Category Archives: It’s All Just Made Up And Flagellant

Keep shooting the messenger.

If at first you don’t succeed in getting the evaluation you need to eviscerate your football program, try, try again.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has hired another sports consultant to produce a new study about the decision to cut football, bowling and rifle. If you’re keeping score at home, it’s the same firm that a UAB athletics task force initially decided not to pick.

UAB announced Monday that its task force has selected College Sports Solutions (CSS) to produce by May 15 what figures to be a highly-scrutinized report. Because the university dropped football, UAB’s future membership in Conference USA remains in doubt. Conference USA’s presidents meet shortly after the May 15 date the report is due.

Last month, CSS lost its bid to become UAB’s new consultant to review the work by previous consultant, CarrSports. UAB’s task force announced in early March the hiring of consultant OSKR after a unanimous vote.

But UAB’s administration cited perceived biases by OSKR because of articles written by its co-founder and eliminated the company from consideration. UAB owes OSKR $22,400 for work the firm did after initially getting approval, AL.com reported.

So the UAB administration overrode the task force’s decision, because Andy Schwarz had the temerity to note that the emperor had no clothes.

I guess the new guys know what they need to do.

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, It's Just Bidness

Auburn is all in on going deep.

Here’s a modest aspiration:

Auburn’s bold goal: At least eight completions of 30 yards or longer per game.

“We just firmly believe in that,” offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said. “We’ve got wide receivers who can go down the field. We have quarterbacks who can. It puts pressure on the defense.”

Added Johnson: “I’m a good deep-ball thrower. Once we build that chemistry on the field, it’s going to be fun to watch.”

Keep in mind that in 2014, Auburn completed all of 24 passes of 30+ yards.  If you’re counting on your fingers and toes, that’s less than two per game.  And that was one of the better marks in the SEC.

In case you’re wondering, Baylor led all of college football last season in completions of 30 or more yards last season, with 39.

In other words, this is either classic bullshit, or somebody’s in for a big letdown.  I know which way I’m voting.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant

Keep your chin up, kid.

University of Alabama Chancellor Robert Witt says that even though mistakes were made, embattled UAB President Ray Watts still has his undying support.

“There is no doubt that our governing structure and the synergies of UA, UAB and UAH are a point of tremendous pride for Alabama and a model for the nation.  It is extremely unfortunate that a vocal few would choose to disagree.”

And after reading the complete PR memo that laid out the plans to shut down UAB’s football program, I can see why Witt has his back.  After all, if college is about preparing students to deal with the real world, how much more of an education could UAB’s student-athletes get than this touching send off?

Make History, Show Your Heart: This will be a difficult transition, but it will demonstrate your ability to deal with hard times and show heart, work ethic, loyalty, and dedication. These are traits to be proud of and this is a story you will be able to share and benefit from in every job interview for the rest of your life. Take this opportunity to prove your ability to deal with a difficult situation and to help others through the same — something employers look for.

Yeah, making sure that somebody you interview for a job hire has the experience of suffering through a layoff in the form of a D-1 college football program being closed is the kind of thing 21st-century employers are seeking out in droves.  Especially in Alabama.

A model for the nation, indeed.

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Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, Life After Football

Who you gonna believe, me or those lying documents?

I’m not sure what I like best about this AP story on the UAB memos, that the university president thinks the old story line still works despite printed evidence to the contrary, or that the state legislator who’s calling for his head runs a Rivals Web site dedicated to UAB sports.

Either way, it’s quintessential Alabama.

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Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, Political Wankery, Whoa, oh, Alabama

At UAB, the fix was already in.

You will be shocked, shocked to learn that the decision to kill the UAB football program was made before the release of the report the school had hired a consulting firm to furnish.  Hell, it may have been made before the start of the 2014 season.

… according to documents obtained by AL.com, the decision to kill football and the other two programs may have been made prior to the start of the football season.

The documents show that public relations firm Sard Verbinnen & Co. prepared detailed plans for UAB to announce last September that it would eliminate the three programs, months before the school made the actual announcement.

The documents also show the school pushed back the announcement date until the conclusion of the football team’s regular season on the advice of both Sard Verbinnen and CarrSports.

The documents indicate that Watts misled his student-athletes, coaches, supporters, faculty members and others on at least three separate occasions in November and December when he said the decision to kill the three sports wasn’t made until November.

As appalling as flat-out lying may seem – really, when will bureaucrats ever learn the coverup is usually worse than the original story? – it’s the rationale expressed for delaying the decision until after the football season ended that’s really shameless.

That memo offers “our basis for opposing a mid-season announcement.” It suggests the potential for “a critical mass of immediate transfer requests … where students refuse to finish out the season” or “a full team boycott.”

“If not effectively managed,” the memo says, “it is conceivable that UAB would not be able to field a competitive team – or any team.”

The memo also suggests the possibility that UAB football players “may react very badly if an announcement is made during the season.”

In other words, don’t do it for the kids.

And this is just as bad.

Sard Verbinnen, the New York PR firm, advised UAB in September to “allow other tough decisions to set the stage” to announce the review’s results. For instance, the university announced last June that UAB Medicine Employees would not receive annual merit raises based on “profound shifts in healthcare.”

Sard Verbinnen advised UAB that “further isolating the athletic department’s results from others announced earlier in the season will also lessen the chances that the UAB lumps all ‘tough decisions’ together and concludes that the university is in financial duress.”

It just goes to show you can never have enough bad news to prime the pump.

So why go to all the trouble to mislead almost everyone with an interest in UAB athletics?  It can’t be political, can it?  Nah… just ask the PR folks.

Also, Sard Verbinnen advised to wait until after the University of Alabama’s Board of Trustees meeting in November to help mitigate “unwarranted speculation” that the decision was driven by the board. Many UAB supporters believe several powerful trustees with Crimson Tide ties, including Paul Bryant Jr., got football killed. The board oversees UAB.

“The strategic review required time and careful deliberation by the department and the community’s perception of it should not be compromised by the negative optics that could result if it were communicated in parallel with a Board of Trustee meeting,” Sard Verbinnen wrote.

Good to see that’s been avoided.

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Reason #28416 you shouldn’t believe their math

Auburn – you know, the Auburn that supposedly is losing money running its athletic department – is about to spend somewhere between $70 and $120 million upgrading Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Starting with a $14 million scoreboard.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant

“It all just creeps me out.”

It sounds like Lennay Kekua may have an imaginary cousin in Mississippi.

Kinda embarrassing for Hugh Freeze, eh?

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Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant