Daily Archives: February 26, 2016

“There’s a reason they do traffic from up there…”

Every time a recruit looks towards Athens, Kirby Smart gets his wings… er, uh, you know what I mean.

Georgia spent a total of $342,118.09 on recruiting travel by air and helicopter charter and the UGA owned plane from Dec. 7-Jan. 29. All but $43,381 were on charters. That’s for less than two months. Georgia spent $1.314 million for all of its football recruiting expenses in fiscal year 2015 when Mark Richt was head coach.

On the 21 days, Smart and his staff flew, the flights averaged $16,291 a day in cost with sometimes multiple planes in use on the same day.

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and staff in a 12-day stretch in his first month as coach in 2015 had jet travels of more than $10,000 a day in value, according to USA Today.

Lookee there – Georgia outspent another school on something.  Take that, Harbaugh!


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Kids nowadays… what are you gonna do?

Shorter SMU women’s basketball coach Rhonda Rompola:  Oh, for the good times when the kids didn’t question that it’s the coaches who are supposed to be the entitled ones.



Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant

“But the culture in our building is good.”

As I watch this week in Knoxville unfold, I can’t help but wonder how someone like Mark Emmert, who tore up the NCAA rule book to go after Penn State, can quietly remain on the sideline in the face of widespread allegations of sexual violence not just at Tennessee, but across the country.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights currently is investigating 204 cases of sexual violence at 164 colleges and universities. That means that, at 164 schools, administrators have been accused of mishandling their response to sexual violence, be it ignoring complaints or fostering an environment where “rape culture” is tolerated, if not encouraged.

Tennessee is just this week’s poster child, albeit a particularly nauseating one.

So where is Emmert?  He’s the guy who opened the Pandora’s Box.  And he’s the guy who’s going to have things like this thrown in his direction with every new scandal, and deservedly so:

When the attitude toward women is so toxic, so hostile, so threatening as it as at Tennessee – or Notre Dame or Baylor or Florida State or almost any other school, really – the antidote needs to be just as formidable: Create an autonomous office to handle misconduct.

Hire someone like the NFL’s Lisa Friel, a former prosecutor with a background in sexual assault, and let him or her investigate and adjudicate complaints involving all students without interference or influence. From anyone.

And to ensure that no one’s tempted to skirt the system, fine any university employee who knows about a complaint and either doesn’t report it or tries to quash it a third of their salary. Eliminate any bonuses for five years, too.

If there’s a second offense, suspend them for a year. Fire them if there’s a third.

Harsh? Too bad. Rape and sexual assaults are far more serious than recruiting violations, and it’s time they were treated as such.

Yeah, that’s gonna happen real soon.  Old habits die hard.  And tolerating boys being boys is a very old habit, particularly when it interferes with winning games and making money.

Title IX went into effect on June 23, 1973. Baylor hired a Title IX coordinator in November of 2014. For 43 years, Baylor neglected to actively enforce a law that stood for equal treatment under the law of women in higher education. In 2011, the NCAA sent a reminder to its lagging participants to hire Title IX coordinators if they had not. Baylor lollygagged their way to hiring someone about four years after that, opening the door for this string of sexual assaults. The NCAA poked and prodded them, but never actually sanctioned the school. What good does coaxing schools to hire someone do when you’re allowing countless violations of the rights of women on campus?

There is no recovery for this organization. There is no “whoops, we’re sorry.” There is no going back — not for the women whose lives were harmed by this negligence, or by the money-hungry organization that promoted it. The only way to amend these wrongdoings is to replace. Not with more men in charge, who cannot possibly understand the horror of going through a situation like this, but with women, and with people who have had formal training in diversity and sensitivity and handling sexual assault. The model of hoping that the rich white men in charge of large sports organizations will figure things out has failed enough times for me to pretty certainly say that it’s going to continue failing…

You made your bed, Mr. Emmert.  Now sleep in it.


Filed under The NCAA

“Once people saw what was really going on, it wasn’t going to take a union to change it.”

If you can get past whatever knee-jerk objections you have about players’ unions and read this piece on what happened at Northwestern, it’s worth your while to gain some understanding about what motivated the principals involved.  Here’s the part that most telling:

When announcing the union, Colter had tried to be clear that his beef was primarily with the NCAA, not with Northwestern. But only by taking on Northwestern could he take on the NCAA, which created a more ambiguous situation. Northwestern lawyer Anna Wermuth noted that Fitzgerald had created a Leadership Council to give players some voice in team rules. Colter countered by saying that Fitzgerald retained 51% of the power. “We get an input,” Colter said, “but at the end of the day he’s the boss man.”

Wermuth also brought up Colter’s ankle to illustrate how Northwestern took care of players after graduation. “So they did say they would reimburse you for the MRI?” Wermuth asked.

“After they denied me,” Colter interjected. “But I mean there shouldn’t be any gray area. I gave—I sacrificed my body for four years. They sold my jersey in the stores, and they should protect me as far as medical coverage.”

Underlying some of the criticism of Colter was the belief by the school and many of its alumni that Northwestern was the wrong place to highlight the pitfalls of college sports. In many ways that was true. It had a graduation rate of 97%, the highest in college football’s top division, and a history of providing some medical coverage even after an athlete’s playing days had ended. As soon as the NCAA allowed schools to guarantee four-year scholarships, Northwestern was one of the few to do so immediately. In truth, the university treated its players about as well as any school did—and as well as NCAA rules allowed. This was part of Northwestern’s defense. Colter’s concerns were NCAA issues, the school’s lawyers argued. Northwestern couldn’t distribute cost-of-attendance stipends, for example, without the association’s approval.

Northwestern called other players to testify, and each presented compelling evidence that the university valued schoolwork. But none refuted Colter’s accounting of the hours or the coaches’ control. Then came Fitzgerald. “We take great pride in developing our young men to be the best they possibly can be in everything that they choose to do—athletically, academically, socially,” he said. But Kohlman got him to concede that the players can spend 24 hours on football on a Friday and Saturday when they travel to away games. He acknowledged that he set team rules too. In an interview the year before, Fitzgerald had called being a student-athlete “a full-time job.”

There weren’t any truly bad people in this fight.  Northwestern was an exemplary actor within a system that wasn’t so exemplary.  And Colter had good reason to express concerns over things like working conditions and players’ insurance.

The problem was that a union vote at one school was a poor vehicle to use to address the specific objections Colter had.  Ironically, the move to unionize turned out to be more effective than it should have been, because the conferences and NCAA freaked out when the NLRB’s initial ruling in favor of the players was issued.

Sneer if you like, but it’s impossible to deny the changes we’ve seen from the schools and the NCAA in the wake of what happened at Northwestern and O’Bannon.

Weeks before the trial, the Pac-12 presidents published a 10-point reform plan that included full cost of attendance, lifetime education trusts and improved medical insurance for players. The Big Ten commissioner, Jim Delany, testified during the trial, and days later the conference’s presidents issued a similar open letter. South Carolina, Indiana and Southern Cal unilaterally announced that they would begin handing out four-year athletic scholarships. And the NCAA abandoned its longtime release form for the use of players’ names, images and likenesses. (Schools and conferences now issue the form.) For practically the first time in NCAA history, colleges were tripping over themselves to do better by their athletes.

That’s either a reaction or a remarkable coincidence.  Either way, it’s hard to blame the players for trying.


Filed under Look For The Union Label

“My career at Georgia had its ups and downs.”

While I’m on the subject of the mysteries of Georgia’s 2015 season, I can’t help but wonder why we didn’t see more of Keith Marshall, especially after Nick Chubb was lost for the season.  With the exception of Vanderbilt, his ypc were productive throughout the season.  He had double-digit carries in the opener and also against Kentucky and Penn State, and yet didn’t manage more than five carries in any other game in 2015.

Was he physically up to it?  Obviously, I don’t have any inside information as to that, but it’s hard to think that someone who just one-upped


UPDATE:  By the way…


UPDATE:  Teammates’ reaction…


Filed under Georgia Football