Category Archives: Academics? Academics.

Summertime, and the schoolin’ is easy

How it started ($$):

Brody Miller, LSU beat writer: The Arik Gilbert saga was a troubled one at LSU. Sources said he seemed unhappy once he arrived, which of course included a pandemic. There were academic issues, with LSU sources unsure he’d be eligible. Gilbert was the highest-rated tight end in 247Sports history, and he played like it, but by December he went to coach Ed Orgeron and informed him he was opting out for the final weeks of the season.

How it’s going:

Well played, Kirbs.

You know, if part of your job as a head coach is to keep your best players eligible, it seems like Coach O ought to get dinged a little in the coach ranking department.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Georgia Football

Today, in feel good stories

I will always love this sort of thing.

Forget about who’s getting paid and by whom.  Forget about postseason formats, or bloated conferences and scheduling.  College football is about the school and about getting that degree, no matter what it takes.  For me, that’s romantic amateurism.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Georgia Football

“… the whitest school in the SEC.”

You’ll be shocked, shocked to learn that there’s another academic scandal at, of all places, Auburn.  But, Auburn being Auburn, there’s so much more.

Thomas was the director of academic support services for Auburn football until March 1. That’s the day Auburn fired him. He is now suing Auburn for discrimination. A lawsuit against Auburn was delivered in Thomas’ name last Friday, and I was emailed a copy of the complaint on Monday.

It claims that Auburn discriminated against Thomas based on race and gender. Essentially, this is the case: a grade for a football player was apparently changed in December of 2019, and Thomas allegedly was fired for knowing about it, but his three superiors were not because they’re white women. The lawsuit also alleges that Thomas experienced a hostile work environment and unfair pressure because football players were making bad grades.

“I feel like a lot of this was done to sabotage my career and make sure I don’t get another job in athletics,” Thomas said.

The quote in the post header comes from my favorite part of the allegations in the lawsuit.

This lawsuit alleges that Thomas was the “token” Black guy of his department “to provide the illusion of racial and gender equality by Auburn University, and help Auburn defend itself against its criticized image as the whitest school in the SEC.”

… As for Auburn’s whiteness, well, it is indeed the whitest school in the SEC, according to U.S. News’ 2019 campus ethnic diversity rating system. Auburn scored a 0.27 with 1.0 being the highest possible score for diversity. That puts Auburn right there with BYU and the University of Charleston. I would argue that Ole Miss and Alabama historically have a whiter “criticized image” than Auburn, but that’s not really a debate anyone wins.

Oh, I disagree.  We’re all winners here, at least those of us on the outside looking in.

I just hope somebody asks Spurrier to update his observation about Auburn academics:

On a fire at the Auburn library that destroyed 20 books: “The real tragedy was that 15 hadn’t been colored yet.”

(h/t Lan4Dawg)


Filed under Academics? Academics., Auburn's Cast of Thousands

I got ‘yer bubble right here.

North Carolina, saying the quiet part out loud:

While the campus spikes are disconcerting, North Carolina has possibly paved a path to the most logical plan for universities seeking to compete in fall 2020: play and train on a campus without students.

Once thought of as impossible months ago—even some conference commissioners denouncing it—UNC football players are continuing on-campus preparations for the 2020 season while students are attending digital classes, many of them back home. During a news conference on Tuesday, coach Mack Brown even acknowledged the advantage of a campus without in-person classes. Most UNC football players were already enrolled in online-only classes, but now with students not bustling about, the bubble enveloping the Tar Heels has a better shot of remaining intact. “It helps us create a better seal and a better bubble around our program,” Brown said. “The NBA (bubble) model is working. They’ve had very few distractions.”

College leaders have taken notice of the happenings in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels have, maybe accidentally, acquired what many around college athletics believe is the only sure way to have a season. They’ve got themselves a real, live college bubble—the envy of the rest of the nation.

“What they’ve done is created a bubble,” says one athletic director whose team is still planning to play this fall. “If there is a positive, some of their coaches are probably like, ‘Thank you!’”

Let’s be honest here.  If the goal is, first and foremost, to protect college athletes, based on what we know presently, isolating them away from the general student body is the most prudent course of action.

Problem is, that’s not the most prudent course of action if the goal is, first and foremost, to protect college athletics’ business model.

Proponents of the plan view it as a harmless measure to potentially save an industry from financial ruin. Detractors see it as another example of big-money college executives treating athletes differently than they do regular students, more proof that football players should get a cut of the NCAA’s monetary pie. In the meantime, this is all unfolding during a pivotal time. NCAA leaders are clinging to the last vestiges of their amateur model in a fight on Capitol Hill over athlete compensation, encouraging Congress to pass a federal NIL bill that includes a host of player restrictions.

Ellen Zavian, a former NFL agent who is now a law professor at George Washington, believes the NCAA’s decades-old argument in legal fights—we treat student-athletes the same as students—will fall apart with schools sponsoring on-campus athletics with no in-person classes. “You ever hear the saying, ‘Your actions are so deafening that I can’t hear what you’re saying?’” says Zavian. “This will be used to say that schools are treating athletes like essential employees and they should be getting hazard pay.”

For this reason and others, college athletics officials and medical experts have spent most of the summer detailing the impracticality of a college bubble. It’s virtually implausible, they say. “You can’t bubble college athletes or cocoon them away like the (pros),” says Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease physician who sits on the NCAA COVID-19 advisory panel. It’s an easier endeavor to sequester paid athletes for months as opposed to unpaid amateurs, who exist in college campuses in the middle of college towns, both teaming with temptations…

Plus, optics.

But above all, a bubble is implausible in college for one reason. “When the students all come back to campus, there is no bubble, because they’ve got to go to class,” a team doctor told SI this summer. “If we’re going to move forward and say they are student-athletes, then they’ve got to go to class.”

But what if there are no in-person classes?

I’d like to see Mark Emmert try that move in his next testimony before Congress.


Filed under Academics? Academics., It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, The NCAA

The cartel takes another L.

The NCAA is probably sphinctering up today.

Screenshot_2020-08-05 Steve Berkowitz ( ByBerkowitz) Twitter

In practical terms, what does that mean?

Screenshot_2020-08-05 Roger Pielke Jr on Twitter The potential importance of the Alston case for college athletes via danie[...](1)

With the NCAA out of the picture, it’ll be up to each conference to set its own rules about education-related compensation.  Competition, in other words.

The NCAA is going to appeal, which means it’s taking the position that college athletes should be denied this opportunity.  Nice optics, guys.


UPDATE:  Get a load of this horseshit.

Screenshot_2020-08-05 Home Twitter


Filed under Academics? Academics., See You In Court, The NCAA


Some people don’t appreciate the concept of an athletic department being part of the academic experience.

The union representing professors at Rutgers is suing the university over a $100 million transfer to the athletics department. The news was first reported by Bloomberg.

The union is not suing to stop the transfer — that’s already been done. Rather, the union wants the university to disclose details and documents related its financial support of the Scarlet Knights’ athletics department. The union says the school has not responded to open records requests.

“The amounts are just staggering,” said Rutgers associate professor and chair of the union’s budget committee Andrew Goldstone. “We’ve known for years about the subsidy to athletics that comes out of student fees and general appropriations from the university. That makes less and less sense in the era of COVID, when the athletics program will have an even harder time getting to the break-even point.

“But then there’s this loan book, which they call ‘internal debt,’ that ballooned from $45.4 million to $121.5 million in a single year. And the university refuses to release any information about it: where the money came from, whether there’s an interest rate, when it will be repaid, if it will ever be repaid, and, above all, what on earth they’re spending $76 million on.”

Why so glum, chum?

The university has laid off 20 percent of its adjunct faculty, applied furloughs to some remaining faculty and has declared a fiscal emergency in response to the covid-19 pandemic.

Yeah, that would do it.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Big Ten Football

Pretzel logic


First thought:

Second thought:  along those lines, I’m trying to understand the logic of thinking “it’s not safe for students to come back to campus after a week at home” and also thinking “… unless they’re football players”.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

In loco parentis

As a mom or dad of a college student, nothing would reassure me more than knowing **checks notes** college presidents tell Vice President Pence that being shielded from lawsuits if students get sick would make them likelier to physically reopen their campuses.


Filed under Academics? Academics.

But muh calculus

Don’t want a tough academic experience?  At Georgia Tech, you can do that!

Killer re-branding, fellas.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Georgia Tech Football

Jim Harbaugh’s open letter

I suspect a lot of you are going to like this.


Two problems:  one, it requires the cooperation of the NFL, which is probably a non-starter.  Second, it makes way too much sense for the NCAA to accept.

Other than that, it’s perfect.


Filed under Academics? Academics., College Football, Heard About Harbaugh?, The NCAA, The NFL Is Your Friend.