Daily Archives: April 17, 2020

Law (and football) & Order

I confess to being a complete and total sucker for this.

Well played, Pace football.

(h/t)

5 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Social Media Is The Devil's Playground

Today, in GATA

Interesting stat here:

I would say there aren’t many better ways of playing elite defense — when it comes to elite pass defense, maybe no better way — than generating pressure with no more than four rushers.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

There’s gold in them there Jimmies and Joes.

How much is a five-star recruit really worth?

A study from Ohio State attempted to put a number on just what all those stars in recruiting rankings mean to the bottom line of major programs across the country. Their findings, presented as some of the first in the field, go to show just how valuable those signings are in February for teams like the Buckeyes are come the fall.

“There have been a lot of numbers put out there about how much college athletes should get under various compensation proposals,” said Trevon Logan, co-author of the study and an OSU economics professor. “The best recruits had a significant impact on team performance and their ability to appear in the most lucrative postseason bowls.”

Using Rivals recruiting rankings and data from the BCS era, the researchers found that a five-star recruit is worth an average of $650,000 a year for a major program. Four-stars net $350,000 while they said that two-stars “actually reduced revenue by about $13,000 a year.”

The study also found that adding a five-star had little impact on making a bowl game in general (because of the ease of qualifying and state of most powerhouses) but did improve the chance of making a BCS bowl by some four percent. Interestingly, those in charge of the research also accounted for programs like Ohio State and Alabama getting a larger share of the top recruits each year and found that even at those regular BCS contenders, “each five-star recruit still increased revenue by nearly $200,000 a year.”

Why do I have the feeling Nick Saban had a couple of analysts game that out many years ago?

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Filed under Recruiting

Attention, Coach Dooley

Not sure what the proper narrative is here, that the transfer portal now has the fahnest long snappah in the country, or that Georgia is going to need a new angle to po’ mouth when it faces its first opponent.

(h/t)

18 Comments

Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.

Mark Richt, Kirby Smart and the “folks upstairs”

For those of you who love to indulge in the fantasy that Mark Richt’s comparative lack of financial support from Butts-Mehre in comparison to Kirby Smart’s was purely the result of sheer will or energy — in short, that Richt brought it all on himself and could have easily forced his athletic directors to do otherwise had he pushed — let me remind you of the gory details of one infamous episode.

Mark Richt’s generosity and compassion toward his staff has landed the Georgia football coach in hot water with the NCAA.

Richt made personal payments of more than $25,000 to coaches and support staff due to what he perceived as inadequate compensation for those individuals. Richt’s actions were determined to be secondary violations of NCAA rules regarding supplemental pay, according to a recent NCAA review of an lengthy internal investigation conducted by UGA.

According to those reports, obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through the Freedom of Information Act, Richt paid former recruiting assistant Charlie Cantor $10,842 over an 11-month period through March of 2011, former linebackers coach John Jancek $10,000 in the summer of 2009 and $6,150 to director of player development John Eason in July of 2010. All of the payments were made by checks from Richt’s personal bank account after UGA’s previous athletic administration declined his requests for increased compensation for those parties.

However, Richt unknowingly violated the provisions of NCAA bylaw 11.3.2.2, which regulates supplemental pay for staff members. Both Richt and the staff members who accepted his payments received letters of admonishment from UGA and must undergo additional rules education, according to the documents.

Richt was unavailable for comment on Monday. Athletic Director Greg McGarity declined to discuss details about the case, but acknowledged that all the violations discovered were deemed secondary and that the NCAA considers it a closed matter as of Nov. 30th.

“The report stands on its own,” McGarity said on Monday. “There’s nothing to add. We’re moving forward.”

That’s all just standard Georgia Way stuff, with McGarity doing the ritual groveling before the SEC and NCAA he does so well.

The rest is Damon Evans being a consummate dick.

Clearly the most intriguing findings were those that detailed Richt’s under-the-table payments to staff when the previous administration refused his requests. Not only does it illustrate Richt’s determination to do what he perceived as right for his staff members, it offers a glimpse into the dynamics of the relationship between Richt and former AD Damon Evans.

  • Richt decided to pay Cantor money out of his own pocket after determining that Cantor was underpaid for his position compared to comparable programs against whom Georgia competed. Richt asked for a $10,000 raise. However, the University was in the midst of a campus-wide pay freeze and was experiencing furloughs, so Evans declined. Richt subsequently paid Cantor $834 a month over 13 months via personal check.
  • Richt did the same thing in the summer of 2009. Richt asked the administration for a raise for linebackers coach John Jacek after he was offered the coordinator’s position in the summer of 2009. Richt’s request was declined, so he wrote Jancek a personal check for $10,000 on June 30, 2009.
  • Eason received a $6,150 pay cut when Richt moved him off the coaching staff into an administrative role. Richt wrote a personal check for that amount to Eason in July of 2010.

McGarity contends it wasn’t rogue behavior on Richt’s part. The UGA AD included exhibits in his report of instances in which the athletic department sanctioned monetary gifts from Richt.

In December 2009, due to “difficult economic conditions being experienced by the University,” the athletic department decided to not provide “bowl bonuses” to non-coach staff members. Richt went to senior associate AD Frank Crumley and asked him to provide a chart of who would have normally received bonuses and in what amount. Crumley provided that list and Richt paid 10 people – sports medicine director Ron Courson, video coordinator Joe Tereshinski, strength and conditioning coaches Keith Gray and Clay Walker, football operations manager Josh Brooks, high school relations director Ray Lamb and four administrative assistants — $15,227 out of his own pocket.

Richt also paid the $15,337.50 five-year longevity bonus to former assistant Dave Johnson when Johnson left Georgia in 2008 just short of his fifth anniversary and the administration refused to pay. Richt paid $6,000 to Jon Fabris in December of 2010 when Fabris was unable to find a job after his UGA severance package expired.

“… a glimpse into the dynamics of the relationship between Richt and former AD Damon Evans” is certainly one way to put it.  The athletic department wasn’t losing money at the time.  Nobody in Butts-Mehre, including Evans, was missing any meals.  The times were just an excuse to keep from spending a relatively paltry amount on Richt’s staff.

But, hey, I’m sure Richt didn’t make his displeasure known.  He just whipped out that checkbook and took it like a man.

There are other signs over the years of Richt’s pushback.  Georgia was the last program in the conference to agree to multi-year deals with assistant coaches, so Garner was allowed to go through the annual ritual of pretending to be interested in going back to Tennessee to make the point that the market had changed.  Butts-Mehre finally conceded.

And then there’s the Jeremy Pruitt Memorial Indoor Practice Facility.

The Georgia football team didn’t hold a full practice on Tuesday, thanks to the weather, and Jeremy Pruitt wasn’t happy about it. He wasn’t happy that it had to happen, and he said he wasn’t happy that he knew rival schools would be using it against the Bulldogs on the recruiting trail.

So Georgia’s first-year defensive coordinator, who has been reluctant to meet with the media, did so on Tuesday. Pruitt said he wanted recruits to know that UGA is in the process of getting an indoor practice facility, and that “this team is the last one” that would have to deal without having one.

“I’ve been on the other side when you recruit against Georgia, and when you don’t practice you don’t get better, so that hurts player development,” Pruitt said. “The reason I came up here (to meet the media) is because we’re fixing to take care of that. And this is gonna be the last football team at Georgia that’s gonna have days where they don’t get better because of not having an indoor facility. Because I know our folks upstairs are gonna get it done.”

It’s funny, but you’d think if the issue had been Mark Richt not making it known he wanted an IPF, Pruitt would have been directing his temper in Richt’s direction instead of “our folks upstairs” way.

That’s just the low hanging public fruit we know about.

Look, when Richt was canned, I wasn’t emotionally invested in him being Georgia’s head coach anymore.  And Smart’s been a clear upgrade.  But to pretend that Richt had the same level of administrative backing that Smart’s enjoyed, and whether Richt himself was complicit in that, is a serious rewriting of the record.

Georgia football has underachieved these last two decades.  Part of that was on Richt, but at least as much of that was on an athletic department that couldn’t or wouldn’t row in the same direction as Richt.  So, quit pretending otherwise.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“That is a gold mine at the end of season.”

The groundswell rises.

We’re just waiting on Herbstreit to chime in now.  ESPN is on the mother.

11 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Your Daily Gator’s low bar for a Heisman Trophy

One more thing from that Staples’ piece ($$):

At Florida, Franks often held off a beat as he looked for something better — confident that his athletic gifts and superior arm strength would still allow him to deliver the ball where it needed to go. This didn’t always happen.

Trask, who isn’t as mobile as Franks, thrived last season in Mullen’s offense because he routinely delivered the ball where the play required it to go and with the timing that was developed in practice.

If being better in Mullen’s system than Feleipe Franks is the guaranteed path to greatness, well, then, good for you, Gators.

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Filed under Gators, Gators...

Compare and contrast

Andy Staples’ ($$) biggest obstacle for Georgia…

The Bulldogs’ defense is going to be great. Not good. Great. The massive question is on offense, where new coordinator Todd Monken is being asked to modernize the scheme and break in a lot of new contributors. The line will be revamped, and Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman appears poised to take over at QB. If everything clicks on offense, the Bulldogs can win the SEC and compete for the national title. If it doesn’t, the 1980 jokes will continue unabated.

with that of Florida.

The Gators won 10 games in coach Dan Mullen’s first season and 11 in his second. They looked poised to win double-digit games again, but the biggest question is whether they can beat Georgia in Jacksonville and reclaim the SEC East title. If the Gators can beat the Bulldogs, they can hang with any of the other programs on this list. (And they always have to play LSU anyway.) The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party may as well be rebranded The World’s Biggest Litmus Test.

He sees the Dawgs as a benchmark for the Gators, but not vice versa.  Sounds right to me.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

“They should be in our development system.”

What Pierce refers to there is a major bombshell the NCAA’s friends at the NBA just dropped.

California high school star Jalen Green, the No. 1 prospect in the 2020 ESPN 100, is making the leap to a reshaped NBA professional pathway program — a G League initiative that sources say will pay elite prospects $500,000-plus and provide a one-year development program outside of the minor league’s traditional team structure.

Green — a potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft — announced Thursday that he is bypassing college to become the professional pathway’s first participant, a decision that likely clears the way for more commitments from elite prospects.

Did that “$500,000-plus and…” catch your eye?  It sure caught mine.  And I’m not the only one.

Another prospect in discussion to join the G League professional pathway is McDonald’s All American Isaiah Todd, the No. 13 player in the 2020 ESPN 100. He decommitted from Michigan this week. Other uncommitted prospects, including Makur Maker, Karim Mane and Kai Sotto, could be candidates to join Green in the program, sources said.

If your first response to this is “great, now the schools can focus on the kids who really want to be amateurs!”, you’re missing the point that I’m sure the schools — okay, the coaches — aren’t.  The NBA isn’t doing this to help Mark Emmert.  It’s doing this to undercut a perceived threat.

His decision to join the NBA and G League’s development program for the 2020-21 season has broad implications for the future of the NCAA and NBA landscapes. NBA commissioner Adam Silver and G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim have worked to eliminate two massive hurdles to convincing players uninterested in college basketball to pass on the lucrative National Basketball League of Australia by providing a massive salary increase and a structure that doesn’t include playing full time in the G League.

Once top 2020 draft prospects LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton chose to play professionally in Australia this year, Silver became more determined in pushing Abdur-Rahim to explore a financial and basketball structure that enticed top American prospects. Green represents a massive breakthrough for the NBA’s long-standing goal of gaining access to top prospects who want an alternative to the NCAA.

“That’s a real program that the NBL has,” Abdur-Rahim told ESPN. “It’s appealing. We have kids leaving the United States — Texas and California and Georgia — to go around the world to play, and our NBA community has to travel there to scout them. That’s counterintuitive. The NBA is the best development system in the world, and those players shouldn’t have to go somewhere else to develop for a year. They should be in our development system.”

The NCAA isn’t stepping up to provide a means for top recruits to stay in the states, so the NBA has decided to fill the vacuum.  The ramifications are obvious.

Without the restrictions of NCAA amateurism rules, players are free to hire agents, profit from likenesses and pursue marketing deals from sneaker companies worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Hampton signed a shoe deal with Chinese sneaker company Li-Ning as part of an endorsement deal he signed after committing to the Australian NBL.

Green is expected to be in line for a seven-figure shoe deal this year, sources said. He could have been the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft if he was eligible, and he already has a significant social media footprint and following.

The NCAA may be able to shrug off a few of the top 100 players skipping college, but what if half of that group is enticed away, every year?  That would cripple the product, especially at programs that are geared to sign one-and-done kids.

Is the NCAA nimble enough to scramble to meet a threat like this?  That’s a joke, right?  Look how long it’s taking Emmert’s crew to come up with a viable response to the political pressure over NIL rights, something that would be an obvious bone to throw to entice basketball recruits to go to school first.  And time is something that is definitely not on the NCAA’s side here.  The longer this NBA development program goes without college being a viable alternative, the more elite recruits will see it as, not just the more attractive way to go, the only way to go.

Now, obviously, college football doesn’t face the same threat.  There isn’t an analogous football league to the NBL, so the NFL isn’t concerned about an overseas league making its scouting and development concerns an issue.  But if the NCAA reacts to the threat now posed by the NBA, it’s not going to be able to carve one set of amateurism rules for men’s basketball and another set for every other sport.

Congrats, Mark, on another fine mess you’ve gotten college sports into.

28 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

The only thing that’s certain is the uncertainty.

A couple of articles touching on sports and the coronavirus worth reading:

  • The New York Times goes through a checklist in response to the question “When Will Sports Come Back?
  • Dan Wolken talks to a bunch of folks about how much prep time college football players will need after being called back.  The answer?  Nobody really knows.

We’re in uncharted territory and all the angst about a return to normalcy isn’t going to change that.

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Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple