Daily Archives: December 11, 2014

All business, all the time

Jonathan Ledbetter, four-star recruit, got an in-home from Nick Saban. Ledbetter committed early to Alabama, but changed his commitment to Georgia after the Bulldogs signed his older brother to a scholarship last summer.  Blood may be thicker than water, but when Saban’s on the recruiting trail, business trumps blood.

“I think he wanted to make sure that Jonathan understands that this is a business decision. He wanted to make sure that Jonathan has all the information he needs to make the best decision for him. So we appreciated Coach Saban coming by.”

I wonder, though… when Saban says “business”, how many recruits hear “roster management”?

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67 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

A simple Belk Bowl question

If Bobo and Grantham competed against each other like this in a friggin’ G-Day game, how seriously do you think they’re taking the bowl game?

50 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

When Bill Hancock moves his lips.

You want something close to a guarantee that the college football playoffs will expand to eight teams, and sooner than later?  That’s easy.

So cue the questions about whether that will soon expand to eight schools.

“This is not going to change,” insisted Bill Hancock, the executive director of the CFP.

Hancock listed similar concerns about an eight-team playoff as college officials used to voice about the four-team model: the academic calendar, maintaining the importance of the regular season, protecting the other bowls.

The great thing is that nobody takes his protestations seriously any more.  Dude’s got to be one shitty poker player.

2 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Does anyone pay attention to what Mark Emmert says?

I don’t know if you bothered to click on yesterday’s link to a Q&A with the NCAA president, but if you didn’t, you should have, if just for one exchange that John Infante highlights here.

But included in his interview with CBS Sports’ Jon Solomon is one bombshell:

Q: So give players representation. We already know that happens in baseball, although NCAA rules still restrict those players to an extent.

Emmert: I think that’s what I’m talking about. … I’m more than happy to have us all consider what should the model look like in relationship between us and professional sports leagues. OK, if you go play a year in the D-League, does that mean you never, ever come back to college to play? I don’t know. Maybe that’s something we need to think about.

Q: So if a player gets drafted and goes to the D-League, you’d be OK with the player returning to play in college?

Emmert: I’m open to consider that. But again, that’s me and not the members. I’m sure coaches would have their concerns about that and I understand why. You wouldn’t want it to be a revolving door that one year I’m here, the next year I’m in the D-League. You’d have to structure it.

Bombshell might be an understatement, honestly.  That’s huge.  That’s Emmert acknowledging an enormous change in the NCAA’s amateurism protocol might be something to consider.  The thing is, once you go there…

Emmert’s comments about this idea are vague and he acknowledges that any proposal or rule would be more complex with more structure. But some parts of that structure are assumed in the idea. To allow D-League players to return would mean a major rethinking of other amateurism rules. Having an agent would have to be allowed in some form, as would accepting endorsement money. The odds that those changes would not extend to other sports, especially in the current legal and political climate, seem very low.

But even more fundamentally, this idea represents a major rethinking of the philosophy of amateurism. Currently, amateurism is like a delicate object that each student-athlete has. Some things the student-athlete or others do damage the object. In some cases the damage is minor, repairs can be made, and the object is fine (i.e. reinstatement). Other times, the object is damaged beyond repair (i.e. permanent ineligibility).

What Emmert is proposing changes amateurism to a simple state an athlete might be in or not and one they could potentially switch back and forth between. College basketball players might still be amateur athletes, but only for the moment. Whether they were amateurs before or whether they will be amateurs continuously throughout their college career is of little or no concern.

Whoa, Nellie.

Now Infante goes on to say that he doesn’t see the membership going for this idea, which is probably also an understatement.  And I wonder how much of that was Emmert talking off the top of his head without much thought.  Because it’s one helluva retreat from what the organization has defended vigorously all this time.  I’ll be curious to hear if a retraction is coming.

13 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

The assistants’ pay story is about what you’d expect.

USA Today produced its annual database of assistant coaching salaries, and the usual suspects are making bank.  The SEC dominates the staff rankings (chart via).

Total assistants pay

1. LSU $5,499,269
2. Alabama $5,213,400
3. Auburn, $4,645,500
4. Clemson, $4,448,225
5. Oklahoma, $4,077,900
6. Texas, $3,841,640
7. Ohio State, $3,592,025
8. Virginia Tech, $3,583,250
9. Michigan, $3,504,323
10. Texas A&M, $3,484,050

Georgia ranks sixth in the SEC.

SEC total assistants pay

1. LSU $5,499,269
2. Alabama $5,213,400
3. Auburn, $4,645,500
4. Texas A&M, $3,484,050
5. South Carolina, $3,333,800
6. Georgia, $3,327,800
7. Tennessee, $3,265,000
8. Florida, $3,225,900
9. Arkansas, $3,218,800
10. Missouri, $3,169,000
11. Kentucky, $2,715,700
12. Mississippi State, $2,682,500
13. Ole Miss, $2,596,000
Vanderbilt, N/A

A few notes on the latter:

  • Some of those numbers are relative bargains, but don’t expect them to stand pat.  Freeze has already negotiated a bump for his assistants; expect Mullen to receive the same treatment.
  • Seeing the list, McGarity probably feels like Goldilocks, but note that the gap between Georgia’s staff pay and the three teams at the top is much wider than the gap with the three teams at the bottom (which, again, is going to shrink significantly).
  • Whichever school signs Boom as its next defensive coordinator is going to move up the list a good bit.

And now for the most embarrassing part, if you’re associated with the Georgia program.  Check out these stats about Mike Bobo’s pay:

  • 40th nationally;
  • 16th in the conference;
  • Two fired coordinators (Johnson, Snyder) make more;
  • One about-to-be-fired coordinator (Roper) makes more;
  • Lorenzo Ward makes more;
  • Three position coaches make more; and
  • Rodney Garner (!) makes more.

Hey, so it turns out you can put a price on loyalty.

At least Pruitt is paid rationally, given the market.

I guess we’ll find out soon enough if there’s any substance to this.

“The only thing I’ll say is, we’ll wait to the season is over, until the bowl is over, and look at the season in its entirety,” McGarity said. “I don’t think anybody should read anything into that other than that’s just what we do. What others are doing doesn’t change our method of operation.

“Once the season is over, we’ll review like we do with every coach. We’ll review it in its entirety. Other institutions had their reasons to do certain things at certain times.”

38 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

“Where’s the equity there?”

Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame’s AD, is making waaaay too much sense here:

“You’ve got to stay grounded in this analogy to other students,” Swarbrick told CBSSports.com. “There are students on campus making a lot of money because they’ve launched a business. A classic example: Students are making great money in some internship, and I’m telling my football players they can’t leave for the summer. Where’s the equity there?”

“If we could get ourselves more grounded in the notion we wouldn’t have these problems,” Swarbrick said during a panel. “If we’re going to do something different than for the normal student, the bar for doing that ought to be really high. If we had that in place, we never would have had a limitation on the cost of attendance because a merit scholar doesn’t have that limitation. We did that for athletic reasons.

“But if our standard had been what’s the rule for other students, capturing name, image and likeness outside team activity, the musician at school doesn’t have that limitation. I’m not sure why the student-athlete should, either. I don’t find it inconsistent at all to say we need to get ourselves grounded back in that. I think it would contribute to reducing so many of the problems we have which really spring from this situation we created when we say they’re not going to be the same as other students.”

Not that he’s expecting a groundswell of support from his peers.

When asked whether other administrators in college sports feel the way he does, Swarbrick laughed and replied, “Probably not.”

All he had to do was listen to his fellow speakers to get that impression.

As college sports faces an uncertain future due to ongoing litigation and interest from Congress, numerous athletic directors paraded onto a podium Wednesday at the IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum to talk about their worries.

They fretted about college sports becoming pro or semipro. They got frustrated that they’re communicating their positive story well enough. They bemoaned Congress, the courts and the media for getting into their business.

“Any time everybody gets in your business, you’ve got a crisis,” Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams said.

Hey, David?  Maybe you ought to consider acting in a way that doesn’t invite them in.

38 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA