Daily Archives: May 7, 2014

In case you need a little Dawg porn this morning…

This is a little on the breathless side, but…

I asked Richt the basic question, because sometimes the most basic question can be the most difficult to answer: “How good is Todd?”

“If Todd is healthy, and Todd is shape he’s… he’s as good as anyone I have ever been around,” he responded. “I saw film of Herschel Walker. I have seen film of other people, but to say who have I coached or had a close-up look at the guy? Todd could be as good as any of them.”

… Richt did’t (sic) mention Knowshon. There was no reference to any star player at Florida State. Richt didn’t say anything about Aaron Murray – a four-year starter at center who was as good for Richt as he was consequential over the last four seasons.

… But he did mention Herschel Walker – the frame of reference to any Georgia running back ever. No one is ever going to be Herschel… that we know, but Gurley might be as close to him as we all see for some time.

I wince as much at Herschel comparisons as the next guy, but, damn, it’s fun to imagine what Gurley might be capable of this season if he stays healthy.




Filed under Georgia Football

What’s better than a Congressional hearing on college football players?

Why, two hearings, of course.


Filed under College Football, Political Wankery

Jim Delany’s Pandora’s Box

Now we’re getting to the real nitty-gritty.

… We understand there are a lot of schools that want to be Division I. Some of them are reliant on branding in Division I, revenues from the Division I tournament. That was never our objective. Our objective was to create a system of governance we could use to serve our athletes. In the 21st century, it’s painfully obvious we need to change. It’s painfully obvious it’s not all a level playing field, and that a lot of the level-playing field philosophy is under attack. I would rather have us change it than have it not change or change for us.  [Emphasis added.]

Yes, Delany quickly follows that up with “I understand some people think pay for play is right. I do not think pay for play is right. I do not think unions are the answer”, but, seriously, once you’re honest about the reality that the myth of competitive balance is just that and you announce you’re willing to abandon the pretense once and for all, what’s left to justify clinging to the myth of amateurism?


Filed under College Football, The NCAA

The further adventures of Tosh, the intern

Or, an analyst is whatever Nick Saban says an analyst is.  Duh.

You’ll have to forgive Saban for his mistake in language. On March 31 he described his role working with cornerbacks in individual drills as that of a “G.A.” under defensive coordinator Kirby Smart. It was a laughable moment, painting the 62-year-old head coach as the highest paid graduate assistant in the world, not to mention the fact he’s likely not pursuing a post-graduate degree on the side.

Hey, he was serious about that.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

“We want to be a conference.”

Big Jim Delany, on why playing a nine-game conference schedule is preferable:

One, it’s really hard to get quality non-conference games. People don’t want to go on the road because everybody is trying to get seven home games. Two, I don’t have anything against FCS, but they have a different number of scholarships for gosh’s sakes. What is that about? They have 20 fewer scholarships. I know they’re looking for a payday; I get that. Appalachian State beat Michigan. But I’m just saying for us, it’s more about binding a conference together and it’s about the difficulty of getting good non-conference opponents.

We want our fans to come to games. We’ve got to give them good games. We also have a network. We also have season-ticket holders. … What I really like is that every athlete in the Big Ten who plays football will play every opponent inside the four-year period. That’s what I like.

Yeah, I know part of that is shot taking at the SEC.  But when even an arrogant jerk like Delany who’s been focused on growing a TV network über alles (how ’bout that Rutgers, eh, Jim?) recognizes there are some inevitabilities when you expand a conference beyond twelve schools, it’s hard to see how Mike Slive is going to get by with an eight-game conference slate for very long.


Filed under Big Ten Football, SEC Football

Low bars can be lucrative.

Richard Pryor famously said that “Cocaine is God’s way of telling you you’ve got too much money”.  If Pryor ever met Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart, he’d change that expression.

Kentucky has extended Mark Stoops contract through the 2018 season, the school announced on Tuesday.

The Wildcats finished 2-10 in Stoops’ first season as head coach, finishing winless in SEC play, but fans were able to celebrate in February when Kentucky signed one of its highest-ranked recruiting classes ever (No. 22 nationally in the 247Sports Composite).

“We are excited about the enthusiasm and recruiting success that Mark and his staff have brought to our football program,” athletic director Mitch Barnhart said in an official release. “We had the nation’s second-largest increase in attendance last season and we have had the two largest spring-game attendances in school history (in 2013 and 2014).

You read that correctly.  Mark Stoops got a contract extension after a two-win season because of recruiting and an increase in spring game attendance.  Oh, and not just an extension.

Imagine what they’ll do if Kentucky wins three games this season.



Filed under SEC Football

Pick a number, guys.

You know, I almost get the feeling it’s harder to figure out how to pay student-athletes than it is to actually pay them.

Universities annually list a higher actual cost of attending college beyond an athletic scholarship. It’s based on miscellaneous expenses that differ by school. A 2012 study found that out-of-pocket expenses for a full-scholarship FBS athlete ranged from $1,000 a year to $6,904 a year, depending on the school. The average NCAA gap is now around $3,500.

Just within the Big 12, the cost-of-attendance number per athlete ranges from approximately $2,000 to $5,000, Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt said. That raises the question of whether conferences will mandate cost of attendance within their league, or allow each member to decide.

“I think you’ve got to allow the schools to make their own decisions,” Hocutt said. “Although within a certain league we have certain similarities and shared interests, we are all different and have different scopes and sizes of our budgets and resources.”

Hocutt supports cost of attendance stipends for every Texas Tech athlete. “I don’t know how it cannot be across the board — for Title IX and also because it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

Not everyone has the Big 12’s resources. In the Mountain West Conference, cost of attendance would cost its schools between $400,000 to $600,000 a year if it’s a flat $2,000 stipend, commissioner Craig Thompson said. If it’s a full cost of attendance, the figure would go up.

“Everybody does cost of attendance differently,” Thompson said. “Some compute it and add this category and others don’t … That’s going to be the first big issue: Do we do it as a conference or as an institution?”

If schools do it as a group, that opens up another can of worms.

The Division I Board of Directors in 2011 passed a $2,000 cost-of-attendance stipend, only to see NCAA members override the proposal. It’s questionable whether a flat stipend could be used this time. Every FBS conference is being sued for allegedly violating antitrust laws by capping the value of scholarships. Another try at a flat stipend could be viewed by the courts as a different version of a cap.

In 2008, the NCAA settled a federal antitrust lawsuit over the same issue of miscellaneous expenses.

Hell, maybe Jeffrey Kessler’s doing the schools a favor with his lawsuit.


Filed under It's Just Bidness

“The narrative will be set.”

This is the best thing you’ll read about every stupid “ridiculously early” list ever compiled.  The conclusion:

Because the answer never changes, and neither do the lists. Here’s Mark Schlabach’s Way-Too-Early list from February of 2013. 20 of the same 25 teams from 2013 are on it this time. Including Florida, ranked seventh. Florida went 4-8 last season. That alone is probably enough to exclude them from any current Top 25 list, but I’d allow it if the evidence was a little stronger than “they just can’t keep being that bad.”

But it isn’t.

Amen to that, brother.


Filed under College Football, ESPN Is The Devil, Media Punditry/Foibles