Daily Archives: February 26, 2019

That’s why they pay him the big bucks.

What kind of nit wit thinks that the Big 12’s best path for strengthening itself would be to throw its fate in with Larry Scott?

Jon Wefald, who ran Kansas State for 23 years — he hired Bill Snyder — said he devised the strategic alliance after being asked by current West Virginia president Gordon Gee, in the fall of 2017, to consider ways to “strengthen” the Big 12…

Gee called the proposal “brilliant,’’ according to Wefald…

Oh.  Never mind.

It’s like there’s this massive conspiracy to make sure Scott really is the smartest guy in the room.

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9 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, It's Just Bidness, Pac-12 Football

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

This has the potential to be epic.

Although if Kirby really had a sense of humor, he’d invite Spurrier.

18 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Football

C’mon, wallets. Hunker down one more time!

On the road again

Georgia brass will be on the road this spring to make a big push to get donors to commit to ponying up money needed for the next big football facility project.

Football coach Kirby Smart, athletic director Greg McGarity and even men’s basketball coach Tom Crean are set for “major fundraising dates,” according to school president Jere Morhead.

Georgia is planning a football-only building as part of a Butts-Mehre expansion and renovation and will make its pitch to pay for it.

Lather, rinse, repeat.  And don’t forget to bring your checkbook.

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

“Penn State truthers”

Jesus, I wish these people would find another hobby.

“One of the problems we have confronted that people don’t want to deal with is this: Suppose I’m telling you the truth,” said Lindsay, who took over the case five years ago. “Suppose that Jerry Sandusky is absolutely innocent. Do you realize the horror of what this has brought on a family, a man an institution – and it’s all a big lie? Suppose that I’m right.”

I’d rather not, thanks.

21 Comments

Filed under You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy

Playing amateurism’s greatest hits

If you are an unabashed amateurism romantic, then this opinion piece in the New York Times should be right up your alley.  Me, I love it, too, because it recycles every tired argument defending the status quo and shows how empty the NCAA’s position is.  Let’s break that down a little.

Here’s his first point.

Paying student-athletes might sound like a fairer way to treat students who generate so much money and attention for their colleges (not to mention the television networks that broadcast their games). But paying athletes would distort the economics of college sports in a way that would hurt the broader community of student-athletes, universities, fans and alumni. A handful of big sports programs would pay top dollar for a select few athletes, while almost every other college would get caught up in a bidding war it couldn’t afford.

Two things there.  First, he doesn’t bother to rebut the argument in his first sentence.  Instead he raises the concern about haves vs. have nots… as if that doesn’t already exist.  The difference under amateurism is that the big programs’ money goes into a facilities arms race and staff salaries instead of player compensation.

Next comes the “everybody’s going broke” pitch.

The 30 largest universities in the country each routinely generate annual revenues exceeding $100 million from sports, but according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, most of those revenues are spent covering operating expenses for the school’s athletic programs and paying tuition for their student-athletes. The majority of Division I colleges in the N.C.A.A. operate at a loss. In fact, among the roughly 350 athletic departments in the N.C.A.A.’s Division I, only about 24 schools have generated more revenue than expenses in recent years. The nation’s top five conferences made over $6 billion in 2015, billions more than all other schools combined, according to an ESPN analysis of N.C.A.A. data.

For the have-not universities, however, to continue operating means relying on millions of dollars in debt, funding from their main campus and student fees. Even with that help, some of the major athletic departments are struggling. A recent N.C.A.A. study determined that only about 20 of the 1,000 or so college sports programs in the nation were profitable. What is going to happen when the competition to offer students money is supercharged?

Gosh, maybe schools will have to budget more sensibly.  Maybe they won’t pour funds into unneeded facilities and bloated staff salaries.  Maybe we’ll find out that the NCAA cooks the books when it poor mouths the finances of athletic departments.  Maybe we’ll understand why schools still push to move their football programs into D-1.

And maybe we’ll finally recognize that there are plenty of schools without revenue generating sports programs that still manage to field athletic teams.

Next is my favorite argument.

… At the moment, thanks in part to the pressure exerted by a 2015 ruling by Judge Wilken, top N.C.A.A. athletes can receive scholarships totaling tens of thousands of dollars for tuition, room, board and stipends, as well as cost-of-attendance compensation. But the association still sets a ceiling on those benefits, and a group of Division I basketball and football players is awaiting Judge Wilken’s ruling on whether that ceiling should effectively be lifted.

If the plaintiffs in this case are successful, the arms race for top athletes may have no limit. The top 25 or so schools will pay because they can afford to. The remaining 325 or so will be forced to make a decision: not pay their athletes (and risk losing top talent to schools that do) or find a way to pay.

There’s a ton to unpack there.  To begin with, you’ve got the admission that the ruling in the first antitrust case benefited student-athletes.  Second, he’s misrepresented the relief that Wilken has been asked to grant — the NCAA would not be allowed to impose a ceiling, but nothing would stop the individual conferences from doing so.  That’s what a more competitive market would look like.  Third, he again ignores the reality of the existing arms race.

The most important take away, though, is the unspoken admission that if player compensation were more market-based instead of imposed from above, student-athletes playing football and basketball would receive more compensation.  That is the exact point those who, like the author (“For those who think that a free education is insufficient as compensation for playing sports, there are other options…”), argue those kids are already compensated under the current regime glide by.  Nobody’s arguing that isn’t the case; the accurate depiction of the argument is that to the extent players are receiving less than they would in a more open market setting, they are being exploited.

He’s not finished.

Similar problems would arise in the case of so-called third-party payments, in which student-athletes could be paid for things like endorsements. Major brands like Nike would pay top football and basketball talent at the biggest schools, while student-athletes in other sports or at smaller programs would be ignored. Currently, corporate funds go to athletic departments and are generally distributed among all sports; with third-party payments, those funds could instead mostly go directly to a few student-athletes, starving the rest.

“Major brands like Nike would pay top football and basketball talent at the biggest schools…” .  As if that isn’t already happening under the table.  I guess that’s okay as long as we don’t know about it.

Though let’s not say he doesn’t have a heart when all is said and done.  I mean, this is mighty big of him.

I am not opposed to young athletes who decide they would prefer to be paid cash to play sports.

The people suing the NCAA agree with you, man.

And so we come to the heartfelt conclusion.

Millions of student-athletes devote their sweat, blood and tears to sports. Some play football and basketball; others swim, run cross-country, play soccer or compete as gymnasts. Only a fraction of them generate money for their schools. We must ensure that the N.C.A.A. is able to preserve its commitment to all of them.

Emo, for the win.  The only thing is, nobody can explain why Greg McGarity deserves to be paid more than Todd Gurley.  Other than, of course, simple aesthetics.  And I’m fine with that, believe it or not.  Just don’t bother trying to dress it up or argue it’s the players generating the lion’s share of the revenue who alone need to make the sacrifice.

78 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

If we could only see what Mike Griffith sees…

Now this is some Grade A horseshit from Mike Griffith:

If you listen closely to Georgia football coach Kirby Smart — very closely — hints and information on ongoing or upcoming themes are most always there.

Like any successful businessman or leader, Smart has the ability to recognize and stay ahead of trends.

That could explain why the Bulldogs are on board with a recent SEC schedule adjustment.

What kind of trend are we talking about here, Mike?

Smart said earlier this month that Georgia and other elite programs figure to be younger teams moving forward because of more liberal transfer rules and players enrolling and leaving school earlier.

It’s a fact that younger, more inexperienced players need repetitions and experience to grow, so playing key football games in November plays to the Bulldogs’ advantage.

Georgia was at its best in 2018 in November, with several young players evolving into key roles and the team getting into sync.

Indeed, because of the way Smart has recruited, Georgia has more competitive depth than most any team in the nation, giving UGA another advantage in November games.

Georgia’s first goal every season is to win the SEC East Division. So, playing fellow East Division member Tennessee in November — rather than October  — plays to the Bulldogs’ advantage.

That sounds brilliant, until you reflect on the rest of the schedule.

The Bulldogs’ 2020 schedule features a game at Alabama, and some were concerned that Georgia could wind up playing the Tide and Tigers on back-to-back weeks with the flip.

But a quick look at contracted non-conference games for Alabama and Georgia reveals the date is all but locked in for Sept. 19.

I guess those reps for young players are going to be wasted playing Alabama anyway, so might as well get Saban out of the way as soon as possible.

Oh, and it’s true that Georgia won’t play Auburn and Alabama back-to-back.  The Dawgs will have an entire week in between for them.  That changes everything.

And no AJ-C slobberfest would be complete without a little McGarity suck up.

Bulldogs athletic director Greg McGarity, who works in concert with Smart on scheduling, said Monday he understands the passion of his fan base.

“My message is to wait until the schedule is released in its entirety,” McGarity said. “And then, I believe, people will see the whole picture and be able judge for themselves.”

Patience, grasshoppers.  In time, Greg’s true genius will be made apparent to all.

And they say hard hitting journalism is dead.

47 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Embracing the suck

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade, Georgia Tech edition:

Georgia Tech has announced a news conference for Tuesday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with officials from the AMB Group (the parent company of the stadium and the Falcons) and the Peach Bowl to be present. It’s expected that it will be an announcement for the Yellow Jackets to play a handful of future home games at the dome.

Why so, you may ask.

Holding marquee games in the $1.6 billion sports temple would likely help Tech’s bottom line and perhaps draw attention to coach Geoff Collins’ team…

Perhaps, my ass.  This is all about the moolah.

As a result of its coaching transition, Tech’s athletic department finds itself in a financial pinch and perhaps more interested than usual in moving home games out of Bobby Dodd Stadium for the right price…

Either through a guarantee or receiving gate receipts, Tech would stand to draw revenues at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (capacity: 71,000) greater than what it would receive playing at Bobby Dodd Stadium (55,000). For the 2017 season opener against Tennessee in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Tech received $2.85 million from the Peach Bowl.

There’s no short-term gain without pain, though.

Moving to a larger stadium, however, invites the potential for more fans of Clemson or Notre Dame (or another opponent) to be cheering for the opposition at a Tech home game. Tech home games typically sell out only with the assistance of visiting fans.

Sad!

Hey, speaking of “another opponent”, Georgia fans know their way around getting to Tech home games.  Just sayin’.

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UPDATE:  And away we go.

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UPDATE #2:  More deets.

So, they’re giving up home field advantage for three of their biggest games in the next five seasons.  At a minimum.  If I were Geoff Collins, I’d be a little miffed about that.

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UPDATE #3:  COFH won’t be moving.

42 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football, It's Just Bidness