Category Archives: It’s Just Bidness

“We don’t want the game to move, but don’t give us a reason to move it.”

Good assessment of the Cocktail Party’s future from a Jacksonville beat writer’s perspective here.

If there’s any legitimate threat to the game leaving Jacksonville, it’d be a combination of two things: not acquiescing to the schools’ contractual demand of the Georgia-Florida game capacity remaining 82,917, along with any future push from Georgia to maybe bring Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium into the equation on a biennial basis.

It’s no secret the replacement venue for the demolished Georgia Dome has become a huge neutral-site player on the college football landscape. With an expanded capacity of 75,000, though it’s almost 8,000 less seats than TIAA Bank Field, the only way Atlanta can significantly outspend Jacksonville for the Georgia-Florida game in terms of payout would be to charge at least double for club seats.

“The biggest threat [for Jacksonville] is somebody comes along and offers $5 million per team,” said TaxSlayer Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett. “But to get that, you have to set the same price as Atlanta and Dallas gets for neutral-site games. So those club seats that are $125 [at TIAA Bank Field] might have to go as high as $300. I know Georgia won’t want to do that to its fan base.”

In other words, the game isn’t coming to Atlanta.  But you knew that, right?

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

It’s what’s on the side of the TV camera that matters.

Dabo’s policy for ACC Media Days being what it is — no underclassmen — Trevor Lawrence won’t be in attendance.  David Hale notes what a disappointment that must be for at least one party.

That new ACC Network isn’t gonna sell itself, you know.

Which brings me to today’s question:  Lawrence clearly has promotional (i.e., commercial) value to a third party that doesn’t contribute a single thing to his academic experience.  For the sake of argument, let’s say Dabo gets overruled, relents and directs Lawrence to appear (gratis, of course).  Isn’t that an obvious case of exploitation?

46 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, It's Just Bidness

What do SEC schools have against tailgating, anyway?

I posted yesterday about the unique social atmosphere that’s at the heart of the college football experience.  Yet, between the hostility towards tailgating that’s been a hallmark at Georgia since the Michael Adams days and the effort at many conference schools to weaponize the revenue stream from fans who only want to get together to experience Saturdays in the fall, it’s like conference schools don’t give a rat’s ass about the average fan’s enjoyment.

It’s incredibly short-sighted.  The more you treat college football like any other sport, the less incentive we have to keep showing up as we have done historically.  Yet, you know one day AD’s are gonna wake up and wonder where everyone went.

59 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

You pays your money and you makes your choice.

So,

I don’t mean to offer that as the source of a Daily Gator post (although you’re free to take it that way), but instead, to ask this:  if paying players meant that athletic departments would be forced to exercise better judgment handing out coaching contracts so that stupid buyouts like this one were curtailed, would that be such a bad trade off?

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UPDATE:  Oh, and this guy.

For some reason, he doesn’t mention the problem with coaches and administrators splitting the pot with the players.  I wonder why.

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UPDATE #2:  This, too.

It’s nice to have friends with (other people’s) money.

14 Comments

Filed under General Idiocy, It's Just Bidness

More thoughts on California’s “Fair Pay to Play Act”

There are a couple of good passages from this post at The Athletic ($$) about the showdown between the NCAA and the California legislature over the latter’s “Fair Pay to Play Act” worth sharing here, not from an advocacy standpoint, but as an informational reference in response to questions I’ve seen in the comments section regularly.

The first is regarding where student-athletes who aren’t the star quarterback or point guard could possibly look to find a way to monetize themselves.  It’s easy to forget the kind of world we live in today, but there are more options for that than perhaps we realize.

… In response to a frequently heard criticism of the bill that it would only enrich a few big-name football and basketball stars, Skinner notes that local businesses, not just national name brands, would be interested in running commercials and giving other NIL-earning opportunities to multiple athletes on college teams. Skinner cited the example of a star female wrestler from a small California town who will never make money as a professional athlete, but under SB 206 would be entitled to receive NIL money from a proud local sponsor.

It’s not just athletes in the traditional “money” sports who would benefit. Skinner points to UCLA superstar gymnast Katelyn Ohashi, whose perfect floor exercise has been viewed by almost 44 million viewers on YouTube. Why, Skinner asks, shouldn’t she be allowed to monetize her athletic success in the way that other YouTube personalities, with far fewer views, have found ways to do?

Why, indeed.

As for the concern about abuse of the rules by boosters, University of San Diego School of Law adjunct law professor Len Simon, who had a role in crafting the bill, maintains that the NCAA would not be precluded from regulation of that problem.

Asked about the possibility that alumni groups or wealthy university supporters could form sham sponsorships, and thereby unleash a bidding war for athletes far beyond what legitimate business sponsors truly intent on gaining athlete endorsers would be willing to pay, Simon told The Athletic that the NCAA still would be within its rights to police such activity, by requiring that NIL agreements with athletes satisfy a legitimate commercial test. Further, the NCAA could insist that NIL payments not be used to steer an athlete to a particular school – a limitation which the NCAA also would have to enforce.

That might not be as hard as you think.  For one thing, players would have different incentives under the new regime that would undercut such behavior.

Simon adds that one virtue of an unrestricted, but legitimate NIL market is that it could “dry up” the under-the-table payments from certain companies to athletes that have been at the heart of the recent college basketball scandal. He asks: “If nationally recruited high school basketball players knew that legitimate payments were around the corner, why would they risk their college eligibility by taking secret payments?”

That’s similar to arguing that additional revenue flowing to student-athletes might also serve to keep more of them in school longer, rather than leaving early trying to take a questionable jump to the NFL and NBA.  I’m not sure how that’s a bad thing for college athletics.

Food for thought, anyway.

7 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, The NCAA

NCAA, when you’ve lost Lou Holtz…

Company man bites dog.

As for the state of college football, Holtz can only shake his head at coaches like Clemson’s Dabo Swinney making more than $9 million a year or coordinators getting multi-million dollar contracts.

“When I went to the University of Notre Dame they told me the policy was the head coach was not allowed to make more than the president,” Holtz said. “And the president was a priest who took the vow of poverty.”

For the record, Holtz said his salary was $95,000.

“The salaries have escalated and gotten out of hand,” he said. “I can understand why players are upset that they’re not getting part of that money. If you can pay a coach seven or eight million dollars …”

Although it wouldn’t surprise me if his real gripe is that he’s not twenty years younger and coaching today.

8 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

If only they handed out championships for making money.

AirForceDawg has done his annual dive into the financial information available at the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics Data Analysis (EADA) website and come up with the numbers for the fourteen SEC schools for the most current fiscal year.  (For year-over-year comparison purposes, you might want to review last year’s post on the subject.)

If you’re wondering whether Georgia did okay, well, judge for yourself.

– Revenues: $176,699,894
– Expenses: $124,029,698
– Profit: $52,670,196

– Men’s Teams
— Revenue: $142,260,691
— Expenses: $61,790,672
— Profit: $80,470,019

– Women’s Teams
— Revenue: $4,704,781
— Expenses: $19,328,309
— Losses: -$14,623,528

– Football
— Revenue: $129,023,591
— Expenses: $44,909,546
— Profit: $84,114,045

– Men’s Basketball
— Revenue: $10,252,418
— Expenses: $8,539,387
— Profit: $1,713,031

Overall athletic department revenue is up and so is the net profit. The real eye-opener is football profit, which increased from $56,947,313 in fiscal year 2017 to an astounding $84,114,045.  Doing the math, it appears that almost $32 million of that figure went into subsidizing other programs besides men’s basketball and, of course, general administrative expenses.

The comparison with Georgia’s thirteen SEC peers is quite remarkable, as well.

1. Georgia: $176,699,894 Revenue, $124,029,698 Expenses, $52,670,196 Profit
2. Alabama: $181,470,156 Revenue, $149,583,715 Expenses, $31,886,441 Profit
3. Auburn: $147,620,572 Revenue, $132,354,047 Expenses, $15,266,525 Profit
4. Mississippi State: $93,752,613 Revenue, $83,560,214 Expenses, $10,192,399 Profit
5. Texas A&M: $152,971,142 Revenue, $143,231,483 Expenses, $9,739,659 Profit
6. LSU: $145,422,795 Revenue, $137,451,522 Expenses, $7,971,273 Profit
7. Vanderbilt: $80,093,541 Revenue, $74,070,975 Expenses, $6,022,566 Profit
8. Arkansas: $132,545,645 Revenue, $130,595,275 Expenses, $1,950,370 Profit
9. Kentucky: $125,462,485 Revenue, $125,236,165, $226,320 Profit
10. South Carolina: $140,084,150 Revenue, $139,972,480 Expenses, $111,670 Profit
T11. Florida: $157,240,476 Revenue, $157,240,476 Expenses, $0 Profit
T11. Tennessee: $142,686,084 Revenue, $142,686,084 Expenses, $0 Profit
T11. Ole Miss: $99,157,535 Revenue, $99,157,535 Expenses, $0 Profit
T11. Missouri: $93,744,322 Revenue, $93,744,322 Expenses, $0 Profit

When you add it up, the total profit the other 13 schools racked up totaled $83,267,223, an average of $6,405,171.  As a percentage, Georgia’s profit alone comprised 38.75% of the SEC’s total profit.  Yowza!

Believe it or not, I mention this not as a lead in to a rant about player exploitation, but simply to note that you’d think with all that money available, Greg McGarity could pilot an athletic department to a more robust result in the NACDA Learfield Directors’ Cup than a mediocre 25th-place finish [Ed. note:  current showing, pending baseball results] overall and sixth best in the SEC.  But that would mean caring as much about general athletic excellence as the reserve account balance, and that’s not how the Georgia Way is wired.

I keep coming back to this quote from McGarity when he was hired.

McGarity, who played and coached tennis at Georgia and worked in its athletic administration before leaving for Florida, said “there is nothing greater than being part of championships. That’s why we do what we do.

“At the end of the day,” he continued, “all the time you put in at the office, the fun comes when you’re competing for championships and you see what these coaches have done over a number of years to finally get to the top of the mountain and you’re able to be just a small piece of that.”

You having fun yet, Georgia fans?

We may not have the athletic director we want, but we do have the athletic director the powers that be think we deserve.

37 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness