If you’ve ever wondered what Paul Johnson with no more fucks to give would look like, here you go.
I’ll leave the rest of the catty comments to y’all. 😉
Looks like the Big 12 will be the Bigger 12 next year.
Where does that leave Texas and Oklahoma in the departure department? Beats me.
So, a question for you.
As a Georgia fan, which gives you more pleasure, the first 7:30 of the 2017 game or the last 2:30 of the first half of the 2021 game?
Hey, it’s May and Pete Fiutak projects records:
Thoughts and observations:
As a follow up to the previous post, you know who’s in a really good position to take advantage of the NIL market in recruiting?
You’ve got a program that’s consistently either the most profitable or in the top two or three in the country in that regard run by a head coach with a business degree who knows how to recruit. Of course Georgia’s in a great position to take advantage of the situation.
Across the U.S. college sports landscape, from the heartland of Texas to the shores of Florida and hills of Tennessee, high-level boosters are privately or publicly using name, image and likeness deals to bankroll their teams, attempting to outbid one another for talent and creating a new arms race in college sports.
College football’s biggest donors have orchestrated business ventures that are distributing five-, six- and seven-figure payments to athletes under the guise of endorsement opportunities and appearance fees. They are also pooling millions of their dollars in creating exclusive, high-priced clubs—“collectives”—to retain current players, entice high school prospects or poach athletes from other programs.
These savvy and wealthy business people are skirting vague NCAA guidelines that govern athlete compensation, many protected by their own state laws, with legislation in some areas being rewritten to further empower such behavior. And in this new era of emerging athletes’ rights under a toothless NCAA, they don’t fear repercussions and flaunt their coups. They are seen by many as saviors of their programs.
If there’s one thing that really surprises me about the new landscape, it’s how passive head coaches, surely among the world’s greatest control freaks, have been about letting boosters run rampant. I mean, sure, lip service will be paid like this…
“In the past, certain teams haven’t done it the ethically right way,” Hathcock says. “Now with NIL, we’re going to play the game. It’s legal. We’ll listen to what the coach tells us to do. I just raise the money for them to use.”
… but if a well-monied bunch wants to go off on their own, I don’t see anyone out there who’s able to do much of anything about that. At least not at the moment. But this seems to be a plausible way around that:
Experts tell SI that they believe collectives will soon professionalize, hiring big-time agencies to manage their operation. For instance, Belzer says he receives at least three calls from schools each week wanting to start up a collective but don’t know how. The same goes for staff at Opendorse.
“They want to know what it’s going to take,” says Braly Keller, an NIL specialist at Opendorse and a former NIL coordinator at Nebraska.
Some collectives are growing so quickly, they’ve opened offices. Others have partnered with media entities to reserve space for podcasts and commercial shoots. Belzer has people on the ground at many of his collective sites, including Success With Honor at Penn State, where the group is attempting to build a more sustainable model than having a small handful of millionaires giving seven figures each year. The goal: get 10,000 Penn State fans to contribute $10-$500 each per month.
“If run properly,” Belzer says, “a Penn State or an SEC school should be able to generate $5–10 million a year.”
At which point, who needs those big boosters running amuck?
This David Ubben piece ($$) on why what we’re seeing with NIL compensation and the transfer portal isn’t the end of college football is as close as anyone’s gotten to how I feel about the situation.
I love the sport as much as any of y’all do and I’m not blind enough to pretend things aren’t messy, but even at their messiest, they’re not as bad as what the NCAA in its pre-Alston heyday was imposing on college athletes.
I love college football, and if you love something, you don’t want to see it hurt people. And for decades since the television money in the sport has exploded, college football has hurt people. It has churned players through programs on a conveyor belt and squeezed their value into coaching salaries and facilities. The lucky ones moved on to pro careers, but most of them had their value arbitrarily restricted during the time when they’re most valuable, solely because that’s always the way it had been done.
If things are a mess now, that’s because the NCAA, in its arrogance, stubbornly believed it could hold back the tide indefinitely and never thought to formulate a Plan B when the floodgates were breached. That’s what you do if you love college football. Today’s problem stems from the schools and the NCAA loving the exercise of power amateurism gave them more than loving the sport itself.
Reggie Bush was not a villain. Johnny Football was not a villain. Cam Newton was not a villain. A.J. Green and Dez Bryant were not villains.
The rules of amateurism were the villain the whole time, no matter how many people tried to lionize them as ideals worth preserving. It was a grift, making millions off unpaid labor.
College football is transitioning. Eventually those in charge will figure something out because literally they’ll have no choice but to do so. The passionate interest is still there. So is all that money. The schools aren’t walking away from that any time soon. And neither are we.
Lest this turn into a version of “Which schools could Nick Saban have led to national titles?” — which I’ve answered a few ways in this space across two employers — I’ll tell you exactly which job Saban would have picked if he’d had the choice of any school. This isn’t speculation. This is based on conversations with people around him through the years.
He would have chosen Georgia.
Saban knew how much talent the state was pumping out and how dominant the Georgia brand was in its own state. It’s the Alabama job with more good players in-state and no Auburn.
Man ain’t no fool, that’s for sure.
And Kirby Smart’s Georgia program ain’t fading away any time soon.