Daily Archives: January 27, 2014

They set up a college football playoff and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

If you’re looking for further proof that the people running college football believe they’re way smarter than they really are, you need look no further than here.  Somebody actually thought there’s good money to be made pushing stuff like this:

Aside from the fact that it’s boring as hell to look at, who’s the audience for it?

I give it a year and Delany’s handing them out as a bonus to sign up for the Big Ten Network.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Call for the doctor

The great thing about this post is how utterly routine it manages to make the topic sound.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

Trust ’em, they know what they’re doing.

We know from his hiring and management of Bobby Petrino that Jeff Long, now the man in charge of college football’s playoff selection committee, possesses excellent judgment.  So it is with relief that I note that all our worries about crowning college football’s best team as national champion are over.

Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long was invited to attend the 2014 BCS national title game as part of his new role as the chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee.

When it ended, Long said it became very clear that the new era in college football — one he will play a major role in — was underway.

“I kind of did feel that pressure kind of shift and move over,” Long said last week. “But at the same time, it’s an exciting time. It’s a different time because we will be choosing four teams. Then the championship really will be decided on the field.”

I suppose when they expand the playoff field to eight, Long will say that the championship really, really will be decided on the field.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Kids never had it so good!

I know that Ron Morris and Steve Spurrier rather famously don’t get along.  So maybe Spurrier’s unabashed support for paying players is the genesis for one of the dumber things I’ve read recently.

Ron Morris thinks that “COLLEGE athletes should not be paid. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.”… because Pell Grants.

There also is this little secret that many head coaches choose to ignore when they talk about how college athletes live in virtual poverty while they compete: Those athletes who qualify on a need basis receive a federal supplement every semester.

It is called Pell Grant money. Qualified athletes receive up to $5,645 per year, money that is deposited in their bank account by the federal government. The money can be spent any way an athlete chooses. Some send a bulk of the money home for family needs. Others use it to make monthly car payments. Still others use it for spending money.

The money helps athletes from impoverished backgrounds live the life of an average student without hardship.

Now here’s the thing.  As Morris notes, Pell Grants are handed out strictly on a need basis.  So it’s not that every scholarship athlete qualifies for one, or even for the full amount.  As Morris also notes, the average Pell Grant payment to a Clemson student-athlete has been less than $2500 per year.

Let’s take a minute and do a little back of the envelope math here.  College football officially runs for about a five month period, during which student-athletes take part in twenty hours a week of athletic activity.  Call it 22 weeks – at 20 hours a week that’s 440 hours.  2500 bucks for 440 hours works out to $5.68 per hour.  That ain’t even minimum wage, Ron.  (And before anyone goes on about tuition, room and board, I’ll make a deal with you.  You don’t talk about that, and I won’t talk about the rest of the year’s “voluntary workouts”.)

There’s a picture of everyone’s poster boy for gettin’ paid accompanying Morris’ piece.  Perhaps it’s worth remembering that Manziel’s agreement to sit at a table with a bunch of boosters netted $20,000… for the school.  That’s the part of this that Morris doesn’t get, or perhaps more accurately, refuses to get.  Why should a bunch of punks make bank anyway?  Not because Steve Spurrier says so.


UPDATE:  John Infante has more thoughts on Morris’ column.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles

It’ll be a cold day in Chicago before they do that.

You’d like to think there’s a limit on the stupidity of college football’s ruling class – like realizing that a choice between the Rose Bowl and Soldier Field in January to host a national title game isn’t really a choice at all.  But that Bill Hancock can’t bring himself to admit even that tells you that either he’s a hack’s hack, or that there really isn’t a call his bosses wouldn’t prostitute themselves for if the money was good enough.

Just remember that if they actually ever decide to do something like this, they’ll claim it’s because the fans want it.


Filed under It's Just Bidness

“Any position that we have here needs to be justified.”

Honestly, it’s not like I take any great pleasure out of mocking Greg McGarity’s penurious tendencies.  (Let’s face it, some of that comes with the job.)  But, damn, when he’s the only man left in America who’s still counting on the NCAA taking steps to justify a lack of action, what’s a poor blogger to do?

McGarity and others are hoping the problem is solved soon via NCAA legislation:

• First, the amount of on-field, full-time assistant coaches could be raised to 10. Richt said earlier this month he thinks that could happen for next year, at which time he could hire a special teams coordinator.

• Secondly, McGarity thinks a hard cap will be put on the number of football staff members a program can employ. McGarity said he doesn’t know what the specific cap on football staffers will be — 25 has been thrown around — but he expects it to happen.

“The limitation on football staff is going to be a very popular item for discussion, with the way it seems like the structure of the NCAA divisions are going,” McGarity said. “I do feel like that we’re heading in that direction, sooner than later.”

Hope and the NCAA – what a concept.  Hell, I don’t even follow the logic of his last point there.  If the NCAA divides itself in one form or fashion, it’ll be to give the haves greater control of their ever-increasing resources.  You would think in that context there would be even less pressure brought to rein in the big spenders.

I’d like to give McGarity the benefit of the doubt when he says things like this…

“You don’t add a position just because so-and-so has 10 more than you do. You don’t just add it to keep up with your competition. What are these people gonna do? Discuss their role, and then you go from there. And that’s across the board for any sport here, and any position. There’s got to be a justification process, and there can’t be School A has this, and you don’t have that. …

“If you’re living in a comparative world, it’s a hard place to be. Tell us what you need, we’ll provide that, and then we’ll move forward.”

… but first, I doubt Mark Richt’s been silent about what he wants to spend money on.  I also doubt he’s gotten everything he’s asked for.  But the other thing is, if McGarity insists that the extra staffing doesn’t add any value to a program, why should he care about NCAA intervention limiting the size of schools’ staff?

Ironically, I hope McGarity is proven right and the NCAA bails him out.  Because the alternative is waiting a few years and then playing the inevitable game of catch up.  At least the reserve fund will have grown some more by then.


Filed under Georgia Football