Category Archives: It’s Just Bidness

Wednesday morning buffet

The opener is coming.  You should work up an appetite with a few nourishing tidbits.

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16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, It's Just Bidness, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

The bag man? Meet the baggee.

The NCAA’s investigation of Ole Miss is turning out to be quite the story.

Now officially on the record that August, Sheridan asked if Lewis understood that immunity would only cover past events, not any potential future violations, and that if he was found to have provided false or misleading information, he could still lose his grant.

“Yes sir,” Lewis replied.

Finally, Lewis’ lawyer, John Brady, stepped in to clarify how far his client could go.

“I just want to make sure we’re clear that the immunity extends to everything that you may ask Leo today, is that correct?” Brady asked.

“That is correct,” Sheridan replied.

Then Lewis started talking. About money. About free hotels, free rides to visit college campuses, hundred-dollar handshakes, free apparel, and even more money, bags of cash he says he received from multiple SEC programs totaling over $21,000 during the final week before National Signing Day in February 2015.

“Multiple SEC programs”?  Please, continue.

Additionally, new documentation submitted to the Committee on Infractions by attorneys for Ole Miss claims Lewis told NCAA enforcement he took $11,000 in benefits from his current school, Mississippi State. Unlike Lewis, Mississippi State cannot receive conditional immunity for any former, current, or future statements its current player makes.

11 grand?  Pfffft.  Loose change.

… an audio tape of an alleged conversation between Farrar and Lewis’ mother, Tina Henderson, was submitted by Farrar’s counsel after the November interview. In the audio tape, recorded on Feb. 2, 2015, a day before Lewis says Allen paid him $10,000 to sign with Ole Miss, Henderson allegedly told Farrar that she had received multiple cash offers for Lewis, including $650,000 from LSU and $80,000 from Mississippi State.

In the third meeting, Lewis confirmed his identity in the Snapchat video submitted by Ole Miss. Sheridan asked Brady and Lewis to listen to the tape alleging cash offers from LSU and Mississippi State and asked Leo, “were you personally offered any money from a school other than Ole Miss?”

At that moment, Brady requested to go off the record. When the meeting resumed, Lewis confirmed the questions.

“Yes sir,” he told Sheridan.

Lewis confirmed his mother was offered and received money as well, at which point the NCAA requested to go off the record[Emphasis added.]

That’s called not wanting to show your hole card.

I have no idea where this is going, but if Greg Sankey’s not already shitting bricks, he will be soon.

By the way, for those of you who continue to wonder how would schools figure out what to pay players in a post-amateurism world, it seems like they’ve already done their prep work on that.

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UPDATE:

57 Comments

Filed under Freeze!, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA

“And I just want to see a program that’s moving forward in the right direction.”

Why did Greg McGarity elect to bring Mark Fox back for another season?

Is it the track record?

Since arriving at Georgia from Nevada in 2009, Fox has compiled a 145-118 record. In eight seasons, Fox’s teams have reached the NCAA Tournament twice. He has yet to lead Georgia to an NCAA Tournament win, however, with his teams going to the NIT over the past two seasons.

Okay, maybe not.  Well, then, how about Fox’ ability to articulate a plan to his boss for where the program is going from here?

McGarity said he hasn’t spoken to Fox – or any Georgia coach, for that matter – about whether he needs to hit certain postseason goals in the upcoming season.

Those, McGarity said, are implied.

“We know what’s expected at the University of Georgia,” McGarity said. “You don’t have to go out there and define that. That would be an insult to our coaches. They know what they need to do.

Well, if not that, then… oh, hell, what was I thinking?

After a 19-15 season, which Fox publicly said was disappointing, Georgia’s basketball program still hosted the most donors it ever had before at its year-end team banquet.

Moving forward, the Georgia Way.

32 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

“Money isn’t the asset most think it is in Athens.”

I guess this Dean Legge post about dwindling profits at the University of Georgia is supposed to arouse my anxiety about the athletic department’s management skills.  Speaking as someone who has no problem expressing that anxiety when it’s justified, I have no problem saying there’s no outrage here.

The main reason for that is if you’re someone who has any familiarity with Georgia’s recent financial history, there’s really no news in what Legge writes.  Georgia’s outsized “profitability” of a few years ago was largely fueled by lower than conference norm expenses.  Now that Kirby Smart is forcing Butts-Mehre to play catch up with things like facilities and recruiting budgets, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the profit margin is being squeezed.

The real question here is why anyone outside of Greg McGarity should give a shit about Georgia’s athletic profits in the first place.  What we as fans should care about is simply whether those funds are being spent sensibly to achieve excellence.  When the reserve fund wins a single football game, let me know, and I’ll look upon it differently.

Ah, you say, but Legge points out that Georgia lags in raising money behind its SEC peer institutions.

Twelve years ago not only was UGA the leader in the SEC with donations of $28,305,817. It was taking in about $10.8 million more in contributions than Texas A&M, about $1.5 million more in contributions than the Gators, about $5.5 million more than Auburn, about $13.5 million more than Tennessee and about $17.2 more than LSU.

In the last 12 years, those institutions have zipped past UGA in raising money for athletics according to USA Today’s reporting on all 230 NCAA public athletic departments in Division I…

… Every SEC member institution has increased its donations by anything from a heathy to an incredible amount… but UGA seems to have settled with a modest 18 percent difference when comparing 2005 contributions to 2016. One should also consider the rate of inflation over that time as $1 in 2005 would equal about $1.25 today.

All of that information indicates that UGA either doesn’t care or doesn’t want to raise more money; can’t come up with the projects to raise the money for; hasn’t yet or won’t identify new donors; doesn’t see the need to raise money (lack of vision); or has become comfortable asking donors to remain at their current level of giving only… or, perhaps UGA just isn’t very good at raising money.

Or perhaps Georgia never should have hired Michael Adams.  When you bring on a president who promptly proceeds to alienate a third of the donor base, there are repercussions to the bottom line.  And that’s the thing about alienated people — it’s hard to talk ’em back.

Finally, Legge is shocked, shocked to find that the state legislature’s financial support of the school is dwindling.

But UGA, and every other public higher education institution, has had lower and lower money coming from state capitals as time goes on. For the current fiscal year, FY 2018, the State of Georgia appropriated $473.3 million to UGA. The University of Georgia’s budget for FY 2018 is $1.6 billon. So the State gave UGA only 29% of the funds necessary to function. The other 71% had to come from somewhere else. In years gone by UGA was funded primarily from the State. That’s not the case any more, and it won’t change in the future.

That’s an amazing shock to the system. Public schools have had to learn how to become much more “private” in many ways. The most important lesson learned over the past two decades is that the State isn’t going to pay for UGA… UGA must figure out how to pay for itself. And after two-plus centuries of being able to be flexible thanks to the state legislature, that’s no longer the case.

Guess what?  That’s the story across the South, and indeed across much of the country.  Public support for secondary education steadily shrinks.  It’s hardly a Georgia Way thing.

Legge is right that the athletic department is expected to make up some of the difference.  That, too, isn’t much of a surprise, especially to Jere Morehead, who received that kind of news when the Regents offered him the job.

Which brings us to Legge’s conclusion.

…  Once a power broker at the intersection of money and college sports, UGA’s athletic revenues are now 9th-best in a 14-team league.

Perhaps it is an oversimplification to ask if Georgia wants to be 9th best in the SEC in money – because money < championships. But the truth is that’s the wrong way to look at it. Georgia should be exhausting itself trying to best figure out how it can maximize the monetary potential of its fanbase.

Doing that will increase the chances of championships in the future. Money leads to and follows championships.

Except for all the times when Georgia’s profit margin was bigger, that is.

“Georgia should be exhausting itself trying to best figure out how it can maximize the monetary potential of its fanbase.”  If you’re the Georgia Way, that’s winning.  If you’re a wallet, well, that’s hardly a surprise.

45 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

Money talks.

Home games walk.

Notre Dame and Wisconsin will make it official Monday during a news conference at the Under Armour store on Michigan Avenue: Their football series is on.

Lambeau Field will host in 2020, Soldier Field in 2021. Two monster programs slugging it out in two NFL cathedrals.

Too bad those schools don’t have cathedrals of their own to play in.  Oh, wait… that’s not the issue.

Given the proximity of each NFL stadium to the respective sides, it’s fair to want this series to be a home-and-home. However, neutral site games have proven to be big money makers in college football scheduling.

I get the economics to a one-off game at some high bid neutral site.  And I get how Georgia-Florida and Texas-Oklahoma manage to combine making money with longstanding tradition.  Giving up a home-and-home two-game series, though, seems a little strained.  Maybe that’s me.

Then again, if this pays off, perhaps it’ll start a trend.  Who will be the first school to bid out all of its home games to neutral site settings?  C’mon, fans, you’ll love the novelty of it!  Plus, less wear and tear on the home field and those sweet donations still roll in.  Talk about your ultimate win-win-win…

21 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

“This is not professional sports.”

Hey, if I were a college football head coach and realized that the market for my services was inflated because of artificially cheap labor costs, I wouldn’t want to pay the players, either.

73 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Today, in misplaced righteous indignation

Some columnist (h/t), his panties in a complete wad over Temple’s… um, innovative plan to sponsor jersey numbers, sputters out this:

How long before someone who donates $50,000 per year for four or five years tells the athletics director he’d like the football coach removed and wants a significant role in the selection of the next coach?

Greg McGarity says, “hold my beer”.

23 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles