Lee: “If I told the whole truth, most people wouldn’t believe it. Zero and 10 was bad, but the issues off the field, which started before the season and got worse during it, may have been worse.
COVID-19 was the official explanation as to why Vanderbilt couldn’t play Georgia last year. But by that point, the roster had already been depleted for other reasons, and that outbreak was really no more than the final straw that left the ‘Dores with fewer players than it needed to play.”
The NCAA’s legal problems regarding its limits on compensation for college athletes continued Thursday, when a federal judge denied its request to dismiss a lawsuit that not only challenges any limits on athletes’ ability to make money from their name, image and likeness, but also brings into play the prospect of athletes getting money from college sports TV rights fees. [Emphasis added.]
… In addition to asking that the NCAA be prevented from having association-wide rules that “restrict the amount of name, image, and likeness compensation available” to athletes, the suit also seeks unspecified damages based on the share of television-rights money and the social media earnings the plaintiffs claim athletes would have received if the NCAA’s current limits on NIL compensation had not existed.
Such a damages award would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars and, under antitrust law, the basic award would be tripled.
It’s a long way to the finish line, but let’s just say at this point, Emmert’s probably willing to crawl from Indianapolis to DC on his hands and knees to get that antitrust exemption.
According to a proprietary strength-of-schedule formula developed by the odds-makers at www.SportsBettingDime.com, Arkansas, Kansas and Auburn have college football’s three toughest schedules, while the UTEP, Hawaii and Charlotte have the three easiest among the 130 Division 1 schools.
The @SBD Strength of Schedule formula is based upon opponents’ efficiency ratings from last season minus the production lost from the 2020 team; recruiting rankings; major transfers added and lost. The formula is then adjusted for each game based upon home and road games. As a point of reference, the toughest possible schedule would score 397.09, making Arkansas’ S.O.S (126.35) 31.82% of the hardest possible schedule. The easiest hypothetical schedule would score -471.94 making UTEP’s S.O.S (171.68) 36.38% of the easiest schedule.
Here’s how the SEC, in particular, shapes up.
Poor Sam Pittman. Man can’t buy a break.
I presume since the transfer portal plays into the calculations that there could still be some adjustments, although I wouldn’t expect those to be significant at this point. It probably wouldn’t hurt to keep some of this stuff in the back of your head when you try to anticipate the way the season plays out. For example,
You can also see where inexperience could derail potentially promising seasons from teams like Texas (SOS 4) and Iowa (12); or hurt chances of continued success (Florida at 12, Ole Miss at 10 and Arkansas at 1); or prevent an easy rebound year for squads like Michigan (13) and LSU (18).
Seth Emerson($$) has a question for former Georgia player Drew Butler.
And what effect, if any, would [NIL compensation] have had on the locker room?
… I ask former teammates of mine, along with current student-athletes, the “locker room” question all the time, and the unanimous answer is no. Again, this is a hypothetical that is pushed around which I simply do not believe to be true.
People crap on Barrett Sallee for this and that, but it sounds like he’s pretty much sold on Georgia’s 2021 chances:
Over/under 10.5 wins
Wins: vs. Clemson, UAB, South Carolina, at Vanderbilt, Arkansas, at Auburn, Kentucky, vs. Florida, Missouri, at Tennessee, vs. Charleston Southern, at Georgia Tech
Analysis: This is the year for Georgia. No, seriously, this is it. The Bulldogs are loaded on defense, have one of the best quarterbacks in the country, a loaded backfield and one of the best top-to-bottom rosters in the entire sport. Plus, they draw Arkansas as their rotating cross-division game and don’t exactly have a daunting road schedule. The experience should get them past Clemson in the opener. But even if they fall to the Tigers, an 11-win season still cashes. Pick: Over 10.5 (-130)
In case you were wondering where his biases may lay, he’s got Auburn going 7-5 overall and 4-4 in the conference.
The dossier of documents sent to the Arizona State compliance department and the NCAA enforcement department on May 31 begins with a blunt message about allegations of NCAA improprieties in the ASU football program.
“I am writing this letter to inform you about recruiting violations that are occurring at Arizona State University in their Football department. My objective is…providing enough information to assure you if Arizona State football is looked into, there will be violations found.”
From there, the letter provides, sometimes in meticulous detail, allegations of a series of potential NCAA violations. It specifically names 10 Arizona State “individual staff members to investigate” and lists 13 “illegal recruiting prospects” who visited campus during the COVID-19 dead period.
Overall, there are more than a dozen allegations in the dossier, which was viewed by Yahoo Sports this week. Some of the allegations are specific and have documented receipts and screenshots of emails the dossier cites as evidence of ASU staffers allegedly arranging trips for prospects to visit campus.
Receipts! The NCAA has the receipts!
… Sources told Yahoo Sports that a group of nearly a dozen staffers communicated regularly on group text about the allegedly illicit activities in the program.
The point of the group text wasn’t to accumulate allegations and pictures with a time stamp. Rather, it was used as a real-time exclamation of the disbelief of what was happening in the program, a source said. That disbelief was accentuated as staffers saw coaches who weren’t participating in the alleged behavior pushed out of their jobs or had responsibilities stripped away as associate head coach Antonio Pierce gained power.
“That group text wasn’t necessarily to bring to the NCAA, but it was a way to say, ‘Look at how blatant they are being about it,’” said a source. “It was a way we scoffed at it, like, ‘Can you believe these guys?’”
Nothing like real time, on sight analysis of major recruiting violations.
The rest of Thamel’s piece is a combination of “hells, yeah, we’ll tell everything we know about those fuckers” and “new phone, who ‘dis?” defenses from people with their names on unflattering evidence. In other words, make sure your popcorn bag is full as you sit down to watch this unfold, friends.
Obviously, Herm Edwards’ big mistake was not hiring an SEC assistant coach who could direct him on how to do “if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin'” the right way.
If you’re looking for a clear-cut picture of what the landscape for player compensation after the Alston decision looks like, you could do a lot worse than reading this Michael McCann post that breaks things down into twelve questions and answers.
This, in particular, appears especially prescient:
What will the NCAA do on July 1?
We know that Emmert has implored member schools to adopt NIL rules that would apply nationally and that conferences might take action before July 1.
A national framework would ensure all athletes enjoy the same set of NIL rights, regardless of where they live or in which state their school resides. In my recent testimony before the U.S. Senate, I argued for a national framework and urged Congress to adopt one that preempts state NIL statutes. Neither the NCAA nor member schools have the legal authority to preempt state statutes.
In theory, the NCAA could threaten member schools with penalties or even breach of contract litigation should they permit their athletes to sign endorsements in violation of NCAA rules. Schools in NIL states would argue they must comply with state law, but the NCAA could—again, in theory—remind them they also have a legal obligation to comply with contractual obligations to the NCAA.
In reality, the NCAA is in a weakened position to play the role of membership enforcer or would-be plaintiff. It is more likely to adopt permissive NIL rules or acquiesce to states with NIL statutes until it can formulate a national approach.
Like they’ve got a choice.
NCAA officials are targeting a new, simplified solution to allow athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness—just in the nick of time, too.
The organization, having abandoned exhaustive NIL legislation that’s been ready for months, is expected to now adopt a more permissive, alternative model most similar to the one proposed last week by six Division I conference commissioners, sources tell Sports Illustrated.
A week before a cascade of state laws threatens to plunge college sports into a proverbial inequitable playing field, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors, the division’s highest ranked governing body made up of school presidents and chancellors, is scheduled to meet virtually Thursday and further explore the alternative model.
The model, a stopgap until Congress can pass a uniform bill to govern the issue, removes guardrails in the original legislation that would have conflicted with the bevy of state NIL laws taking effect July 1. The proposal attempts to level the playing field for athletes enrolled at schools residing in states without an NIL law, potentially granting them unfettered access to strike NIL deals.
Under the plan, effective July 1, the NCAA would mostly exempt itself from NIL. Schools in states with an NIL law may follow that law without penalty, and schools located in states without a statute are granted permission to each create and administer their own NIL policy, as long as they use guiding principles such as prohibiting NIL ventures designed as pay-for-play or recruiting inducements.
The proposal, drafted by the NCAA’s staff and legal team in light of Monday’s ruling from the Supreme Court, comes five days after commissioners Greg Sankey (SEC), Jim Phillips (ACC), Larry Scott (Pac-12) and three other league executives sent a similar model to NCAA leaders, encouraging them to punt on permanent legislation and instead adopt an alternate solution.
Give ’em credit for one thing: they’ve embraced the wisdom of the First Rule of Holes.
… In this plan, the NCAA is avoiding responsibility, placing the onus on schools and conferences to draft their own proposals to avoid legal issues, says Darren Heitner, a sports law professor in Florida who helped draft that state’s NIL law.
“If the NCAA says to its school, ’This is up to you! We’re taking a hands off approach!’ Then the NCAA can effectively argue, if sued, that it has nothing to do with it,” he says. “If each school is able to create its own NIL rules, without colluding, even if they mirror each other, that shouldn’t be a problem from an antitrust perspective.”
Of course, that isn’t to say there aren’t a few morons out there with a differing opinion.
Not everyone is on board with the alternative model. In fact, this quandary—the unrestricted, alternative solution vs. the NCAA’s more restrictive permanent legislation—is a divisive issue that has led to robust debate and somewhat fractured feelings among high-level conference administrators.
Some say the alternative plan “goes way too far” and that they’d prefer to begin with more restrictive rules before slowly working toward a more permissive model. One Power 5 administrator even described the new solution as “disrespectful” to the NCAA NIL working group, which spent two years drafting the original legislative proposal.
“Clearly we have differences of opinion on the legal issues around this,” says one high-level administrator. “You’ve got a number of states with different standards. Different groups are coming to different conclusions on addressing that.”
Sounds like the rest of Mark Emmert’s June is gonna be a blast.
“And Georgia fans, don’t be turds. Enjoy this. Soak it up. It’s awesome. If you don’t win this year, it’s still not a failure. It’s a heck of a run. Back-to-back in the Playoff era hasn’t been done. So, to ask for a third I feel like it’s gluttonous. I feel like it’s not OK. But we’ll be in the mix.”-- David Pollack, On3.com, 5/9/23
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