Category Archives: It’s Just Bidness

“… accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that our training staff made…”

I don’t know if you heard the news, but Maryland finally settled with the McNair family over the death of their son.

By “finally”, I mean two and a half years later.  Or almost that long since the school’s president acknowledged fault.

And while I understand the ass covering and due diligence that accompanies such a high-profile settlement takes time, I can’t help but shake my head over the comparative dollar signs involved.  McNair’s family received $3.5 million.  His head coach?

Durkin’s contract with the university runs through the end of 2021. Maryland owed Durkin 65 percent of his remaining contract, with half of the buyout paid within 60 days of his firing. According to the Baltimore Sun’s public salary database, the university paid Durkin $4,793,000 in 2018, which also includes earnings that year before his firing, and $860,000 in 2019. After a brief hiatus from on-field coaching, Durkin is the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Mississippi.

Thank goodness lives weren’t ruined because of this tragedy.  At least lives other than McNair’s.


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

This isn’t rocket science.

In his Mailbag today in response to a question about how Kirby can keep the underclassmen who aren’t first or second round draft pick quality from leaving the farm early, Seth Emerson takes a couple of swings at a horse I’ve beaten to death ($$):

… Still, in (almost) every case you also have to consider whether that player was going to improve his draft stock by staying that extra year in college, a year they weren’t going to be paid.

That’s why allowing players to receive name-image-likeness money will be another win-win for players and colleges.

I mean, it really isn’t that hard.  If you care about these players staying home for the betterment of the program, I don’t see why you would not favor giving them an obvious incentive to do so.


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

Today, in doing it for the kids

Shorter Mack Brown:  the best way to get players to stick around is to make them play more games.

Again, it never ceases to amaze me that the same people who will jump ship at the drop of a better set of numbers don’t see the wisdom in providing a financial inducement for players to stay through season’s end.  Well, except for that whole “that’s how coaches gonna roll” thing, I guess.


Filed under It's Just Bidness

Weird scenes inside the sausage factory

Some of you like to argue with me that player compensation is the bright line that’s going to ruin college athletics.  If you’re one of those folks, you may not want to read this article.

… This was the year when athletic departments exposed themselves for what they really are: large businesses covered in nonprofit wrapping paper.

A coronavirus pandemic forced the whole enterprise to announce its priorities, which are even more skewed than we realized. There are thousands of people working in college athletics with excellent priorities, of course—people who value academics, relationships, integrity and personal growth. But those are not the qualities the NCAA system rewards. College sports, purportedly a celebration of amateur athletics, are an exercise in big squashing little: large conferences whipping small ones, and revenue sports hogging resources from nonrevenue sports.

… Universities are supposed to practice egalitarianism, or at least aspire to it. Future CEOs and artists share a campus, and that coexistence is an essential piece of the experience. This is especially true at state flagship universities, which are (or at least aspire to be) magnets for the finest students from all over the state.

And college athletics are supposedly the sporting version of this. For decades, administrators insisted that monetizing football and men’s basketball was a means toward a larger, more noble end: funding other varsity sports. As those NCAA commercials love to remind us, the overwhelming majority of athletes “go pro in something other than sports.”

In 2020, though, it became obvious that the apparatus that was supposed to support a larger infrastructure has overwhelmed it instead. Around the country, schools responded to their budget crunches by slashing nonrevenue sports, like huge law firms deciding to cut costs by slashing pro bono work.

College sports have been a hypocritical enterprise for a long time; any sober assessment of the last half-century reached that conclusion. But now hypocrisy is part of the mission statement. Football has been stripped down to what it really is: lucrative TV programming. In 2020, it didn’t matter whether playing was safe for surrounding communities or even whether students were on campus.

COVID has exposed college football for what it is:  a commercial enterprise, nothing more, nothing less.  Not that there weren’t plenty of hints and clues dropped along the way over the past two decades;  it’s just raw and completely out in the open now.  Combine that with the general cluelessness that your typical athletics administrator possesses…

Not everybody can win, but everybody can be obsessed, and everybody can market obsession. That is the prominent business model in college sports: Prove to your customers that you are as irrationally committed as they are. Schools are far more likely to be criticized for not paying obscene salaries to football coaches than for doing so. Which is why coaches’ salaries keep going up. These investments are so speculative, and so detached from the underlying economics, that it feels foolish to call them investments at all.

… and that’s how you wind up with Jimmy Sexton kicking ass every day and twice on Sundays.  In other words, there’s nothing left to ruin.

I can’t stop some of you from continuing to be amateurism romantics, but you’re making bigger fools of yourselves with the passage of every year.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Anything for a buck

Christ, these people are flaming assholes.

The final touch is going to come when they make it mandatory for teams and the media to wear their branded masks at the tourney.

The NCAA’s PR skills are so abhorrent, if they hired Greg McGarity to run their public relations, it would be an improvement.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Bo Noes

LSU does something expected since… what, the second half of the first game of the season?

The one-time payment is reportedly around $5.2 million, which is certainly nice work if you can get it.

As the linked article indicates, Pelini isn’t leaving by himself.

More staff changes are expected to come, including the departure of safeties coach Bill Busch and the retirement of defensive line coach Bill Johnson. Cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond, an assistant on staff since 2012, is the only defensive coach remaining on staff.

LSU is also expected to part ways with passing game coordinator Scott Linehan after one season, multiple sources told The Advocate. The 57-year-old Linehan is due the full remainder of his two-year, $800,000 per year contract, a buyout that is approximately $1 million.

All that, and an athletic department looking at taking an $80 million hit this year.  What a country, eh?

The punchline is that Coach O will be picking the replacements.  I mean, what could go wrong?


Filed under Coach O Needs Another Red Bull, It's Just Bidness

“This is part of a surprising trend in recent days.”

I do not think surprising means what he thinks it means.

South Carolina owed Muschamp $15 million after firing him last month, when his record after four-plus years was 28-30. In September, athletic director Ray Tanner reported the Gamecocks were facing a $58 million revenue shortfall. His department has taken pay cuts, furloughs and other measures to reduce expenses. In June, university president Bob Caslen also issued a dire message to faculty and staff.

“The budget outlook before us is more serious than any the university has faced since the Great Recession, and the loss of revenue next fiscal year could surpass the recession in terms of a single year impact,” Caslen said. “It will require a new level of creativity and shared sacrifice from our entire campus community.”

South Carolina didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ray Tanner is the poster boy for business as usual.

Unless it’s Auburn, that is.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

“USC did not respond to multiple requests for additional comment.”

Is there a competition to be America’s dumbest college athletic director that no one told me about?

An agreed-upon revision to former South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp’s contract that was never signed by the parties would have saved the university $2 million in buyout money when it fired him.

The failure to complete the contract amendment, which was approved by USC’s board of trustees in December of 2019, means Muschamp’s buyout obligation from the school remains at a bit more than $15.5 million, instead of slightly more than $13.4 million.

At the time of the amendment’s passage, the change was publicized as a move to allow Muschamp to redirect money to help retain a key assistant coach. It also removed Muschamp’s annual raises and therefore lowered the university’s burden should it fire him.

However, the contract, which was obtained by The State this week following a Freedom of Information request, shows the amendment was never signed by Muschamp, athletic director Ray Tanner or board of trustees secretary J. Cantey Heath.

A school spokesman confirmed this was the version the school had on file — and not a draft.

Just flat out giving it away.  Tell us again about financial hardships during a pandemic, fellas.

Tanner has said several times, including as recently as Monday, that he will negotiate the buyout terms with Muschamp. Contract law expert Marty Greenberg, however, told The State there isn’t much to negotiate.

An unsigned contract typically isn’t enforceable. Since Muschamp has already been relieved of his duties, it’s not clear what incentive, if any, he has to give the school a break.

That’s a polite way of putting it.  Then, again, if there’s been one consistent management style this year, it’s hoping.

This is how you end up with Shane Beamer.  Jimmy Sexton must wake up every morning wondering why his life has been so easy.


Filed under 'Cock Envy, It's Just Bidness

Episode #2841, when they say it’s about the money…

Pundit, please.

But now, here we are once again in college athletics at the intersection of commerce and integrity. Ohio State is probably in the CFP regardless as long as it stays undefeated, but just to make sure, it would be nice if they got there as Big Ten champions. The Big Ten Championship Game is Dec. 19. The CFP’s Selection Sunday is a day later.

In good faith, the Big Ten decided in September to protect the integrity of its championship game by requiring the participants play at least six of their eight scheduled games. The league’s athletic directors, coaches and presidents decided unanimously on that point, sources told CBS Sports.

Now the athletic directors face the prospect of contemplating whether to rescind that requirement in the name of … what, exactly? Money, for sure. Ohio State would have a smoother path to the playoff and a payday for the Big Ten by winning the conference title.

We’re really going to try this again?  In a season that exists because the conferences need the money?

Perhaps Dennis Dodd needs to have a chat with Mike Krzyzewski.


Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, The Body Is A Temple

“I don’t really understand why that rule is a thing.”

Christ on a bicycle, amateurism is such a joke.

During the three years Jamie Andries spent as a member of the University of Oklahoma cheerleading team, she cheered at two Big 12 championship football games, the Orange Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Rose Bowl and the 2016 Final Four.

And while the star football and basketball players in those games — including the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield and the future N.B.A. guard Buddy Hield — were forbidden to make money from their athletic fame beyond what the university provided to cover their attendance, Andries was receiving thousands of dollars through sponsorship deals with Crocs, L’Oréal, American Eagle and Lokai…

The lucrative opportunities for Andries came because of her fame and a social media following in the cheerleading world — she is one of the top “cheerlebrities,” as such stars are known — and because the N.C.A.A. and its universities do not regulate cheerleading in the same ways they do other sports.

Long-held rules governing amateurism among college athletes do not apply to cheerleaders, meaning they can sell autographs, appear in commercials and wear their cheer uniforms while promoting products as social influencers, without fear of being disciplined. In sports governed by the N.C.A.A., athletes risk their eligibility to compete if they engage in similar activities, and their teams and universities can also be punished.

There isn’t a world where this makes any sense, except for Mark Emmert’s.  I’d say the people running college athletics should be ashamed of maintaining the charade, but who am I kidding?  Those people have no shame.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA