Category Archives: Big Ten Football

Mighty touchy, ain’t we?

The latest recruiting fooferaw involves a quarterback from Illinois neither you nor I likely would have ever heard of, except for (1) he received an offer from UGA and (2) that offer set in motion a bizarre chain of events… well, maybe more curious than bizarre.

The story begins with the offer, and the kid’s polite acknowledgement.

From there, the going gets weird.  Wisconsin, which held his commitment, didn’t take kindly to the news.

There’s a giant “wait, wut?” trying to emerge here.  Surely Wisconsin wouldn’t yank an accepted offer merely because another school offered, would it?

Oh, yes, it would.  And don’t call it Shirley.

Understand, this was unsolicited.  There was no visit planned.  No talk about keeping options open, let alone jumping ship.  It wasn’t even his second offer.

This is the Johnson Doctrine on steroids.  Or it’s the move of a program that grabbed the first shabby excuse it could get its hands on to jettison a recruit in favor of a better option.  (“Honestly, communication with UW and my feeling of being a part of ‘the family’ has been subpart at times and during several visits,” is a pretty good hint Wisconsin lost its loving feeling.)  Either way, you’d have to expect this little story is about to become weaponized on the recruiting trail.  With good reason.

By the way, young man, you’ve done nothing to beat yourself up over.  Better luck with your next college choice.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, Georgia Football, Recruiting

Virtue is its own reward.

Man, the educating young minds the conference broadcast business is kicking some righteous ass these days.

Big Ten Conference commissioner Jim Delany is set to receive more than $20 million in future bonus payments, according to information in the conference’s new federal tax return and a comparison of that document to prior years’ returns.

Yep, everybody’s going broke.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness

Today, in headers

Somebody thinks he’s pretty clever.

12 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

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