Daily Archives: February 10, 2015

Those receivers aren’t going to coach themselves, you know.

So Jim McElwain’s got hisself a wide receivers coach who’s never coached wide receivers at the D-1 level before.

Ordinarily, I’d say that looks like a questionable move, but considering two of the last three people Florida had manning the position were graduate assistants, you’d have to look at this as a step up.

No wonder the Gators have just been killing it in passing offense lately.  2015 ought to shape up nicely in that department.

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Filed under Gators, Gators...

Locking those borders down

Lemme see… Georgia signed 28 kids (not counting Jake Ganus) in its 2015 class… a total of sixty-one recruits from Georgia signed with SEC schools this year… subtract eight… carry the one… um… Eureka!

MARK RICHT HAS LOST CONTROL OF RECRUITING THE STATE OF GEORGIA.

Somebody really should let one of the AJ-C sports page editors know about this.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Death, taxes and NCAA stupidity

Friends, if there’s one thing you can count on in this crazy, mixed up world, it’s knowing that any story about previously unreleased NCAA commentary is bound to be entertaining in the “damn, son, I don’t think I would’a said that” sense.  And Jon Solomon’s piece about some letters and e-mails about the one-year scholarship rule that is currently the subject of (another) antitrust suit doesn’t disappoint.

“The one-year rule also preserves the NCAA’s brand of intercollegiate athletics by preventing ‘employment contract’ like negotiations, bidding wars and other tactics between and among schools and students,” NCAA attorney Greg Curtner wrote to the DOJ, according to Rascher. Curtner also wrote, “Given the short-term gains — in terms of athletic success, institutional and individual prestige, and commercial rewards — that schools and individuals can realize by deviating from the long-term norms of amateur intercollegiate athletics … this sort of ‘cheating’ would likely make it impossible to sustain the NCAA brand of intercollegiate athletics …”

The NCAA said in a statement Tuesday that last sentence was taken out of context…

Shit, the NCAA would like to argue that every moronic utterance ever made on its behalf has been taken out of context.  (No wonder Stacey Osburn prefers being closed mouthed.)

But today’s winner is Texas women’s athletic director Chris Plonsky, who possesses the icy soul of Montgomery Burns and, combined with Steve Patterson, gives the University of Texas the greatest one-two douchebag punch in college athletics.  Evidently Plonsky has never met a student-athlete who wasn’t a lazy, good for nothing bum.

… Plonsky wrote an email saying guaranteeing scholarships beyond one year would “result in MORE complacency” among college athletes who “then go on a form of cruise control.”

Plonsky said the promise of multiyear scholarships “with little ability to hold feet to fire is not the way the world works. If you don’t do your job, you get warned. If you continue to fail, you get fired. If you fail to reach benchmarks, you cannot simply say, ‘you still pay me.’”

Um… I thought the whole point was you weren’t paying them.  Besides, it seemed to work for Mack Brown for a number of years.

What amazes me  – somewhat, anyway – is that at this point the organization has to realize it hosts a treasure trove of stupidity and embarrassment, things that it cannot hope to hide in litigation, and yet it keeps fighting lawsuits to the death instead of trying to keep the dumb under wraps by settling.

What’s that definition of insanity again?

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Filed under The NCAA

“I think this is a monumental situation, and it will forever change the landscape of college recruiting.”

Michael Carvell does a good job asking a bunch of Georgia high school coaches today’s obvious question:  what are your thoughts on Roquan Smith saying he’ll not sign a NLI?

The responses indicate to me that even if players haven’t thought much about foregoing the NLI, it’s something a lot of high school coaches are going to ponder going forward.  But they also recognize it’s a strategy that’s only going to work for a limited number of prospects.

Lassiter’s Jep Irwin: “I think it is a viable option for the elite recruits that is not used enough. However, if you are not an elite recruit, this could backfire on the family. It’s important to know where you rank on a school’s board for your position and if they are willing to wait past national signing day.”

Arabia Mountain’s Stanley Pritchett: “I think this will affect the recruiting for the higher-ranked kids because they will hold the leverage over schools. But for the majority of kids, I don’t think this will affect them because there’s a possibility that it could backfire if they try the same thing.”

There’s also plenty of wisdom to the suggestion that kids who don’t have the leverage that Smith finds himself with right now need to focus on the school and the program first.

Milton’s Howie DeCristofaro: “We tell our players not to commit to a coach — they change like the weather. Commit to a program. The program’s building never moves.”

But the other interesting part of the discussion is that several of the coaches believe the schools will step in and amend the process so the top recruits can’t game the system.

Creekside’s Olten Downs: “I think it can be revolutionary, as I believe many parents and high school coaches didn’t know exactly what kind of document that an NLI really is. I can see future recruits doing the same … it seems as if the NCAA would step in and provide some new type of legislation if this became more prevalent.”

Central Gwinnett’s Todd Wofford: “I’ve been following it. I’m not sure but I would assume that there will be pressure to make some adjustment to the letter-signing process. The recruiting approach these days is family and trust, and these type things happen yearly (coaches leaving right after signing day). And the college coaches are really never in a position be accountable to the families that bought in to their sales pitch. I don’t know if putting a clause in the letter somehow would be the answer. They pay people way smarter than me to figure that one out.”

I have no idea how this is going to play out.  But I suspect Downs and Wofford may be on to something if refusing to sign an NLI becomes a trend.  We’ll just have to see who comes out of the gate as a proponent of imposing new restrictions.  (As well as how certain lawyer types react to any across the board type move.)

43 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

There you go again.

Bill Hancock’s flapping his gums again, with the usual results.

Bill Hancock, the executive director for the College Football Playoff, believes there isn’t interest within the college football industry to expand to eight or 16 teams in the future.

“I’m not hearing the drum within our business,” Hancock told AL.com. “I’m hearing it from journalists. I think we need to give this a chance. It’s such a remarkable new innovation for the game. There is no talk in our group of expanding.”

Not sure who’s in “our group”, but I guess that means he’s not including John Swofford or a bunch of head coaches.

I’d say it’ll be fun listening to him spin his denial at the presser the CFP holds when it announces the expansion to eight participants, but who am I kidding here?  He’ll just blink a couple of times and then pivot to denying that the playoffs would ever expand to sixteen teams.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Blowing Smoke

“I think our fans are expecting shorter games…”

Ah, football games are getting longer again.  That means it’s time to roll out more bullshit.  Larry Scott is ready to do his part.

“You’ll always get traditionalists who won’t change it,” Scott said. “I don’t find it concerning or daunting that there are some that would oppose it. I think the job for commissioners is to take a step back and look at it holistically. The health and welfare of student-athletes is first and fans are a close second in terms of keeping games appealing. Three-and-a-half hours, to me, is too long.”

Commish, please.  You don’t give a rat’s ass about the fans or the players here.  This is about television, pure and simple, specifically, how to keep your broadcasts within a specific time window.

“That 3:30 timeframe is kind of the magic number as we schedule games for television,” MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said. “There’s a continued creep. We’ve had peaks and valleys to it. We have to get our hands around it. If I’m looking at it from a fan perspective, when you get beyond three hours, are you starting to lose people’s interest?”

Now there’s some inspired spin, baby.  Yeah, I get really antsy if a game goes a few minutes past three and a half hours duration.  Just ask Rogers Redding, of all people.

“People at one level, there’s some concern about it,” national officiating coordinator Rogers Redding said. “But then you ask the question, who’s really complaining about it? Fans aren’t. Fans devote a whole day to a game. What’s another five minutes?”

If this is really about us fans, why are the folks in charge considering a running clock again, when we all thought that sucked the last time they tried it?

College football has gone down this road before. In 2006, the sport disastrously used a running clock after changes of possession. The rule reduced games to a 3:07 average and infuriated fans and coaches in the process.

The irony here is that it’s not the game that’s really causing the problem now.  You know what is?  Here’s a hint.

The high-pressure, commercialized world of FBS is playing a much longer game than other NCAA divisions. While FBS games averaged 3:23 in 2014, the Football Championship Subdivision was 2:55, Division II was 2:45 and Division III was 2:41.

Hmm… what sets the commercialized world of FBS apart from college football’s other divisions?  Oh, yeah.  Commercials!

Similarly, the 2012 and 2013 seasons had nearly identical stats for plays, scoring and pass attempts. Yet the game length in 2013 actually decreased by one minute from 2012, not increase by six minutes as it did in 2014. What gives?

“Commercial break lengths and the number are undoubtedly increasing,” said Richard Southall, director of the College Sport Research Institute. “Networks have to generate additional advertising revenue to pay for rights fees that are escalating. Simply put: gotta pay the piper!”

Benson agrees that television is the biggest reason for longer games.

“Our TV partners need it, but we also need to make sure we manage it,” Benson said. “A lot of times it’s coming out of commercials that games are delayed. The networks are always going to push the envelope and they’re paying the bills. They need to get as many spots in as they can.”

More commercials and less football, that’s what fans want, right?  Right?

“I hear it a lot from fans: ‘What am I supposed to do for that three minutes? I can’t drink anymore. I can’t have anymore Cokes and peanuts. My God, let’s get going,'” Thompson said. “We’re trying to serve two audiences.”

No, you’re not.  You’re trying to maximize your revenue stream.  And that’s why we’ll come out on the short end of the stick with whatever change results from this.  Thanks a lot, fellas.

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Filed under College Football

The Big 12’s “lawn mower” decision

While I love this quote

“At some point,” Pollard said, “you’re no longer a conference, you’re a consortium, and I feel the Big 12 is still a conference.”

… let’s face it:  the reason the Big 12 isn’t expanding its membership is because it can’t find suitable partners that make it worthwhile to split the revenue pie into more pieces.

We’ll see if Pollard is signing a different tune should the NCAA turn down the conference’s request for a waiver of the 12-team requirement to host a championship game.

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Filed under Big 12 Football

Tuesday morning buffet

Jump right in, folks.

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Big 12 Football, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Pac-12 Football, Recruiting, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

Roquan Smith, test case

Yesterday’s question, answered.

Perhaps most significant, Smith’s coach also revealed that the linebacker won’t be signing a letter of intent after finalizing his college plans. Smith will commit, and then officially be a signee on his first day of summer classes.

“He’s not going to sign a letter of intent,” Harold said. “The reason why is because what he went through last week. This just gives us flexibility in case something else unexpectedly happens again.”

And how did the schools recruiting Smith take that?  In stride.

“Of course, they all said that’s fine. But they were like ‘What does this mean?’ They said this has never been done before, to the best of their knowledge. It could set a precedent. They had to do some research, but they said it indeed could be done and that they’re fine with it.

“I guess you’ll really be able to tell if a coach or college really wants a kid if they’ll agree to do this – letting a kid come to their campus this summer without signing an LOI.”

“Again, we’re doing it this way after what happened last week. I don’t know where this is all going to go. I guess God put Roquan in this position for a reason. Maybe it was meant to help educate other kids about these types of situations.”

Basically, it means that if prior to enrolling Smith is faced with another situation where a coach suddenly departs, he can walk without losing a year of eligibility.

The big question from here is whether this becomes a trend with the high-fliers in the next recruiting class.  My guess is that if the media plays this up, it will.

And it’ll drive some head coaches crazy.

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Filed under Recruiting