Daily Archives: December 14, 2014

Mark Bradley needs to take a cold shower.

Sometimes it sounds like he writes his own pornography.

But in the bigger picture: Yes, the outcome mattered. It made Tech fans feel good about their coach again, and that’s no small thing. It made Georgia fans wonder, not for the first time, if their coach really is overmatched in a tactical way, and I know, given Richt’s two SEC titles, how silly that might sound. But there it is.

Bradley contrasts Johnson getting a four-year contract extension with Richt having to face Louisville in a bowl game (“the booby prize of postseason assignments”).  He then goes on to note, “A consistently good team that competes for the ACC title and upsets Georgia once every four or five years is about all Tech folks expect.”  My, how convenient to ignore who was favored in ’09 and ’10.  Or what happens in the final rankings this season if Georgia wins that bowl game and Tech loses in Miami.

So Johnson gets to work his magic for another four years with that extension.  Maybe if he goes 1-3 at just the right time, he can get another one.  What’s the old line about the soft bigotry of low expectations?  Regardless of what you think of Richt’s fate at Georgia, there’s no way a coach in Athens survives on just an occasional upset win over the Jackets.  Just ask Jim Donnan.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

What all in on spending sounds like.

I’m not holding Auburn up as a paragon of virtue here, but the contrast between Jay Jacobs and Greg McGarity is jarring.

“Whatever it takes,” Jacobs said. “That’s what my role is with Gus and Bruce (Pearl) and all those guys. It’s ‘What do you need to be successful?’ Then I go out and get it for them.”

Muschamp’s contract is for three years and thought to be for $1.6 million per year, maybe even a little north of that. It will make him the highest paid assistant coach in the college game, moving the needle higher for the next prominent coordinator’s job.

“I’m comfortable,” Jacobs said. “The money we’ve been able to put in reserve – almost $30 million over the last 10 years – I’m real comfortable. We’re one of the few schools in the nation that sold out every game. This team played in front of a sellout audience every game.”

Football, Jacobs said, is important to Auburn people. As a former offensive lineman, a starter for the 1983 SEC champions, it’s important to him.

“That’s why I’m going to make doggone sure Gus has what he needs to compete at the highest level,” Jacobs said, “because that’s what we all expect.”

Again, it’s not about Georgia being Auburn.  (In some ways, though – sellout crowds, big money put in reserve – it is.)  But there’s got to be a happy medium between the two approaches, doesn’t there?

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

The road to oversigning

Here’s a “the more things change, the more they stay the same” quote for you:

“If athletic programs were forced to operate on their own merits like any other formal college activity, then our student athletes would be served. No national agency now defends the college athlete against those who prey upon him for their own egotistical or financial gain. It is as protector of the young that the NCAA must fight for what is both humane and right. Too much time has been spent defending colleges and coaches from each other and too little protecting young and naive athletes from some of the grim customs followed in the name of intercollegiate athletics.”

No, that’s not testimony from the O’Bannon trial, or something Jeffrey Kessler said.  It’s from a 1972 letter NCAA president Walter Byers wrote.  Not that anybody listened then… or later.

During the 1972 NCAA convention, Notre Dame chief financial officer Rev. Edmund Joyce expressed concern about the one-year scholarship proposal “because in the past we have been great advocates of the four-year plan rather than one-year plan for the simple reason we wanted to avoid any temptation being placed in front of the coaches for running off athletes. It seems much more equitable to the students themselves to commit yourself to the four-year period.”

The cost-effective crowd won, joined by coaches “who complained that some athletes, once they had the four-year award in hand, decided not to play, or at least not to give their best efforts,” Byers wrote in his 1995 book. “Such players were cheating the college, they pointed out, and young people should not be permitted to learn bad habits.”

Twenty-two years after the decision, Byers wrote that proponents of the new scholarship rules “took elaborate precautions” to make them acceptable, such as assuring voters the coach would have to justify his decision to pull a scholarship to an unbiased university oversight committee. At the NCAA convention in January 1973, more than two-thirds of the delegates approved the one-year scholarship rule and the grant-in-aid cap. “It took less than 90 seconds,” Byers wrote.

The NCAA revised the maximum number of allowable scholarships several times between 1973 and 1991. In 1991 the NCAA reduced the number of permissible scholarships in Division I sports by 10 percent. The primary reason cited was cost-savings measures to continue to operate broad-based programs.

“This proposal is flawed, it is simply bad legislation,” Texas Tech faculty athletics representative Robert M. Sweazy said in 1991. “There is no question that it will reduce costs, but it does so at the sacrifice of academic principle, mainly retention and graduation. Again, what this does is encourage unethical treatment of student athletes by coaches and discourages retention and graduation.”

It wasn’t enough to have caps in place.  Coaches still gonna coach.  So that left exploring the edge of the envelope.  Which worked, even if it made some uncomfortable.

For many years, the NCAA and conferences have struggled with how to deal with oversigning — the practice of coaches signing more players in a recruiting class than they currently have room for given NCAA scholarship limits. New signing limit rules were created by the NCAA regarding the 25-player limit per class, although oversigning still occurs to various degrees.

In February 2011, NCAA vice president of championships and alliances Dennis Poppe wrote to NCAA president Mark Emmert about his concerns regarding oversigning. Poppe said it undermines “the trust factor a coach must have with his players.”

When the numbers don’t add up, Poppe wrote, “the coach either (1) withdraws the scholarship from an incoming player, (2) grey-shirts (delayed enrollment by recruits), (3) obtains a medical waiver or (4) ‘runs off’ a current player. Frankly, grey-shirting or getting a mysterious medical waiver may be the better of these four evils.”

Poppe told Emmert he had discussed oversigning with football coach Urban Meyer “and he noted that when he was at Utah he routinely oversigned to try and get as many players on his squad as possible.” Poppe added to Emmert, “I also think our current squad size and signing limitations contribute to this practice. When you have an 85-man limit — but you can sign 25 — he math doesn’t add up.” But increasing the number of football scholarships to 90 “doesn’t make sense in these economic times,” Poppe wrote.

Yeah, well, you work with what you’ve got, right, Corch?

This is why I could only laugh at those of you who insisted on the sacredness of adhering to the rules in the Gurley suspension.  “Todd knew the rules”, you said.  Well, so do the coaches and the schools.  Not that it’s been much of an impediment to those who were prepared to game an already corrupt system.

These are not people who deserve the benefit of the doubt anymore.

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Filed under College Football, The NCAA

Sunday morning buffet

Lotta green in today’s buffet…

  • Somebody thinks Dan Mullen has emerged as the lead guy in Michigan’s head coaching search.  “Both sources said to me that with Dan, it’s not about being the highest paid coach in his state / conference/ whatever (which is more important to some coaches than many people understand), what drives Dan is his desire to win a national championship.”  You know what we here at GTP say when somebody claims it’s not about the money.
  • Georgia may be in the hunt for one of the kids at UAB who’s now a free agent.
  • Speaking of UAB, the financial fall out from cancelling football may have already begun.
  • In less than two years, Auburn has increased its coaching staff by at least 46.5 percent.  Easy to do when you don’t have to pay the labor.
  • And Boom hits the recruiting trail, with a contractual limitation:  “A clause in Muschamp’s contract (he was fired following his fourth season as head coach) does not allow him to recruit players Florida has focused on unless Auburn has done the same.”
  • This is just awful.  It’s a different world out there, isn’t it?
  • Hugh Freeze didn’t just negotiate a big pay bump for himself with Ole Miss.  The salary pool for his assistants will increase by at least 25 percent.
  • Corch may be a dick, but he’s right about this one.  And that’s only gonna get worse as the playoffs expand.
  • Yes, Condi Rice brings a special kind of gravitas to the selection committee.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, Recruiting, SEC Football