Category Archives: Big Ten Football

Let’s play two!

Apparently, almost every human being in the state of Maryland had better things to do yesterday than watch a spring practice game.

https://twitter.com/SBNationCFB/status/856186152352595969

Remember, Jim Delany had to have this program to grow the Big Ten Network with more eyeballs.

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Filed under Big Ten Football

Bert’s all about doing it for the kids.

I’ve discussed the strategy behind the NCAA’s Proposal No. 2016-116, a package of rules changes designed to temper some of the flaws in the recruiting process, at least as the NCAA Division I board of directors sees it.  The hope is that there’s enough in the package that’s acceptable to coaches, such as adding a tenth staffer, to offset what’s less palatable.

Judging from this, that may be a tough balancing act.

The conferences appear to have found consensus on all of the above — except for adding April-June official visits. The Southeastern Conference and other leagues in the South are reluctant to sign off on the change.

They have proposed an amendment that would limit spring official visits to April, a month already congested by ACT exams and Easter. There’s almost no way a prospect could use all five of his official visits in April.

It’s easy for prospects from, say, Atlanta, to take unofficial visits to Georgia, Auburn, Alabama and ACC schools such as Georgia Tech and Clemson in the spring. Not so much to Penn State and Nebraska, especially if the prospect and his family have limited means and cannot afford to fly.

“It’s like Trump,” one Big Ten official said. “Except the SEC wants to build a giant wall around the Southeast.”

The SEC’s justification for its stance is what really has Big Ten coaches steaming — academics.

“It’s a joke,” one Big Ten coach said.

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, in an interview with the Tribune, said it’s no joke.

“The North wants recruiting and signing day to move up,” he said. “I get it. But on the same account, you’d have kids potentially not focusing on getting good grades to end the school year, and to me that’s really dangerous.”

Fake unctuousness from Bret Bielema?  Why, Miz Scarlett, I nevah.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., Bert... uh... Bret Bielema, Big Ten Football, Georgia Football, SEC Football

Friday night fights

To tell you the truth, I’m surprised there are issues to which Jim Delany will take no for an answer.  At least for now, anyway.

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Filed under Big Ten Football

The Rutgers Way

Meet the Bizarro Butts-Mehre.

All of which brings us to the athletic department’s 2016 financial report to the N.C.A.A. The Star-Ledger obtained this document recently; it showed a blood-red deficit of $28.6 million. The 64-page report had a one-line notation: “Other Operating Revenue: $10,495,912.”

It turned out that the university bank quietly lent $10.5 million to the athletic department to keep it afloat and pay severance costs for expensive and failed coaches. That loan came weighted with an interest rate of 5.75 percent; the cost of repaying it will run north of $18 million, according to university documents.

Rutgers also diverted $11 million in student fees and $17.1 million from its general fund to cover the athletic shortfall. The average undergraduate now pays more than $300 in activities fees exclusively for the university’s N.C.A.A. teams…

Late last month, I requested an interview with the athletic director, Patrick Hobbs. A day later, I also asked to speak with the president, Robert Barchi. These requests were met with silence.

On Thursday, I asked again, and a spokeswoman offered an off-the-record interview with Hobbs. I declined. An email statement soon arrived, saying in part, “Rutgers Athletics will be in a position to generate a positive cash flow for the university after we receive our full share of Big Ten revenues in 2021.”

Let me translate: That the athletic department has been run with no regard for sound financial practice is a trifle. Soon enough, piles of dough from the Big Ten’s billion-dollar-plus television contract will be deposited on the front steps of the athletic department. Its take could amount to $40 million.

This is like handing Jesse James the keys to Fort Knox.

Yeah, Jim Delany sure can pick ’em.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness

Making Friday nights great again

I’m not sure how this proposed law would work, since the schools don’t control conference scheduling…

… but if somehow it leads to Jim Delany’s arrest one day, I’m down with it.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, Political Wankery

“I won’t be up here freezing my ass off, so y’all enjoy the winter.”

Tracy Claeys’ parting shot after being fired by Minnesota for doing something really, really stupid.

At least it’s more coherent than what the athletic director had to say.

… When the players launched their boycott two days later, Claeys tweeted: “Have never been more proud of our kids. I respect their rights & support their effort to make a better world!”

Asked what impact that tweet had on his decision, Coyle said, “This isn’t about one specific incident. … I think the events over the past few weeks underscored the concerns and some of the things I’ve been seeing in that program.”

Coyle pledged a better image for Gophers athletics when he took office June 1. For the past year, the department’s troubles have often overshadowed sports success.

The men’s basketball team suspended three players last spring when a sex video was posted to a player’s social media account. Another player was suspended this summer while the university investigated a sexual assault allegation. A drug problem permeated the wrestling program, resulting in the firing of a longtime coach. The year before, Coyle’s predecessor, Norwood Teague, resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.

“We have teams winning the Big Ten Conference championships, teams going to the Final Four, and we are not talking about those things,” Coyle said.

“What I am trying to do is to build a culture of excellence. I’m trying to build a department,” he added.

He wants to find a head coach who “embraces what Minnesota is all about”.  Presumably, that involves using Twitter more responsibly.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, Social Media Is The Devil's Playground

Yeah, but have you seen the ratings lately?

Jim Delany’s decision to enlarge the Big Ten Network’s viewership footprint invite Rutgers into the Big Ten looks buttah and buttah with each passing day.

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Filed under Big Ten Football