Daily Archives: January 11, 2018

This can’t come soon enough.

Mark it on your calendars.

G-Day 2018 has been set for Saturday, April 21, according to the official UGA website and the athletics website.

That’s two weeks after the Masters, in case you’re wondering.

Don’t miss it — be there.


Filed under Georgia Football

And, verily, there was much rejoicing.

Georgia Tech is signing up for two more years with the genius.

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has received one more confirmation of support from athletic director Todd Stansbury, and it’s a little more affirming than a short note left in his office mail slot. While Tech faltered this past season with a 5-6 record, Johnson has agreed in principle on a two-year contract extension, Johnson’s attorney Jack Reale said Thursday.

“I think you can quote me on saying that we’re in the process of negotiating an extension on Coach’s contract and that negotiations are going well and we expect things to be concluded shortly,” Reale told the AJC.

Discussions are to the point that Reale said he was waiting for a draft of the agreement terms.

The extension will now carry the contract through the 2022 season, which would be his 15th at Tech, when he will be 65.
That sound you hear is the Georgia recruiting staff high-fiving each other.


Filed under Georgia Tech Football

“It may be difficult to view revenue-generating players as exploited.”

Thought I’d throw this opinion piece out there for you to chew on.  It’s the author’s perspective that’s most interesting.

… I can’t endorse a system that exploits football and basketball players so that “nonrevenue” athletes like me — runners, tennis players, golfers, gymnasts, swimmers — can both play and study.

Unlike college athletes who bring in revenue, nonrevenue athletes get to earn quality degrees. We are the beneficiaries of college athletics. Meanwhile, the professionalism required of big-time college football and basketball athletes leaves no time for the “student” part of the student-athlete equation.

As an undergraduate student and track and field athlete at University of North Carolina, I was the prototypical athlete you learn about in NCAA messaging: Elite athletics enhanced my education as I earned my degree to “go pro” in something other than sports.

So, then, she’s a Title IX baby who had her place paid for by the revenue generating sports.  She’s honest about that, along with how the demands on the student-athletes in those sports were different from those on her.

I embraced the weekly grind of the college athlete lifestyle, much like they did. I hit hard workouts, lifted weights and completed my prehab and rehab in the training room. But, unlike them, my sport responsibilities ended there. While they memorized playbooks, studied films and fulfilled media obligations, I escaped to the library in what became a love affair with history.

Thanks to the labor of football and basketball players, I did not pay for college, took full advantage of attending one of the top public universities in the nation, and traveled to cool places on the school’s dime.

She goes on to make a Jim Crow analogy that I’ll leave for another discussion, but my main question is more generic:  if her situation, which essentially was a full ride for a certain commitment level, is considered a baseline, is it really fair to limit consideration for student-athletes required to provide much greater contributions time-wise and effort-wise in sports that generate large sums of revenue for schools to a level that isn’t that much higher?


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Turning points

I haven’t brought myself to the stage where I’m ready to draft my Observations post yet, but I do want to note that Seth Emerson nails what I thought were the two biggest plays of the national title game:

Tagovailoa’s third-down scramble: Alabama was facing third-and-7 near midfield on its second drive of the second half. Tagovailoa was pressure to the right, but escaped and went left for nine yards and a first down. Five plays later the Crimson Tide got a touchdown to make it 13-7. On the scramble, four different Bulldogs got hands on him – Bellamy, D’Andre Walker, Trenton Thompson and Roquan Smith – and couldn’t bring him down. Yeah, those are missed tackles, but those are also really good players, and on that play Tagovailoa simply made a great play. There was also no contain to the left side.

Either way, it was a confidence-boosting spark for Tagovailoa and the Alabama offense.

Jake Fromm’s second interception and the run-back: Deandre Baker had just picked off a pass at the Alabama 39. This was a prime opportunity to build on a 13-point lead, and with less time left in the game it could’ve been a knockout blow.

Fromm, committing a rare mistake, violated the old Mike Bobo rule of not turning a bad play into a catastrophe. Fromm was initially pressured by Payne – who had gone by Lamont Gaillard – and with Deshawn Hand (being blocked by Kendall Baker) right in front of him, Fromm tried to dump it off to Sony Michel, who was indeed open right in front of him. But Fromm threw it before he looked up all the way, so it doinked off Hank’s helmet. Alabama’s Raekwon Davis had great awareness, grabbing it out of the air and then rumbling down to the Georgia 40.

Watching Tagovailoa escape the grasps of a number of Dawg defenders who had collapsed the pocket was the most frustrating moment of the evening.  Sack him there and I really believe Alabama never recovers; instead, that play was the spark that lit the second-half comeback.

As for the pick, yeah, it was a combination of a bad decision by Fromm (although with Payne bearing down on his ass, an understandably bad decision) and some bad luck with the deflection, but for all the complaining about the conservative playcalling in the second half, I was questioning why Georgia wasn’t running the ball in that situation anyway.  Starting inside the ‘Bama 40 with the night Blankenship was having, ten yards would have likely netted three points at a time when a sixteen-point lead might have proven insurmountable.

In any event, those two plays go differently, and the refs’ bad night wouldn’t have made any difference.


Filed under Georgia Football

“I think (eight teams is) where it’s going…”

Given the realities of life in the SEC West, it’s no real surprise that Gus Malzahn is an advocate for the CFP to expand the field to eight, but I have to admit he has a couple of conditions to go along with that which might make expansion a more palatable sale for some folks.

Malzahn believes that if the field were to expand from four to eight teams, it would require eliminating FCS teams from the schedule and require every conference play a nine-game schedule. The SEC currently plays an eight-game schedule, and Malzahn — and several SEC coaches — has previously been against expanding the conference slate to nine games, which was a topic of discussion at SEC spring meetings in 2013.

That he’s willing to compromise on something he’s been opposed to ought to indicate how appealing watering down postseason eligibility is for many coaches.  Let’s face it:  seasons when there are eight legitimate national title contenders are rare… or at least more rare than coaches who need “playoff appearance” on their resumes to justify long-term, multi-million dollar contract extensions.  Just sayin’.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

For love of the paycheck

Boy, this is one steaming pile of horseshit:

The 2018 AFCA Convention officially closed down on Wednesday, and the last event on the docket was executive director Todd Berry’s press conference. After meeting with the AFCA’s Board of Directors, Berry outlined the organization’s legislative agenda ahead of the NCAA Convention next week in Indianapolis.

Here were the highlights.

– Coaches don’t want to see the transfer rules changed. There is a proposal out there to give athletes a one-time transfer exemption, where a player could go from an FBS school to another FBS school without sitting out a year. The AFCA is against this. “The school that you’re going to, that’s really important to you. It’s not just about football, this is about the university,” Berry said…

Put simply, coaches ability to leave a job and work immediately — and getting paid six, seven or even eight figures to do so — while unpaid athletes do not have the ability to do the same does not poll well externally. Here’s how Berry rebutted that argument later in the press conference.

“You’d like to think that student-athlete is coming to the university because he loves that university and he wants to get an education from there. Coaches, professors, librarians, they come not necessarily because they love the university, because they’re paying them. It’s their job. The other thing is: when coaches leave, they don’t get to leave for free. I leave and I go to XYZ school, generally I owe X million dollars back to the university I just left.”

That last paragraph in particular is a doozy.  The only thing I can’t figure out is whether Berry truly believes what he’s saying there or if he’s simply that cynical.  Well, that and I can’t figure out which of those is worse.

In any event, players, just remember these guys ain’t exactly in it for your best interests.  Probably that’s a good reminder for fans as well.


Filed under College Football, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant