Daily Archives: May 19, 2020

Sometimes, you just gotta say…

“How do we justify it?”  The same way they justify all their other bullshit:  they check their bank accounts.

They playin’, and not losing any sleep over it.



Filed under College Football

Money well spent.

You’ve got to spend money to keep money.

The Power Five conferences spent $350,000 on lobbying in the first three months of 2020, more than they had previously spent in any full year, as part of a coordinated effort to influence Congress on legislation affecting the ability of college athletes to earn endorsement money.

The Southeastern Conference was the biggest spender, hiring three lobbying firms and paying them a total of $140,000, according to lobbying disclosure forms reviewed by The Associated Press. Before this year, the SEC did not employ Washington lobbyists, instead leaving the work of influencing Congress to individual universities and the NCAA.

In a statement to AP, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said the conference hired lobbyists so it could be part of the discussion as Congress gets more serious about reforming college sports.

“It is important for the SEC to have a voice in this national dialogue,” Sankey said. “We look forward to a constructive exchange of ideas about ways we can further enhance our student-athletes’ educational and athletic experiences while ensuring that any future changes can be administered fairly on a national level.”

Yeah, nothing says “enhance our student-athletes’ educational and athletic experiences” like spending money you’ve saved by not paying them to lobby Congress so you won’t have to do so in the future.

Kids, you don’t know how good you’ve got it these days.  Why, it’ll be a darn shame if they spend all that money and have nothing to show for it.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

There’s always another wrinkle.

I have to admit this didn’t occur to me.

Are there changes in how officiating may occur in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus?

Mano: “There is widespread talk about the risks of doing something as simple as referees blowing into whistles. For basketball or wrestling or any sport with close contact and physicality, referees are breathing hard and blowing a whistle. If you take a time lapse of a ref blowing a whistle, you’ll see minor spray coming out. That’s exactly what you don’t want.

“Now there’s a conversation of only using hand-electronic whistles. Boy, that would be a sea change. It might happen. When you see a foul, you press a thing in your hand and it makes the noise through the system in the arena or the gym or outside.”

Good suggestion.  Only one problem:

How many of these hand-electronic whistles are there for the officiating community?

Mano: “Not enough. We don’t have an inventory number. We know they have been tried in different places. The manufacturing of them would have to ramp up big time. You’d have to have a company like Fox 40 International in Canada, which makes the Fox 40 whistle that’s the gold standard in officiating, switch up and make electronics.”

This shit’s complicated.  You think your average school president has gamed it all out yet?


Filed under The Body Is A Temple

“How many blue chips do you need?”

Ian Boyd suggests it’s not so much a matter of signing as many four- and five-star recruits as you can that leads to program success as it is to signing four- and five-star recruits in just the right places.

You following the formula?

It’s the space force positions where you either need to be very good in your evaluations and development or else recruit at a high level. Offensive tackle, wide receiver, defensive end, and cornerback. The dominant Boise State teams had NFL players at those positions to bolster the hard-working Idahoans and 2-3 star Californians around them.

Those space force positions are the spots where you can’t hide if you aren’t an athlete. As the game advances further into now “pro-style” spread passing tactics those positions become even more important.

He’s not saying you can recruit a bunch of stiffs at the other positions and get by.  He’s saying that at the other positions there are other things to factor in when evaluating recruiting success.

Every roster needs to replenish its ranks with players that fit their system and development model, and each roster needs to be able to find athletes at those key positions where you can’t hide a non-athlete. The easiest way to evaluate that is whether or not they signed blue chips at those positions, although that method method has obvious shortcomings…

The recruiting rankings will tell you which team has the best chance to produce the greatest number of professional-caliber football players. But if you want to get a sense of which teams are going to win college football games you need to look deeper, or at least double check what positions those blue chippers play. As a two-decade, close observer of the Texas Longhorn football program I can tell you that in reality, “filling up on bread” means nabbing blue chips that won’t take you where you wanna go…

It’s a comforting analysis.  After all, who doesn’t want to believe in a world where there’s a place for “hard-working Idahoans and 2-3 star Californians” to help a football program win championships?  And I’d probably be willing to buy into it more if I weren’t a four-decade observer of the Georgia Bulldogs football program who’s seen the conference’s most talented programs generally win the league championships.  Outside of kickers, the number of two-star players Nick Saban has recruited to Tuscaloosa and signed… well, I don’t think I’d need an entire hand of fingers to count.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for the three-star kid a great talent evaluator like Saban or Smart believes will fit well into what they’re doing.  But those guys aren’t the rule.


Filed under Recruiting

So, this is what a decline looks like?

Technically speaking, I guess it is.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

Today, in doing it for the kids

The average P5 athletic director earns a seven-figure salary these days.


All that, and you get to buy out your mistakes.  Nice work if you can get it.


Filed under It's Just Bidness

Another day, another loss

For the NCAA in court, that is.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday unanimously upheld a district judge’s ruling that the NCAA cannot limit education-related benefits that college athletes can receive.

In March 2019, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled that the NCAA had violated antitrust law and could not “limit compensation or benefits related to education” for athletes playing Division I men’s or women’s basketball or Bowl Subdivision football.

Among the items Wilken said those athletes may receive were scholarships to complete undergraduate or graduate degrees at any school. The judge also appeared to open the possibility of athletes being able to receive cash or cash-equivalent awards based on academics or graduation, albeit under some constraints.

However, the appellate panel of Sidney R. Thomas, Ronald M. Gould and Milan D. Smith Jr. declined to broaden the ruling, leaving intact the NCAA’s limits on compensation not connected to education.

The politicians are busy addressing those limits, but I digress.

The lawyers are taking another confirmation of the NCAA’s illegal cartel about the way you’d expect.

“It’s a great decision for us,” said Steve Berman, whose firm initially represented the primary named plaintiff in the case, former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston. “It opens the door for more challenges.”

… Jeff Kessler said: “It’s a great victory for the players. … This is a very strong decision for actions going forward.”

NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy issued a statement expressing the association’s disappointment with the ruling, but he did not immediately address an appeal to the Supreme Court.

“We hoped for a different legal conclusion by the Ninth Circuit,” Remy said. “We argued and believe the lower court’s ruling is inconsistent with both Supreme Court precedent and the Ninth Circuit’s own decision in the O’Bannon case. We will continue to review the opinion and determine our next steps.”

Back to Congress for that antitrust exemption, Donald.


Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Musical palate cleanser, Texas troubadour edition

Tell me you couldn’t use a little Townes Van Zandt and Nancy Griffith in your morning.


Filed under Uncategorized

I’ll take “Whatever Mickey Says It Is” for $200, Alex.

Legitimacy questions?  What legitimacy questions?

When asked what constituted a legitimate playoff, CFP executive director Bill Hancock said, “Nobody has asked me that yet.”

But he didn’t say whether he’d asked that.  Or the people who pay him.  I’d be shocked if they haven’t already broached the subject with ESPN, though.  Not in the Casablanca sense, either.

If Disney strokes the check, there will be a college football playoff.  The money would sure be legitimate.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil

“It’ll be different.”

Life with the ‘rona, that is.

“I told people I thought shutting down everything was hard. This opening up is… ‘Oh my God!'” says Greg Stewart, the longtime Tulane team physician who has recently been charged with leading the American Athletic Conference’s reopening plan. “Everyone wants an answer, but there are research articles coming out every day with new information about the virus. We can’t figure out how to open the economy and we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to bring athletes back who, especially in football, are running into each other.”

If you somehow figure it out, maybe they should put you in charge of the economy, too.


Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple