Daily Archives: June 28, 2022

Name that caption, stylin’ edition

Shot.

Chaser.

37 Comments

Filed under Name That Caption

Play Clemson every year?

At Georgia Tech, you get to do that!

No doubt Coach 404 is thrilled with the news.

25 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, Georgia Tech Football

There he goes again.

Oh, look.  It’s Danny Kanell, saying something stupid.

Danny’s so hot for CFP expansion, he’s willing to overlook the part where an SEC team won another national championship.

35 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

“Rivalries”

Apparently, the word isn’t supposed to mean what I thought it meant any more.  Seth Emerson, in ranking Georgia’s most important SEC rivalries, post-expansion era ($$), defines them thusly:

What are the games that are the most important – for reasons of history, location and luster – to be on the annual calendar?

When you put those three factors on equal footing, I suppose that’s how you can get to ranking Oklahoma and Texas, whom Georgia has rarely played, ahead of Kentucky, whom the Dawgs have faced 74 total times, including every year since 1956.  Or seeing South Carolina as UGA’s third biggest conference rival.  (No question Georgia’s USC’s biggest SEC rivalry, though.)

My point isn’t to take a shot at Seth’s ordering, but it does seem like he’s using the term more broadly than I would.  For me, it’s a short list:  Florida and Auburn. Everybody else comes after those two.

And you?

64 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

“I think he’s happy with his decision.”

Jesus, what a shit show.

In the ever-evolving story of University of Miami quarterback commit Jaden Rashada, everyone seems to have their own narrative. None are lining up, however.

That’s the consensus nearly 24 hours after On3 reported Rashada left millions in potential NIL earnings on the table with his commitment to the Hurricanes, according to his lawyer Michael Caspino. The On3 Consensus four-star quarterback chose Miami over Florida and Texas A&M.

Since the news broke, multiple parties involved in the story have issued statements or walked back their comments. Jackson Zager, Rashada’s old teammate at IMG Academy, told On3 on Monday the Rashada family was “stressed out and caught off guard” by Caspino’s comments Sunday night.

Zager was serving as the family’s NIL representation in regard to endorsements. As a high school athlete in the state of California, Rashada is allowed to sign partnership agreements. Zager told On3 he flew to Miami last week to broker a deal between LifeWallet and the quarterback, but was told to “sit tight.”

At that point, he and his partner Tommy Thomsen received a cease and desist text message from Caspino regarding Rashada’s NIL recruitment. Zager told On3 that after Sunday, he and Thomsen are unsure of their standing with the family moving forward. The duo claims they represented Rashada in endorsement talks with multiple companies.

“The family told me to tell them to stop doing that,” Caspino said to On3 on Monday afternoon. “I stand by the statement he did not take the highest offer. Absolutely.”

If you caught that “old teammate at IMG Academy” and asked yourself “WTF?”, well, you’re not alone.

Zager is 19 years old and just finished his freshman year at SMU. The president and founder of JTM Sports, he holds an athlete agent license in multiple states. His partner and chief business operator at JTM, Thomsen is a 22-year-old commercial real estate agent.

If you can’t beat ’em, represent ’em.

But let’s get back to noted NIL lawyer Caspino, who’s beating a hasty retreat from his original brag story as fast as he can.

Caspino continues to claim The Gator Collective offered Rashada “a lot of money,” but a Gator Collective representative and Florida football staffer indicated to On3 the Gators never offered him a dollar. The same member of the collective told On3 that the lawyer has attempted to reach them through “multiple pathways” in the past few months. Other collectives have shared similar stories.

A Florida football staffer also indicated that Caspino reached out on multiple occasions. The lawyer refutes the story, claiming he was called by the assistant.

The staffer went on to say Caspino takes roughly 13% from each deal he strikes. Caspino reaffirmed his previous statement that he doesn’t take any money from deals, only a one to three-percent fee collectives pay for his legal work.

When asked specifically about the Miami deal, Caspino shot down any possibility of inducement or Rashada having a contract in hand before his commitment. He is also not a member of the Florida bar association.

“It’s a deal in progress, it’s a deal in process. That’s all I can say,” Caspino said. “We don’t have a deal with Miami right now. We don’t. There’s things in process. We don’t have a deal right now.”

Zager indicated to On3 that Caspino retains a “runner,” which is another term for a street agent. This is an agent who spots a talented prospect, develops a relationship with him and his family and secures him an NIL deal. Caspino acknowledged street agents are part of the NIL process in a previous interview with On3.

“I don’t even know what that is, people call me all day long,” Caspino said Monday. “I don’t do advertisements. I’ve gotten calls all day today. I’ve never heard the term ‘runner’ before.”

Uh hunh.  I’m sure a guy whose resume notes that he’s tried cases involving “wrongful death… catastrophic injury, traumatic brain injury, … etc.” would have no idea what a runner is.

Meanwhile, shots continue to be fired.

Darren Heitner and Michael Caspino have been exchanging words over email and Twitter for the better part of the last month.

The two lawyers, one based in Florida and the other in California, respectively, have developed a feud that has been the talk in many NIL circles. It was even a talking point for some at the NIL Summit. Heitner has been on the forefront of the NIL landscape, helping craft contracts and guiding collectives behind the scenes. He also helped craft the Sunshine State’s NIL legislation.

He’s also a Florida alumnus and has provided counsel to the Gator Collective.

Caspino’s comments directed towards the Gators on Sunday night was just the kicker to their ongoing argument and a clear shot at the Florida-based lawyer. Heitner told On3 on Monday night the admission from Caspino that Rashada left “millions on the table” is all the NCAA needs to investigate the lawyer.

The NCAA’s guidance on NIL clearly states boosters and donors cannot be in contact with prospective student-athletes. The organization has made it known NIL cannot be used to induce recruits. Enforcement director Jeff Duncan reminded members in a letter in June that the NCAA is “working tirelessly to develop information and investigate potential violations.”

The NCAA released updated NIL guidance in early May, stating collectives – groups of boosters and businesses – are not to be involved in the recruiting process or in the transfer portal. Collectives have pooled together funds to help bankroll teams.

“He tied the knot. He put together the present and put it on the NCAA’s doorstep,” Heitner said.

As I like to say, we’re gonna need a bigger bag of popcorn for this.

As for Mr. Reshada, if you didn’t know the old saying about lying down with dogs, start scratching now.

27 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Recruiting

The Big 12’s “fearless leader”

Welp, it seems like the Big 12 had one main requirement for the person hired to succeed Bob Bowlsby as its next commissioner:  don’t be Bob Bowlsby.

Brett Yormark, the COO of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, is finalizing a deal to be the new leader of the Power 5 league, sources tell Sports Illustrated, a stunning move that brings yet another outsider into college sports’ most exclusive and powerful group.

Yormark, 55, has spent the last three years at Roc Nation, originally as co-CEO with twin brother Michael. In his various roles at Roc Nation, he’s worked with artists, athletes, leagues, teams and brands and oversees sponsorship, licensing, content partnerships and brand strategy. These are essential elements and qualities especially beneficial in an ever-changing college sports landscape that entered a new phase last July with the lifting of the NCAA’s amateurism rules. The era of name, image and likeness (NIL) has brought legalized athlete pay, agent involvement and player branding never before seen in college sports.

… Yormark has little if any college sports experience but he’s been integral in professional basketball. Before joining Roc Nation in 2019, he spent 14 years as CEO of BSE Global, which manages the Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets. Under his leadership, Barclays secured agreements to host NCAA men’s basketball tournament games, the ACC men’s basketball tournament and several high-profile non-conference matchups in the sport involving Kentucky, Kansas, Duke and North Carolina. The Nets, meanwhile, moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn under his watch.

Prior to that, Yormark worked for NASCAR for six years, where he helped build the stock-car racing company into a major sports property.

So, he’s moved a sports franchise, helped NASCAR go from a regional property to a national one and knows his way around branding an athlete.  Sounds like a man for our times.

He also sounds like a guy who will be open to joining the Alliance, which already has two commissioners with little to no prior experience in college sports.  I can’t wait to hear him dictate terms to Greg Sankey.

6 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football

Stetson’s gauntlet

It’s a fun, albeit misleading, stat:  In 2022, Georgia faces last season’s nos. 121 and 122 in defensive passing yardage in Georgia Tech and Tennessee, respectively.  It’s misleading because, in the case of the latter, the Vol defense is on the field more than most teams’ because of the way its offense runs.

But it did make me wonder what sort of defensive passer ratings the twelve D-1 defenses Georgia faces this year generated in ’21.  Here’s how each did, along with their national ranking:

  • Oregon:  127.01 (42)
  • South Carolina:  123.86 (30)
  • Kent State:  136.49 (74)
  • Missouri:  146.59 (105)
  • Auburn:  136.73 (76)
  • Vanderbilt:  151.29 (114)
  • Florida:  124.90 (33)
  • Tennessee:  132.55 (63)
  • Mississippi State:  137.93 (82)
  • Kentucky:  137.65 (79)
  • Georgia Tech:  173.30 (130)

Okay, so it wasn’t misleading with regard to the Jackets.  They sucked on pass defense, and judging from this…

After a mass exodus this offseason, Georgia Tech only has three returning starters on defense, one of whom is cornerback Zamari Walton. The Yellow Jackets added five secondary players from the portal in hopes of quickly retooling and help the defense make legitimate strides forward.

… are likely to do so again.

That being said, with 130 being considered the average passer rating, there’s a whole bunch of mediocrity staring Stetson Bennett in the face this season.  (Not to mention in the cases of Missouri, Vandy and Tech, some downright awfulness.)  While I would expect improvement in certain quarters — Oregon being one — Stetson isn’t going to get thrown into a situation in the opener like Daniels was last season, facing a Clemson pass defense that finished fifth nationally in defensive passer rating (110.07).

17 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away.

Tired:  College football needs guardrails to keep NIL compensation in check.

Wired:  Schools should be directly involved in offering NIL inducements to college football recruits!

15 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

Robbing the cradle

Kirbs likes to get ’em while they’re young.

Judging from what I’ve heard about his contract extension, Smart’s got no problem promising this kid he’ll still be around when he gets to Athens.

21 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting