Category Archives: It’s Just Bidness

The next wrinkle in conference expansion?

There may be gold in them ‘thar sports books, pardnah.

The NBA and Major League Baseball are already pursuing the so-called integrity fee, a percentage of the amount bet that’s cloaked as payments to maintain integrity and oversight of their sport in each state.

“Neither the NCAA or any conferences have joined them,” Rodenberg said, “but perhaps they will.”

Of course they will. There’s too much money at stake, not to mention too much existing debt and too many escalating costs.

And because the Power Five control college football, not the NCAA — thank you, SCOTUS — they could be free to pursue their own integrity fees just as they cut their own TV deals.

Imagine each conference collecting one percent of the total handle (i.e., amount wagered) on football games in states throughout its footprint.

(Also think about the potential impact on realignment: Smaller schools in big-handle states could become more desirable. By 2030, Buffalo just might be a member of the SEC.)

Dunno about Buffalo, but I’d keep an eye on what the Big Ten may reap from Rutgers and a potential New Jersey integrity fee over the next few years.  If that pans out favorably, I can’t imagine Greg Sankey’s willing to leave that kind of money on the table for too long, even if the SEC gets to dip its wick in Mississippi’s doing something similar.  If not, there’s no telling where the SEC goes.


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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

“I’m fairly critical of the Pac-12 organization.”

This is one helluva story.

The beginning of one of the biggest Pac-12 football games of last season was preempted by a NASCAR truck race. When it became apparent the Lucas Oil 150 was going to run long, FS1 delayed the Stanford-Washington game by 15 minutes to 10:45 p.m. ET.

It wasn’t enough of a delay. Even though the game was shifted to little-seen FS2 and the Fox Sports app, thanks to the trucks — and Fox’s commitment to them — most viewers missed the entire first quarter.

“That was unfortunate,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said recently. “I was not happy about that. … There were definitely [people] upset about that.”

Scott is proud to say such an occurrence will no longer happen. The Pac-12 was assured by Fox officials a couple of weeks ago that, were there to be a future conflict, conference games will be shifted to … Fox Business Channel.

Man’s a genius.

The header quote, by the way, is from the chancellor of the University of California, one of (presumably) Scott’s bosses.  Last time I checked, Larry Scott is still the highest paid conference boss, which means the chancellor is as big a talker as Scott is.  Everyone out there deserves each other.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Pac-12 Football

Today, in $$

File this under why Butts-Mehre can have nice things.

Even with an increase in prices, demand for Georgia football season tickets exceeded supply coming off a trip to the national championship game, athletic director Greg McGarity told the athletic board’s finance committee.

“We’re happy to announce we’re all sold out of season tickets,” McGarity said in a meeting Wednesday. “Our fans have responded very well and again have answered the call.”

The Hartman Fund has generated $31 million in donations for the right to buy season tickets so far this cycle, an increase of about $4 million from this time last year, according to executive associate athletic director Matt Borman, who oversees athletic fundraising.

“Individuals wanted to improve their location, be in a better position for road tickets, things of that nature,” McGarity said. “So there was a substantial increase in that.”

“… be in a better position for road tickets”.  They’re getting better at milking us, aren’t they?


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

Today, in settling it on the field

Because you never know when your potential national champion is out there lurking as the seventieth-best regular season team.

On the other hand, there’s always a bigger March Madness check.

You guys can keep pretending all you want about why postseasons don’t expand.  I’ll keep watching the money, thanks.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

SEC expansion is off the table for a little longer.

You want proof?  Okay, here goes.

When you’ve still got the biggest Johnson, revenue-wise, no need to blow things up to get a new TV deal.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Today’s lesson in successful marketing

When we look back a couple of decades now and wonder what happened to live attendance at college football games, don’t undersell the ability of athletic departments to sabotage themselves by crapping all over potential ticket buyers.

If you’re planning on going to the Texas/USC game this fall, be prepared to buy tickets for UT’s home contests against Tulsa, TCU, Baylor, West Virginia and Iowa State as well.

Texas announced on Tuesday that single-game tickets for UT’s home game against USC on Sept. 15 will not be made available. Tickets sold through Texas will only be doled out to season ticket holders.

Such a deal.  Should be a good investment for the canny season ticket holder, who can grab the tickets and make a few extra bucks selling them on the secondary market to the same folks the school brushed aside.  Assuming they still want to go, that is.

The spirit of Steve Patterson lives on in Austin.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

Look out, world.

The next gold rush begins.

How long do you think it’ll take before the NCAA cuts a deal to brand an official March Madness betting pool?  And for schools to partner with ESPN?  Can’t wait for PAWWWLLL! to host a sports book show on the SEC Network.

Brackets for everyone!


UPDATE:   Well, that didn’t take long.


UPDATE #2:  The NCAA’s courageous statement in response to the Court’s ruling:

“Today the United States Supreme Court issued a clear decision that PASPA is unconstitutional, reversing the lower courts that held otherwise.  While we are still reviewing the decision to understand the overall implications to college sports, we will adjust sports wagering and championship policies to align with the direction from the court.”

– Donald Remy, NCAA chief legal officer

Okay, okay, “courageous” may have overstated things.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, See You In Court