Category Archives: It’s Just Bidness

“We’re going to move forward in some fashion or another of paying players.”

It almost staggers me to say it, but Dennis Dodd has written an excellent piece charting college athletics’ inexorable march towards player compensation.

From a clear-eyed (in other words, not a romantic amateurism-ist) perspective starting here…

NIL benefits have gotten so unregulated that many of the outlandish benefits provided to SMU players 45 years ago in the death penalty case would be allowed in 2021. Slush fund? Allowed if you consider current “collectives” of donors pooling their NIL money to lure players. Free cars? Quarterback Spencer Rattler had two of them last season at Oklahoma.

“The Spencer Rattlers always had two cars [in the past]. It was in a different way,” Dannen said.

That different way was described recently by College Football Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson, an SMU superstar in the 1980s.

“You’re a youth athlete, 19-years-old, and a guy comes to you and says, ‘Here’s $20,000.’ You don’t say, ‘Oh no, I can’t take that money,'” Dickerson told CBS Sports.

“What they did to my school is bullshit. They would never have done that to Alabama. They would never have done that Texas. They would have never done that to Oklahoma.”

… and winding up here…

“We just have to figure it out,” Cunningham said. “… How do you stop it? We’re not going to stop it. All we have to do is figure out how to finance it.”

Players have always been paid.  They always will be paid.  The question is whether the folks running college football are smart enough to take the steps necessary to preserve what control they still have the opportunity to control.  I’d say it’s even money on that.

23 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Making things better

In light of Kirby Smart’s comments about his college football concerns, I thought Finebaum, of all people, posed an interesting question with this:

Throw NIL regulation into the mix, while you’re at it.  If you were in charge, which of the three would you prioritize, why and how would you go about doing it?  (By the way, with regard to the last question, try to be realistic about that.  Making a proposal that would violate antitrust law, for example, isn’t much of a suggestion.)

Have at it in the comments.

58 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness, Transfers Are For Coaches.

The story of college football, in two sentences

Short and sweet, from Andy Staples ($$):

Because schools don’t want to label the athletes as employees — this began as a workers’ compensation dodge and continues because people making a ton of money tend to want things to stay as they are — there is no current way to structure the sport in a manner that doesn’t allow the wealthiest programs to dominate it. In fact, pretty much every rule made to level the playing field over the past century wound up being used in practice to widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots.

There’s your tradition unlike any other.

14 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

It just costs more.

Interesting catch from Kristi Dosh:

Imagine my surprise as I was reviewing conference distribution policies to write about the College Football Playoff payouts and stumbled across a new section about withdrawing from the conference complete with a new exit fee. According to the SEC’s 2021-22 Bylaws, the new language was adopted January 14, 2021.

The additions to Section 3 of the conference bylaws begin with a requirement to give at least two years’ notice:

*3.1.4 Withdrawal from Membership. A member may only withdraw from membership in the Conference after providing written notice to the President and the Commissioner of the date of its withdrawal at least two years prior to the date on which the withdrawal will be effective. The withdrawal notice must specify a withdrawal date of July 15 in the year in which the withdrawal will be effective. [Adopted: 1/14/21]

The biggest change of all though is the whopping $30-45 million exit fee the conference will now impose. Here is that section in full:

3.2 WITHDRAWAL FEE

*3.2.1 Obligation to Pay Withdrawal Fee. A member that provides notice of withdrawal from the Conference as required by Section 3.1.4 shall pay a withdrawal fee to the Conference of $30 million on or before the effective date of the withdrawal. [Adopted: 1/14/21]

*3.2.2 Additional Withdrawal Fee. A member that withdraws from the Conference without providing notice of withdrawal as required by Section 3.1.4 shall pay a withdrawal fee of $40 million to the Conference immediately upon providing notice of withdrawal (or if no notice is provided, as of the effective date of such withdrawal). [Adopted: 1/14/21]

*3.2.3 Withdrawal Fee—Member Deemed to Have Withdrawn. A member deemed to have withdrawn from the Conference shall pay a withdrawal fee of $45 million to the Conference immediately upon being informed that the Commissioner has determined that the member is deemed to have withdrawn. [Adopted: 1/14/21]

*3.2.4 Reduction of Distributions to Withdrawing Member. The Commissioner may, at any time (including prior to the effective date of any withdrawal or deemed withdrawal), reduce any distributions otherwise payable to a member that has provided notice of withdrawal or who has been deemed to have withdrawn, including but not limited to distributions otherwise provided for in Bylaw 31, and apply such distributions to the withdrawal fee payable by the member to the Conference. [Adopted: 1/14/21]

Did Greg Sankey suddenly develop a raging case of insecurity?  Or are they just making it harder for Texas and Oklahoma to jump ship (again)?

Nah.  They’re just protecting an investment.

… sources at two SEC schools suggested the changes were made as a result of supplemental distributions the conference made to help cover costs during the pandemic.

The SEC office confirmed the change was made due to the supplemental distributions.

“The adjustments made to SEC Bylaws in January 2021 were related to securing and distributing supplemental income to SEC members to help mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SEC athletics programs as announced in May. SEC presidents and chancellors unanimously approved the bylaw change,” said Herb Vincent, the SEC Associate Commissioner for Communications.

Not that I think anybody was contemplating departure to pocket that sweet advance money…

16 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Do the right thing.

Seriously, WTF is with ESPN’s sudden fixation with player opt-outs?  First we had Herbie’s cranky “I just think this era of player doesn’t love football” observation.  In response to that, Desmond Howard offered this ($$):

“Their whole mentality is all about the championship or the Playoff. Because of that, they don’t value the bowl game. When we were coming up, Herbstreit and myself, going to a bowl game was a huge reward for a fantastic season. That’s what it meant. Your team played this well so you’re going to be rewarded with a bowl game, you’re going to get a ring, you’re going to get swag. Now, kids don’t really care about that. They have a sense of entitlement. It’s like, ‘If we’re not going to the one that matters, it just doesn’t have as much value’ — like it did for us coming up.”

Thanks, Gramps.

But the topper came during last night’s Sugar Bowl, when Joe Tessitore felt compelled to share his thoughts on the matter after Matt Corral was knocked out of the game with a leg injury.

He’s doing it the right way, unlike those selfish kids who are depriving Joe Tessitore and his employer of their entertainment services during bowl season.  Never mind that it’s Mickey who’s been feeding these players, along with the general public, a steady stream of bullshit about how it’s only the CFP that matters now.

It shouldn’t have to be said, but as long as a player is making a free career choice, there is no wrong way.  And if ESPN isn’t commercially satisfied with that situation, it’s certainly free to make an offer to influence that choice.  In the meantime, its talking heads can shove their moral judgments straight up their collective asses.

42 Comments

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

Is nothing sacred?

You’ve probably heard that several Ohio State players have opted out of the Rose Bowl in order to begin preparing for the NFL Draft, which really boils down to avoiding a potential serious injury situation that might affect their draft status.

There have been two general reactions to the news, both predictable.  First, there’s the camp that’s offended these players would dare skip something as meaningful as a Rose Bowl game.  Second, there’s the hammer meet nail playoff expansion gang that insists all this would be fixed with a 12- or 16-team playoff field.

I got news for both of them.  David Hale is correct about the future.

Like it or not, the days of expecting the top level of college football players to bleed and break for no compensation are gone.  There’s too much money in the game and in a world where head coaches are jumping their teams before the postseason, it’s silly to expect the players to answer to a higher calling.

Is there a happy medium where it becomes easier to coax a player into staying for a postseason college game?  Sure, depending on circumstances.  Can the bowls and playoff afford to hit that particular mark?  C’mon, dog.  If ESPN becomes convinced the talent drain is costing them viewership, it’s an easy investment.

37 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness

If you don’t ask, they’ll never know.

Shane Beamer is perplexed.

“It’s the name of the game,” Beamer said. “I know what we’re legally allowed to do at South Carolina and that’s what we’re doing. I can’t speak for other schools and promises they make. Frankly, I had parents call me over the weekend, wanting to know what you can do for my son, from a NIL standpoint. What can you promise us?”

“I can’t promise you anything,” Beamer said. “I can’t set up deals for you. Anybody that tells you they can, they’re lying to you and not being honest…

Which begs a certain question, doesn’t it?

27 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Recruiting

Not the bowl game opt out you were expecting

Shot.

Chaser.

I dunno if Drinkwitz is making some sort of three-dimensional chess move for the recruiting trail, or what.  But if the kid wants to play, why make him sit out?

23 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

Today, in bidness decisions

Shot.

Mississippi State will play Texas Tech in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 28. Bulldogs coach Mike Leach has been an outspoken critic of players skipping bowl games.

“It’s the most bizarre thing in the world to me,” he told reporters last week. “They think they’re going to have a storied 10-year NFL career and they can’t play one more college game. That’s ridiculous.”

Chaser.

Mississippi State All-American offensive tackle Charles Cross announced on Friday that he is opting out of the bowl game to begin preparing for the NFL draft.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. lists Cross as the second highest-rated draft-eligible tackle behind Alabama’s Evan Neal.

A redshirt sophomore, Cross was named to the All-SEC team each of the last two seasons. He started all 12 games this season and allowed only two sacks in 919 snaps.

Boy, I bet that meeting was a little awkward.

5 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Mike Leach. Yar!

You can ask…

Woo, boy, in today’s installment of “we know what you are, we’re just haggling over the fee”…

63 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, It's Just Bidness