Category Archives: It’s Just Bidness

The suspend isn’t killing me.

Here’s what an NFL coach had to say about his impression of Todd Gurley at the Combine:

“He is a natural leader. Of course, we’ve all seen him play. But he is better in person than anything I’ve seen or read from afar. That kind of person stands out. Some team is going to rightly give him every chance to get well and be as great as he can be.”

Yeah, that whole autograph thing really seems to have set him back at the next level.

The NFL doesn’t care about players making money – at least if it’s not on the NFL’s own dime.  Manziel was a first-round pick.  If not for the injury, Gurley would be a slam dunk first-rounder, too.  (He may still wind up there, even so.)  The pros just care if you can play.  Which is why the Gurleys and Manziels of the college football world get paid under the table.  Talk about your vicious circle.  Good luck with that, NCAA.

39 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Why they pay him the big bucks.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby made about $2.5 million in total compensation last year.  The amount of money doesn’t really bother me;  in the context of what CEOs make these days, that amount doesn’t strike me as being out of line for someone running an operation that’s returning almost $20 million a year to each of his bosses.

But I do have a question.  What’s he being paid for?  He’s running a sports league.  His job requires that he manage the organization of the conference, but, let’s face it, what he’s being paid for is to maximize that revenue stream.  That’s what the TV contracts, conference expansion and input into the CFP are all about (okay, maybe he didn’t do such a bang up job in the last department).

You know what Bowlsby isn’t paid for?  He’s not paid for academics.  He doesn’t teach.  He doesn’t set curriculums.  He doesn’t decide what priorities a given member school sets in how it allocates its academic budget, even. Nor does he lobby a state government or a board of regents for resources.

He runs a sports league.  He cuts deals to make money.  That’s basically it.

So why does anyone care what the likes of Bob Bowlsby or Jim Delany has to say about the academic experience of freshman athletes?  The answer is, that’s only relevant in so far as how it affects their primary responsibility. It’s a means to an end, nothing more.

3 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., It's Just Bidness

Shoot, the messenger

I’m sorry, but I can’t help but chuckle about the hope some of you have that this time the schools are serious about academics in pursuing the pipe dream of reinstating freshman ineligibility for football and basketball players. Why is that funny?  Because it depends upon believing people like Jim Delany.  You know, the guy who once said we’d have a college football playoff over his dead body.  The guy who once said that if the NCAA lost the O’Bannon case, the Big Ten would have no choice but to explore turning to a Division III model.

A guy who’s full of shit when the need arises, in other words.

The thing is, he’s not even bothering to bluff this time.

“We’re sort of on the clock, is the way a lot of us look at it,” Delany said in a recent interview with the Big Ten Network. “We’ve got a lot of litigation challenging intercollegiate athletics, we’ve got congressional interest and we have public skepticism. What we want to do is drive the message that education is first, athletics is second, even though these are the two most popular sports commercially.”  [Emphasis added.]

Got that?  This isn’t about serious academic reform.  It’s about optics with the public and having a sales pitch for the courts and the feds.  That’s all.

Delany as the front man is pretty amusing, too, when you get down to it.

And yet Delany is also more responsible than any other college athletics figure of the past 30 years in commercializing those sports. He annexed Penn State in the early ’90s, touching off the first massive TV-driven realignment wave. He started the influential and money-printing Big Ten Network. He touched off Realignment Mania II five years ago when the league began hunting for a 12th member that eventually became Nebraska, and then he took it to another degree with his conference’s East Coast push.

You know what would really help Rutgers’ basketball players focus on academics? Not having to travel to Iowa City in the middle of the week for a conference game, as they did last week.

Ah, c’mon.  They could always study on the plane, right?

11 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Tuesday morning buffet

A little snow, a little buffet…

129 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Big Ten Football, Fall and Rise of Bobby Petrino, Georgia Football, Georgia Southern Football, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, Science Marches Onward, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Sixty-eight commercials.

Just remember, when you hear worries that the average college football game is getting too long, that’s not a concern for the fans.  It’s a concern for the broadcasters.  And they’re the last people who are going to sacrifice.

23 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Beyond their wildest dreams

South Carolina AD Ray Tanner predicts the SEC Network, in its first year of operation, will distribute at least $5 million dollars to each conference school.

To put that in perspective,

… back in 2013 (six years after the launch of the Big Ten Network), Big Ten schools received $7.6 million apiece from the network.

Enjoy those noon starts, SEC fans.  They ain’t going away any time soon.

8 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Worth their while

Why the Kickoff Classic in Atlanta instead of another home game in 2016?

Do you really have to ask?

Georgia will get a $4 million guarantee for playing North Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in 2016 as well as complimentary hotel accommodations and $50,000 in a scholarship donation back to the university, according to a term sheet for the game obtained from UGA in an open records request.

And most of us will have the privilege of paying more for tickets.  A lot more.

The school will get 42,921 tickets for the game from Peach Bowl, Inc., ranging in price from $50 for student seats to $205 for a “super suite” ticket. More than 23,000 tickets are priced at $85 on the upper level.

Kinda feels traditional, doesn’t it?

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UPDATE:  Ticket price breakdown.

52 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness