Category Archives: It’s Just Bidness

‘If you want me to come, you have to invest…’

More evidence that if you distort the compensation you pay in the labor market, the money will just flow elsewhere:

The emergence of such princely salaries for non-head coaches at the pro and collegiate levels coincides with the vast sums flowing to sports in recent years. The N.C.A.A. men’s basketball tournament, for example, has taken in $740 million a year in TV revenue since 2011, up from $500 million a year from 2001-10, and the other major sports have seen similar rises.

… The lucrative assistant coaching market helps explain why Steve Kauffman of Kauffman Sports Management Group in Malibu, Calif., who was Payne’s agent as a player, has shifted his agency’s specialization to coaches and front-office personnel. But another factor in the agency’s shift, and in coach salary inflation, is, ironically, the player salary cap in the N.B.A.

N.B.A. teams must limit what they pay players, but there is no cap for everything else. Thus, teams can pay assistant coaches as much as they want, and have as many as they want. Mr. Kauffman pointed to the Charlotte Hornets, where his clients are the head coach, Steve Clifford, and three of the Hornets’ six assistant coaches, including the Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing. In another era, the bench would not be the place for such a star, but with salaries averaging about $800,000 for top assistants, it’s a good place to be.

“It might seem like a lot to have six or seven assistants for a team of 12 guys, but players can expect personal attention these days,” said Mr. Kauffman, noting that paying a six-figure salary for an assistant to help protect a billion-dollar investment — which a sports team often is these days — is not a lot.

He said that last year the Hornets hired the former all-star shooter Mark Price, now the coach at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, primarily to help Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a star who makes $13 million a year, reform his jump shot. “It has made the market for assistant coaches who have a reputation all the more lucrative.”

This is what ownership means when it says it doesn’t have the resources to compensate players for their fair market value.  It’s not that the money isn’t there.  It’s that they don’t want to spend it that way.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness

Saturday morning buffet

Have a little something…

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Big Ten Football, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, SEC Football, See You In Court, Stats Geek!

“This is a game of skill…”

Here’s something that may be worth keeping an eye on:  in a world that’s grown increasingly hostile to the fantasy sports business model, a bill introduced in the Georgia legislature is proposing to swim against the tide.

Unterman called the legislation a “consumer protection” effort, saying an estimated 1.5 million people play daily fantasy sports in Georgia.

Notably, she wrote the bill to differentiate daily fantasy sports from gambling — something Georgia bans other than in lottery games and slot-like machines known as coin-operated amusement machines.

“This is a game of skill, that you are actually following and researching the players and teams, versus just going in and plopping down $3 for a lottery ticket and the computer generates the numbers,” Unterman said…

Okay, you can stop chuckling now.  The idea that fantasy sports is more a game of skill than, say, poker is… well, laughable.

But what I really wonder about here is pretty simple.  With the NCAA and the conferences on the warpath about fantasy sports and their track record for making public gestures, could we be looking at a situation where there are repercussions in states that welcome fantasy sports?  Eh, probably not.

I mean, let’s face it.  Georgia is looking at regulation because there’s a little money in it for the state (

Still, at least for now, we’re in the Bible Belt.  It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the bill and, if it passes and is signed into law, what kind of response it’ll generate.

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

Picking up the check

It’s not exactly a shock that Georgia’s on the hook for a fair amount of change with the dismissal of Mark Richt and his staff.  $6.2 million is the cost of doing business in today’s SEC.

The fun occurs when you break down that number.  Particularly with one Jeremy Pruitt.

UGA’s employment agreements with assistant coaches call for them to be paid through June 30 of the current year unless they have a multiyear agreement. Georgia then agrees to make up the difference if the coaches’ new jobs pay less…

… Pruitt, who is now defensive coordinator at Alabama, had two years remaining on their three-year contracts. So their monies will be paid over the remaining term, according to Andy Platt, the athletic association’s chief financial officer. That’s … $600,000 total for Pruitt, records show.

But wait, you say.  Jeremy Pruitt’s gone to work for the Rolls Royce of college football programs, in the same position he occupied at Georgia.  How is it possible that Georgia owes him money?

Likewise, it appears Pruitt is scheduled to make $1 million a year as Alabama’s new defensive coordinator. He succeeds Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, who made $1.5 million last year in the same role for the Crimson Tide. Pruitt made $1.3 million as the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator last season.

Pruitt took a pay cut to work for Saban, except it’s not really a pay cut, thanks to the generosity of Greg McGarity.  I bet Pruitt smiles every time that deposit shows up in his checking account.

Hell, I’m a little surprised he didn’t agree to work for less.

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

If you price it, they will come.

And here we go.

A gift from University of Georgia swimming letterman and Atlanta philanthropist Tom Cousins has permanently endowed the UGA head baseball coaching position according to a joint announcement by UGA J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity and the Cousins family.

The position bears the name of Cousins’ father, Ike, a three-sport athlete, including baseball, at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta.

It is the first endowed head coaching position at UGA and will be known as the Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach.

The Director of Athletics position was endowed in 2013 by John and Kay Parker of Athens.

In that spirit, I’d like to announce a program here at GTP to raise enough money to endow the Dawgs’ head football coaching position.  I think “Senator Blutarsky Head Football Coach” Kirby Smart has one helluva ring to it, no?

My friends, please join me in this noble effort.  Every dollar counts.

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UPDATE:  There’s gold in them ‘thar names, folks!

According to UGA Athletic Director Greg McGarity, the Bulldogs have already exceeded their goal of raising half of the $30 million needed to pay for the 109,000-square-foot building, which has been under construction since mid-December.

“We’re edging up on $16 million,” McGarity said this past week. “So we’ve already exceeded our goal and we still have two big naming opportunities for the field and for the facility itself. … The challenge now is to fund the whole thing since we’ve accomplished what we’ve accomplished, which is a lot in a short time.”

At some point in time, McGarity’s gonna eliminate the middleman and sell the name for the reserve fund.

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

Supply and demand

Why do so many college football players leave early for the NFL in the face of poor odds for many of them?  Here’s one theory.

Gil Brandt, a longtime N.F.L. personnel expert who writes for NFL.com, attributed the trend partly to the yawning gap between the number of draft spots — 256, spanning seven rounds — and the more than 800 agents registered by the N.F.L. Players Association.

Referring to agents, Brandt said, “They go to these younger guys and they explain they’ve ‘seen the draft’ — that’s the words they use — and, ‘You’re going to be picked in the second round.’ ” (N.C.A.A. rules technically bar agents from contacting players who are not in the draft; Brandt suggested agents sometimes find ways to communicate.)

Brandt added, “I wish someone would show me the draft, so that I wouldn’t have to spend all this time working on it.”

Logic would suggest that instead of advocating the withholding of information from kids and restricting access to agents, schools and the NCAA might think about coming up with a process that would give student-athletes the opportunity to make a realistic assessment of their future.  Then again, I’m not the guy who just got a three-year contract extension from the NCAA’s board of governors, so what do I know?

8 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

You don’t stay rich spending your own money.

Sheldon Adelson proposes building a $1.2 billion domed stadium for UNLV football, requiring a mere two-thirds of the cost to be covered through public funding.

Hey, it never hurts to ask, right?

According the 22-page presentation, legislative action would be required to establish a budget and funding formula for the public financing. Lawmakers would need to authorize creation of a Stadium Authority Board to oversee the 42-acre site.

Enabling legislation for a “fee”-based source of public revenue is required for the $780 million in public money.

Putting fee in quote marks is a nice touch.  They’re dumbasses if they agree to it, but being dumb is what makes politics go ’round, so I wouldn’t bet against it.

7 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery