Daily Archives: May 18, 2021

Going back to Cali

Team building exercise in progress:

Quarterback JT Daniels was not kidding when he told reporters in early April, he planned on becoming the best leader, on and off the field, that he could possibly be.

He apparently was not kidding.

With players now on a brief break following their recent final exams, Daniels and a host of his offensive teammates are taking the opportunity to get in some extra work back in the quarterback’s home state of California.

… Word of the junket first became apparent on players’ respective Instagram pages, and later confirmed by a person familiar with the trip to UGASports.

Players confirmed to be attending include wide receivers Kearis Jackson, Jermaine Burton, Jaylen Johnson, Justin Robinson, Braxton Hicks, and Ladd McConkey, along with tight end Darnell Washington, running backs James Cook and Kendall Milton, who also hails from California.

It can’t hurt, can it?

(h/t mp)



Filed under Georgia Football

“Sometimes you need chaos to get people focused in Washington.”

The NCAA can’t get its thumb out of its ass on NIL rights, but Congress — Congress! — can?  Well, maybe.

A group of U.S. senators, led by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), are in deep negotiations on bipartisan legislation that could help college sports avoid a chaotic quandary: schools and their athletes operating under differing state laws related to NIL.

The discussions have birthed a proposed bill, circulating among key legislative staffs, that reflects several Congressional NIL bills already introduced, taking components from both Democrat and Republican-leaning legislation. This months-long process is described to have made significant strides recently, with high-profile leaders from the two parties agreeing to concessions as a bevy of state laws threaten to create an uneven playing field across college athletics.

There is a long way to go between now and July 1st, of course, but never underestimate this guiding principle:

“College athletes deserve to earn income from their images,” she [Sen. Maria Cantwell, the chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee] said in a statement. “Having a hodgepodge of different state laws could lead to recruiting inequities. Hopefully Congress can come together on a federal framework.”

You cannot defeat ‘crootin’.  You can only hope to contain it.

I’m still amazed the NCAA has failed to grasp what a motivational concept that is.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

A prime time opener

I don’t think this comes as any real surprise.

A likely top five matchup.

College football playoff and national title contenders.

Big name programs on a neutral site state.

All of that lends itself to Georgia’s season-opening game with Clemson being selected for a prime-time game on Sept. 4 in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.

The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. and be shown nationally on ABC, the network announced on Tuesday.

Let’s hope the game lives up to the expected hype.


UPDATE:  By the way, notice who didn’t get the coveted prime time slot.


Filed under Georgia Football

A dollar here, a dollar there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real athlete compensation

Former UGA punter Drew Butler now works at Icon Source, an outfit that helps players manage their endorsement contracts and profiles.  Here’s what he had to say about… well, money.

How would this have benefitted you if NIL had been in place while you were playing at Georgia?

Butler: “Would I have gotten some opportunity? I think so. I had some success in college; I won a couple of awards. Maybe there was something in that realm with my dad (Kevin Butler). My podcast co-host on “Punt and Pass,” Aaron Murray, would have made hundreds of thousands of dollars. There’s no doubt about it. A guy I talk to about Icon Source a lot is Keith Marshall; he’d have made hundreds of thousands of dollars. “Gurshall”—how marketable were Todd (Gurley) and Keith? How good were they? That’s a perfect case study for the positive effects of this NIL rule change. Keith could have made significant amounts of money in college. Obviously, he got injured. His NFL career didn’t pan out the way he thought it would. He’d have had a good financial head start. He earned it because of how good he played.”

What level of money are we talking about with NIL?

Butler: “There are roughly 460,000 student-athletes in the NCAA. If one half of one percent—2,300 kids in America in all sports—make $100,000 a year, that’s over $200 million. We feel like that’s pretty conservative. I think Joe Burrow might have made a million dollars his senior year. You’re talking about guys who will blow that $100,000 mark way out of the water. You’re talking about athletes like Matthew Boling on the UGA track team who have 200,000 Instagram followers. You’re looking at gymnasts who will be competing in the Olympics and back on campus this summer with massive marketability.”

Every time I think about Gurley’s four-game suspension for signing autographs for a middling three grand, when he should have been allowed to make much more but for a bullshit NCAA protocol that served little purpose, I just get incredibly frustrated.  That’s what ended my romance with amateurism.

Climb those golden stairs, kids.  Make it while you can.


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

No worries, mon.

Shorter Connor O’Gara:  if Georgia’s offense is as prolific as Alabama’s 2020 and LSU’s 2019 were, the Dawg secondary will be just fine.


Filed under Georgia Football

“I think these are all calculated risks.”

Player development?  Why bother?

While others are bemoaning the transactional nature of the portal, roster management and the new one-time transfer rule, Spavital has embraced all of it. More than three months after the traditional National Signing Day in February, he still has eight scholarships to offer.

The rest have gone to transfers, 11 of them. That after Spavital lost 12 players to the portal. He has not signed a high school prospect at Texas State in his Class of 2021…

“My whole argument is I can take the [high school] kid down the street that no one wants and no one offers who, after three years, you develop him into a good player, and he can leave,” Spavital said. “Or you can [go to the portal].”

Okay, so he’s at a shitty mid-major program that has trouble attracting quality recruits, so I get it.  At some point, though, the check is going to be presented, and it won’t be pretty.

There is a yearly limit of 85 scholarship players for FBS teams. However, a program may sign only 25 per year. Rosters are in flux as coaches decide whether the portal is a gift or a curse — or maybe both. So-called “super seniors” aren’t counted against the 85 this season as they were allowed an extra year of eligibility in 2021 due to COVID-19. They also could leave giant holes in rosters after they leave after this season.

“They kind of mask some of your issues,” Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell said. “If you have six super seniors, so you’re really not under the limit, but when those guys leave you’ve going to have an even bigger issue.”

Coaches in Fickell’s AAC are already in favor of expanding annual scholarship limits from 25 to 30 as a stop gap. A blanket waiver to surpass that 25-scholarship limit for at least one year has been discussed in coaching circles. The Big 12 and MAC proposed a two-year scholarship limit of 50, spread out any way a coach wants. That was shot down. The possibility of allowing an extra scholarship for every player lost to the portal — the so-called “one-for-one” approach — isn’t likely.

If there’s one thing we know, it’s that the NCAA’s bag isn’t being proactive, man.  Again, though, if you’re Jake Spavital at Texas State, the portal is simply the best option from a set of bad choices and you’ll deal with the consequences when you cross that bridge.

But what if you’re Bryan Harsin at Auburn?

Auburn has already secured commitments from four transfers and could add as many as eight more this summer. If that takes away from the initial number of scholarships that the new staff can sign in the 2022 class, I’m fine with that too…

Auburn can certainly win some battles and land good players in the 2022 class. I’m not suggesting that Harsin has or should throw in the towel. But in a class where AU is behind and doesn’t have the long-term relationships that other staffs do with elite prospects, it’s important to supplement the group with some instant impact players.

The best way for Auburn to do that right now is the transfer portal…

As far as the numbers go, transfers currently count against the 25 initial scholarships schools can offer each year. If AU had three scholarships still available from 2021 and took 12 transfers, that would mean nine would have to count toward the 2022 class.

The author assumes some sort of roster fix from the NCAA is forthcoming, but if he’s wrong about that, Harsin’s blowing a hole in his program’s roster that will take several classes to fill.  And he’s doing it in his first season!  Why?  Well, in the immortal words of Jake Spavital,

“That is what are we trying to do especially in a time when, [if] you don’t win, you get fired,” he said. “Instead of waiting around, it’s given life to our program. We gotta think outside the box here.”


Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.

If you build it (the roster), they (championships) will come.

At least you’ve got to think so, based on these numbers.

Crap on Kirby if you feel like it, but he’s not a bad enough coach to squander that kind of talent advantage forever.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“There will be something that happens on July 1, and there will be no lives lost.”

In a shocking development

The NCAA Council is not likely to recommend passage of formal name, image and likeness legislation this week at its upcoming meeting, sources told CBS Sports. This inaction would come just days after NCAA president Mark Emmert urged membership to pass such legislation by July 1 as pressure mounts nationally with NIL laws in six individual states going into effect on that date.

It will therefore be unlikely that the NCAA will have NIL legislation in place to regulate its schools in six weeks.

Gosh, who saw that coming?

So, Emmert finally calls for urgency and is promptly ignored by the organization.  I guess that’s why they pay him the big bucks.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA