The Georgia Way as an SEC standard? Uh hunh.

Just curious – has anyone running a college athletics department ever taken an Economics 101 course?  Because I’m not getting this:

Auburn AD Jay Jacobs sent shockwaves of concern through the league last month when he told USA Today that the cost-of-attendance benefit for Auburn athletes is likely to be in the neighborhood of $6,000 per year, with an additional $1,500 if they enroll in summer school. That number is considerably higher than the one posted on the majority of SEC school’s websites – including Georgia’s – and Jacobs was not bashful about his intentions of using that as a recruiting inducement.

“Certainly having a higher number than most in the Southeastern Conference is going to be helpful (in recruiting,” Jacobs told USA Today. “Having the lowest number in the SEC could be hurtful. The way we recruit and the quality of student-athlete we want, we hope that number isn’t a deciding factor but human nature says it could be depending on the circumstances.”

UGA President Jere Morehead and AD Greg McGarity have reserved comment to date but, suffice it to say, they don’t share Jacobs’ philosophy and would like see SEC set a standard.

I’m sure they would.  Just like Michael Adams wanted the SEC to use Georgia’s drug policy as a conference standard.  You know how well that went over.

I understand these guys are reflexively opposed to competition when it comes to affecting the reserve fund’s bottom line.  But setting a standard in this case means adopting the amount from whichever SEC school has the lowest cost of attendance, whatever that might be, because the rules don’t allow a school to pay its student-athletes more than that amount.  Maybe I’m missing something here, but, assuming Jacobs is willing to abandon something he thinks is a clear advantage to Auburn, isn’t colluding in that way likely to be an open invitation to an enterprising antitrust plaintiffs attorney?

53 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

53 responses to “The Georgia Way as an SEC standard? Uh hunh.

  1. JCDAWG83

    I don’t fully understand the whole “cost of attendance” thing. Other than tuition and fees, books, room and board, what other costs are required to attend college? I know kids want spending money, but that is not a set cost brought on by attending college. Spending money is nice to have if you aren’t attending college. I guess some travel expense, school supplies, etc could be added on, but I don’t see $500 a month in extra costs.

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    • The other Doug

      You have to remember that these kids can’t work. They have no way to buy a Coke unless a family member gives them money.

      Sure $500 is the high water mark and it’s probably way more than necessary.

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      • JCDAWG83

        I would guess 90% or so of all college students don’t have a job and rely on family for spending money. I’m not trying to be hard about this, but I can’t see why football players should get what amounts to spending money on top of a paid for college education. Their families have very little in the way of expenses for their college education so they should be able to provide some money.

        The no work rule is what I get hung up on. I know why they have to have it, but they are putting these kids in an impossible situation where their only option is to do something against the myriad NCAA rules to get some spending money. It would be easier and fairer to fix that rule than to open the doors to a bidding war on which school would fork over the most extra money. When we get to that point, we have a mini NFL system.

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        • It would be easier and fairer to fix that rule than to open the doors to a bidding war on which school would fork over the most extra money.

          I’ll bet you the majority of head coaches would disagree with that.

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        • Bazooka Joe

          Also you have to consider a number (probably higher percentage than we would admit) of these families do not have money to give their kids while at school – they are barely making it as it is, and the kid wouldn’t be in college, much less playing ball if not for the scholly

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          • Mayor

            Agreed, BJ. These kids very often come from impoverished backgrounds with several other longer brothers and sisters at home. they deserve spending money so their college experience is at least as high as students who watch them play. The schools have the “no job” rule which IMHO is really so the kids have to work out all summer. How else would they get enough money to even have a date unless they violated NCAA rules?

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    • I had two sons graduate from Georgia and are continuing their education. Phones aren’t cheap, laptops, pads, gas, dental, medical, they’re still on our health plan all though they do deal with their co pay. etc. I lived on far less when I was at Georgia.

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      • Bazooka Joe

        Ill bet your parents were much better off financially than most of these kids parents…. just sayin…

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        • I guess I missed my target point. Let me try again.. It’s pretty expensive to be at Georgia today. It wasn’t nearly as expensive when I was in school. My parents did alright.
          There was that spring quarter when I made less than impressive grades. That summer my father and mom talked with me and Dad said your working for your uncle’s trucking company in Atlanta this summer. It’s not far from Athens. 12 hour shift unloading trucks. Your on your own this summer and next fall quarter. Talk to me when your grades roll out again and we will consider your education. I went to my mom to complain and she was having none of it. Soooo… my summer in Athens tossing the fris and that five hour class and the occasional trip to Allens was not to be. But, yeah dad did all right. SAC 25 years in the Air Force. RCA and then Sperry Univac. But he didn’t spoil me if that is what you might think. You lose a lot on blogs per intent. Me too. Obviously. 😉

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    • AusDawg85

      At Auburn it would include guns, gang gear, attorney fees….

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  2. Monday Night Froetteur

    It’s just amazing how much many of these rich administrative rentiers loathe competition. They detest it! They don’t see these things as opportunities because their competitive zeal is surpassed by their desire to acquire unearned rent. The worst in this regard I have seen is the Northwestern AD.Northwestern has had literally the worst basketball program in the country forever and a bottom feeding football program. Instead of seeing unionization and cost of attendance stipends as opportunities to alter the status quo, NW’s administration has fought them tooth and nail.

    At some point, the mismatch in interests between revenue sport fans and athletic department administrators is going to manifest itself in open battle. Anti-player ADs are, for the most part, anti-fan ADs.

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  3. The other Doug

    Is there any math behind computing the cost of attendance or is it just a number that sounds good?

    It would be smart to come up with something similar to the Big Mac Index for college student lifestyle costs and use that. It could actually be some interesting economics work for one of the schools.

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      • Ant123

        According to this “As dictated by Congress, the COA is the average cost to attend for one academic year (fall through spring). It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses. Colleges adjust the COA yearly to reflect changes to these costs.” Then only transportation and personal expenses are not covered by the scholarship. Therefore there should be a league standard
        for these two items or a league formula to figure those two items. The difference in any SEC school for these items will not amount to much and if the formula is accurate those with a higher COA will also spend more so the net at the end of a year is 0

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        • Bazooka Joe

          Agree, but we all know schools (cough, cough Auburn) will fudge the numbers to inflate theirs to be the highest – heck we are already seeing that ! No way Aubie is higher than others in the SEC, in fact it is probably lower than a lot.

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      • paul

        Here’s the thing. Colleges have been calculating and publicly reporting their COA for a number of years now. If your school’s COA suddenly shoots up it’s going to be obvious you are artificially inflating your numbers. Of course, there is no law against this. Here is a link to the net price calculator at Auburn. See for yourself what it costs to attend. http://www.auburn.edu/scholarship/net-price-calculator.html. My estimated cost to attend as a middle-aged man from out-of-state who does not qualify for financial aid is just over $46,000. Tuition alone is $27,384. The room and board is estimated at $12,000, books and supplies are $1,200 and personal expenses are estimated at $5,500.

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  4. sniffer

    Jimmy Rains know about this? Lowder find money he didn’t know he had? Who’s financing Jacobs these days?

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  5. I submit they all took and passed Econ 101…. and what they learned is monopolies make more profit(and thereby pay their administrators better) than competitive industries. Collude away boys… they fully expect the crowd in D.C. to grant them dispensation because they when to the same Ivy League schools and learned the same economic lessons.Why hasn’t the NCAA hired MIT’s Professor Grubber to represent their interests?

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  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    Off topic, but Auburn talking about ” The way we recruit and the quality of student-athlete we want”. How many times did he have to practice that to say it with a straight face?

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    • Just Chuck (The Other One)

      “The way we recruit” = We pay more.
      “The quality of student-athlete” – Did I say student? Take that out.

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  7. mwo

    Did Adams ever approach the SEC office and ask for the UGA drug policy to be the conference standard? I don’t recall that but there is a lot I don’t recall anymore. I wish someone at SEC media days would ask Slive why there is not a standard policy for drug testing and punishment for positive results. It would be nice to see him squirm.

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  8. 3rdandGrantham

    I can already see where this is eventually going at places like Bama, AU, and Ole Miss. Their monthly COA breakdowns will be as follows:

    Food: $1200 a month (based on cost of typical breakfast/lunch fare, along with nightly filet mignon and lobster tails with all the trimmings)

    Lodging: $1500 monthly (local cost of 3500 sf home rental with pool and maid service, shared by 2-3 roommates)

    Insurance/misc*: $900 (insurance on newer model Escalade or similar car of choice of student athlete)

    *price of books excluded from COA as they’re deemed unnecessary. Approx. amount will instead go towards cell service, TV/entertainment, and other educational platforms (sic)

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  9. PTC DAWG

    This. is. bullshit. How could it possibly be that much different in the schools across the South? I would think AU would be one of the cheapest….

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    • 100% agree. Even reading the link Bluto posted in a comment above, there’s nothing that makes any sense to me as to how Auburn would be the highest in the conference, especially by a significant margin. Either I’m just not connecting the dots properly, or there’s a whole lot of fuzzy math going on here.

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      • Fuzzy classes, fuzzy grades, fuzzy admission requirements, fuzzy pot rules, throw in a few qbs booted from other schools to play qb and you’re well on your way to a national title..
        The Auburn Way.
        As an aside, with all the Gus and bride hits on Waffle House I wonder if they’re hoping to get a deal with them like CMR has with Ford trucks. lol.

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        • Dog in Fla

          Kristi says shut up and pass the syrup

          “The great gift of Waffle House is not that the food at every single one of its units tastes the same, though, in fact, it does; the great gift is that every single one of its units is different and owes something to the vagaries of its location. I have been to cracker Waffle Houses; I have been to African-American Waffle Houses; I have been to poseur Waffle Houses; I have been to North Carolina Waffle Houses seemingly consecrated to the burning of the tobacco leaf; I have been to Waffle Houses frequented exclusively by truckers; I have been to Waffle Houses that have offered succor when I’ve gotten lost; I have been to Waffle Houses that have made me feel like I was going to get killed in the parking lot. There are a lot of black people who won’t go to a Denny’s because of that chain’s history of discrimination; there are a lot of gay people who won’t go to a Cracker Barrel for the same reason. There isn’t anybody who won’t go to a Waffle House, though, because you can always find a Waffle House that suits you, and every Waffle House waitress greets you the same way, whether she’s a big black woman with gold teeth named after Elvis or a scrawny white woman whose teeth function as a kind of redneck Rubik’s Cube.”

          http://www.esquire.com/food-drink/a5617/waffle-house-0309/

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    • Minnesota Dawg

      Yeah, seems that way to me too. Once again, ANY time you get some type of “self-policing/administering/regulating” policy in the SEC, you’re inviting unscrupulous gaming by our conference brethren to get a competitive advantage on the field. No big surprise that Auburn has an the early lead, while you can bet Georgia is on the look-out for whatever moral (and cheap, if they can get it) high-ground they can find, from which they can shrug their shoulders and shake their heads.

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    • Gravidy

      Yes, it is bullshit, and it is that especially maddening form of bullshit where the outcome is 100% predictable. There is not one person involved with collegiate athletics who doesn’t understand how this system will be immediately abused.

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    • ASEF

      My county is about $150 a month for cable/internet. Next countybover has better services st half the price because the population is 6x greater and hence attracts more businesses willing to investbin necessary infrastructure. Groceries are cheaper there, too, for largely the same reasons.

      Auburn is in the middle of freaking nowhere. Olive Garden could charge $80 for soup and salad. Where else would you go?

      So I can sort of see it.

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      • PTC DAWG

        Auburn has a Walmart and a dominos Pizza and a McDonalds, just like every college town in the South.

        I might could see GT as being higher than others, mainly due to downtown location….

        I stand by my statement. It is BS.

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      • Dog in Fla

        “Where else would you go?”

        Waffle House. That was easy.

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    • Dog in Fla

      “This. is. bullshit. How could it possibly be that much different in the schools across the South?”

      One part that Jay is holding back and has not yet disclosed that differentiates AU from others (except maybe Starkville) is the budgetary line item for scraping shit right off your shoes

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    • Macallanlover

      Not just “across the South” PTC, expenses for beer, movies, pizzas, etc., do not vary enough across the country to risk opening this up to individual schools to set. NCAA should just draw that line and let conferences and schools have flexibility in setting a COA number. Housing should not be calculated because room and board is included with full scholarships, if a student chooses to live off campus, that cost is on him/her.

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  10. I too would like to know if there any evidence out there to back Jacobs’ numbers. I’ve visited Auburn many times, and any difference there from Athens or Tuscaloosa did not stand out to me, other than they had a smaller downtown area. My friend in Auburn paid about the same that I paid in Athens (at the time – mid 2000’s) in rent for a similar apartment. I just am having a hard time fathoming where the number comes from.

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  11. DawgFlan

    I HATE Auburn, and whether BS or not, I am assuming the transportation costs take into consideration public transportation options, so schools closer to major airports, with major bus/rail service, city bus systems, school bus systems, etc. will have lower overall transportation costs. Taking the above into consideration, getting to/from and around town in Athens is likely cheaper than middle of nowhere Auburn. It’s the only thing I can think of since transportation is usually the second largest expense after housing.

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  12. Bulldog Joe

    It’s not about expenses. It’s about winning.

    Shame on Auburn University for wanting to win. 😉

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  13. With Auburn having an insider for a while at the NCAA they were probably read the tea leaves early on and made plans for this ahead of everyone else in the SEC. And, with our insistence on standing on the moral high ground it will take us a few years to get on board – as we see happening now with all of the new football coaching “consultants” being brought on staff. Let’s just hope this is something that can be adjusted after the B-M brain trust gets on board in a few years if Auburn is eating our lunch in recruiting due to this…

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  14. Jay Jacobs thinks we are all dumb shits when he says it is too difficult, too much paperwork, too much bureaucracy etc. to figure the actual cost of attendance. His student aid office has that number already. All he had to do is use his campus email and “voila!” The number appears on his screen.

    Either the real actual cost of attendance at Auburn will be the amount Auburn offers athletes, in which case Auburn is short hanging its regular students receiving grants tied to the a. c. a., or it is lower than what Auburn offers athletes, in which case Auburn will be cheating. My money is on the cheating. Interesting to see how Auburn explains the difference in a.c.a. numbers to the federal department of education.

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