Daily Archives: June 26, 2013

Oregon ducks a serious penalty.

So, Oregon dodges the proverbial bullet in the Willie Lyles matter – no bowl ban and a one-scholarship loss for each of two years.  Oh, and Chip Kelly gets slapped with an eighteen-month show-cause penalty, which I’m sure will cause him many sleepless nights as he game plans for the next Eagles game.

Bottom line here appears to be that it’s okay to write a $25,000 check to a sketchy recruiting dude as long as you’re sorry about it and cooperate with the investigation.

It really is a waste of time to expect any consistency out of the NCAA.



Filed under The NCAA

The NCAA, O’Bannon and bang for the buck

I highly recommend reading this series of posts about the larger economic/marketing issues facing college athletics as a result of the O’Bannon case at the Emory Sports Marketing Blog.  The author’s point is that both sides bring a lot to the table, but one side enjoys far more of the feast, so to speak.  And much of that is structural.

NCAA players have few rights and operate under significant constraints.  Scholarships are renewed on a yearly basis so essentially athletes have one year contracts.  In contrast, coaches operate in a free market system and can sell their services to the highest bidder.  Coaches also typically have contracts that continue to pay them even if they are fired.  Transfer rules are particularly one sided.  If an athlete transfers, he must sit out for a season and the school can limit the athlete’s choices.  Coaches can, of course, move on whenever a better opportunity arises (often the new suitor will pay the coaches buyout).  The hypocrisy of these asymmetric rules is dramatically highlighted when NCAA sanctions are levied.  Often the coach, on whose watch the infractions occurred, moves on while players then suffer the consequences.

Make sure you read it all, as he makes good points and asks some very thoughtful questions.  And, boy, if this doesn’t sum up the current state of college athletic economics, I don’t know what does:

My ultimate conclusion is, therefore, that for schools to save their athletic programs it is necessary to remove the profit motivation from the system.  This is, however, different from saying that profits should be removed.  As I see it the main problem is that we have evolved to a system coaches and athletic departments can harness the loyalty of alumni and other fans to make themselves amazingly wealthy.

Greg McGarity wants to know what’s wrong with that.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

The pen is mightier than the suspension.

Reading this story about the suspension that almost drove Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M, I don’t know if I should give the school credit for having the stones to suspend a player for a year after an arrest for fighting and possession of fake IDs (even in Athens I don’t think the penalty would have been that severe), or shrug it off for backing down after getting a “the kid’s suffered enough by my hand” letter from his head coach.

But it sure would be interesting to see what the official reaction would be if he did it again.


Filed under Crime and Punishment

Touchbacks take off.

Good piece at Football Study Hall on the effects of the new kickoff rules last season.  I don’t think anyone will be surprised at the results in this chart:

Year Pre-Rule Change
Post-Rule Change
Touchback % 15.2% 34.8%

What is a little surprising to me, considering my feelings about Malcolm Mitchell’s aggressiveness returning kickoffs last season, are Georgia’s touchback percentage numbers (via cfbstats.com) over that same period.

  • 2010:  10.71%
  • 2011:  10.53%
  • 2012:  35.00%

That’s an even bigger swing than the national average.  And with an offense that was as prolific as Georgia’s was, it makes good tactical sense.  Barring a run of weak-legged kickers, I wouldn’t expect much of a change this year.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Rodney Garner’s Freudian slip

The man was back on his old stomping grounds yesterday (“It’s awesome,” Garner said before the meeting. “It would be better if I could sell my house.”), speaking to the Greater Athens Auburn Club, where he had this to say:

“When you come in Sanford Stadium … I mean to Jordan Hare-Stadium,” he said correcting himself. “You better be ready to suit it up.”

Old habits die hard.  Good thing they’re playing in Auburn this year.  Otherwise, he’d probably wind up in the wrong locker room before the game.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football