Nothing about our response to the coronavirus has been coordinated nationally worth a damn, so why should the start of the football season be any different?
Daily Archives: April 24, 2020
How can anyone not like Sam Pittman?
A song the Rolling Stones had worked on last year, “Living in a Ghost Town” turned out to be unexpectedly timely. It’s a muscular, minor-key reggae-rocker that harks back to “Miss You” (along with the Specials’ 1981 “Ghost Town” and a brief nod to Jimi Hendrix’s “Crosstown Traffic”). The video has studio shots of the Stones together pre-pandemic, but the lyrics were revised in isolation, and Mick Jagger yowls them with commitment. “Life was so beautiful — then we all got locked down,” he sings, and concludes, annoyed and rueful, “If I wanna party, it’s a party of one.”
“To summarize, we recorded the song a year ago in Los Angeles for our new album, a project we are still working on. Then the shit splashed on all of us and Mick and I decided that the song should be released now and here it is: Living in Ghost Town. Stay safe! “
I have to say that if there’s one person on the planet engineered to survive the coronavirus, it’s Keef.
Yeah, I’d say Matt Luke has some pretty big shoes to fill.
The AP’s Ralph Russo got an early peek at what the NCAA’s recommended rule changes for college athletes’ NIL rights may be, and I have to admit it’s more than what I was expecting.
If adopted, the rules would allow athletes to make sponsorship and endorsement deals with all kinds of companies and third parties, from car dealerships to concert promoters to pizza shops, according to a person who has reviewed the recommendations…
No school-branded apparel or material could be used by athletes in their personal endorsement deals, according to the recommendations reviewed by the person who spoke to the AP. Athletes would be required to disclose financial terms of contracts to their athletic departments, along with their relationships with any individuals involved.
Athletes would be allowed to enter into agreements with individuals deemed to be school boosters, the person said.
The NCAA would create a mechanism to evaluate potential deals for fair market value and spot possible corruption. An athlete could compromise their eligibility for failing to disclose details of a financial agreement or relationship, the person said.
The recommendations also call for allowing athletes to sign autographs for money, sell their memorabilia, and be paid for personal appearances and working as an instructor in their sport.
“Trevor Lawrence could have his own passing academy,” the person said, referring to the Clemson quarterback.
Now, those are just recommendations, not final proposals, and even after the recommendations are announced, there could still be changes before a final vote is taken. Still, there’s stuff there I didn’t expect to see, the most surprising of which is the green light given to school boosters.
That comes in the face of serious concern about abusing whatever the new rules are to facilitate recruiting. That the NCAA is willing to accommodate boosters suggests either common sense — it’s not like power programs with booster support aren’t already killing it on the recruiting trail, after all — or faith in its ability to regulate abuses. Let’s just say I’ll be real curious to see what this “mechanism” looks like when the dust settles.
I’m also curious to hear your reactions to this. End of the world, or just end of college football as we know it?
So, Gus Malzahn’s house has a place that looks like it came right out of a 1980s sports bar.
The wall mural is something, but it’s the Galaga machine that really ties the room together. Makes you wonder if Gus put urinals in the bathroom.
It bears repeating that there’s something to the star rankings the recruiting services use. Here’s how last night’s first round of the NFL draft broke down, based on recruiting stars:
Before you go all “hey, there were more three-star players picked than five-star players!” on me, remember the odds.
The NCAA said in 2013 there were 310,000-some seniors playing football. Here’s how long their odds are to reach various recruiting ratings, using class of 2018 data from Rivals, if we settle on 300,000 football-playing seniors as a fair estimate.
- 30 five-stars, or 0.01 percent of the class
- 380 four-stars, or 0.13 percent of the class
- 1,328 three-stars, or 0.44 percent of the class
- 1,859 two-stars, or 0.62 percent of the class
- 296,403 unrated, or 98.88 percent of the class
There’s a reason we’re paying Kirby Smart the big bucks and it isn’t to extol five-star hearts.
Ivan Maisel wrote an excellent piece tracking the history of the NCAA’s stance against compensating college athletes for their NIL rights. Two things in particular are worth mentioning from it.
First, Walter Byers, of all people suggested this back in 1985:
In 1985, eight years before EA Sports brought its first NCAA video game to market, the NCAA Council and Executive Committee received a memo recommending that student-athletes be allowed to make product endorsements. What radical section of the NCAA community had the temerity to make that suggestion? The Mark Emmert of the day, the NCAA’s first executive director, Walter Byers…
As he prepared to retire, Byers proposed that the endorsement income go into a trust fund from which athletes would draw upon graduation or the completion of their eligibility.
“I earnestly hope that the membership does not take a righteous stand in favor of old-time amateur principles for the athlete, but modern-day commercial involvement for coaches and institutions, and somehow expect a relatively small NCAA enforcement crew to keep the situation clean,” Byers wrote.
That’s what proactive looks like, Mark Emmert. Not that it matters now.
Two, most of the NCAA’s pearl clutching is silly.
So why did the NCAA waste time, money and power clutching its pearls over NIL? There are hurdles that involve labor law and Title IX, issues that can be skirted if the NIL mechanism is carefully constructed. Then, there are the bogus issues, such as the claim that tension in the locker room will rise when the quarterback makes more money than the offensive linemen who keep him upright.
Two things come to mind here:
One, don’t you think players talented enough to play guard in Division I have figured out by now that quarterbacks will get more attention than they do?
Two, for nearly four decades, professional athletes in one sport are allowed to remain collegiate amateurs. Kyler Murray signed with the Oakland A’s for $9 million in 2018, then played quarterback for Oklahoma. As you recall, Murray’s wealth generated so much jealousy among the Sooners’ offensive linemen that Murray won the Heisman Trophy.
Maisel concludes by noting, “Somehow, the NCAA is chasing the parade it should be leading.” It’s hard to give up that money — unless the politicians are forcing your hand.