Category Archives: It’s Just Bidness

It’s what’s not on the back of the jersey that doesn’t count.

An astute reader sent me an email last week noting the absence of #27 jerseys on the official Georgia website and wondered if the school made a deliberate choice to do so in the wake of O’Bannon.  Good question, and one that prompted a little digging on my part.

I can’t say for sure if that’s motivated Georgia, but it looks like other schools have decided to do just that.

The Nebraska athletic department is joining lots of other schools in limiting the numbers on the jerseys fans can buy. For this year, only No. 1 and No. 15 — as in 2015 — will be sold at the Huskers Authentic team store. Next year, it’ll be 1 and 16.

Licensees selling jerseys are limited to the same numbers, and nobody gets a grandfather clause.

And the change isn’t just for football, but for all sports that have jersey replicas for sale.

The new policy was announced in the last paragraph of a news release for Football Fan Day, which this year takes place on Aug. 5.

The rationale?

“Basically, we do not want to attribute any number to any specific student-athlete,” said David Witty, senior associate athletic director for marketing and communications.

The University of Miami announced a similar policy two weeks ago.

And Witty, interviewed by phone, said it was apparent from Big Ten Media Days in Chicago that other Big Ten teams are doing the same thing.

“It’s pretty consistent,” he said. “This is becoming the norm.”

I’ll say this – it certainly lowers the hypocrisy level, which is a refreshing change.  Though I’ll be interested to see what happens to sales when fans can’t buy jerseys with their favorite players’ numbers on them.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Paint it black, swoosh edition.

You know, I was fully prepared to fire off a blog post mocking Alabama for being the team embracing black jerseys this season, until I found out Nike’s got bigger plans than that.

According to a report, several college football teams will be wearing black uniforms this season. Andrew Lind of the Tidewater News tweeted several photos on Saturday of black Nike uniform t-shirt designs — the same designs that will reportedly be used on jerseys this fall. Teams that are reported to participate include Alabama, Florida, LSU, Georgia, Florida State and a few others.

Yes, the same people who visited those Power Ranger abominations on the Dawgs for that 2011 game against Boise State are ready to dazzle us with this:

No, it’s not the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen – although we haven’t been blessed with a helmet shot, so there’s still a chance – but I find it amusing that with all the debate among the fan base about when the Dawgs should choose to dabble in going black again, the decision is apparently being taken out of our hands.

And how schmucky could Nike be with this?  Why not dictate that Georgia has to wear these in the Alabama game?


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

Raises for everybody!

Just the other day, Jere Morehead had this to say about Georgia’s new-found spending ways.

“Certainly the members of the Southeastern Conference are doing very well now,” Morehead said, “but I think it is also important to be prudent and careful because you do not know how long this period will last and you want to be thoughtful of how you spend your resources…”

Which is an interesting framework to view some news Marc Weiszer just teased out.

Tight ends coach and co-special teams coordinator John Lilly and outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer each got raises of at least $100,000 to bring them each to $350,000 annually, according to information provided to the Athens Banner-Herald in an open records request. Lilly made $250,000 last year and Sherrer made $220,000.

Athletic director Greg McGarity said those boosts in salary happened “months ago.”

Former Georgia wide receivers coach Tony Ball was the fifth highest paid assistant last year at $260,000. Now every Georgia assistant makes more than that with new running backs coach Thomas Brown and inside linebackers coach Mike Ekeler at $275,000 each. Ekeler got a pay raise of about $25,000.

Georgia’s nine assistant coaches are making a combined $4,810,200, including $1.3 million for defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and $960,200 for new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Georgia assistant coaching salaries totaled about $3.31 million last year.

Only LSU ($5.49 million) and Alabama ($5.21 million) paid their assistants more than $4.81 million last year, according to a salary survey compiled by USA Today.

Georgia is now paying its assistant staff more money than Auburn (with Boom as college football’s highest paid assistant, mind you) is.  Let that roll around in your brain for a second.

These guys are starting to freak me out a little.


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

“There needs to be a level playing field here, some way.”

As noted before, Georgia’s raised its COA figure to middle of the pack by SEC standards.  And Seth Emerson reports it’s a fluid situation.

McGarity said UGA, especially Morehead, will be keeping an eye on COA figures around the SEC and the nation, in the hopes it levels out. If not, they’ll revisit Georgia’s next year.

“Our president has been very involved in the whole issue of cost-of-attendance,” McGarity said. “He has been very vocal in his concern about an uneven playing field, about the consequences that has now become evident, even in our conference, about the vast differences.”

It’s not that they’re scared of what they’re paying players.  It’s that they’re scared of what everyone else is paying them.


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

“Who doesn’t want more money?”

Count me in the “if it walks like a duck…” school of thought camp.  So when I hear folks talk like this

“Any little money will be nice,” said Georgia senior offensive tackle Kolton Houston. “There are spots throughout my college career that you definitely have to be like, ‘Do I go put gas money in my car or do I go eat dinner somewhere?’ That’s definitely going to make things a lot easier.”

… or this…

Bulldogs outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins said he’s “happy” to get his stipend.

“I’m hoping it’s a decent amount so I can get some new clothes instead of waiting for the holidays and waiting for mom and dad to get me some new outfits,” he said.

… or this…

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema thinks his staff needs to keep an eye out on of how players handle their money.

“You give a young man 18, 19, 20, 21 with a little bit of pocket change, with a lot of money to make bad decisions, things can go sideways in a New York minute,” he said. “So you got a kid that’s never had $1,000 in his pocket, and all of a sudden he’s got $2,000, that’s dangerous. That leads to dumb decisions. I think we have to monitor that as coaches and be aware of that.”

… or this

“As a freshman, if you start saving, you can have a large sum of money saved,” Theus said. “Some guys like to spend their money. Some guys have the things they like, watches or whatever it may be. They might to choose to spend it on that. But coach Richt is going to educate the guys and try to make them realize this is money they can save.”

… as far as I’m concerned, they can skip the euphemisms.  Student-athletes are getting paid, period.  And plenty of schools are falling all over themselves to pay the kids as much as they can.

Surprisingly, the world as we know it isn’t ending.  We haven’t heard so much as a peep lately out of Jim Delany about his plans to take the Big Ten to Division III.

So as amateurism is getting nibbled around the edges to death, how many of you are giving up on college football now?


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

There’s penny pinching. Then there’s Steve Patterson.

You read this, and suddenly Greg McGarity doesn’t seem so bad.


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

A random act of trollery

Those of you who swore the end of your love for college football the moment student-athletes were paid… well, in the face of this news

A rare occurrence is going to happen soon: Current college athletes are going to be paid for commercialized use of their image and likeness. About 400-450 current college football and men’s basketball players made claims in the Electronic Arts and NCAA video game settlements, according to Leonard Aragon, a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

Assuming the video game settlement is approved July 16 by U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, there will be active players cashing checks because their image was used in video games. Court documents show that a player could receive between $74 and $6,700 depending on the frequency and use of his image in the games. The maximum number could still increase. Current players make up less than 3 percent of the claims since many of them never appeared in the games.

… can the rest of us have your tickets?


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA