Daily Archives: April 5, 2018

Talk to the hand

Echo chamber thinking:

ACC commissioner John Swofford on potentially paying players in college basketball: “There’s no interest of people in higher education to go that route. There’s so many complications that come with it. I’ve not talked to a single athletic director, commissioner or president that has any interest in paying players.”

Gee, what a surprise.

Now if only you can get the courts to agree.



Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Today, in posturing

Hey, remember when Ohio State AD Gene Smith got all holier than thou about coaches’ salaries?

Though Ohio State pays its coaches in the upper echelon of salaries, it has avoided paying what Athletics Director Gene Smith believes to be unnecessarily large salaries for coaches.

“I don’t even put Texas A&M in our sphere because I’m considering Urban [Meyer]’s situation with three years left on his contract,” Smith said during Ohio State’s Board of Trustees’ Talent and Compensation Committee meeting Thursday. “Talking with [Susan Basso, vice president of human resources] and [Joanna McGoldrick, associate vice president of total rewards], that’s not even someone that we’re comparing with because it’s so ridiculous.

“It’s the same way with Alabama and their total salary. Take it off the sheet because it doesn’t matter. Because it’s just no value to it. It’s a reactionary type of management.”

Good times.  You know what’s coming next, right?

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer will be paid $7.6 million for the 2018 season under a two-year contract extension approved Thursday by a committee of the university’s governing board.

The deal, subject to approval by the full board at its meeting Friday, will give Meyer a $1.2 million raise over what he made for the 2017 season, according to a release from the school.

For those of you out there doing math, TAMU is paying Jimbo an average of $7.5 million a year and Saban makes a little over $7 million a year, too.

Good thing Gene’s not reacting.


Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, It's Just Bidness, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

“Rocky Top”? Never heard of it.

Jeremy Pruitt has discontinued playing music during Tennessee practices, which, of course, is his business.  This is some explanation as to why, though.


“I don’t think they play music during football games,” Pruitt said after Tuesday’s practice. “I’ve never heard it.”

He’s wrong about the first, but, somehow, I don’t doubt him on the second.  That’s being dialed in to your job.

There are times I wish I could learn that trick.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

ESPN’s stats never sleep.

Welp, the first edition of 2018’s Football Power Index is out and Georgia is ranked third, behind Clemson and Alabama.

Interestingly enough, while Alabama is ranked ahead in the FPI, the Dawgs are actually given a better chance of winning the SEC.  (Again!)

Alabama might be the reigning champs, but Georgia is the favorite to win the SEC. The Bulldogs have a 42 percent chance to repeat as the conference champions, edging Alabama (37 percent) and Auburn (11 percent).

FPI actually believes the Crimson Tide are the second-best team in the nation, just ahead of third-best Georgia, but because Alabama is in the SEC West and therefore has a more difficult conference schedule, the conference title odds swing toward Georgia.

FPI favors Georgia in every game on the 2018 schedule.  The closest call is against Auburn, which also happens to be the only team Georgia plays ranked in the top twenty of this edition of FPI.  Georgia does play five teams ranked between 20 and 30, though, and the overall strength of schedule is ranked a credible, if not super challenging, 43.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

When crime does pay

This is easily my favorite part of the NCAA basketball scandal:

When federal prosecutors announced last September the arrests of 10 men as part of an FBI investigation into the college basketball black market, one of the central figures was Brad Augustine, an Orlando-area youth basketball program director accused of negotiating deals to steer his best players to preferred colleges, for a price.

Augustine agreed to send one player to Louisville, prosecutors alleged in a criminal complaint, after an undercover FBI agent handed him an envelope full of cash meant for the player’s mother. Augustine helped broker a deal to send another player to Miami, as long as an Adidas executive agreed to pay the player’s family $150,000, according to prosecutors, who alleged a coach at Miami later identified as Jim Larranaga had knowledge of the negotiations.

A 32-year-old whose previous legal troubles consisted of traffic tickets and toll violations, Augustine faced a potential prison sentence of up to 80 years on charges including wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy.

But in February, prosecutors dropped all charges against Augustine, without explanation. Two weeks ago, in a court hearing in New York, one of the lawyers on the case offered a possible reason: After his arrest, Augustine apparently told federal prosecutors he never intended to pay the players and their families, and had kept the little money actually paid out in these deals for himself.

Beautiful.  And absurd.

During a March 22 hearing, however, a lawyer representing Jim Gatto — an Adidas executive accused of agreeing to pay $150,000 if Augustine convinced 1Family star Nassir Little to commit to Miami — discussed the letter in open court.

“Mr. Augustine’s statement as summarized by the government . . . directly contradicts the allegations of the indictment . . . with respect to Mr. Little, Mr. Augustine had no intention of taking any money and handing it to Mr. Little,” said attorney Michael Schachter, according to a transcript.

“Mr. Augustine says that, in fact, he was not in on the scheme. In fact, there was not going to be any payment that was going to be made to Mr. Little. But effectively he was in his own scheme to rip off Mr. Gatto,” said Schachter, who was arguing the judge should force prosecutors to turn over transcripts or FBI agent notes of discussions with Augustine, because they may contain evidence favorable to Gatto and the other defendants.

Seriously, you can’t make this shit up.  It’s like the NCAA has a stupidity virus that infects everyone who comes in contact with its attempt to enforce amateurism.

That federal prosecutors apparently decided to drop charges against Augustine after he told them he hadn’t been brokering deals to steer recruits to specific college programs, but instead had kept money for himself, is a reminder of the unusual legal theory at the core of much of the criminal charges produced so far in the FBI probe.

Fraud is a crime that requires a victim. When Augustine was charged with wire fraud, the alleged victims were Miami and Louisville, prosecutors allege, as the schools could have been sanctioned by the NCAA, and sustained financial penalties, if it had come to light some of their players were profiting from their talents.

“So if the money doesn’t go to the athlete, the FBI and prosecutors are fine with it?” said Andy Schwarz, an economist and outspoken critic of the NCAA’s amateurism rules. “How does that make any sense?”

Sense is optional.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, The NCAA

Did Saban lawyer up?

It sure seems like he blinked, at least a little.

The long-anticipated second edition of Alabama’s barbershop web video dropped Wednesday night. It was billed as Episode 1, Part 2 but the title changed after a day of controversy.

No explanation was given, though the new name was likely connected to the claims made by LeBron James. The NBA star has a web show “The Shop” that started last summer. His production team sent a letter to Alabama after “Shop Talk” premiered last week following a similar format.

Oh, yeah.  They inverted the scissors, too.

If LeBron is smart, he’ll declare victory and move on.  He played ‘Bama — and won.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

Musical palate cleanser, a cappella edition

Man, if this doesn’t give you chills listening to it, you’re doing it wrong. (h/t)

More a cappella Marvin here.


Filed under Uncategorized