Daily Archives: July 16, 2019

When they say it’s for the kids

Never underestimate the ability of conference commissioners to use concern for student-athletes as a lever for any topic.

“We’re seeing trends in the mental health area that should cause us all to pause before these ideas around specific event betting within college sports are allowed to take place,” he said. “And I’m talking about, for example, whether a field goal is made or missed, whether a 3-point try is successful. Is a pitched ball a strike or a ball?

“That pause should happen before any of these types of activities take place.”

Sankey managed to say that with a straight face — after the SEC announced it would be a regular participant in the Las Vegas Bowl, that is.  He’s not a sports psychologist; he just plays one in Hoover.

All I can figure is that he’s angling for some sort of health fee to be levied on sports books.  Because you never know when Rodrigo Blankenship might crack under the pressure of a $50 bet on whether he makes that 45-yarder.

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Filed under Bet On It, SEC Football

Too much is never enough.

Interesting catch by Dan Wolken

But here’s the reality that is making many athletics directors across the league uneasy, even as they collected $43 million in revenue share from the league last year: After the initial budget pop, SEC Network dollars are flattening and fewer fans are interested in sitting outside for four hours in the September heat to watch mismatches. Some schools are turning to increased alcohol sales in the stadium to grow revenues after the SEC relaxed its rules this spring, but for now, it’s getting harder to find new ways to tap into the money spigot.

It should catch everyone’s attention when Auburn — an athletics program whose annual revenues have gone from $82 million in 2007 to $147.5 million in 2017 — is reducing expenses by 10 percent across all sports.

To be sure, Auburn is in much better financial shape than all but a handful of major programs, but recent expenses have eaten into its surplus. In an article on AuburnSports.com, Auburn athletics director Allen Greene described the nature of cuts as mostly cosmetic — having teams stay at more budget-friendly hotels on the road, eating at Outback as opposed to Ruth’s Chris, perhaps more bus rides for away games than charter flights.

Maybe they’re saving up for Gus’ buyout.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, It's Just Bidness

One thing I wasn’t expecting to hear at SEC Media Days…

… is Clemson players saying this about Sanford Stadium:

The Missouri state motto is “Show Me,” and former Clemson starting quarterback Kelly Bryant is ready to do just that after changing Tiger stripes via his transfer last season.

Missouri plays at Georgia on Nov. 9, and Bryant said on Monday at SEC Media Days it’s one of the games he’s looking forward to most this season.

“When I was going to high school Clemson had played Georgia, and hearing some of the guys that were still on the team my freshman year, they were like, Georgia is the loudest stadium they’d ever played in, they couldn’t really hear each other on the sideline, communication was hard,” Bryant said.

Of course, there was a lot to get excited about in that game.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Denial isn’t a river in Jacksonville.

Bless your heart, Jabari Zuniga.

“Extremely close, I really feel like we should have won the game last year.  We just made too many mistakes, and at the end of the day when you’re playing football at the level we’re playing, you can’t make mistakes like that. Because teams as talented as that will capitalize off that, so you’ve got to be on your ‘A’ Game.”

I’m sure Georgia’s play had nothing to do with that.  It’s like the Dawgs were neutral bystanders.

This mindset is straight out of the Georgia playbook, circa 1998-200… aw, hell, pick a year.  Hopefully, it works just as well for the Gators.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football