Corch points the finger at the GPOOE’s detractors.

Seriously, you cannot make this shit up:

The problem with Tim, and this is the only problem, he creates so much conversation and distraction that I think that spooks some teams….

“He creates so much conversation”.  What were you, an innocent bystander?

I don’t think so.

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Filed under Tim Tebow: Rock Star, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

“It’s a troubling issue because cost of attendance was never intended to create a competitive advantage.”

It’s clear the locals aren’t happy about being ninth in the conference in the size of cost of attendance.

Back in early February, Georgia football coach Mark Richt said he wouldn’t know exactly “how big of a deal,” the coming cost of attendance payment to athletes might be in recruiting until more information was known.

It’s become big enough of a deal to certainly get the attention of  UGA coaches and administrators, who have huddled to try to gauge what impact differing numbers at each school might have.

Richt and Bulldogs men’s basketball coach Mark Fox have talked “at length,” about the NCAA’s new benefit for student-athletes, Fox said.

They’ve met with athletic director Greg McGarity about it, as well as UGA president Jere Morehead.

“That’s a major issue,” Fox said. “I don’t know the solution to it, but it’s probably issue No. 1 because it creates a bit of inequity.”

The obvious solution:  level the playing field.

“I know it will come up,” he said. “No matter what happens this year in my opinion, I don’t think it will be long before it becomes equitable. If it doesn’t happen this year, I think relatively soon it will. I don’t think it’s going to be a four or five-year thing. I think it’s going to be at most a one-year thing. That’s just my opinion. And it may be that everything gets squared away before August because there’s still a lot of things happening between now and then that could change everybody’s numbers.”

Sounds nice, but, as usual, the devil’s in the details.  First of all, since you can’t pay student-athletes more than a school’s stated cost of attendance without running afoul of the NCAA, wouldn’t equity necessitate a race to the bottom?  It would seem so, which would probably mean fortuitous adjustments in certain schools’ COA figures are likely coming (although that’s probably going to happen regardless).

But the other problem for Georgia here is that its track record in convincing its peers to go along with things that benefit Georgia is pretty poor.  Why, for instance, would Auburn volunteer to give up something it perceives to be advantageous?  The only thing I can come up with would be to argue that no school wants an arms race.  But I’m not sure Auburn really cares about that.  At least not as much as Georgia does.

106 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

Tuesday morning buffet

Shall we buffet?

  • If this is the agenda for the upcoming CFP meetings, expect most of the time to be devoted to Bob Bowlsby’s whining.
  • But John Swofford says things are cool, in spite of the complaints from FSU.
  • Bill Connelly is busy tweaking his advanced stats, which still have last season’s Georgia team in pretty good standing.
  • Dawg Post looks back on what it had to say about Todd Gurley as he came out of high school.
  • Speaking of Gurley, which do you think will hurt the most in the draft – his NCAA suspension or Shane Ray’s untimely arrest citation?
  • Johnny Manziel and the evolution of the Air Raid quarterback
  • Another look at Georgia tight ends here.

19 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Agent Muschamp’s parting gift?

If Boom is the reason the head coaching market suddenly dried up for hot-shot defensive coordinators, does that mean Jeremy Pruitt stays in Athens a little longer than we expected?

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Filed under College Football

May the Force be with him.

Here’s an enjoyable Rolling Stone interview with Chris Conley, which focuses, not surprisingly, given the source, as much on his directing career as his football one.

In any event, every time Conley opens his mouth, you can’t help but be impressed with his thoughtfulness.  That certainly covers his immediate future.

Conley’s projected spot in the draft is wide ranging, anywhere from the end of the second round to the fifth round, the way ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. sees it.

“You hear tons of things,” Conley said, “and I wouldn’t disagree with (Kiper) on that range. It is a big range, but at the same time you understand more about the process, more about the league. It’s not something we worry about that much. I guess it’s something that more fans worry about. You look at the league and how many fifth rounder go on to be Pro Bowlers, how many first rounders have been busts. It’s really not about that at a certain point.”

We root for the Conleys in college football because they’re such good people.  In Chris’ case, you have the feeling he’ll be a success inside the NFL or outside, because that’s how he’s built.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Life After Football

How do you know when the NCAA is serious about academics?

When academics give student-athletes a little too much freedom.

The NCAA’s new vice president for Division I governance told The Associated Press there are growing concerns among the division’s 345 members over the surging number of students switching schools — and that the debate could come to a close sometime in the next year.

Some of the ideas bandied about would have a dramatic impact on graduate transfer students. The proposals include giving schools the ability to restrict where former players can go and requiring the athletes to sit out one year before becoming eligible. Undergraduates already are required to sit out one year, but the current rules allow players with bachelor’s degrees to transfer to another school and become eligible immediately if they attend graduate school.

“If you’re transferring to be in a graduate program, the NCAA wants you to be working in earnest toward that degree rather than just using up your last year of eligibility,” Lennon said last week, noting there are no formal proposals yet.

Yes, we can’t have kids who aren’t working in earnest towards a degree… unless they’re one-and-done star basketball players who help drive March Madness television ratings.

This, of course, is bullshit of the highest order.  And they know it.

“No one is happy with the transfer rate, particularly in the sport of men’s basketball,” Lennon said. “When 40 percent of your students are leaving after their second year, that’s a signal something’s wrong.”

Duh.  The problem is everyone agrees on the symptom, but not the disease.

10 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., The NCAA

Battle of the 800-pound gorillas

I mentioned last week that the WWL was more than a trifle miffed with Verizon’s new Custom TV package, which allowed customers to choose basic cable packages that didn’t include ESPN – sacrilege, I know.

Anyway, it seems Verizon didn’t take the hint.  So Mickey is taking things to the next level.

ESPN filed a lawsuit against Verizon in New York Supreme Court on Monday, asserting that the telecommunications company breached its contract with the network when it unveiled a new cable package last week.

On April 19, Verizon introduced a cable package that took channels normally available on basic cable — networks like ESPN, Comedy Central and USA — and separated them into smaller, category-specific groups like sports, entertainment and children’s programs that customers can choose from. Verizon introduced the package with apparently little to no discussion with these cable networks. Disney, which owns ESPN, complained that Verizon made a “unilateral” decision.

What this is all really about is streaming.  Netflix and similar enterprises are eating into what cable and satellite broadcast providers market because they’re cheaper.  Funny how that works.

This is a fight over preserving market share in a changing market.

“ESPN is at the forefront of embracing innovative ways to deliver high-quality content and value to consumers on multiple platforms, but that must be done in compliance with our agreements,” an ESPN spokeswoman said. “We simply ask that Verizon abide by the terms of our contracts.”

Verizon is not backing down.

“Consumers have spoken loud and clear that they want choice, and the industry should be focused on giving consumers what they want,” a Verizon spokeswoman said in response to the lawsuit. “We are well within our rights under our agreements to offer our customers these choices.”

Sometimes, we consumers sure can be a pesky lot.

The longer trend doesn’t favor ESPN.  Even if the network prevails and stops Custom TV for the moment, there’s always the next contract to fight over.  And consumer choice ain’t going away.

The reason you should pay attention to this fight isn’t just because you’re a consumer.  It’s also worth watching to see if it eventually impacts the conference broadcast business model, particularly the Pac-12’s, but also to a lesser extent, the Big Ten’s, as both have ownership interests in their conference networks.  In any event, if things reach a point where these networks have to stand on their own as part of a special platform, as opposed to being ladled in with basic coverage, that’s likely to be problematic.  It’s one thing to see the cost of the Big Ten Network subsidized and pushed to viewers at a lower cost.  It’s another to ask those viewers to pay for the package on its own at a cost several multiples higher than it is now.

What happens to college athletics if the money spigot from broadcast revenues slows?  Think of all the money-driven decisions that have been made over, say, just the last five years.  College football has been modified in substantial ways over that time.  If the cash flow begins to dry up, there will be plenty of unpleasant ramifications.  And I doubt the geniuses who have driven things to this point are even thinking about those yet.

**************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Brian Cook, on the Big Ten…

… Right now sports is being subsidized by people who don’t care about it at all. In an a-la-carte world that no longer happens.

Then what? Then ESPN takes a bath, with sports leagues next on the chopping block. ESPN costs 6 bucks a month for a channel 20% of people are interested in; it will not cost thirty bucks a month in an a-la-carte world because a lot of people will forgo it. There’s only so much you can do by strong-arming customers in an environment where ten bucks a month gets you a virtually infinite pile of content. The people who don’t care will opt out.

This is why adding questionable fanbases to the Big Ten in the pursuit of short-term cable dollars was so incredibly foolish even beyond the deleterious effects of adding a bunch of games nobody in the world cares about. Every time I see someone hail Jim Delany as some kind of visionary I want to laugh/cry.

Give this a few years, and I suspect he’ll be far from alone.

11 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness, See You In Court