Folks, with this thread, we’ve gone full through the looking glass.
Things like this is why Georgia is the top in recruiting right now. They are willing to spend the money. Admin, coaches, and boosters arE all on board with doing whatever it takes to win a title
We have met the enemy and they are us, or at least what we used to be.
Although there is the one obligatory keeping it real post:
Lotta ifs there.
Well, don’t this just tear it.
Sources tell KSR that SEC athletic directors met virtually on Wednesday to discuss lifting restrictions on team activities, practices, and other organized gatherings, which currently run through May 31. The vast majority of the athletic directors supported allowing players to return to campuses on June 1; however, one athletic director spoke out against it, arguing that the ban should be in place indefinitely: Tennessee’s Phil Fulmer.
However — and you knew there’d be one, right? —
After discussing it with the group, Fulmer proposed the date of June 15, but many believed that was too late for players to be ready to start the season on schedule. From there, the discussion was tabled for next week.
The final decision will be up to university presidents and chancellors on May 22, but the league’s athletic directors want to present a unified front. Had Fulmer not spoken up, the assumption is the group would have given the presidents an unanimous recommendation to lift the restrictions to allow players to return to campuses June 1, with a vote possibly taking place earlier than May 22.
In a 13-day period that bracketed Georgia’s appearance in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 7, the Bulldogs spent $422,047.07 on 42 trips by chartered air planes for coach Kirby Smart and members of his staff. Those flights landed in 23 different cities outside of Georgia’s borders, some as far away as Van Nuys, Calif., and Ontario, Canada.
Those are just a few of the revelations discovered when UGA released this week travel documents requested by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in January. According to those records, Georgia football coaches boarded chartered flights at least 74 times between September and mid-December of last year. On average, the UGA Athletic Association paid $9,409 for those trips, not including coaches’ personal expenses. The total: $696,269.99.
That’s not chump change.
“You want a return on your investment, right?” said Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity, referencing to the recruiting class’s No. 1 rank.
I’m not complaining, mind you. It’s just that Greg sure has changed his tune from the Richt years. And before any of you start whining about how it was Richt’s responsibility to push for the support, if recruiting is as vital to the success of a football program as McGarity acknowledges, why does the athletic director need to be pushed to spend the money in the first place? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
If you’re wondering why I reacted to the news that the SEC presidents are soon to vote on an opening day for football players to return to campus as I did, maybe you should read this Ross Dellinger piece asking a number of college conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s Jack Swarbrick how the 2020 season could unfold.
As you go through it, ask yourself if there’s a consensus for doing much of anything right now. I didn’t see it.
It’s good that they’re talking with each other regularly. As I keep saying, it’s good that they hope for a football season. But there’s no obvious course of action at present, for the simple reason there’s still much that is uncertain and unknowable.
That’s why I don’t understand what the SEC presidents appear to be moving towards. They don’t have any special insight right now. Nor is it as if they’re a bunch that’s proven themselves to be especially gifted in large scale decision making, other than trying to make as least as much money as their Big Ten counterparts do.
It’s easy to urge them to roll the dice if you’re an average fan wanting the game you love. It’s a lot harder if you’re the person who might have to look a parent in the eye (or that parent’s lawyer) if you guess wrong about the timing of your decision. But there’s all that money to consider, too.
I’m just going to repost this question sent to Andy Staples ($$):
Ok, so we’ve heard you and Stew and others like Nicole going on for nearly a year about how awesome it’s going to be that the best swimmer at State U is going to get to make $5k by becoming a “micro-influencer” on social media. And so can the national champion gymnast and the second-string left tackle. And we all know the Tuas and Trevors will have seven-figure annual deals (easily), but you guys kind of skip over that.
And all of that is fine, and great for those kids, and NOBODY cares. In every one of those cases, the athlete has established themselves and is already committed to their school (for now). You guys act like people are up in arms over any of that — and I can’t find anyone who is.
But you all also completely skip over the actual problem — recruiting. Swimming and gymnastics don’t have multimillion-dollar industries just around recruiting high school candidates that have never competed at the college level. There are no 5-star golfers.
It would be EASY for a major D-1 SEC school’s booster community to get $5-10 million a year in the pot to “sign” recruits who sign their letter with the school to immediately receive six-figure deals (for the 5* and 4* guys).
How are they going to ensure that this doesn’t further degrade recruiting for football and basketball? Will incoming freshmen not be eligible? Or will they just let the most money win in the end because it’s too hard to regulate?
And then ask you guys — especially those who are up in arms over what college athlete compensation will mean to the sport — a few questions of my own.
- Do you agree with the second paragraph, that nobody cares about what a kid can raise for themselves on social media, based on their brand as an athlete?
- With regard to boosters raising money to offer recruits to sign, do you not see any limitations on how that would play out? What about NCAA regulations? What about, as Staples suggests, a coach who’s really poor at evaluating talent? (For that matter, how would it work if boosters ignored the coach in making those sorts of offers?)
- Given what we’ve seen from the FBI investigation of college basketball, how would this booster activity “further degrade” recruiting?
- Ultimately, what is bad about paying people who are good at sports? After all, aren’t we already paying to watch people who are good at sports?
I’m not here to say what the right answers are. (Staples is fairly benign on their impact, for what that’s worth.) I’m simply interested in what everyone’s specific concerns are — and whether those concerns should trump an athlete’s opportunity to earn some money when they can. Maybe there’s a middle ground, maybe not. But I’m interested.
Jake Rowe put together a spreadsheet breaking down Georgia’s roster by position and class. It’s pretty amazing to look at.
Not just the overall depth, but the way it’s spaced out through the classes. There are very few areas, if any, where you look and go “oh, shit, next year” (although that could obviously change if a bunch of juniors decide to jump ship early, I suppose).
You can see how Smart’s recruiting has a purpose to it in keeping the position groups steadily stocked. This is one area of huge difference between his recruiting and Richt’s. Very impressive.
In one of my snarkier moments, I thought about posting a reader poll asking folks to speculate on how many kids dying from the coronavirus they could tolerate if they got a full 2020 college football season in exchange, but decided against, mainly because I didn’t think I could stomach seeing the results.
So, I’m afraid you’ll have to settle for this.
Saag, a professor of medicine and the director of UAB’s Center for AIDs Research, wondered what happens if the No. 1 team in the country gets told it can’t play for two weeks after a player or collection of players tests positive. Do you adjust the schedule? Does that team have to forfeit those games and thus miss out on its chance at a national championship?
Those scenarios have been bandied about throughout the college athletics world. They’ve also prompted concerns about the lengths some could take to keep football going even in the face of a pandemic. One Power 5 administrator openly speculated that teams might not be upfront about positive tests if it meant an automatic shutdown. “You better hope no school is covering things up,” the administrator told AL.com but they couldn’t help but be skeptical that a win-at-all-costs program would really shut it all down for a third-string punter.
Shit, of course that’s gonna happen. My question to you is, which coach goes there first?
In case you were wondering what Georgia’s new OC is selling on the recruiting trail, here’s an example:
“I spoke with Coach Todd Monken, the new offensive coordinator,” Antwi said. “My high school coach told me that Georgia liked me, and they wanted to extend an offer. I gave him a call, and it was a great conversation. He said I was an explosive player, and he said somebody like me should be getting the ball a ton.”
While there’s been little talk of Monken as a recruiter, Antwi was quick to give some insight.
“He was very easy to talk to. We were on the phone for about twenty minutes. He wanted to know a little bit of where I come from and what my family does for a living, and he also asked if I had any questions about him,” Antwi said. “I asked my questions, and it was a very smooth conversation. He talked about the receivers he’s coached in the NFL, and that was very interesting. It was players like Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, and Jarvis Landry.”
Monken didn’t hold back on connecting Antwi to the group.
“He said I could be the next Mike Evans,” he said. “I felt honored that he was comparing me to such an elite receiver as Mike Evans.”
He’s certainly got the name dropping part down pat.
One of the biggest reasons I have for wanting a 2020 football season is to see the hopes of the loser of the World’s Greatest Meteor Game crushed.