Category Archives: It’s Just Bidness

Just rolling in it

Holy mother of crap.

And they still can’t win their conference.



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

Et tu, broadcast partner?

Is this good?  I don’t think this is good.

The Big 12 is in the marketplace with three of its conference championship football games, including one that kicks off in just 11 months.

The conference has been shopping the 2019, 2021 and 2023 games to media companies over the last several months after Fox told Big 12 officials that it was not interested.

The Big 12 had hoped that Fox, one of its two primary media partners, would pick up the rights to the championship games in the odd-numbered years. Fox carried the 2017 game as part of a mediated settlement around conference expansion, paying about $25 million for its rights. But the network and the conference could not come to terms on the other three available games. Sources said the last offer made to Fox valued the game in the high teens.

Maybe slapping a conference title game on after a round robin regular season schedule for the purpose of getting that last bit of selection committee attention isn’t such a great marketing strategy.

These guys keep telling themselves they’re geniuses despite all evidence to the contrary.


Filed under Big 12 Football, Fox Sports Numbs My Brain, It's Just Bidness

“In business, you have to pay for talent, and at a university you have to pay for talent.”

I can’t argue with Oklahoma’s president about coaching salaries.

I also expect him to make the same argument if market based player compensation becomes a reality.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

That’ll show ’em.

Remember when Congress passed that bill sticking it to schools and other non-profits paying big salaries to certain folks (like coaches and athletic directors)?  How’s that working out?

However, while many athletics departments are now facing a substantial new expense, there also are schools that employ some of college sports’ highest-paid coaches and will not have to pay, according to newly issued guidance from the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service and the schools’ assertions of their federal tax-exempt status through documents posted on their websites and statements to USA TODAY Sports from school spokespeople.

The excise-tax provision was supposed to cover all non-profit organizations, imposing a 21% levy on compensation above $1 million — including bonuses — that goes to any of their five highest-paid employees in a year.

The guidance means that the provision has created three groups of schools: Those that clearly will have to pay the tax; those that can claim they won’t have to pay; and those that currently have to pay, but might have the ability change their status.

 ►Private schools and public schools carrying one type of federal tax-exempt status clearly will have to pay. For example, Duke faces a significant tab based just on men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski’s pay, who has made more than $5 million for years, according to the school’s federal tax filings.

 ►Other public schools — including Texas, Texas A&M, Clemson, Oregon, Minnesota and Houston — can claim they will not have to pay because they assert that they are government units that have federal tax immunity without holding any other tax-exempt status. Whether they ultimately will take this position remains to be seen. If Texas A&M does, it would save close to $1.4 million related just to the compensation of football coach Jimbo Fisher, whose basic annual pay is $7.5 million.

 ►Public schools that have another type of federal tax-exempt status are currently subject to the excise tax, but the new guidance also says these schools may voluntarily relinquish that status, although doing so might still leave them subject to the excise tax. Alabama, Michigan, UCLA and at least a dozen other public schools in Power Five conferences are in this group, according to documents posted on the schools’ websites. Alabama football coach Nick Saban’s $8.3 million in basic compensation, plus $875,000 in bonuses, for this season means the school faces more than $1.7 million in excise tax for him alone.

Hey, that sounds fair.

“You’ve got a major competitive imbalance here,” said Roger Denny, an executive compensation attorney with the law firm Spence Fane LLP who assists USA TODAY Sports with its annual compilation and analyses of college coaches’ compensation. “You have schools from the same states and the same conferences that are going after the same recruits, and you have an artificial restraint that affects hiring decisions at the highest level of those programs. …

“And there’s a trickle-down effect to that: You have a difference of $500,000 here, $1 million there (in the cost of paying a coach and the excise tax) and that can be the difference in being able to go after the best coordinator in the game or hiring a football staff full of analysts as some schools have done, or installing a camera system in your gym to help the basketball teams with video study, or putting WiFi in your stadium.”

Aw, don’t worry.  The guy who screwed the draft up in the first place thinks he’s on the mother.

But the new Treasury/IRS guidance doesn’t take into account Congressional intent. It’s based on what the law actually says.

“The positions reflected in this notice constitute a good faith, reasonable interpretation of the statute,” the document says.

Former House Ways and Mean Committee chair Kevin Brady, R-Tex.. has circulated a draft of a bill that would make “technical and clerical corrections” to the tax-law changes, including one designed to make the excise tax applicable to all public colleges and universities.

That “former” status might be something of a road block, Congressman.  But you do you while TAMU keeps its money.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

Today, in the Georgia Way

All you need to know about Georgia’s “next big football facility project” can be summarized in one sentence:

The timeline for this latest Georgia project appears to be based on funding.


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

Is amateurism about to get a real market-based threat?

Oliver Luck, who once was one of the higher-ups in the NCAA’s chain of command and is now the commissioner of the reconstituted XFL, isn’t exactly saying his league is ready to sign kids who don’t want to stay in college for three years, but he’s not kicking the possibility out of bed either.

… Players have to be three years out of high school to be eligible for the NFL Draft.

During a December podcast interview with with Brian Berger of the Sports Business Radio Road Show, Luck said flatly: “We’re not subject to that.”

“Theoretically we could take a player right out of high school. I doubt we’ll do that,” Luck said, noting the difference in physical development between an 18-year-old and the 24-to-25-year-old fringe NFLers they plan to build their base from.

“But I wouldn’t rule it out,” Luck said. “Nor would I rule out taking a player who played a year of college football and let’s say isn’t eligible academically, which happens. Or a player who is two years out of college, and is transferring, and would have to sit out a year. A lot of guys don’t want to. . . . We are in that position to be able to take players who wouldn’t be eligible to play in the NFL. . . .

“But that’s an option that we have and we’re going to look at it long and hard. There are a lot off very good college players after a year or two who may not want to play that third year of college football, may need to earn a little money, support the family. That’s not uncommon as well.”

You can almost hear Mark Emmert whining, “why that ungrateful son of a bitch… after I took him in and showed him everything I know.”

Now, remember, this is a long way from reality.  The XFL isn’t even hitting the field until 2020.  Events like the Alston case may overtake Luck before then.  And as much as the schools may pretend otherwise, I really doubt they’ll simply let an upstart league peel away the biggest names in college football without countering.  (Then again, this is the NCAA we’re talking about, so who really knows if there would be a coherent response.)

But for those of you who have been hoping for an alternative that would take some pressure off the player compensation front, maybe this is the opportunity you’ve been hoping for.  Maybe worth keeping an eye on…


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Thursday morning buffet

The chafing dishes are set out and ready to go.

  • Here’s a lawsuit I’ve been waiting to see drop.  Adding the NCAA is a nice touch.
  • The AFCA wants the targeting rules changed to allow for two levels of penalties.  On its face, it sounds sensible, but you can just see that next can of worms waiting to be opened.
  • Malzahn’s “right hand man” jumps off the Gus Bus for… Georgia Tech.
  • Les Miles asks for a change to the recruiting rules after he sees the Kansas roster he inherited.
  • This really seems like the least they could do.
  • And this continues to be the name I hear most frequently as the candidate to be Mel Tucker’s successor, although it has to be said that Kirby seems to be in no hurry on that front.
  • Now they tell us.
  • “If a shoe company wanted to pay one of University of Washington’s running backs $50,000 to appear in a television commercial, House Bill 1084 would permit that.”


Filed under Academics? Academics., Alabama, Auburn's Cast of Thousands, College Football, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, Recruiting, See You In Court, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA, Wit And Wisdom From The Hat