Daily Archives: January 6, 2015

Even when it’s right, it may be wrong.

Kudos to the CFP folks for announcing they’re prepared to defray (up to $1,250) the cost of expenses for student-athletes’ parents or guardians to travel to the championship game, but what a sad comment it is that doing something as obviously proper as this has to be qualified by making it subject to NCAA approval.

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UPDATE:  The NCAA steps up and does the right thing.

8 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, The NCAA

The game’s afoot.

Chip Towers is reporting that three men will interview with Mark Richt this week for the open offensive coordinator position:  Mike Bloomgren, Kurt Roper and John Lilly.

I don’t know if that means these are the finalists (which is what Towers’ “sources” lead him to think), or if it’s just Richt’s start list.  I guess we’ll know something in a week or so.

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UPDATE:  Another source.

That popped out about the same time as Towers’ story.  Who’s right?

114 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“How do you turn over the rocks in the Southeastern Conference, for instance, while owning the SEC Network?”

Admittedly, that’s a good question asked by ESPN’s former ombudsman in his farewell column (and at least ESPN had the decency to publish it).  A better question, though, would be to ask why anyone would expect the WWL to do so.  You can tell even Lipsyte knows it’s something of a pipe dream.

ESPN’s primary job has always been, as Lipsyte describes it, “putting up those pretty pictures, buying rights, promoting games … selling the spectacular.” ESPN is relatively young and has grown quickly “without any kind of traditional journalism heritage,” Lipsyte says. It has used its considerable piles of money to “buy some really good journalists,” but the network, he believes, “is still trying to figure out how to use them properly.” He calls ESPN a vast empire, and points to the SEC Network as the most mind-blowing part of that empire. “Extensive investigative reporting into the exploitation of college athletes, and the legal battles around that, would seem to conflict with ESPN’s business model,” he writes in his final ombudsman column.

It’s not just that ESPN isn’t a traditional journalist.  Or even that it’s been far more invested in the entertainment side than the journalism side.  It’s that with these joint venture networks and outright ownership of bowl games, it’s now vertically integrated into the product it’s selling us.  And Business 101 tells you that you never crap on the product you’re pushing.  (A lesson it took baseball owners, for example, the better part of two decades to learn after the advent of free agency.)

For ESPN, real journalism is bad for business.  And that’s why you won’t see Mickey turning over any rocks.

(h/t James Joyner)

33 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

The Ray Goff coaching tree

Sometimes, I’m a little surprised more isn’t made of Mike Bobo, Will Muschamp and Kirby Smart all emerging from the rubble that was the mid-’90s Georgia football program.

What’s interesting now is the divergent paths their coaching careers have taken this season:  Bobo gets his first head coaching gig;  Boom gets canned from his; Smart abides at Alabama.  That leads to this series of suppositions.

Did Muschamp’s flop at Florida queer the market for his coordinator peers?  Is that a big reason behind Bobo’s decision to take the CSU job?  Is Smart staying at Alabama because he’s comfortable there, or because the market isn’t accommodating his career choice?

I have no idea at this point, but ask me again when the day comes that the Georgia head coaching position comes open.

53 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Once upon a time

It seems quaint now, but remember when giving an SEC defensive coordinator a 50% bump in pay to $750,000 a year was a big deal?  It seems like yesterday.

Hell, it was yesterday.

5 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

“It’s interesting to see the NCAA talking about us yet not putting anything in writing.”

On the amateurism front, it may be that we’re seeing the beginning of a shift on the part of the NCAA from belligerent hypocrisy to benign neglect.

Of course, it may simply be that nobody working for Mark Emmert understands the technology behind social media, let alone a way to stop it.

2 Comments

Filed under Science Marches Onward, The NCAA

Survivor

The defensive housecleaning at Auburn keeps apace, as Charlie Harbison is let go.  It’s amazing how much money Auburn keeps pouring into coach compensation; aside from what the new guys are being paid, Harbison is owed a whopping $1,187,500 through June 2017 if he does not find work to offset his buyout.

It’s not a complete wipeout, though.  Boom doesn’t get to work with a totally clean slate.  Guess who’s staying for dinner?

Defensive line coach Rodney Garner is the only remaining member of the defensive coaching staff from the past two seasons.

Garner is on his eighth defensive coordinator change since Donnan hired him.  I think.  I may have lost count.

The man must have the greatest photography collection in America is all I can figure.  It’s impressive.

21 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands