Daily Archives: February 3, 2015

The most honest thing Tom Lemming has ever uttered.

Just remember, kids, the NCAA’s official position is that high schoolers shouldn’t be allowed representation in the process of choosing to commit to a college program.



Filed under Recruiting

“But I guess that’s just the way it is sometimes.”

Another one of these recruiting stories:

Three-star South Carolina running back Matt Colburn, his state’s Mr. Football winner who had been committed to Louisville since June, said the Cardinals told him on Monday – two days before national signing day – that he wouldn’t be allowed to sign with the team this week and would have to delay his enrollment to next year instead, which he doesn’t want to do.

Colburn, a 5-foot-8, 185-pound player from Dutch Fork High School, said U of L assistant coach Tony Grantham called him early Monday afternoon to tell him the Cards decided they needed additional defensive backs in their 2015 class to offset the loss of their starting secondary, so they would not be able to accept a letter of intent from him this week.

“It’s been about eight months now that I’ve been committed, and I feel kind of short-changed because I got this (commitment and recruitment) taken care of even before the season started so I wouldn’t have to worry about this anymore,” he said.

Believe it or not, my point to this post isn’t about Louisville in particular.  It’s that I’m kind of amazed at how resigned kids sound about last minute moves like this.

Grantham “sounded sincere,” Colburn said. “It just wasn’t his decision ultimately. They said they tried to work it out any way possible, but it just wouldn’t work with the numbers that they had. They just had to go with their priorities, and their priority was DBs. They’re not taking any running backs as far as I’m concerned.”

One thing about an early signing period – kids like Colburn would learn a lot earlier in the process about whether a school merely sounded sincere or was really sincere with its offer.  At least those cut loose in November would have more time to find another place to land.


UPDATE:  The kid may be resigned, but his high school coach is pissed off.  Big time.

“He (Petrino) won’t be able to recruit my school anymore and I imagine there will be some other coaches that will say the same thing. Trust factor is just not there. They’ve known about these three DBs wanting to go to the NFL for weeks now. To use that as an excuse doesn’t hold water with me.”

Welcome to the party, pal.

Okay, I guess the post is about Louisville now.


Filed under Recruiting

Thanks, Obama!

Stuck inside the POTUS’ latest budget proposal is this (h/t):

Obama’s budget proposal sent to Congress Monday would end the deduction available to some fans for donations they make to get seats at college sporting events. This is a new proposal by the administration.

By closing what the White House calls a loophole in the system, people would pay about $2.5 billion over the next decade in higher taxes. Currently, college sports fans can deduct 80 percent of the cost of such donations.

It’s not going to be the taxpayer who’s going to be screaming about this.  It’s the schools.

While some alumni and fans would give money to schools regardless of tax benefits, ending the deduction would hurt revenue at some sports programs, said Robert Spielman, a senior tax partner at Marcum LLP who advises high-net-worth clients.

Some U.S. colleges use the tax benefit to generate more revenue from sports. They set a price for season tickets and then demand donations in the hundreds or thousands of dollars on top of that cost as a condition of the sale. Part of the pitch is that fans can claim the expense as a charitable deduction when they itemize their tax return.

Required Donations

At certain universities, fans can’t buy tickets unless they make a donation, and at other schools the donations help people get premium seating on the 50-yard line.

One athletic department that uses the donation is the University of Louisville, whose men’s basketball team made $40.5 million in revenue in 2013-2014, about $15 million more than the next closest program.

Louisville requires a donation to the Cardinal Athletic Fund for most of its season tickets — contributions that range from $2,500 to $250 a seat. Of the university’s $40.5 million in men’s basketball revenue, $21.7 million come from donations, according to the school’s annual report to the NCAA.

Yeah, that could leave a mark.

Given the make up of the current Congress, it’s not like Obama’s budget proposal is going anywhere soon.  But as a marker for how the President feels about college athletics administration, it’s worth keeping in the back of your mind when the NCAA gets serious about lobbying for that antitrust exemption it’s shuffling towards.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

“We’re just real low on money right now.”

A cautionary tale for the fierce denizens of the Intertubes who like to jump on kids who change their commitments before signing day:

What happened after you publicly re-affirmed your commitment to UGA? “After I made my decision to stick with UGA and told everybody about it, something just didn’t sit well with me about it. I talked to my family some more, and something in my gut told me that Oklahoma State was the best fit for me. It’s just the fact that they’re thin at running back. I’ve only got two seasons to make something happen, to possibly get myself to the NFL Draft. There was a big opportunity at Oklahoma State. Why risk that by going UGA? Nick Chubb is already established at running back there.”

Since you’re from Atlanta, some people disappointed that you’re not coming back this way to play for UGA. What would you say to make them understand why you did what you did? “I’m not concerned with what other people out there are saying. The people that really know me and know my situation, including my family being homeless for a while … they know I need to get to the NFL. That’s probably the best way out for my family. They understand the reason for my decision, and they know that Oklahoma State is the best way for me to try to achieve that goal.”

How is your family doing? “We’re struggling financially. Our house in Lilburn burned down the day after Christmas last year. We’ve been living in hotels and stuff like that. Right now, we’re renting out a house, and we don’t know how long we can afford to rent that out. We’ve been like this for about a year now. It’s me, my parents and my little brother. We’re just real low on money right now.”


Once again, proof that most of us have no idea what it’s like to walk in some of these young men’s shoes.  And Chris, best of luck to you.  Even if you don’t realize your NFL dream, at least take advantage of the opportunity you have to get a college degree and make something of yourself to help your family.


Filed under Recruiting

No, no, no.

I don’t want to be part of a world in which somebody feels a serious need to address a question like this.  College football should be zealously guarding every difference between it and the pro game, if for no other reason than the enormous parity gap between the two.

And let me just say that if you’re looking for the canary in the coal mine about college football completely selling out to broadcast interests, this is a pretty good choice:

One change I fear may one day come to the game is the addition of the two-minute warning. Without attempting to give any money-hungry power conference commissioners any ideas, the addition of a two-minute warning in college football would quickly help bring in more revenue for conferences and television partners, and would likely be something given quick approval when the idea of more easy money is brought to the table. How it has not happened yet considering the rising media packages and contracts in recent years is really surprising to me.



Filed under College Football, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Even advanced stats love Nick Chubb.

Bill Connelly explores the subject of who the most explosive and efficient 2014 running backs were and Mr. Chubb, as you might expect, shows out pretty well.

Top 10 power-conference running backs according to Hlt/Opp * Opp Rate
1. Melvin Gordon (4.14)
2. Tevin Coleman (4.06)
3. Nick Chubb (3.72)
4. Todd Gurley (3.58)
5. Aaron Green, TCU (3.47)
6. Duke Johnson (3.16)
7. Ezekiel Elliott (3.09)
8. Samaje Perine (2.95)
9. Corey Clement (2.93)
10. Jaylen Walton (2.89)

That’s a pretty good list.

Top 5 power-conference freshman RBs according to Hlt/Opp * Opp Rate
1. Chubb (3.72)
2. Perine (2.95)
3. Dalvin Cook (2.65)
4. Nick Wilson (2.62)
5. Leonard Fournette (2.09)

I can dig it.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“We don’t have any writers, bloggers or journalists making assessments on football players.”

Interesting look at the sausage-making that goes on at the four recruiting services (with nary a mention of how their business models work, though) here.  I was prepared to mock them for claiming to take little notice of offers the kids they rate hold, but had to admit there’s some validity to this:

The other issue with factoring in scholarship offers, according to the analysts, is that not only do they not tell the full story, but they might not even exist. Recruits make up scholarship offers in order to get more attention. It would be incredibly difficult to personally verify every single offer that 2000 or more recruits claim to have.

Says Luginbill: “Some are manufactured by the kids and you don’t know if he even has an offer or not. Other offers might be predicated on stipulations of coming to a camp or an official visit.”

But the other part of the story…

The issue is that all scholarship offers aren’t created equal. Each school has different needs and different systems, and thus targets different types of prospects. Farrell compares it to the NFL Draft where “guys will rate a certain position higher because it’s a positional need for that team.” Despite a team willing to take a player in the Top 10 of the draft, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a Top 10-level talent.

The same theory applies to college football.

… is where I have my biggest problem with the recruiting services.  If a three-star kid meets a team need, why doesn’t a team’s ranking reflect that, instead of being a mere reflection of the star count?  If these guys are the expert evaluators they claim to be, how hard is it for them to factor that into the equation?

Over time, this is where the flaw in the model shows up.  Teams, like TCU, that seem to do more with less manage it because they know how to fit kids into what they’re doing.  That doesn’t mean the recruiting services did a poor job of evaluating the talent of a given high schooler.  It does mean that they didn’t make the effort to evaluate how that talent fits with a program’s needs.


Filed under Recruiting