Category Archives: It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Blinged

You know, it’s Central Florida honoring a Gasparilla Bowl win with a ring, so that’s two strikes against it…

… and, yet, somehow it still works.  Go figure.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Stylin'

Cutting edge

I dunno… I assume the players like this, but it smacks me as trying a little too hard.

Remember, it’s the scanning code on the front of the jersey that counts.

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Stylin'

What does it take to coach at Grambling State?

I don’t know if it’s an outright requirement, but apparently having “Title IX complaint” on your resume is a plus there.

For the second time in five days, Grambling State has hired an offensive coordinator with a Title IX complaint next to his name.

The promotion of John Simon to offensive coordinator on Friday is the second time new coach Hue Jackson has announced a coach who could be in jeopardy of not getting approved for the role.

Art Briles stepped down from the position on Feb. 28 just four days following the announcement of his controversial hiring. His Title IX scandal while coach at Baylor has been well-documented and has blocked his attempts to be a coach elsewhere.

Simon was placed on administrative leave at his previous job at Memphis on Feb. 22, 2021, after a sexual assault and Title IX complaint was filed against him. Jackson had hired him in January as an assistant head coach and wide receivers coach.

Shit, Briles is probably having second thoughts about walking away.  Clearly Hue Jackson is a man willing to go to the mat for sexual assault scandals.  Must be that forgiveness thing.

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Your winnings, sir.

Talk about sending a mixed message

In what is being billed as the first deal of its kind in the NCAA, the Mid-American Conference has signed a statistical data partnership and sponsorship agreement with Genius Sports, the league announced Wednesday.

The five-year agreement gives Genius Sports the rights to manage and market the stats for all sports in the conference. And it requires sports betting companies to pay for the MAC’s data if they want official statistics in real time, which are used to help set their betting lines.

As stances go, “kids, don’t bet on football; also, don’t pay attention to what we’re doing with gamblers for money” is certainly one of them, albeit not exactly a coherent one.

Eh?  What’s that, you say?  Oh, that never occurred to them.

All five states within the MAC (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio) have legalized sports wagering — the only FBS league with that status — but commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said the conference didn’t form the partnership to promote betting.

It just so happens that the deal is structured to require sports betting companies to pay for the data. What a lucky coincidence for you, Jon.

“We’re doing this to control our data, which ends up in the public domain anyway,” Steinbrecher told ESPN. “We want to manage that asset. We want that asset to provide value back to our institutions so that we can support our student-athletes, plain and simple.”

And there’s your tell — the “doing it for the kids” justification.  That’s how you know a conference commissioner’s taking a noble position on a matter.

There has been a perception in college athletics that NCAA rules prohibit selling statistical data to a sports wagering entity, but the MAC contends that’s not the case.

“We are of the opinion that the deal we’re entering into is consistent with NCAA rules and regulations,” Steinbrecher said.

In today’s college athletics, perceptions are fine as long as they don’t cost anything.

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Filed under Bet On It, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness

I love the MAC in the spring.

Damn, fellas, you were so close to starting a trend I could get behind.

Too bad this didn’t have legs.  I would love to watch spring games between two schools.  Make ’em FBS vs. FCS, if you like, and charge a little something to pass on to programs that need the funding.

(h/t)

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Art, they hardly knew ye.

Ah, well.  The dream is over.

Four days after announcing Art Briles as Grambling State’s new offensive coordinator, the embattled former football coach at Baylor resigned.

A Grambling State spokesperson told the News-Star on Monday that Briles had resigned but offered no details.

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of your coaching staff at Grambling State University,” Briles said in a statement. “Unfortunately, I feel that my continued presence will be a distraction to you and your team, which is the last thing that I want. I have the utmost respect the university, and the players.”

At least he respects somebody.

Grambling athletic director Trayvean Scott told ESPN Thursday that it took him 10 days of researching before supporting the decision to hire Briles.

“I think the guy just wants to coach and lead men,” Scott told ESPN when asked specifically about what made him comfortable about hiring Briles when many other schools and organizations weren’t. “We’re not talking about a perfect situation or devaluing things done in the past and how it has has affected people. He’s sympathetic and empathetic about what went on.”

He probably spent the entire ten days looking for a single statement from Briles expressing remorse for what happened under his watch at Baylor.

We can only hope that this whole experience hasn’t re-traumatized the victims.  Well, except for Briles, who can go screw himself.  Now, on to getting Scott and Jackson to explain coherently what they were thinking in the first place besides just win, baby.

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Filed under General Idiocy, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Today, in utter horseshit

This is truly something.

The last paragraph — Art Briles as victim — is particularly contemptible.  These people should all rot.

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant

Thanks a lot, Art.

It’s still early, but this is starting to sound like the “not so fast, my friends” decision of 2022.

Art Briles was announced as the offensive coordinator at Grambling State on Thursday, but there still are hurdles to clear before the embattled former Baylor football coach can be approved for the position.

Grambling had yet to notify the University of Louisiana System that it intends to hire Briles as of late Friday. Once that happens, Briles will still need a majority vote from the 16-member board to formalize his hiring and join first-year Tigers coach Hue Jackson’s staff. The board’s next meeting is set for April 28.

“It’s up to the board and our board takes things very seriously,” said Cami Geisman, vice president of external affairs and chief of staff for the UL System. “They’re not a rubber-stamp board by any means.”

How would you like to be one of those board members, thrown into a situation that you didn’t invite and likely don’t approve of?  And now you’ll be facing all sorts of attention and pressure you didn’t ask for over the next two months.

There’s no way I’d expect Briles to save face and walk away, even if he were informed his contract didn’t have the votes.  In fact, I’d halfways expect him to threaten to sue if the board dared to turn down his deal.

May have to go to the store to buy more popcorn…

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Filed under General Idiocy, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Today, in timing is everything

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine sucking all the oxygen out of the attention room, this is like the ultimate news dump.

Six months from now, people are gonna see Briles on the sideline and wonder when the hell that happened.

Two years from now, there will be several P5 ADs trying to figure out how they can pull the same trick with Briles.

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An “open letter to college football”

Just a reminder that the current battle over playoff expansion isn’t simply an SEC vs. the Alliance matter:

… American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco pushed back against the Atlantic Coast Conference’s reasons for not wanting to expand the four-team College Football Playoff right now, and issued rebuttals for other key obstacles that have slowed down the approval process for a 12-team format.

As far as I’m concerned, the more squabbling over this, the merrier.  If they can’t resolve their differences until 2026, at least that buys me a few more meaningful regular seasons.  Rock on, Mike!

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major