Daily Archives: June 6, 2014

Even when they mean well, they can’t help themselves.

The new face of amateurism:  University of Washington president suggests one way to solve the student-athlete transfer problem would be to say to schools “… like the pros, you get to designate a franchise player or two…”


Filed under Look For The Union Label, The NCAA

Phil Steele’s 2014 Preseason All-SEC Team

There’s a part of me that’s ready to say, “Jeff Driskel, 3rd team quarterback”, drop the mike and walk off into the darkness.

(By the way, Steele has Gurley and Wilson on his first team All-Americans list.)


Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football

“The win-no-matter-what mentality does not interest me as a Georgia graduate.”

Sporting News catches up with a couple of old Dawg secondary legends, Terry Hoage and Scott Woerner, to ask them about the departure of so many newer members of the Georgia secondary.

As the header indicates, Hoage is something of a romantic purist…

“First of all, Georgia football will go on,” said Terry Hoage, a freshman on the Bulldogs’ 1980 national championship team and All-American in 1982-83. “Everyone is replaceable. I would rather see Georgia win fewer games and graduate quality people that will add to society. It is time for collegiate sports to move away from the professional farm system it has become.”

… and there’s nothing wrong with that.  He’s earned that perspective.  Although I’m guessing there’s a significant part of the fan base that doesn’t agree with it.  But where he speaks in generalities somewhat, it’s Woerner’s observation, more specific about today’s program, that’s telling.

“I think Coach (Mark) Richt has finally realized you can’t run a champion football team without character and discipline and he is trying to get horses back in the stable, but is finding it difficult to achieve,” said Scott Woerner, an All-American cornerback on the 1980 title team. He picked off two passes in the Sugar Bowl win against Notre Dame, including one late in the game that sealed the win and the Bulldogs’ championship. “The players today are very different from 30 years ago, but every generation says that I know I’ve heard it before. I do know that the players today would not have stayed at Georgia during our time. They would have never worked that hard in those conditions and facilities.”

It’s that “finally” in the first sentence that really hits.

I wonder how well Hoage and Woerner would be received – or, more accurately, how well their message would be received – if they were asked to come back and speak with this year’s group.  It’s a different world, no doubt.



Filed under Georgia Football

It’s game time.

The O’Bannon trial begins Monday.

Andy Staples looks at some myths vs. truths about the case.  On the NCAA side, this should be the most troubling “truth”:

The deck is stacked against the NCAA in O’Bannon.

TRUTH: Perhaps the worst thing the NCAA’s attorneys could hear was this statement from Wilken during a hearing in February: “I don’t think amateurism is going to be a useful word here.”

In most arguments, the NCAA and member schools have held out the concept of amateurism as some sort of unimpeachable virtue that makes everything kosher. Amateurism was originally conceived in 19th century England to ensure rich people didn’t lose to poor people at sports, but that’s neither here nor there. Since the NCAA’s founding, the word has become tied to the notion of sports used to enrich academic pursuits. In some sports (football), that was probably never true at the highest levels. In others (any sport that doesn’t make money), that concept remains true to this day. Unfortunately for the NCAA, this case is only about the sports that generate money. NCAA attorneys could replace the word “amateurism” with the word “unicorn” and get about the same result.

Wilken also won’t allow the NCAA’s attorneys to argue about the possible negative effects that a plaintiffs’ victory would have on non-revenue sports. Her reasoning is that no one forces schools to sponsor teams that can’t financially support themselves, so she considers the impact on those teams irrelevant in the eyes of the law. This doesn’t leave much for the NCAA to argue except the pro-competitive aspects of its rules…

That ain’t much, indeed.

Many major-college football and men’s basketball recruits would have offers of at least $100,000 to attend certain colleges if the schools were allowed to use broadcast revenues to compensate athletes for use of their names, images and likenesses, lawyers for the NCAA said Thursday night in a filing related to a class-action anti-trust suit it is facing.

The NCAA’s lawyers wrote that when they present their case during a trial that is scheduled to begin Monday in U.S. District Court in Oakland, they will have experts present analyses showing a scenario under which “many recruits will have significant — in many cases, six-figure — incentives to attend schools with more revenue.

“In those circumstances, it is basic economics that allowing cash payments for (name, image and likeness usage) for the first time will tilt the distribution of talent and success towards colleges and universities with more cash to spend.”

The NCAA offered this assertion in a trial brief that will essentially serve as its opening argument in the case.

“For the first time”?  You guys shitting me?

What makes this especially rich – pun intended – is that at the same time the NCAA apparently intends to make this argument with a straight face in Judge Wilken’s court next week, the Big Five conferences are lobbying for some form of autonomy within the NCAA governance structure because, as Mike Slive so airily put it,

“I consider this period of time one of the historic moments that all of us are witnesses to — an evolutionary change where we put the student-athletes first and we build our philosophies on the student-athlete rather than the so-called level playing field,” Slive said. “I don’t know how this comes out, but I’m optimistic the evolution will continue.”

I hope one of the plaintiff’s lawyers asks Delany about that quote.


Filed under The NCAA

Tony Barnhart isn’t a lawyer, although he plays one on Twitter.

Mr. Conventional Wisdom tells it like he thinks it is.

No debate, eh?  Allow these folks to retort.

If the law is so clear, maybe Tony needs to explain it to Ken Starr.

“Most schools are not treating athletes equally 40-plus years after Title IX passed, so it’s hard to know exactly how that would play out because so often the support coming from the school already is so unequal,” Chaudhry said.

Congress recently pointed this out at a House subcommittee hearing about player unions in May. Rep. John Tierney asked Baylor president Ken Starr to explain why in 2012-13 Baylor had a 56-44 ratio for athletic financial aid in favor of men’s sports given that participation rates would indicate the funding should be closer to 58-42 in favor of women.

Responded Starr: “Well, that is a very fluid and dynamic process, so it may change from year to year, but if there is in fact a disparity, and I accept what you’ve said, it has to be addressed, so we have to come forward with explanations as to why there may be a temporary disparity. We recently created two new women’s sports with scholarships in order to address the disparity, so we have for example created equestrian with a number of scholarships for women. We have created acrobatics and tumbling.”

A legal mind is a terrible thing to waste.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

Friday morning buffet

Enjoy the morning’s offerings.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, It's Just Bidness, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Freedom isn’t free.

When I was in high school, I had a job at a delicatessen, working afternoons and weekends.  The pay wasn’t great, but one of the perks of the job was that the owners let the employees eat for free.  Most of us didn’t abuse that, but there was this one guy who used to inhale lox like he was addicted to it.  And even back in the ’70s, smoked salmon was an expensive luxury item.  It got so bad that the owners offered him a good raise if he’d start paying for what he ate.  He turned the raise down.

The reason I bring this story up is that, after reading this Kevin Scarbinsky column on Junior’s new contract… well, I wonder what the Laner would do if he were offered more money to keep his yap shut in public.  Tough call, I bet.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin