This is good, right?
But spring practice, something, something…
This is good, right?
But spring practice, something, something…
I’m sure some of you are going to disagree strongly with this piece penned by U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy and professional basketball player Draymond Green, but it’s hard to argue with numbers.
The lack of rights for college athletes is also a civil rights issue, and it should be front and center in the long overdue, growing fight for racial justice across America. While Black men make up just 2.4% of undergraduate students at Power 5 conference schools, they represent 55% of football players and 56% of men’s basketball players, according to a 2018 study from the University of Southern California’s Race and Equity Center. Their coaches and athletic directors and college presidents are overwhelmingly white. And so are the CEOs and board members of the shoe companies and television networks and betting websites who will become millionaires off the labor of young Black men.
The schools will suggest that athletes do get paid — with a scholarship. That’s an insulting argument, akin to a coal mine refusing to pay its employees in anything other than company scrip. Yes, a scholarship has value, but many athletes are not allowed to capitalize on their “free” education because schools make sure they are treated as athletes first and students second. Graduation rates for athletes in revenue sports — especially Black athletes — fall well below their peers, and athletic programs routinely counsel athletes out of meaningful coursework to make room for athletic commitments. Moreover, even when the full value of a scholarship is factored in, the NCAA’s priorities are clear: Approximately 12% of all revenue goes to student aid for nearly 45,000 athletes, while 16% goes toward paying salaries for 4,400 coaches, according to spending data across all Power Five athletic programs as reported in the Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics database. In other words, one coach earns as much as a dozen athletes’ scholarships combined.
Reality is the current NCAA system expects poor black players to prop up athletic department finances by accepting below market compensation. (Don’t give me any of that “it’s what’s on the front of the jersey that matters” crap, either. Jimmy Sexton doesn’t care about that, and he’s right.)
Before you knock Murphy, know that he advocates for something most of us already agree with.
Murphy said he would support the abolition of the NBA’s one-and-done rule. He’d also like to see the NFL shorten the timeline for college football players to enter the draft. Under NFL rules, a player must be at least three years removed from high school to be draft-eligible.
“Football is the last place you should be forced to render free labor in order to ultimately get a paycheck,” said Murphy, citing the risk of head injuries. “Football should be letting kids move more quickly from college to the pros.”
Which brings us to a bottom line that the NCAA will fight tooth and nail to prevent from happening:
In the short term, the NCAA could simply waive the restrictions that disallow athletes from getting outside sources of income. In the middle of a pandemic during which some of these athletes’ families have no income, this would be the compassionate step for the NCAA to take. In the long run, our debate should be framed by a question of what real fairness for college athletes would look like.
In professional leagues such as the NBA, athletes often get about half of league revenues in compensation. Instead of the 12% of revenues college athletes get, what if it was 30% or more? Those revenues could support further education and extended health care coverage, among other things that provide lifelong benefits to athletes, instead of inflating coaches’ salaries and funding unnecessarily lavish facilities. The NCAA has the opportunity to be a partner in the process of creating equity for athletes, or it can continue to dig its heels in against reforms.
Gee, I wonder which Mark Emmert will choose.
This one warped my brain a little.
Essentially, once Georgia crossed the opponent’s 40, it threw the ball more and had less to show for it from an efficiency standpoint. I’m never gonna get James Coley, I guess. (Of course, you can make the argument that James Coley didn’t get James Coley, but that’s for another day.)
The one redeeming feature of that graph is Florida’s performance. Mullen ran the ball a lot more and had a lot less to show for it. Dude’s an in game genius, I tells ‘ya.
“The days of the, you know, dictator-like head football coach, I think those days are numbered,” said SMU coach Sonny Dykes. “Your program has to be player-friendly. They need to be able to communicate with you and share their concerns, whether it’s concussions, whether it’s COVID, whether it’s social justice. You need to listen and do what’s best for the young people.
“That’s the role of the head coach: to create a culture where they’re comfortable sharing those things with you and they don’t worry about retaliation or something silly like that.”
For both Murphy and Green, the pillars of the kind of athlete compensation system they envision — guaranteed scholarships, robust health care, salaries — are about broader power dynamics. Athletes at risk of losing their scholarships often fear speaking out about NCAA violations and unethical practices: overly harsh football practices in summer heat; coaches making return-to-play decisions when that is supposed to be the domain of medical professionals; academic fraud; and racist comments.
“The power these coaches have over kids is almost absolute,” Murphy said. “There is no way a kid can speak out if he feels his situation is unsteady.”
Bud Elliott’s The Sunshine State Scorecard June update shows not much has changed in the state of Florida over the last month, recruiting-wise.
Only one of the top ten prospects from Florida is committed to an in-state school. Four are committed to programs outside the state.
Clemson has three commitments from four-star recruits, and Alabama has two plus a five-star commit.
But with the help of the 247Sports Crystal Ball and local intel, we can read some tea leaves. Athlete James Williams, the state’s top prospect, is widely expected to pick the Georgia Bulldogs. And feedback from recent Under Armour camps in Orlando and Miami suggest that schools such as Georgia, Clemson, Alabama, LSU, and Oklahoma have a lot of traction with the best of the very best, like Defensive end Dallas Turner. And Alabama seems to be in a good spot for linebacker Xavian Sorey, though Florida is battling. If these predictions hold, it would mean seven of the top 10 players from Florida will be heading out-of-state.
Elliott says the “problem” — the in state schools’ inability to keep talent in state — may not be getting worse, but from an entertainment standpoint for us, it may be getting better: Miami has a shot at landing a better 2021 in state class than Florida’s. Which reminds me…
Miami: From a Bulldog perspective, if you looked at the state of Florida as though it were Afghanistan (and I do), the Gators, obviously, are the Taliban, while Miami is whatever warlord is running things in the Northeast. The Hurricanes don’t occupy anything remotely resembling moral high ground, but they are useful.
A few more nuggets, from here and there:
Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan singing Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho and Lefty”… yeah, that’s it. That’s the clip.