Category Archives: It’s Just Bidness

Don’t even think about leaving.

The buyout provisions of Major Applewhite’s first contract with Houston are something to behold.

If Houston were to fire Applewhite, the school would owe him the base salary — $650,000 — for each year remaining on the deal. But if Applewhite were to leave, he would owe the full $1.5 million — that’s his base salary plus “non-salary compensation” — for every year remaining on the deal plus any buyouts owed to assistant coaches not retained by the new head coach.

Hell’s bells, no wonder Junior’s not coaching there.

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You can go home again.

At least if you aspire to being a P5 athletic director, according to Andrea Adelson.  What’s the key attraction from the school’s perspective?  C’mon, dog.

But in these specific cases, it’s completely understandable why so many of these programs opted for somebody with long-standing ties. Especially since an athletic director’s job increasingly relies on fundraising and tapping into the community and alums for more and more support.

It has worked for Miami. James got his very first job working in ticket sales at Miami. Before he was elevated to athletic director, Miami went through two athletic directors over a four-year span. Now, the Hurricanes have much-needed stability at the top.

In the end, that’s what any athletic department wants. Someone familiar with the fabric of a university’s culture may be better suited for the job.

Shakin’ the money loose.  It’s Job One.

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Are Sanford Stadium improvements a zero-sum game?

Bulldog Illustrated asks the musical questions,

It all depends on one’s perspective. On the one hand, there is indeed an issue with long lines at the facilities on game day at Sanford on the north side, and by half-time or the end of the game, the conditions in the restrooms are not the most pleasant. So fans do have a point here. Then on the other hand, the football team has been in need of new locker rooms for a while now and that along with having an area to host recruiting prospects on game day at the stadium will help the football program in the recruiting war. Infusing more talent into the football team’s roster and the ability to keep recruiting at a high level to keep the rosters stocked with talent is part of the recipe for a championship program.

And it’s not like fans are not happy to hear about and see the renovations, but the question is why cannot both needs be addressed? We would like to hear your thoughts and opinions. Are you happy with the proposed renovations? Would you rather the north side facilities be addressed first?

Why, indeed, can’t both needs be addressed at the same time?  It’s certainly not a matter of resources.  The athletic department is awash in money and donors have repeatedly stepped up to the plate to provide additional funds for major capital projects like the JPMIPF™.  You would also think there would be certain efficiencies to be gained by having a general contractor work on both projects together, rather than at separate times.

Is it a matter of not feeling confident about walking and chewing gum at the same time, that B-M can only focus on one stadium job at a time?  (Given that this is the same bunch who couldn’t keep track of a condom provision in a rapper’s contract, don’t be so quick to dismiss the possibility.)  Does McGarity think there’s a financial advantage in spreading the work out, that maybe donors will contribute more generously if the requests for contributions are spaced in time?  That’s certainly an issue to which he can bring laser-like focus.

Or is there really no choice at all here, and the notion of upgrading the facilities on the north side of the stadium merely a pipe dream of the fan base as opposed to an item on the B-M to-do list?  I know what Occam’s Razor suggests.

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

Butts-Mehre is a money raising operation that happens to control a football program.

Georgia’s new IPF — or, as we choose to refer to it around these parts, the JPMIPF™ — was given its formal introduction to the masses yesterday and the school’s powers that be took the opportunity to make mention of the athletic department’s next big thing.

The University of Georgia Athletic Association is pleased to present details on a major enhancement to the west end zone of Sanford Stadium.

The project covers 120,000 total square feet of new and improved space. These enhancements include a new home locker room for the Bulldogs, a space to host and entertain prospects on game day, improvements to restroom and concession areas below the bridge, and a new scoreboard and upper plaza. The project is expected to take approximately 17 months to complete and is estimated to cost $63 million. When completed prior to the 2018 season, the west end zone expansion will have a transformational impact on Sanford Stadium.

It won’t have a transformational inpact on the reserve fund, though.  That’s because Morehead and McGarity plan on sticking with what works.

The athletic board approved a $10 million request that will come from athletic reserves. The other $53 million will come through fundraising over two or three years. The board approved using a line of credit during fiscal year 2018 to help pay for the project…

Morehead said Georgia, which had $67 million in reserves at the end of the fiscal year 2016, is one of the most financially sound athletic programs in the nation and cautioned that he will be hesitant to support more facility projects anytime soon.

“We are going to be extremely careful moving forward while we are in this fundraising initiatives until the pledges and payments are coming in,” he said.

He asked the athletic board to “help us stay focused on the donor prospects and energy and excitement to raise the funds to make this success.

“I have news for you in the next few years, there will be something else with respect to football or one of our other athletic programs,” he said. “I am absolutely committed for our athletic director and our head football coach as they make the case for this project (in fundraising).”

McGarity said Georgia has just “scratched the surface” in fund raising.

“We have 16,000 season ticket holders,” McGarity said. “There’s naming facilities (in the indoor facility) as well as in these new areas. I think there’s tremendous upside for maybe a once in a lifetime chance for naming opportunities that are going to be available in Sanford Stadium.”

He sounds more excited about naming opportunities than winning SEC championships.  Maybe he should be — Chip Towers reports that word is they already have nearly $10 million of their $50+ million goal after donors stepped up past the goal of $31 million for the IAF.

Keeping in mind that pledges from the some 475 members of Georgia’s Magill Society have exceeded $36 million, it’s easy to see where the athletic department’s priorities are focused.  No wonder they just brought this guy on board; he’s gonna be a busy dude just taking care of the (almost) 500.

It’s a great thing they’ve got a football program that inspires passion among the fan base that can be financially tapped as needed.  It’s almost like if they didn’t, they’d have to invent it.  Best of all with this business model, championships appear to be optional.

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

Today, in money

There appears to be a growing revenue gap that threatens to widen the divide — not between the haves and have nots, but between the haves and haves.  Jon Wilner lays it out:

Fiscal year 2015 school distributions (all figures confirmed):

SEC: $32.7 million
Big Ten: $32.4 million
Pac-12: $25.1 million

Fiscal year 2016 school distributions

SEC: $40 million (confirmed)
Big Ten: $35 million (approximate)
Pac-12: $27 million (approximate)

That looks bad … that is bad … but it’s about to get much worse for the Pac-12.

Remember: The Big Ten’s new Tier 1 deal begins in 2017-18, and it’s also a whopper, averaging $440 million per year.

Which brings us to …

Fiscal year 2017-18 school distributions …

Big Ten: $45 million (estimate)
SEC: $43 million (estimate)
Pac-12: $31 million (estimate)

Yeah, I can see how that would be perceived as a problem.  And the problem isn’t exclusive to the Pac-12; it extends similarly to the ACC and Big 12.

All of which has led to some understandable back patting.

Props to Jim Delany for riding the television spending tidal wave like a Los Angeles weed dealer with a surfing hobby. The B1G is in prime position to loot the jewels from the Big 12’s vault whenever that ponzi scheme collapses.

However, it might be worth considering the possibility of more than one ponzi scheme out there.

Walt Disney Co.’s struggles with ESPN took center stage again Tuesday as the entertainment giant blamed falling viewership and advertising for lower sales and profit.

Revenue at the Burbank, California-based company shrank 3 percent to $14.8 billion in the first quarter ended Dec. 31, Disney said Tuesday in a statement. That missed the $15.3 billion average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

A decline in profit at ESPN, which had fewer college bowl games and lower viewership, dragged down results in cable TV — which is by far Disney’s largest business. With the highest subscriber rates in pay TV, Disney’s sports network is especially at risk of losing revenue as cable audiences cancel subscriptions for online services or sign up for so-called skinny bundles that don’t play up sports programming.

Disney also blamed higher programming costs at ESPN…

Oh, I’m sure it’ll work out.  Delany and Sankey aren’t considered geniuses for nothing, right?

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Filed under College Football, ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness

False economy

The state of amateurism in a nutshell — you can’t pay student-athletes, so you sink $30 million into an indoor practice facility to give recruits goosebumps instead.

“The indoor facility being finished when it did, timed up just right for some recruiting momentum. We had 10-12 guys in over the last couple of weekends (on visits). The ‘oh’s’ and ‘ah’s’ for getting to see that space? And utilize that space? It’s been really a big advantage for us, that we were able to sell.”

I’d say only in America, but in reality, in any other sector of the American economy, the free market would be doing its usual efficient thing of getting resources directly into the hands of the people whose services were being used.

At least that frees up more money to hire support staff.  So there’s that.

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I’d like to accept this award on behalf of the reserve fund.

Booch can keep his championship of life trophy.  Greg McGarity has the best championship of all, bitchez.

The Southeastern Conference continued flexing — and growing — its financial muscle, showing revenue of $639 million during its 2016 fiscal year, according to its new federal tax return.

The return, provided to USA TODAY Sports by the conference on Thursday, showed that the distributions to its 14 members schools ranged from $41.9 million for the University of Georgia to $39.1 million for Alabama and Mississippi.

Yeah!  Your Process didn’t win that, Tuscaloosa.

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football