Category Archives: It’s Just Bidness

You’ve got to spend money to lose money.

The 104 of the 128 athletic departments in the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision that do not bring in enough money through ticket sales, donations, or other outside revenue to offset their costs saw their average deficit double over the last decade.

This must be why we hear college presidents say they don’t necessarily want to hire athletic directors with business backgrounds.

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

The sound of ice cracking beneath the NCAA’s feet

Hey, look — the NLRB is messing with Northwestern again.

In an unprecedented foray into college sports, the National Labor Relations Board has declared that Northwestern University must eliminate “unlawful” rules governing football players and allow them greater freedom to express themselves. The ruling, which referred to players as employees, found that they must be freely allowed to post on social media, discuss issues of their health and safety, and speak with the media.

The new rules apply to the football programs at the 17 private universities that play in the FBS, including schools such as Notre Dame, Stanford and Baylor — but not public universities. As the nation’s top labor agency, the NLRB governs relations between private employers and their employees, so it has no power over public schools. Its findings on Northwestern became public on Friday in response to an ESPN.com Freedom of Information Act request.

Here’s the reason the schools and the NCAA will be shitting bricks:

In addition to granting players greater freedoms, the NLRB ruling will offer athletes a clear path to bring their issues before an independent agency outside of the organizations that have historically governed college athletics — the universities, the conferences and the NCAA.

So while this ruling did not address compensation for athletes, someone could now file a charge with the NLRB asserting that failing to pay players constitutes an unfair labor practice. After all, if the NLRB — which is led by a five-person board and a general counsel, all appointed by the president — declared that close monitoring of social media is an unfair labor practice, it is an open question how it would view failure to pay players. Until now, the issue has been contested only in antitrust courts.

Meaning that an antitrust exemption wouldn’t save them here.

Then again, I guess they could just kick every private school out of the NCAA.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label

Such a deal

When you compare the cost of hot seats

If LSU was ready to fire Les Miles for going 9-3, then it will be ready to fire him if he goes 9-3 again. Except for one thing: His buyout still exceeds $10 million — $12.9 million, to be exact – if he is fired before December 31. That would be payable over six years, but still.

Kentucky’s Mark Stoops has had back-to-back 5-7 seasons, but what has frustrated fans in the Commonwealth is that the Wildcat have had 5-1 and 4-1 starts in the past two seasons, then faltered. But Stoops seems safe regardless of the win total considering he has a $12 million buyout.

Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin has gone from 11 wins to nine to eight then eight again. A&M isn’t crazy about paying a coach $5 million to go 8-5, but the school might feel uncomfortable paying a huge buyout – if Sumlin is axed after this season, he would be owed $15 million, payable within 60 days.

Auburn’s Gus Malzahn took the Tigers to the national championship game in 2013, his first season as coach. Since then, Auburn has gone 8-5 and 7-6. That hasn’t instilled confidence on the Plains. Auburn is average at quarterback and running back, which doesn’t bode well for Malzahn’s attack. But can Auburn afford to pay him off if he has another seven-win season? It would owe him $6.7 million.

… junking the Gus Bus is a relative bargain.  Shrewdly managed, Jay Jacobs.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Greg McGarity, looking into the abyss

It may have been a moot point at the time, given that, in retrospect, Greg McGarity relied heavily on the guidance of the the search firm he retained to find a replacement for Mark Richt the fix was in, but I, like others, wondered why 2015’s hot coaching name, Houston’s Tom Herman, seemed to receive little more than a cursory glance from Georgia’s direction.  Sure, there were some bullshit rumors floating around about Herman, but given that his name is floating around as a possible replacement after the 2016 season if things go south at places like LSU, Texas or Texas A&M, it’s hard to take any of that seriously.

On the other hand, I can see how this might have stopped things dead in their tracks in Athens.

According to an interoffice memo sent from Houston athletic director Hunter Yurachek to Herman on Nov. 30, Herman would receive a $5 million bonus—payable over two years—if Houston joins “a conference with television of $20 million or more per member.” The Big 12 fits that description. Should none of those super premium jobs open and Houston win a golden ticket into the Power 5, that extra $2.5 million a year combined with his $3 million salary would pay Herman what many of the best Power 5 coaches make. The memo also promises that upon entry to such a conference, the school would immediately renegotiate a contract that would put Herman’s compensation among the top half of the league’s head coaches.

That’s just what Herman had on the table from a mid-major program.  Can you imagine what his agent was looking for from a potential SEC employer, particularly one who had just canned a ten-game winner?  I can only imagine McGarity’s response to having the terms of that memo read to him and then being asked, “and you?”.

At least he’s paying Kirby less than he was paying Richt.

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

“Being connected through their device is their expectation whether it’s music or sports.”

The NFL embraces Wi-Fi connectivity at stadiums.  Of course, when you’re shaking down the taxpayers for new stadiums every few years, it’s a lot easier to integrate the newest technology into your infrastructure.  So it’s not clear if this is a trend that will trickle down to the next level quickly.

But don’t tell me this won’t resonate with colleges sooner or later.

More teams are monetizing their apps by selling merchandise, food and drinks to fans, as well as tickets for future games. This is another reason it’s important to have a strong Wi-Fi connection and plenty of beacons in place. The beacons pinpoint where a fan is located within the stadium. By knowing this, the team can send messages about discounts, whether on merchandise or hot dogs at that moment in the stadium. The beacons also allow the stadium to give helpful information to fans such as how long the nearest bathroom wait is going to be.

VenueNext and YinzCam are two mobile platform developers used by many professional teams and arenas to boost profits through additional sales and advertising. All of these options make it easier for fans to spend money, and for stadiums and teams to make money.

It would be so Georgia to charge fans for an app to let them know which bathrooms had the shortest wait.  Greg McGarity’s probably already on that mother.

(h/t Raleighwood Dawg)

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, Science Marches Onward

Saturday morning buffet

Time for a little college football nosh.

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Filed under College Football, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, SEC Football, Whoa, oh, Alabama

This salary aggression will not stand, man.

Coaching contracts these days have long ceased to floor me, so Jim Harbaugh getting a sweetened deal that promises to take his total compensation to $9 million in basic pay for his current contract year is just another brick in the wall of schools being full of crap when they plead poverty…

… but if a guy who has yet to win a Big Ten title is worth that kind of jack, what’s Nick Saban worth?  Something tells me we’ll find out sooner or later.  Right, Mr. Sexton?

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Filed under Heard About Harbaugh?, It's Just Bidness