Daily Archives: April 3, 2016

In today’s further adventures of “you get what you pay for”

Actually, this is why you shouldn’t spend money on recruiting services.


Filed under Recruiting

A little flexibility goes only so far.

This is what passes for “some benevolence” by the NCAA these days.

A little bit of a kerfuffle arose back in May of 2014 when it was reported that the NCAA would not allow Boise State to provide assistance to Antoine Turner, a Broncos defensive tackle who was essentially homeless when not enrolled in classes. The Association reversed course a short time later, ruling that BSU could “provide immediate assistance to [the] football student-athlete.”

Turner went on to play in 13 games in the 2014 season. Shortly before the start of the 2015 season, however, a potential eligibility issue in regards to Turner was discovered and the player sat out the year while the situation was investigated. Just what the specific eligibility issue was that caused the probe wasn’t detailed.

That investigation found that, because of what was described only as a “transfer eligibility matter stemming from his time in junior college,” Turner never should have been eligible to play in that 2014 season. However, because there was, as determined by the NCAA, no way for BSU to have prior knowledge of the issue, The Association decided that the university would face no sanctions, including no forfeiture of games in which Turner played.

That’s sweet.  I guess here’s where the “some” comes into play.

Turner, though, was “rendered permanently ineligible” by the NCAA.

It’s a moot point, since the kid is on track to graduate this summer.  But it’s always nice to tie up those potential loose ends, ain’t it?


Filed under The NCAA

“We can talk about this stuff until we’re blue in the face…”

Jon Solomon took in last week’s College Athletes’ Rights & Empowerment (CARE) conference.  There’s a lot in his report, but the bit about where the NCAA is ready to go if the courts don’t go the way it wants in all the outstanding antitrust litigation is of most interest to me.

Within the movement, one of the most contentious debates is whether to negotiate a conditional antitrust exemption for the NCAA in exchange for other benefits. An exemption could remove the legal challenges the NCAA continues to face in court over its rules.

If Congress got involved, it’s possible a commission could be created to study players’ rights issues and require changes in exchange for a conditional exemption. But there’s deep skepticism within parts of the movement that Congress would do anything but help the NCAA, which appears to view Congress as a last-ditch effort if necessary.

New York Times columnist Joe Nocera said he has documents showing the NCAA’s general counsel saying that if amateurism rules are seriously in jeopardy under antitrust law, the NCAA’s athletic directors, coaches and universities would go to Congress to pass an exemption for the NCAA. A high-ranking administrator in major college sports echoed the same sentiment to CBS Sports, saying that the NCAA believes it can get an exemption immediately if the courts allow players to be paid.

The NCAA spent $1 million on lobbyists in 2014 and 2015, according to records listed on opensecrets.org. That’s far less than the NFL spent those two years ($2.4 million), but the NCAA’s two-year total exceeded its lobbying total from 2008-13 ($990,000). The NCPA, the most structured organization in the athletes’ rights movement, spent $26,582 on lobbying efforts in 2014, according to the NCPA’s 2014 tax form.

NCAA president Mark Emmert said there is not a plan “right now” to go before Congress. “But at some point it may well be we wind up with a case in front of the Supreme Court to ascertain what the ultimate state of the law is and what the Supreme Court thinks that collegiate sports should look like in America,” Emmert said from the Final Four this week. “Then we’ll see where that goes.”

Within some circles among administrators in college sports, there’s a belief the NCAA wants a seminal moment to wake up Congress and get a swift, definitive and favorable answer on antitrust law as legal fees from court cases continue to rise. In other words, such a moment could be a players’ strike or a Supreme Court decision against the NCAA.

I hear a lot of wishful thinking there.  From all sides.  As far as what the NCAA believes it can get, last time I checked, barring a veto override, Congress can’t turn a bill into a law without a President’s signature.  And this is so much bullshit from Andrew Zimbalist:

“Congress will get involved if there’s a judicially-imposed solution,” said Zimbalist, a prominent economics professor at Smith College. “They’re not just going to let it stand. … A judge-imposed solution or a legal settlement is not a democratic resolution of the problem. It’s an arbitrary solution among the people in the room when the case is heard.”

So every time a lawsuit is settled, it’s an invitation for Congress to jump in with a democratic resolution?  Stupid me.  I thought antitrust law is a democratic resolution of the problem.

By the way, I wonder if coaches should be a little nervous if the NCAA marches to Washington for help.  I mean, if you’re the schools asking for relief on the pay front, why stop with student-athletes while you’re there?


Filed under Political Wankery, See You In Court, The NCAA

Reconstruction on defense

One other thing of interest from that DawgNation piece about Keldrick Carper:

“The first thing that Coach Smart asked me when we sat down in his office he was like ‘OK, Keldrick, receiver or DB? No, none of that I don’t care or whatever or none of that I don’t know. Receiver? Or DB?’ I told him defensive back and he was like, ‘That’s fine.’”

Smart’s next question wasn’t safety or cornerback. Carper’s answer was a pretty clear tell about the future of the secondary at UGA.

“He said he just wants guys who are athletic and long cornerbacks,” Smart said. “What they do is what they did at Bama. He told me they used nothing but cornerbacks and they used no real true safeties. They put corners at safety because they need 4-5 people on the field who can cover. He said he wasn’t that particular on a position. As long as I can cover and come down and hit and catch interceptions then he told me that I would love playing in their defense.”  [Emphasis added.]

This shouldn’t be much of a surprise.  It’s what he gravitated to at Alabama as a way to counter Alabama’s vulnerability to the spread (not to mention going into last season ‘Bama lost three safeties from their 2014 team).  You can get a better sense of this from reading this 2015 preview of the Tide secondary.

Dominick Sanders sounds tailor-made for that approach.  Who makes the best fit for the other safety slot and the star position?


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

You know how to *take* the reservation, you just don’t know how to *hold* the reservation.

It’s not that the previous Georgia staff were bad recruiters.  It’s just that it always felt like there was a certain hit or miss quality to their efforts, a certain lack of attention to detail that made you wonder if it cost them at certain times.

Like this story about a Louisiana kid.

Keldrick Carper has a whole new slew of thoughts about UGA football.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder visited UGA last summer for Dawg Night and he didn’t get reps. Too crowded. Long lines. He didn’t get to talk to the assistants he hoped to and didn’t get to chat with former coach Mark Richt. He was sold on the campus, the degree benefits and all the facilities.

He just felt a disconnect with the football team.

Gee, I wonder why.

You think enough of a kid to invite him to a big recruiting event on campus, but don’t do your homework on what he expects to see and hear when he gets there, or have things organized well enough to make sure you hit all the high points with him.  Sounds like a pretty effective way to disconnect to me.

The weird thing when you read stories like his and others like the one from this Alabama linebacker

The 6-foot-2, 238-pounder was prioritized by the previous coaching staff at UGA, but he had a different feeling about the program on Friday when he was back on campus.

“When the old coaching staff was there I got a feeling that I really can’t describe,” he said. “Yesterday it was that times 10. I just feel as if I would really fit in there. It is something about the school and campus that catches my eye every time I’m there.”

… is that it’s not as if they walked away and wrote Georgia off.  The common theme seems to be that they liked the program, but just didn’t like the program enough.

You sense a different level of attention at work with the new bunch, as well as better attention to detail (I know, I know… my pet peeve about Richt).  We’ll see if it pays off next signing day.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting