Daily Archives: March 8, 2018

The real issue on Georgia’s conference scheduling to be unhappy about

This is the kind of shit that drives me up the wall.

To give other readers a little background, one of several football schedule changes that the SEC initiated when it expanded to include Missouri and Texas A&M in 2012 was to flip venues for Georgia and Auburn’s annual home-and-home series. This resulted in the Bulldogs having to play at Jordan-Hare Stadium in back-to-back years in 2012 and 2013. They’ve alternated accordingly ever since.

The unintended effect of that is that Georgia ends up playing both Auburn and Georgia Tech ― its two oldest rivals ― at home or away in the same year…

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said the matter has come up for discussion before and continues to. In fact, SEC athletic directors are meeting this week in St. Louis as they do every year during the SEC men’s basketball tournament. But he said as long as the league maintains an eight-game conference schedule, it’s difficult for them to do much different.

McGarity’s latest response to the question of whether Auburn could flip back to playing Georgia in Athens in odd-numbered years was only “perhaps.” He answered that question in slightly more detail before last season.

“I think everything’s on the table in the future regarding SEC scheduling,” he said. “Every meeting we have, we talk about scheduling and what we need to consider. We know we are committed to an eight-game schedule for the next few years. Will that change? Who knows? I think we have a group of ADs that are willing to listen to other alternatives.”

Georgia lost a home game in the series and as a result now has the Auburn and Georgia Tech games in the same pattern.  If there was ever a benefit to Georgia in agreeing to what appears to have been an arbitrary arrangement, I’ve never understood what that was.  I also can’t understand what would be so tough about correcting it; it would just mean playing two straight in Athens to balance what happened in 2012-3.  Not exactly rocket science.

Were I the AD, I’d be bitching about the unfairness and demanding a fix.  It sounds like McGarity prefers to sit around and discuss scenarios with his peers that nobody has the slightest intent of actually pursuing.  It’s the Georgia Way’s version of leadership, I guess.



Filed under Georgia Football

I prefer my narratives shaken, not stirred.

Dennis Dodd mentions an old friend today.

Here’s 25 things to watch this spring.

1. Tuscaloosa two-step: The most anticipated, intriguing, delicate quarterback battle in years kicks off March 21. That’s when the battle begins. Jalen Hurts seemingly lost the job at halftime of the College Football Playoff National Championship, but Tua Tagovailoa has to follow through after the second-half comeback against Georgia. Will Hurts transfer? Will Tua flourish? Will both play? The only thing at stake is the continuation of Alabama’s dynasty.

2. Speaking of quarterback battles … Georgia might have an even more interesting situation. Jake Fromm led the Dawgs to the brink of a championship. But here comes the No. 1 prospect in the country, Justin Fields, another Georgia native son with better all-around tools. Think Deshaun Watson with a better arm. Either way, it doesn’t seem like Kirby Smart can lose.

Yawn.  Sigh.  Yeah, whatever.  What’s interesting about his column, though, appears a few entries down.

9. Clemson is locked and loaded: A bit of Alabama Jr. here. There is a lot of speculation about Kelly Bryant’s job security now that No. 1 recruit Trevor Lawrence is in the fold. Bryant’s backup Hunter Johnson is also in the mix. To be clear, Bryant goes into spring as the starter.

“A bit of Alabama Jr.”?  If we’re churning the narrative here, how is the situation at Clemson any different than the one at Georgia?  (Other than a legitimate third option in Johnson, that is.)  And why haven’t the pundits been pounding the Clemson QB battle the way they’ve been doing so about Georgia’s?  If anything, it should be an easier case to make, as Fromm finished last season eighth nationally in passer rating, compared to Bryant’s sixtieth.  Yet it’s Bryant who’s the clear starter in the spring, while Fromm is merely in an “interesting situation”.

It’s gonna be a long offseason.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

First thing, let’s hire all the lawyers.

If you’re an attorney, the NCAA is kind of a dream client — awash with money, stubborn as hell, unwilling to compromise, etc.  The result?  Cha-ching!

In a separate response to questions from USA TODAY Sports, the NCAA said that its expenses for fiscal 2017 also included approximately $36 million for outside legal counsel. In 2016, according to the NCAA’s federal tax records, it had nearly $33.5 million in outside legal expenses.

From 2014 through 2017, the NCAA has totaled more than $108 million in outside legal fees. That amount does not include the $42.3 million in attorney’s fees and costs U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken awarded in March 2016 to lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the Ed O’Bannon antitrust case. The NCAA has appealed that decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard oral arguments on the matter three weeks ago.

$150 million… goodness.  That could fund a helluva lot of scholarships, methinks.

Of course that’s not how the NCAA thinks.  At least not with regard to how to spend savings.  But the savings themselves?  I’ve got to think even Emmert’s a little appalled about how much the organization is spending on legal assistance.  Maybe that would explain outsourcing enforcement work to a shop that doesn’t charge clients for its work.


Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Athens wasn’t built in a day.

Chip Towers is amused.

I had somebody ask me a hilarious question the other day. He said, “Do you think Georgia has overtaken Alabama in recruiting?”

I didn’t mean to, but I’m pretty sure I blurted out a laugh. I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful. I’m as impressed as anybody about the job Kirby Smart and his staff have done in a short time at Georgia. But overtaken Alabama? I’m sorry. Not quite.

Since 2010, Georgia’s topped Alabama once in the recruiting ratings.  How do you get from that to overtaking?

Is this representative thinking for a significant part of the fan base, or just Chip’s way of telling us a fable (in the classic sense, that is) to warn us about heightened expectations?


Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

Today, in Econ 101

I’ve mentioned many times now that it’s not the romanticism per se of amateurism’s defenders I find frustrating — I was once there too, you know — it’s the attempt to dress it up in economic clothing by folks who really don’t know what they’re talking about.  For you, I strongly recommend this piece by Andy Schwarz.  In particular, I’d love to hear you address his concluding remarks (and question):

So, class, what have we learned?

The real moral of the story is that the price of the middling college basketball player playing for the large swathe of schools outside the Top 100 is ONLY going to rise if that athlete is perceived to generate more value than the cost of a scholarship alone. His price cannot get bid up higher than someone can “afford” because if no one can afford $60, then his price will be less than $60. We know someone is willing to pay $50 (in scholarship) so perhaps his final price is $55, or $58, but he won’t sit on the market with a price tag of $60 and go unpurchased because $60 doesn’t happen without a willing bidder, and a willing bidder, by definition, can “afford” him.

And thus, I beg you dear reader, please do not argue that an open market for athlete talent will mean that no one can afford talent. Prices in markets do not come from a holy mountain and land, unchangeable and eternal, into the marketplace. They are set by bids and acceptances and unless your argument is that kids will prefer to go work at McDonald’s rather than accept a full scholarship, then no one who is worth a full scholarship today is going to lose a slot on the team because he’s suddenly “too expensive”

You only get ‘expensive” in a market if someone wants to pay you more than the old price. Which means someone CAN afford it. And if no one can afford more, then the price stays the same as before. Got it?

So please, please, please, when someone says “if athletes can get paid then only a few schools will be able to afford athletes” please ask them what the price will be of all the athletes who don’t go to those few schools and why all the poor schools can’t just offer all of the remaining athletes a scholarship, just like today?”

There isn’t a whole lot of mystery there.  It’s how life works, at least in the rest of the economy where prices aren’t being fixed.

If you don’t mind, in the responses, you don’t need to go “I don’t like paying players” on me.  I respect that position, as long as that’s all there is to it.  I’m more curious to hear your criticisms of Schwarz’ argument.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA