Okay, so you’ve got this settlement agreement in O’Bannon in which EA Sports agrees to pay $40 million, some of which would end up in the pockets of players. Is this a frontal assault on amateurism? Will the NCAA declare every student-athlete who takes the money ineligible?
Some current college athletes will be eligible for payments, creating a scenario in which they are paid for use of their likeness while still a college athlete. NCAA rules prohibit athletes from making money off their name in school, but there is a recent precedent for this to happen.
While in college, former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel sued a man who sold shirts using the football player’s trademarked “Johnny Football” nickname. The NCAA said then it would allow Manziel to collect damages if his corporation’s lawsuit won.
“That’s one of the most interesting things is what’s the NCAA going to say about eligibile players?” said Leonard Aragon, an attorney for the Sam Keller plaintiffs in the video game settlement. “It’s our opinion that it’s the same thing here as Manziel. If someone stole your laptop, you’d be able to get payment and still be considered an amateur. Here, right of publicity is a property right.”
Is that a compelling argument? Well, at the very least, it drew this out:
NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said the association is reviewing the terms of the settlement.
John Infante says Mike Slive’s Division IV threat, if taken at face value, is an idle one.
What Slive is proposing is a sort of rules-only subdivision. The Division IV schools would have their own manual, own set of governance committees, and own dedicated NCAA staff members (or use conference staff for functions like committee support, waivers, and interpretations). But they would compete against Division I schools and share selection committees, automatic bids, and presumably a similar share of the revenue with their old divisional mates.
To rephrase Slive’s Division IV threat, if the rest of Division I does not grant the power conferences autonomy on a limited set of governance issues, they will explore getting autonomy on all governance issues. What Slive is proposing is not a new NCAA division, at least not one that looks or functions anything like the three existing divisions. All Slive’s Division IV accomplishes is to allow the power conferences to make all their own rules.
But to get that, Slive would have to take it through the same voters at the NCAA who shot the last autonomy proposal down. What makes this deal more attractive? Well, that would be the threat behind the threat.
But if the power conferences proposed a real Division IV, one which has its own tournaments, that becomes an association-wide issue. The threat then would then be that the power conferences would leave the NCAA entirely. Creation of a new division would be voted on by the entire NCAA membership. Faced with relegation to an NAIA-like existence, Divisions II and III would likely overwhelm the objections from the rest of Division I to allow the power conferences what they want. Especially if Division IV membership includes more than just the power conferences.
I can see the logic behind John’s argument, but there’s one thing that brings me up short. If the power conferences are truly willing to create “a real Division IV” or leave the NCAA altogether, why haven’t they done so already? It’s not like anyone could stop them. So if they take their threat to the next level, will they be believed by the rest of the NCAA membership?
One of the titles claimed by Alabama is from 1941, when the Crimson Tide lost two games and undefeated Minnesota was widely recognized the consensus champion. Alabama had a final AP ranking of No. 20 and finished third in the SEC. Alabama claims 1941 because it was No. 1 in the Houlgate System, a mathematical rating from 1927 to 1958 that ran in syndicated newspapers.
How truly silly is this? This silly:
For instance, the National Championship Foundation recognizes Auburn as a national champion in 1993 (when the Tigers were on NCAA probation and served a postseason ban) with Florida State, Notre Dame and Nebraska. Florida State is widely considered the only national champion in 1993.
The National Championship Foundation was created in 1980 by Mike Riter of Hudson, N.Y., to retroactively count pre-1980 national titles. The foundation also started naming champions in current time.
So, like I asked, is there any money in this? ‘Cause I’m wondering if we’re underutilizing the Mumme Poll. I can be as open for business as the next Mike Riter of Hudson, N.Y.
At his site, College Football by the Numbers, Scott Albrecht’s done some stat crunching I found of interest.
You’ll find a table here that breaks down a bunch of offensive information per possession. Here’s the story on Georgia:
16th nationally in points per possession
17th nationally in plays per possession
13th nationally in yards per possession
86th nationally in starting field position
25th nationally in touchdowns per possession
8th nationally in field goals per possession
78th nationally in possessions per game
61st nationally in points per red zone trip
Basically, outside the red zone, this was an offense that was quite effective when the rest of the team managed to stay out of its way. The problem was, as indicated by the starting field position and possessions per game stats, that didn’t happen as much as it needed to.
The most impressive part of that, of course, is how much Georgia was able to do on offense despite all the injuries. With the walking wounded hopefully returning to full strength, it lends support to the argument that the most important part of Hutson Mason’s role this season is to be a good game manager. Now if something can be done about that whole rest of the team staying out of the offense’s way thing…
I’m starting to come around to Mark Richt’s approach about touting Todd Gurley for the Heisman. Number 3 is getting plenty of preseason attention; if he stays healthy, I doubt he wins the trophy, but he’ll be among the group invited to New York.
So Fox Sports 1’s Fox College Saturday is getting slaughtered in the ratings by ESPN’s College Gameday. What to do, what to do…
There is also talk of starting a new college football show on Saturday that will be gambling-centric, similar to what Fox Sports Live did during the NCAA basketball tournament when it did live remotes from Las Vegas…
Interestingly, Fox Sports 1 is clearly considering pushing gaming as an element of its coverage and that play has potential — as well as some downside. Smart gambling segments are interesting and it’s an untapped market in sports television. But such segments can also quickly become little more than a hot takes personality screaming out picks and praising himself (it’s always a dude) when a pick hits the previous week…
Boy, I bet Mark Emmert would love that.
I’ve got a suggestion for Fox, though. If you’re gonna do it, you might want to think about a special segment for Thursday nights. Half the people watching MACtion are inveterate gamblers.
“It's definitely different not knowing exactly who it's gonna be, but in a way, I feel like that's good,” he said. “One of my old coaches from Valdosta told me that competition is one of the best coaches. And I feel like, as well as each one of those three guys is performing, they're not gonna do anything but make each other better.” -- Jay Rome, The Red & Black, 3/25/15