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

Neither fish nor fowl

Man, I love this smack.

… Lupoi then linked up with Saban at Alabama and started out as what Saban called a “recruiting intern.” It wasn’t long before he started paying off, bringing in the top recruiting class of 2016. Sarkisian was the top storyline of Alabama’s postseason meeting with Washington, yet it was Lupoi who was responsible for segments of the rosters of both College Football Playoff semifinalists last year. He also oversaw the recruitment of 2017’s No. 1 overall prospect Najee Harris and had a hand in bringing many of that top-ranked class’s best players. Cal reportedly almost hired him back as defensive coordinator this offseason, but he ultimately turned them down. They probably couldn’t have paid him $950,000.

Lupoi is certainly one of the best in the nation at his job, but his hefty raise also crystallizes a lot of what makes the NCAA scam so gross. Legislators arguing that paying athletes will cost them money, rich university presidents defending the sanctity of the “student athlete” model, and athletic directors flailing desperately to cling to their cushy gigs in the multi-billion dollar NCAA pyramid scheme are all perfectly illustrative examples of the sham of amateurism, but nothing feels as direct as a linebackers coach raking in nearly $1 million to convince high school athletes to come work for free at Alabama.

Now, before you get all riled up and say “amateurism sux”, you might want to hear Bob Bowlsby’s latest spin on college athletics’ employment structure.  It’s a real beaut.

One of major-college sports’ leading voices on Monday provided a different answer to the hotly debated question of the connection between college athletes and amateurism.

Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby told the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics: “I don’t think they’re amateurs. They’re college athletes.”

Bowlsby declined to get into a detailed discussion of how he defines pros and amateurs.

“I’m not going to get into that,” he said. “You could write a book on that. But the professionals are being paid and amateurs are doing it for the love of the game. And both of those are different than the college athletic environment. …

“We typically categorize athletes as professionals or amateurs, right? And I don’t think (college athletes) are either. I think it’s a complete(ly) different genre of its own. Doesn’t exist anyplace else in the world where higher education and sports participation are linked, are co-curricular — and that makes it different.”

The NCAA’s next promotional campaign writes itself, doesn’t it?  “College athletics, brought to you by the NCAA — it’s just different.”

Even these guys know there’s too much money swirling around now to justify the romanticism of amateurism anymore.

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Playing for the love of the game, not for a paycheck…

Gawd, I love these guys’ bullshit(h/t)

“I think if we move toward true pay for play, if we give students money over and above that which reimburses them for their costs, then you kill the goose that’s laying the golden eggs,” says IU Athletics Director Fred Glass. “You take away the special sauce out of sports … I think you lose the magic of sports.”

In the end, Luck says he doesn’t foresee the NCAA moving away from their core values.

“Because those values, in my mind, are somewhat timeless, I think they’ll be around a long, long time,” he says. “I think if you take a [look] back at college athletics over the last 145 or 146 years, I think most folks would say it’s been a force for good in this country.”

If the special sauce is so tasty, why don’t they ever suggest serving it with their coaches and administrators, too?  Don’t those folks love the game as much as the players do?

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UPDATE:  Here’s another perspective on that love.

“While I was at Clemson, I was one of those guys who thought totally different from the other guys around me. I wasn’t your typical athlete. I found myself more aware of other things that were going on behind the scenes. I could see how they [the NCAA] would cover things up, while also telling us that we’re privileged and we’re blessed because we have a scholarship. Even though it’s true that I was blessed, I viewed playing football as an investment. When you have schools that are spending $20,000 and more each year to get players on campus, but are bringing in $17,000,000 in a bowl game, it starts to devalue the scholarship.”

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When Nick met Jesse

This may be your ultimate “doesn’t have time for this shit” moment.

The coach said the visit reminded him of a conversation he once had with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who spoke at LSU at Saban’s request when he coached there. “He said, ‘You know, Nick, your stadium, Tiger Stadium at the time, on a Saturday night is closer to the Kingdom of God than my church,”’ Saban said. “I looked at him like come on, man, you’ve got to be kidding me. First of all, if you’ve ever been to a game at LSU, you can smell the bourbon from the 50-yard line. Everybody celebrates life. Everybody has a party out there.”

Bullshit detector:  on.

LSU football:  getting closer to Gawd with booze.

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“… just a fact of life in college football.”

Tony, the problem isn’t our naiveté.  It’s that we’re being asked to swallow the notion of coaches jumping ship after signing day as a matter of routine while at the same time having the issue of player transfers presented as a threat to the American way of life.

I think the word you’re looking for is hypocrisy.

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

(No) mo’ money

College football is broke.  The state of Louisiana is broke.  LSU is broke.

So it makes complete sense that Dave Aranda is now the highest paid assistant in college football.

Gee, it’s almost as if somebody’s lying to us.

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Band of brothers

You may have heard that an Oklahoma player has left the team in mid-season and announced plans to begin preparation for the NFL draft.  While I’m not here to condone his decision, I can’t help but roll my eyes about Mike Stoops’ righteous indignation over it.

“Quitting on your teammates is hard to take, as a coach,” Mike Stoops said. “That’s everything we stand for — our commitment to one another and, for whatever reason, that wasn’t there for him…”

This, from a guy who once played as a scab when NFL players went on strike and when criticized for doing it, responded by saying, “I don’t give a damn what they think. I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody, and deep down, I think they know that. But if they feel that way, fine, don’t ever talk to me again”.

Is there a more consistently followed coaching mantra than do as I say, not as I do?

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It’s not easy being a control freak.

You know, I don’t doubt this story for a minute.

“Well, the day I landed in Miami and went to the first press conference,” Saban said. “I started to realize the difference between the NFL then and what the NFL was like before when I was in it with Bill Belichick from 1991-94 in Cleveland, before we had free agency, before the media had infiltrated sorta everything that was happening. I guess right then.”

Saban left LSU to coach the Dolphins in 2004. He stayed two seasons before famously leaving for Alabama in January 2007.

There was a second Miami moment that drove him the need for change. The well-documented story of Drew Brees failing his physical with the Dolphins was discussed. Of course Brees went on to win a Super Bowl and Miami signed Daunte Culpepper.

It didn’t work.

“When that happened, I said I can’t control my destiny here,” Saban said. “I can’t control my destiny here. There’s too many things that, no matter how hard I work or no matter what I do, I can control my destiny better in college by working hard and making good choices and decisions and creating a good program for players. I think that happening made me lean back to coming back to college.”

Of course, that makes these denials even more bullshit now than they already were, but what the hey, as long as Saban’s happy it’s all good, right?

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