Category Archives: It’s Just Bidness

Amateurism’s been berry, berry good to M.E.

“I, for one ,as a Big Ten AD, am tired of being used as a minor league for professional sports,” Burke said. “What was right for the NCAA in the first 70 years of its history, maybe we ought to go back and say, ‘What’s changed?’”

Let me give you a little hint, dumbass.

The NCAA had total revenue of nearly $1 billion during its 2014 fiscal year, according to an audited financial statement the association released Wednesday.

The total resulted in a nearly $80.5 million surplus for the year – almost $20 million more than the surplus the NCAA had in 2013 and the fourth consecutive year in which the annual surplus has exceeded $60 million.

USA TODAY Sports has compiled the NCAA’s financial statements for each of the past 10 years, and the latest surplus is the largest the association has recorded during that time. Its greatest previous annual surplus was the $70.9 million it recorded in 2012.

The latest surplus increased the NCAA’s year-end net assets to nearly $708 million — more than double where they stood at the end of its 2008 fiscal year.

Mind you, that comes after a whopping $547.1 million distribution to Division I schools and conferences.

For that kind of money, Morgan, I’d let ‘em use me all they want.  It sure beats the way student-athletes get used.

9 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Sunday morning buffet

A tidbit here, a tidbit there…

  • Something to keep an eye on with this season’s Kentucky football team:  “From that highly touted 2014 signing class, ranked No. 17 in the nation, UK was able to redshirt 16 players…”  That includes redshirting every offensive linemen the current staff has signed.
  • Bill Connelly ponders what the future of football analytics will bring.
  • Marc Weiszer Fletcher Page  has a nice piece on this year’s Paul Oliver Network gathering.
  • Les Miles thinks Matt Womack signing with Alabama is enough of a punishment for his program.
  • So Andy Schwarz is being hired to produce the new report evaluating the report that led to the shutdown of the UAB football program?  That’s beyond interesting, both for what he’ll have to say about UAB’s decision as well as shining a light on college athletic departments’ bookkeeping practices.
  • Here’s another roundup of questions as SEC spring practices get underway.
  • She may be a little girl, but she manages to hit on the essence of being a Georgia Tech fan in one sentence.
  • Speaking of Tech, the computer hacker has been sentenced, but “The district attorney said he believes Pickren entered a guilty plea, meaning failure to complete the program would bring the student back to court for further sentencing.”  So you’re saying there’s a chance?

14 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness, Life After Football, Recruiting, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, The NCAA, Wit And Wisdom From The Hat

The Pac-12 isn’t catching up.

You know, it seems like the bloom started coming off the Pac-12 Network’s rose almost before the media could get the phrase “Larry Scott is a genius!” out of its mouth.  The SEC rejected Scott’s ownership model when it came time to create its own network and found a much friendlier market, much to Scott’s displeasure.

And now comes the rest of the story.

So if you’re scoring at home, we have these projections for TV-related revenue for 2017-18, on a per-school basis:

SEC: $35.6 million
Big Ten: $33 million
Pac-12: $22.95 million

That’s a monumental gap, folks.

It’s reminiscent of the difference in revenue that existed under the Pac-12′s old Tier 1 deal.

It could impact the competitive balance, the ability to hire top-notch coaches and manage the looming increase in expenses due to legislative changes and the O’Bannon lawsuit.

To be fair, Scott has always faced an uphill battle.  It’s not as if he’s done poorly.  It’s just, you know, demographics.

To some extent, there is nothing the Pac-12 can do:

The SEC and Big Ten are always going to command more Tier 1 money than the Pac-12. A quick check of the ESPN metered markets is proof:

Of the top-25 markets in 2014, only three were in the Pac-12 footprint and none were in the top 10:

No. 13 Salt Lake City
No. 17: Portland
No. 25 Phoenix

Meanwhile, eight of the top 10 were in the SEC, including perennial No. 1 Birmingham.

If you’re wondering why the conference chased Texas so hard a few years ago, there you go.  And it’s hard to see how it gets out of the revenue box it’s in without that kind of expansion in the future.

The looming TV revenue gap between the Pac-12 and its peers isn’t a Tier 1 issue. Scott got the best deal he could get.

The problem, as we’ll examine, is the Pac-12 Networks.

There just aren’t enough eyeballs to go around.  And it doesn’t take a genius to see that.

7 Comments

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

“That’s just total complete hypocrisy.”

A lawyer for the National Basketball Players Association says the union will push to drop the age limit for going pro in the next round of collective bargaining with the league.  Why?

Socialism, obviously.

“Capitalism means that if you’re 17, 18 years old and you’re a geek and you want to drop out of college and invent Apple or something else, you can do it,” Kohlman said. “In this country you can do that. And there’s nothing stopping you from doing it. If you’re an unbelievable blues singer at 17, 18, 19 years old, you can go out and make a fortune.”

Damn… I suddenly feel the need to salute a flag somewhere.

Now this wouldn’t be the first time the union has tried for this, and the NBA wants to go in the other direction, raising the age limit to 20 (natch).  So it’s anything but a slam dunk.

But here’s a question for you:  if the union were to succeed, what would that do to the Big Ten’s push for freshman ineligibility?  Does Jim Delany hate America that much?

18 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

Hook ‘em, Horns, indeed.

On the surface, this doesn’t sound unusual.

Getting the best seats for University of Texas sporting events will be based on a new loyalty points system tied to how much a fan donates or spends on tickets.

“Big deal”, you say.  “What’s so new about that?”

The devil’s in the details.

How is the Loyalty Points program different from the previous priority system?
Previously, priority was based on your current year’s annual giving and the sport specific program (i.e., season tickets in football, basketball, baseball). Loyalty Points looks at cumulative giving, as well as your current annual contribution.

In other words, you want the perks with your football season tickets?  Then you’d best be prepared to pony up in some other sports, too.  ‘Cause those perks aren’t insignificant.

How will Loyalty Points be applied to parking, AT&T Red River Showdown tickets, post-season tickets, etc.?
Loyalty Point rank will determine the order in which season ticket members select or are assigned locations for parking, AT&T Red River Showdown tickets, post-season tickets, etc

I’ve got the feeling this is an experiment that will be watched by plenty of other ADs at football oriented schools to see if it encourages the fan base to dig a little deeper into their wallets.  These days, it’s all about the loyalty, y’all.

31 Comments

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

What goes up, keeps going up.

Here’s a look at what SEC schools paid their head coaches in 2006 and what they’re paying today.  It’s pretty frickin’ jarring to see the comparison.

And that doesn’t include the money these schools have paid to their fired coaches.

You may think it’s insane, but it’s actually rational.  The increasing amount of money flowing in isn’t going to the labor force, but it has to go somewhere, and if you’re competitive, that means coaching salaries and facilities.

14 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

The suspend isn’t killing me.

Here’s what an NFL coach had to say about his impression of Todd Gurley at the Combine:

“He is a natural leader. Of course, we’ve all seen him play. But he is better in person than anything I’ve seen or read from afar. That kind of person stands out. Some team is going to rightly give him every chance to get well and be as great as he can be.”

Yeah, that whole autograph thing really seems to have set him back at the next level.

The NFL doesn’t care about players making money – at least if it’s not on the NFL’s own dime.  Manziel was a first-round pick.  If not for the injury, Gurley would be a slam dunk first-rounder, too.  (He may still wind up there, even so.)  The pros just care if you can play.  Which is why the Gurleys and Manziels of the college football world get paid under the table.  Talk about your vicious circle.  Good luck with that, NCAA.

39 Comments

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