Monthly Archives: December 2015

Reggis Ball doubles down.

Or, in the words of War Eagle Extra, “proudly shows off football he stole“.

He’s been kicked off the team for that.  Which makes it a shame he’s a senior, because otherwise he could make for one of college football’s all-time second chance stories by signing with Auburn.

27 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

“You quickly jump on board. We just want to win, man.”

At most programs, a Top 100 recruit winding up in little more than a bit, supporting role as a junior or senior would be considered a disappointment.  At Alabama, though, it’s just part of the process.

You know what?  In this day and age with hat ceremonies and stage parents preening if their kids don’t, Saban deserves credit for making that work, all while grinding away signing top classes year after year.

Can Kirby do that, too?

12 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

If you hated what I wrote about player compensation yesterday…, part two.

What I’ve observed with these discussions about player compensation is that much of it is driven on one side by what I’ve referred to as the romance of amateurism.  People don’t like the idea of players getting paid because it interferes with their vision of participation purely for the love of the sport.

Believe it or not, I don’t have a problem with that.  I stopped feeling that way a few years ago, but I can respect the position.  Where my respect stops is at the point where some try to dress up their emotional investment in the notion with economic arguments that make little sense.  And where my anger starts is with the NCAA’s obvious and cynical milking of that romance.

The NCAA has responded that fans don’t want college sports to go pro. As NCAA President Mark Emmert recently put it, “one of the biggest reasons fans like college sports is that they believe the athletes are really students who play for a love of the sport.”

But, could there be something else in play that explains why folks don’t want student-athletes getting paid?  Um… you tell me.

Could racial prejudice also affect attitudes toward paying college athletes? There are good reasons to believe that it could.

According to NCAA data from 2014, blacks constitute the majority of players in college football and basketball, the two sports that most people think of when they think of college athletics. Given this reality, it would be strange if questions about paying college athletes did not conjure up images of young black men in the minds of survey respondents.

To find out whether racial prejudice influences white opinion on paying college athletes, we conducted a survey of opinions on “pay for play” policies using the 2014 CCES.

In a statistical analysis that controlled for a host of other influences, we found this: Negative racial views about blacks were the single most important predictor of white opposition to paying college athletes.

The more negatively a white respondent felt about blacks, the more they opposed paying college athletes.

Before your knee begins instinctively jerking in response, consider such comments as this

“I don’t think paying all college athletes is great,” said Cowherd. “Not every college is loaded, and most 19-year-olds [are] gonna spend it – and let’s be honest, they’re gonna spend it on weed and kicks! And spare me the ‘they’re being extorted’ thing. Listen, 90 percent of these college guys are gonna spend it on tats, weed, kicks, Xbox’s, beer and swag. They are, get over it!”

… and tell me you can’t detect even the faintest whiff of prejudice there.  And yes, Cowherd is a major ass, but he’s hardly alone in that department.

Read the linked piece in its entirety and draw your own conclusions.

(h/t)

148 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

If you hated what I wrote about player compensation yesterday…, part one.

A sample comment from yesterday’s post thread:

Senator you can’t compare professional athletes with the collegiate system. There is a lack of talent to fill major league rosters. Therefore the market value dictates a players salary, and the television (especially for the NFL) dictates a lot of the national revenue. But Mike Trout playing for the Angels can affect the revenue by a much larger % than Todd Gurley for UGA. UGA fills the stadium regardless of an individual athlete. Plus the NFL owner keeps all the revenue in colleges it goes back into non revenue sports and improved opportunities for student athletes. Its not even close to a valid comparison.

To which, reality responds.

Rising administrative and support staff pay is one of the biggest reasons otherwise profitable or self-sufficient athletic departments run deficits, according to a Washington Post review of thousands of pages of financial records from athletic departments at 48 schools in the five wealthiest conferences in college sports. In a decade, the non-coaching payrolls at the schools, combined, rose from $454 million to $767 million, a 69 percent jump.

College sports officials long have cited rising costs both to justify mandatory student fees supporting athletics and to argue against paying college athletes. One of the fastest-increasing athletic costs at many of America’s largest public universities, however, is the amount of money flowing into the paychecks of the people running those athletic departments.

From 2004 to 2014, UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero’s salary increased from $299,000 to $920,000 to do the same job, and his administration grew from 97 to 141 employees, boosting UCLA’s non-coaching payroll from $9.1 million to $16 million. (All 2004 figures in this story have been adjusted for inflation.)

In 2004, University of Michigan Athletic Director William Martin made $361,000, and 15 of his administrative employees made $100,000 or more. Ten years later, Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon made $900,000, and the number of his administrative staffers making $100,000 or more had risen to 34.

In 2004, 12 football teams in the “Power Five” conferences — the ACC, Southeastern Conference, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pacific-12 — spent more than $1 million on staffers who were not coaches. A decade later, 34 football teams had seven-figure support staff payrolls. At Clemson University, the football coach’s chief of staff — his official title is “associate athletic director of football administration” — makes $252,000, a salary that exceeds what some athletic directors at big colleges made a decade ago.

The money’s coming in and it’s not going to the labor force.  As Ramogi Huma puts it, “The money has to go somewhere.”

Please, read the whole thing and let me know why you really think there’s nothing wrong with big time college football’s financial status quo.

10 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

“If you don’t start in college,” Coker said, “it’s pretty tough to move on from there.”

The two sides of the graduate player transfer rule, in a nutshell:

“The whole idea is to play,” said Mike Martz, a former St. Louis Rams coach and a former offensive coordinator in the N.F.L. and in college.

“If a guy transfers because he wants to play and there’s a really good player” ahead of him, Martz said, “you can’t fault him for that.”

Versus…

But the leverage Coker and players like Florida State’s Everett Golson and Michigan’s Jake Rudock have exerted in recent years has been threatened by a reaction from many college coaches and universities who see competitive chaos and academic de-emphasis in the movement of players.

Last year, the N.C.A.A. curtailed waivers that had allowed undergraduate transfers in high-profile sports like football and men’s basketball to play without having to sit a year. And while graduate transfers can move more freely, they can be restricted from many destinations by their current college. N.C.A.A. rules also prohibit contact, even indirectly, between a player and a potential future college, although the rule is widely flouted via third-party intermediaries like high school coaches, according to many observers who have experience with transfers.

While the stated goal of these restrictions is to encourage transfers who are academically driven and to prevent an anarchic status quo in which athletes are amenable to continual recruitment, at least one official acknowledged the rules could be altered “to minimize the abuse.”

The only thing that’s being abused is coaches’ control of players.  But in the eyes of the NCAA, that’s serious stuff.

7 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Thursday morning buffet

Bowls making you hungry?  Okay.

  • ESPN is reporting that Scott Cochran will be getting more than $600,000 a year to stay at Alabama.  $600K for a strength coach.  Jesus.
  • Speaking of salaries, you’ll be pleased to know that Charlie Weis comes off the Notre Dame payroll tomorrow.
  • This probably isn’t good.
  • I don’t know if you watched the Holiday Bowl last night, but some kid who had two career sacks coming into the game managed three – on three straight plays.  Wowser!
  • ESPN wants to dominate New Year’s Eve, much as the N.F.L. takes over Thanksgiving Day and the N.B.A. deploys five games in its bid to wrest control of Christmas from Santa Claus.”
  • Nobody at The Miami Beach Edition cares, ESPN.
  • Why they love bowl season:  Jake Ganus confesses to eating 13 lobster tails at the bowl game dinner.
  • I didn’t realize that Ivan Maisel wrote for the AJ-C.  It’s something to consider how much talent came and went at that paper.

20 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big Ten Football, Charlie Weis Is A Big Fat..., Crime and Punishment, ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles

A plea to the new coaching staff

If there’s one policy I hope Kirby Smart institutes, it’s nixing the pregame happy talk.

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Filed under Georgia Football