “insane” given that conferences such as the Big Ten are “too big to fail.” Vaccaro questions what happens in a deemphasized model to contractual obligations with TV and shoe companies, not to mention how universities would pay off debt they’re running up to build athletic facilities.

“What I would have hoped is people like this in authority overlooking the athletes, because they have no legal representation, is let’s do the right thing by the participants,” Vaccaro said. “Let’s understand the world has changed. Basically, it was a threat so the public thinks the players are wrong.

“If that’s what they want to do, they should do it without funding new stadiums and paying millions of dollars to themselves. What Mr. Delany does not admit to is the value of the Big Ten Network to pay the salaries. If this happens, then Mr. Delany and his whole office will be out of work.”

Now that’s happening.  And the final word:

“I’m so glad Mr. Delany felt fit to talk about the student-athlete relationship vs. the university,” Vaccaro said. “He failed to mention the academic scandal at the University of Minnesota (in the 1990s). If you follow the bouncing ball, the Big Ten players have now started their three-week migration throughout America to play in a basketball tournament. It’s so hypocritical. I was happy by what he said so the public can understand they’re so blinded by the commitments they already started.”

It’s not easy to cede the moral high ground to Sonny Vaccaro.  Well played, Commissioner.

10 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Mark Richt has lost control over playcalling.

Evidently yesterday’s meme of the day was Mike “you never sausage a place” Bobo’s contentment with being in Athens.  (Now we know McGarity’s secret weapon in contract negotiations.)  But in the midst of the sausage fest, Marc Weiszer caught an interesting quote from Richt about his offensive coordinator:

“Mike and I have worked together for so long now that if I study red zone and he studies red zone and we compare notes and we watch it separately, it’s about 90 percent identical,” Richt said. “It’s not like that I need to have a lot of input. There might be times I slip a little something to him on the side and say, ‘Hey, if you like it, good. If you don’t, that’s fine, too.’ I know what it’s like to be an offensive coordinator and to call plays when your head coach is kind of the guy you’ve replaced as the play-caller. I know it can be tough at times, but Mike’s handed everything really well.”

That’s the sound of a man who’s comfortable.  In fact, as Emerson notes, it sounds like Richt’s been more comfortable with Bobo than Bobo’s been comfortable with Bobo.

Bobo joked that his first year at Georgia he felt like a graduate assistant in the game-planning room. Richt was not only the offensive coordinator, but also a former college quarterback. Twelve years later, and five seasons into his tenure as offensive coordinator, Bobo said he has a much better comfort level — but not because Richt ever limited him. For instance, the wrinkles that Georgia has tried the past few years (the spread offense, the pistol, the no-huddle) it was mainly Bobo.

All in all, that’s a relationship that’s not ending any time soon.  If you’re the guy I sat in front of last year at the Auburn game, I’m sorry to tell you that.

46 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Help a genius out.

When the AJ-C throws you a fastball down the middle with a header like this, you’ve got to turn on it.

Suggestions are more than welcome in the comments.  Do it for the Johnson Doctrine.

39 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football

“It’s such a disruptive model.”

A couple of eagle-eyed readers pointed me to a story in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal about Verizon FIOS’ attempt to come up with a new pricing strategy for content that would involve customers paying for channels based on the number of subscribers who actually watch them, and not a set rate.

The story itself is behind a pay wall, so no direct quotes, but the gist of things is that Verizon is looking at a business model that would involve putting a box on a subscriber’s TV that would measure viewing time.  The customer would only be charged based on usage that crossed a certain time threshold.

This is coming from Verizon, mind you, so I’m not convinced this would benefit the consumer in terms of saving money.  But it clearly indicates that providers are increasingly worried about the impact on-line video outlets are having on the market.  And that’s not all.  According to the article, ESPN draws less viewers than the USA Network, yet distributors paid ESPN an average of $5.04 a month per household last year, compared to the 68 cents a month USA received.  If you’re somebody stuck in the middle like Verizon, you can see where moving to a model based on actual usage has the potential to be an attractive way to avoid price fights with certain content distributors.

The catch is that you can also see how that might not be so great for sports network providers who are pushing product in markets where there isn’t that much interest in the product, say, like the Big Ten Network in the greater New York area.  The problem won’t be unavailability.  Rather, it’ll be that the price will go up if the customer base interested in the product is small.  And that’s got the potential to create a negative feedback loop, as prices go up and fewer people are willing to pay to watch.  (Although maybe Jim Delany can figure a way to threaten a few viewers in Brooklyn to keep them in line.)

Right now, it’s hard to say whether this is a canary in the coal mine story.  But it bears repeating that the content delivery world is under pressure and it’s more likely that things will change than that they won’t.  And that’s something network-owning football conferences should be mindful of.

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UPDATE:  More from the Washington Post on this.

“This is the beginning,” said Gene Kimmelman, a former senior antitrust official at the Justice Department. “If the conflict between cable distributors and content owners persists and prices keep rising, there will be enormous market pressure to begin unbundling offerings, give consumers more choices and, from my perspective, ultimately let consumers control what they buy and how much they pay.”

27 Comments

Filed under College Football, ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness