Daily Archives: May 7, 2015

Nick Chubb may be on the cover

… of the Sporting News Yearbook, but his team only checks in at number eighteen.

It’s too easy to say Georgia will do what it does best:  run the football and play defense.  Because at some point – even with the supremely talented Nick Chubb and backup Sony Michel – the Dawgs must get production from the passing game.  The position hurt Georgia in big games last season, and will again unless Brice Ramsey can be trusted to make more than just safe throws.

Hmm.  Georgia finished eighth in scoring last season, so I’m not exactly sure how far to go with that “hurt” observation.  (That’s better than twelve of the teams TSN ranks ahead of Georgia for 2015.)

I guess we should’ve blamed Mason more last year.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

“When you’re in the right place, you know it.”

I’d say Sam Madden is doing a fine job of adapting to his new surroundings.

And Georgia Tech?

“Yeah, I can’t stand them,” Madden said. “Wherever I’m at, that’s my place, that’s my family.”

Looks like he’s bucking early on to become a GTP favorite.

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Filed under Georgia Football

When a meme becomes a thing – and a modest proposal

Hey, this whole “the NFL ain’t buying what spread quarterbacks are selling” thing is gettin’ real.

Even though the NFL is more pass oriented than ever before, the seven signal callers selected in this year’s draft is the fewest since 1955, when only six QBs were taken.

For perspective: More wideouts were selected among the first 40 picks (eight), than quarterbacks taken in the entire seven-round, 256-pick draft.

Ouch.  That’s gonna leave a mark in somebody’s checkbook.  And it’s getting worse.

While the small number of quarterbacks selected this year is the fewest of the common draft era (since 1967), just four signal callers that came from spread offenses have been drafted each of the last two years.

The drastic difference in the draft numbers at the position over the last two years likely has a lot more to the systems the top quarterbacks came from.

Ten of the 14 quarterbacks that were drafted a year ago ran pro-style offenses in college, as compared to the three drafted QBs who were a product of a more NFL-friendly offense this year.

Now, two years is an admittedly small sample size.  But you know how these pesky memes work.  I figure just a couple of ESPN spots devoted to the subject, and the panic will set in.

Of course, David Wunderlich is right – the NFL could roll up its sleeves and put in the effort developing quarterbacks.  But patience isn’t so much a virtue when you’ve invested a draft pick (only seven rounds now, remember) and money in a guy for whom you have no clue from his background as to whether he can make the leap.  The clock is always ticking in the NFL.

So we’re back at the fundamental problem.  The NFL isn’t going to spend a bunch of money on a developmental league when it’s had a perfectly fine one that hasn’t cost it one red cent all these years.  Nor is it going to change the role of the quarterback in some fundamental way.  And college coaches aren’t in the business of delivering talent with a red bow around it for the League so much as they’re in the business of winning, which for many means relying on spread offensive attacks.  Sounds like they’re at loggerheads to me.

Is this an insurmountable problem?  Nah, I don’t think so.  At least not in a world where money talks.  For much less than the cost of a developmental league, the NFL could simply spend some seed money at certain schools to encourage them to support pro-style offenses.  There are already places where coaches’ salaries are endowed; how about the Roger Goodell Endowment for Quarterback Studies, thoughtfully provided as long as the program has its quarterbacks taking snaps under center?

Talk about your win-win.  Let a thousand pocket passers bloom!

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Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, The NFL Is Your Friend.

“It’s Robin Hood in reverse.”

This is one helluva story from the University of Cincinnati’s investigative reporting staff (h/t David Hale).

Let’s just say there’s a bit of a disconnect between students and administrators:

Kevin Leugers pays the University of Cincinnati to provide him with a quality education.

The second-year student majoring in marketing and philosophy had no idea officials had quietly funneled tens of millions of dollars from students to the athletic department in recent years to cover the difference between revenue and expenses.

“It seems to be a corruption of education, in all honesty,” says Leugers, a University Honors Program student and Kolodzik Business Scholar. “Athletics is being given priority over education, over the professors, over the students. I just think that’s wrong.”

In 2013, UC officials provided the athletic department with a $21.75 million subsidy, records show, using student fees and money from the school’s general fund, which is primarily funded by tuition. The total subsidy amounts to $1,024 out of the pocket of every full-time undergraduate student on UC’s main campus. The four-year price tag costs each student more than $4,000.

The money represents 20 percent of the $20,000 Leugers plans to borrow to finance his education.

The athletic department’s four-year hidden tax may very well exceed $4,000 per student. In 2014 the subsidy rose to more than $27 million, a 25-percent increase.

Since 2007, University of Cincinnati trustees and administrators have used more than $127 million in student fees and general fund money to subsidize deficits in the athletic department, according to UC’s NCAA Revenue & Expense reports.

Thomas Humes, UC’s board chair and a trustee since 2007, says the $127 million sports subsidy is a necessity to keep pace with other programs.

“I think it is a requirement,” says Humes, a developer and former UC administrator.

Humes says sports are “a good investment for the university as a whole” and that the board decided every dollar given to the athletic department was money well spent.

“There has been a decision that whatever that investment number is that it is a positive investment for the university,” he says. “I don’t view it as a concern.”

It’s easy not to be concerned when you’re not the one being charged, dude.

What’s sad about this isn’t that schools who aren’t among the haves are struggling to keep up with those who are – if charging students fees is what you think you have to do, so be it – it’s hiding the truth from students because you know they’re not likely to agree with your approach.  (Nice touch by the UC president refusing to be interviewed for the article.)

And what’s maddening about this is that the same people who will piously bray about the academic mission they purport to serve are the same ones who, well, pull this bullshit:

Like UC, most Ohio public universities have an open checkbook for sports and a tightfisted approach to academic spending. For example:

• Over the past decade, annual sports spending — and subsidies — at the University of Akron more than doubled. During these years, students paid more than $130 million in athletic fees, records show. In 2014, Akron Athletic Director Tom Wistrcill used $13,000 to purchase bobble-head likenesses of then-President Luis Proenza to express his appreciation to the president for having “ensured that the university provides our student athletes and coaches with first class facilities.” Meanwhile, trustees have raised tuition and slashed academic spending, including the elimination of more than 100 jobs. Wistrcill told CityBeat the university is giving students what they want. “We get institutional support both from the students and from the campus to make our budget work, and we feel like we provide a great part of the student experience to the non-athletes,” he said.

• Miami University is the most expensive four-year public college in the nation, according to a 2014 U.S. Department of Education report. One reason: sports subsidies. In 2013, each full-time undergraduate student provided the athletic department with $1,266, the highest subsidy among Ohio’s eight largest FBS public schools. That same year, the university’s Board of Trustees and President David Hodge were so pleased with the athletic department’s performance they gave Athletic Director David Sayler a five-year extension.

Sayler declined comment for this story. While annual athletic spending increased 44 percent over the past decade, the president and trustees made $50 million in budget cuts outside athletics. The Knight Commission database shows that between 2005 and 2013, inflation-adjusted academic spending — including faculty salaries, department research and student services — for each full-time undergraduate dropped 6 percent at Miami University, a school that advertises itself as “Ohio’s Public Ivy.” Alexa Brown, a third-year art education student, says officials should back up their slogan with action: “If we’re trying to be Ivy League, we should focus more on academics rather than trying to be like the Big Ten.”

• At Bowling Green State University, each full-time undergraduate student paid almost $1,000 to subsidize sports in 2013. Since then, the BGSU Board of Trustees has cut 130 faculty jobs, according to David Jackson, an associate professor of political science and president of the BGSU Faculty Association. The trustees did significantly raise funding in one area ostensibly related to academics: They increased President Mary Ellen Mazey’s compensation 40 percent to $600,149, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“University administrators tend to take care of themselves and make sure that they are very well paid,” Jackson says.

You can sum it up with these two charts, the first on education spending:

and the one that follows, showing athletic subsidies at the same schools, with Cincinnati’s growing almost four-fold over the same period.

The irony here is comparing Jim Delany’s threat about taking the Big Ten down to Division III if student-athletes receive compensation with the reality suggested by these numbers; it looks like there are already plenty of public universities in Ohio that could (and should) make that move.  And the even bigger irony is that damned market:

Freeing students from being forced to pay for intercollegiate athletics is one reason Carolyn Gallo chose Ohio State.

“I definitely looked into it,” says Gallo, now a third-year student majoring in biology. “I had heard of schools charging ridiculous amounts for their athletic programs and I wanted a university where my money was going where I wanted it to — academics.” 

It’s a strange world we live in where the adults have their priorities more out of whack than the kids do.  Read the whole thing.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., It's Just Bidness

Thursday morning buffet

Plenty of nibbles this morning:

  • Big 12, this “One True Champion” stuff isn’t nearly as hard as you’re making it.
  • Steve Patterson continues the rebranding:  “Forty-five years ago China and the U.S. were at war. What opened the door? Ping pong? The same people that are going what the heck are you doing in Dubai were the same people who said why are you playing ping pong in China?”
  • NCAA to coaches:  sure, we’ll get you notice so you can’t complain about that, but input?  Naaaah.
  • Jerry Hinnen’s SEC East post-spring wrap up is here.
  • And here’s the one for the SEC West.
  • Athlon’s SEC head coach rankings list is, well… a little different.
  • So how good a job did Dan Mullen do with his 2011 recruiting class?  This writer wonders if it was the most underrated class ever.
  • Along those lines, check out this post at Team Speed Kills about program rebuilding.

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Filed under Big 12 Football, Recruiting, SEC Football, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are., The NCAA