Daily Archives: July 12, 2021

Mark Richt has lost control of jealousy.

I mean, what else can you say when Eric Dounn, a partner at a New York-based player agent outfit gives this kind of advice to college offensive linemen everywhere ($$)?

“But the focus should always be on the field. Don’t get tied up with what your teammates are doing in a sense of what they’re posting about or what dollars they’re making. Don’t get upset and cause possible tension in the locker room because you didn’t get that deal. Don’t be worried about a couple of dollars now. Be worried about six, seven figures later in the draft.”

Pro teams might have issues with players who can’t get along with teammates?  Why, I nevah, Miz Scarlett!

But the dude who was the NCAA’s expert witness during both the Ed O’Bannon and In re: NCAA Grant-in-Aid Cap Antitrust trials (to the tune of $2300 an hour, which, considering the outcome, is some bang for the buck) tops that by insisting jealousy isn’t about offensive linemen.  Nah, it’s about you and me.

Though he is no longer on the NCAA’s payroll, the 77-year-old Heckman’s support for amateurism has not waned in the intervening years, and he believes that jealousy and anecdotal fallacy have confused the country over the value of a college degree to an athlete.

And how did we do that to ourselves?

In the years since his testimony, Heckman says that he has grown increasingly “dismayed” to see the national conversation about amateurism turn on the idea that college athletes are exploited. He invokes the green-eyed monster in explaining why the country has, in his words, “lost its mind.”

“I don’t mind that some people are jealous that Nick Saban gets so much money,” Heckman said during a recent hourlong telephone interview. “I personally don’t care if he has a private plane and flies to Monte Carlo. But I do think it is misleading to cast [college sports] as a labor market and to somehow think the goal of college is to make money off these athletes. I don’t see that as the goal.”

I don’t think we’re the ones who’ve lost their minds here.

10 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Meet the press

So, I came across this Twitter thread over the weekend and am genuinely curious what you think about it.

Personally speaking, that strikes me as one of those “cure is worse than the disease” reactions.  Is there lazy journalism out there?  Shit, yeah, there is.  We make fun of it on a regular basis here.  Clickbait journalism is the bane of every college football fan’s existence.

But to suggest the fix to that is for journalists covering a team to love the team they cover and “have a vested interest” (Gawd only knows what that is) in it badly misses the mark.  I don’t need a Georgia beat writer to bleed red and black.  I do that on my own.  What I want is for a journalist covering the program not to insult my intelligence.

That means giving me the facts straight up as a result of having access and insight that I’m not privy to without spin or embellishment.  That means working hard to make sure that what I’m being informed about is factual in basis and not rumor or unsubstantiated opinion.  That means keeping editorializing and reporting separated.  That means not resorting to clickbait to get some cheap attention.

I’m not saying any of that is easy in this day and age.  But it is doable.

I say this as someone who’s published a fan blog for fifteen years now.  You guys may disagree, maybe even strongly, with this, but I think we’ve been very lucky to have some excellent beat writers covering Georgia football during that time.  I know from my very selfish standpoint that GTP wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining, and wouldn’t be nearly as easy to write, without the information I’ve gleaned from folks like Hale, Ching, Weiszer, Emerson and others.  And I know I would trust them less if I believed they wrote with an emotional agenda of supporting the program.

Put it this way:  would you want to accept news from a beat writer who believed it was necessary to swallow Greg McGarity’s point of view on how to run the athletic department because they cared about Georgia football?

I’m not a journalist, and while I love Georgia football, I’d hate to read love letters to the program that passed themselves off as news reporting.  That’s what bloggers and opinion writers are here for.  Never the twain should meet.  It’s fine to hold reporters accountable for doing shitty work; hopefully, that’s something we do a little of here.  But beat writers should keep their hearts to themselves.  We’re better off for it.

78 Comments

Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

From the Boise Bandit to the King of the Transfer Portal

And no, that’s not a reference to Dan Mullen, hard as that may be to believe.  It’s to the SEC’s most underachieving coach.

But within the SEC, Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs won the 2021 Transfer Challenge, the inaugural great plunder amid the NCAA’s new transfer landscape that allows immediate eligibility for first-time transfers.

Georgia: The Bulldogs added three all-conference-caliber players in tight end/wide receiver Arik Gilbert (from LSU) and defensive backs Tykee Smith (West Virginia) and Derion Kendrick (Clemson). The transfer exits of defensive backs Tyrique Stevenson and Major Burns and defensive end Jermaine Johnson put a chink in Georgia’s transfer trophy, but it still came out way ahead.

Yeah, I know it’s hard to believe that tops Harsin straight up stealing the next Justin Fields, or the Portal Master™’s stellar track record, but it is what it is.

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Transfers Are For Coaches.

“Yeah, drinks were on me after that.”

Advice from one Georgia QB to another:

Aaron Murray saw Georgia quarterback JT Daniels at the David Pollack Foundation Tournament on June 28 at the Georgia Club and offered some free advice.

“I told him he him better go get some deals from some restaurants because he needs to take care of his boys,” said Murray, the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback from 2010-13. “He’s like, ‘I already have.’”

Of more interest to me is what happened to Murray, financially speaking, after his college career came to an abrupt end.

Murray actually got a taste of NIL his senior season. He tore his ACL against Kentucky in the next-to-last game of the 2013 regular season. That meant that he’d miss the season finale against Georgia Tech and the Bulldogs’ appearance in the Gator Bowl.

But it also meant Murray had a chance to make a little cash in the interim. And he made a bunch, actually.

Entering into a marketing agreement with Dan Everett of Everett Sports Marketing (now just ESM), numerous memorabilia-signing events were set up around Atlanta and the Southeast. That included an appearance at a mall in Jacksonville while the Bulldogs were preparing to play Nebraska in the bowl game there a few days later.

ESM also set up a couple of camps for Murray. At $35 an autograph and a $100 or so per camp participant, Murray grossed well over $100,000 in the four months preceding the 2014 NFL draft.

This is what is so absurd to me — the pretense that college athletes have no true value as amateurs, other than what the receive out of the kindness of schools, while seeing hours after the end of their eligibility that it’s a farce.

If you want, get every penny you can, while you can, guys.  Trust me, everybody else around you who can makes the same choice.

22 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

WTF happened to Mark Bradley?

It’s not that he picked Georgia to win the natty in his college football prediction piece.  Oh, sure, it’s a little weird, but not overly so.  It’s that he criticized the genius.

Albeit in a sort of backhanded way…

Georgia Tech is 6-16 under Collins, who has recruited at a higher level than his predecessor, though it would be hard to recruit with less oomph than Paul Johnson.

Dang.  It must a stung a little as he wrote that.

20 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Tweaking the fan friendly experience

Bill King has a little game day news.

My game day routine in Athens has evolved through the years, but one thing that’s never changed is the first thing I do after entering Gate 2 at Sanford Stadium: Buy a game program from one of the kids who are peddling them, just as I did many years ago.

Come this season, though, I won’t be able to continue that ritual, because the programs are going the way of tickets: all digital, nothing printed on paper.

That will make permanent a change that was initiated during last year’s pandemic-impacted reduced-crowd games. Instead of programs, for those fans who don’t want to try and view the digital programs, roster cards will be available free of charge at Gates 2, 6, 7, 9 and 10, Senior Associate Athletic Director Claude Felton told me this week.

I haven’t been a program buyer for many years, so I can’t say the news upsets me much.  In fact, the free roster card strikes me as something of an upgrade, since that’s my general purpose in looking at a program in the first place.  (Admittedly, the development sucks for those selling programs.  Such is life.)

Anyway, Bill’s got some good background on program sales at Sanford Stadium that’s worth reading.  Any of y’all sell programs back in the day?

23 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“That ‘G’, like, it’s a part of me now.”

Here’s something to start your week off with a smile.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football