Daily Archives: April 1, 2021

Goin’ to Charlotte?

Marc Weiszer asks the participants about Georgia’s season opener and they remain hopeful of playing in front of a stadium filled to at least half-capacity.  (With each set to receive each to receive the greater of $4 million or 45 percent of the event’s net revenue, I wouldn’t have expected to hear anything different at this point.)

Anyway, of far more interest to me is the event name, which I hadn’t heard until now.  Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the “Duke’s Mayo Classic”!

I can’t wait to see the commemorative t-shirt.

149 Comments

Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football

Alston goes to the Supremes.

If the NCAA felt good about its chances of having the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Alston overturned — after all, it’s not a stretch to assume the SCOTUS wasn’t taking the appeal simply to pat the 9C on the back for a good job — it probably doesn’t feel that way after the line of hostile questioning its side took yesterday.

In many respects, the justices hammered the NCAA. They pried into the organization’s amateurism policy, criticizing a model that allows coaches, administrators and executives to make millions while “the workers,” says one justice, go unpaid. Several justices questioned the merits of the NCAA’s grievances, referring to them merely as “complaints” that shouldn’t be before the court in the first place. After all, asked Justice Brett Kavanaugh, what’s an extra $5,800 per athlete when executives make billions from television revenue?

“Schools are conspiring, agreeing with competitors, to pay no salaries to workers,” Kavanaugh said. “It seems somewhat disturbing.”

In one of the most significant and maybe stunning moments, Clarence Thomas, another conservative justice who experts say rarely speaks up during cases, prodded Waxman over million-dollar coaching salaries.

“It strikes me as odd,” he said, “that coaches’ salaries have ballooned and they are in the amateur ranks, as are the players.”

Later on, Thomas showed his affinity for the college game, citing the “transfer portal” during one question.

The justices seemed to agree that the NCAA provided no evidence in its filings to suggest that fans would be less interested in college sports if athletes receive greater benefits, striking at the heart of the organization’s case.

On the other hand, several of the justices seemed uneasy about the consequences of siding with the plaintiffs.

Addressing acting solicitor general Elizabeth Prelogar, who joined the arguments for the plaintiff because the Justice Department has taken a position on the case in their favor, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said: “I’m not sure that you have given me comfort on some of the questions that my colleague, the chief justice, asked, which is, ‘How do we know that we’re not just destroying the game as it exists, meaning we’re being told by Mr. Waxman that all of these educational-related payments can become extravagant and, as a result, be viewed by the public as pay for play?’ ”

Or, as Justice Elena Kagan called it during questioning of Kessler, “the kind of floodgates argument – like what’s next? (Athlete compensation) is just going to go up and up and up, and pretty soon it will just be a regular labor market.”

It’s a mug’s game to rely on oral arguments to predict the outcome of the case, so I won’t even try to go there.  Dellinger outlines the four most likely outcomes:

A decision is likely to come in one of four forms: (1) a narrow plaintiff ruling that upholds broader amateurism policies; (2) a more broad plaintiff ruling that destroys the amateurism defense and cracks the door for more legal challenges to the NCAA model; (3) a narrow ruling in favor of the NCAA that strikes down the lower courts’ decision; (4) a more broad NCAA ruling that upholds the amateurism model.

My feeling is that, intellectually, the Court knows the NCAA’s position is untenable.  However, emotionally, there is some sympathy for the abstract notion of amateur athletics that’s tugging at the justices.  Combined, that suggests to me whatever comes as a ruling (probably not until mid-summer) will likely be more narrow than not.

If anything surprised me about the questioning yesterday, it’s how well informed most of the justices appeared to be about the issues and, specifically, about how the NCAA and the schools manage college football.  We’ll find out in a few months where the SCOTUS is letting amateurism head.

25 Comments

Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

CFN predicts the SEC East.

Here’s what they see as the most likely scenario from a spring perspective:

  1. Georgia 11-1
  2. Florida 9-3
  3. Kentucky 7-5
  4. Missouri 7-5
  5. Tennessee 6-6
  6. South Carolina 5-7
  7. Vanderbilt 2-10

And here’s their breakdown on Georgia:

Georgia Bulldogs Football Schedule Analysis: If the opener against Clemson isn’t the biggest non-conference game of the college football season, that means something else will rise up and be really, really big. But that’s it. That’s the tone-setter. Pull that off, and it’ll be a 5-0 start before going to Auburn.

There’s no Alabama, LSU or Texas A&M from the West, but the Tennessee game is on the road and … split with Clemson and Florida, or win them both, and there’s no excuse to not be in the College Football Playoff mix.

Best Case Scenario: 12-0. It’s Georgia. It has the talent. It has the coaching. It has the ability to win every game if everything goes right. There will be a loss along the way, but is it good enough to beat Clemson? It’s close enough. Is it going to be good enough to beat Florida? Yeah. 11-1 is more likely, but this program is overdue to take that next step.

Worst Case Scenario: 8-4. Georgia could lose to both Clemson and Florida. On the wrong day it could drop the road date to Auburn, and maybe it could slip up against Tennessee on the road and/or Kentucky at home if the wheels fall off.

The worst case stuff is puzzling, at least if I’m supposed to take it as something more than a bunch of on any given Saturday coincidences.  It’s especially puzzling when you consider his worst cases for some of the other teams:  Florida 7-5; Kentucky 7-5; Tennessee 5-7.

Other than being a trifle optimistic about Tennessee and South Carolina, their overall calls look about right to me.  What say you?

35 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

“Georgia Tech’s spring game will be an exclusive event.”

Hey, if you don’t let anyone in, you can’t get ragged on for nobody wanting to come.

Roll Safe GIFs | Tenor

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football

NIL comes to Georgia.

Welp, that didn’t take long.

College student athletes in Georgia would start receiving financial compensation under legislation the General Assembly passed Wednesday.

The bill, sponsored by House Higher Education Committee Chairman Chuck Martin, R-Alpharetta, would allow Georgia athletes to earn compensation for the use of their “name, image or likeness” by the public, private or technical colleges they attend.

… The Senate passed the bill by 50-2 Wednesday with Republican Sens. Steve Gooch of Dahlonega and Blake Tillery of Vidalia voting against it. The legislation now heads to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk after clearing the state House of Representatives unanimously three weeks ago.

Not many no votes there.  Assuming Kemp signs it — now, there’s a real stretch — the bill would go into effect July 1, which means that Florida would not get a jump on Georgia.  Crootin’ be undefeated, y’all.

That being said, it appears that a limitation was added to the bill, one that I don’t believe appears in the Florida legislation.

Student athletes would also have to deposit their earnings in an escrow account from which they could not withdraw funds until at least one year after they graduate or leave school.

Aside from the obvious “why?”, assuming there are other states with NIL legislation that allow college athletes immediate access to their earnings, it’s going to leave rival coaches with something to bang on Kirby Smart on the recruiting trail.  I will be curious to see if this gets revisited down the line.

In the meantime, the more states passing legislation like this, the harder it gets for the NCAA and schools to fight this in court.

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UPDATE:  The bill was amended on the floor yesterday to add a sunset provision.

Basically, if Congress or the NCAA grants college athletes’ NIL rights, then Georgia’s law would be superseded.

23 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

TFW you think law school’s too stuffy

Shit, they ought to put it on pay-per-view.  I’d watch.

8 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Mike Leach. Yar!