The turnover at Georgia Tech: 7 of Geoff Collins' assistants from 2021 are gone: > Left (4): Tashard Choice (Texas), Marco Coleman (Michigan State), Chris Wiesehan (Temple), Patrick Suddes (North Carolina). > Fired (3): Dave Patenaude, Nathan Burton, Jeff Popovich
‘Bama is going to be at the top of the polls when the season starts, but OSU returns a ton of talent and has an easier road to the CFP, so we’ll see how that shakes out.
Before you get all hot and bothered about this, remember, “these projections aren’t intended to be a guess at what the AP Top 25 will look like at the end of the year. These are simply early offseason power rankings based on the information we have been able to gather to date.”
If there’s anything I’m surprised about, well, I’ll let Bill explain.
SEC: No. 2 Georgia, No. 3 Alabama, No. 6 Texas A&M. That these three teams are in the top six is no surprise. Maybe the biggest surprise is at No. 9: Tennessee overachieved projections last year and now enjoys sturdy returning production numbers. Could the Vols establish themselves as No. 2 in the East?
Somebody has to, I guess. (The Gators are 18th, by the way.)
That’s with a year of Coley’s offense baked into the numbers, remember. And, then, the partial installation of Monken’s offense in a pandemic-shortened season. And, then, a season when the starting quarterback was injured in the preseason, couldn’t fully participate and was finally replaced by some fourth-string dude.
I’m beginning to think this Todd Monken fella can coach a little offense.
Poor Mr. Emmert. After getting his ass kicked in court so many times, the message has finally sunk in that the NCAA’s amateurism stance is indefensible in this day and age. He’s finally sounded the retreat and directed the organization to send the message to schools that when it comes to fending for themselves in the marketplace, they’re on their own.
On Tuesday, the National College Players Association filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the NCAA office, the Pac-12 Conference and California schools USC and UCLA as single and joint employers of FBS football players and Division I men’s and women’s basketball players. The goal is to affirm employee status for D-I basketball players and FBS football players.
In fact, the NCPA’s stroke comes only after new NLRB general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo encouraged such a move. In a September memo, she deemed college athletes employees under the National Labor Relations Act, a thundering message from the agency’s lead lawyer that invited athletes and athlete advocates to bring forth petitions to unionize. The NLRB is the independent agency that enforces U.S. labor law as it relates to collective bargaining.
Public sentiment and the compensation that athletes can now receive from their schools have both changed significantly since Northwestern’s unionization attempt. Huma says this new complaint is also different because Abruzzo is willing to view the NCAA and conferences (not just individual schools) as potential employers. Since the NLRB doesn’t have jurisdiction over government-run entities such as public universities, the ability to consider athletes as employees of the NCAA allows for the first time the possibility that players at all public and private schools could be considered employees.
In other words, the wheels, they are turning. The suits, as usual, are in denial.
In an interview with a Portland radio station last month, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff disagreed that college athletes should be employees.
“They are students first and athletes second. That is non-negotiable for me,” he said. “We get to a place where we talk about professional athletes and it blows up the whole model. Let’s take it to the natural conclusion. Talking about professional athletes, then we have a draft. You’re telling a kid where to go to college. If they are an employee, do I get the right to fire them?
The bravado, she is false. Everything is negotiable, George. Just look at the way amateurism has been defined and redefined over the past three decades.
The question the NCAA, the conferences and the schools should be asking themselves is straightforward.
“Every day the status quo seems to be more unsustainable,” Feldman says. “Some significant change is likely to happen in the near future. There is consensus: Athletes should be given more. The question: How do we do that while protecting the foundation of college sports?”
College football’s powers that be still have it within their control to shape what is to come. The NLRB process is expected to take at least eighteen months, so there’s plenty of time to negotiate a resolution in both sides’ interests. Do I think they’ll grasp that? Given their track record, I’m not exactly holding my breath.
Firing Harsin now would put Auburn at a hiring disadvantage. Many of the coaches who might have been willing to change jobs already have secured richer contracts or new jobs.
Also, some job candidates will view Auburn as a no-fly zone if it fires a second coach in a span of 14 months. Already, the school has a reputation for meddling boosters.
AU fired Gus Malzahn in December 2020 despite him never posting a losing record in eight seasons. That made Malzahn the fourth consecutive Auburn coach to be fired despite either playing for a national championship or recording an undefeated season.[Emphasis added.] After ousting Malzahn, Auburn endured a muddled coaching search that resulted in Harsin arriving with seemingly divided support. Athletics director Allen Greene wanted Harsin. Some powerful boosters reportedly did not.
Plus, Harsin would be owed a buyout of about $18.2 million unless Auburn negotiates a settlement or fires him for cause, which could kickstart an arduous legal process. Harsin seems unlikely to go quietly into the night.
And, on the other…
Behind Door No. 2: Retain Harsin.
Proceeding with Harsin now probably would delay his firing by about nine months.
Basically, Bryan Harsin has become Auburn’s version of Tom Crean. It’s all about the math now.
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