Category Archives: Political Wankery

An exercise in futility

Look, mom!  A US Senator is trying to stuff the genie back in the bottle!

One of the most powerful Republicans in the U.S. Senate is reintroducing a bill to govern name, image and likeness (NIL) that would “preserve the unique amateur nature of college sports,” he says.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R., Miss.), the ranking member of the committee believed to hold jurisdiction over any NIL legislation, is proposing a similar bill to the one he introduced in December 2020. His legislation would legalize college athlete NIL by using a national standard of rules that prohibits boosters and schools from utilizing NIL in recruiting.

Rog, I hate to break it to you, but that “unique amateur nature of college sports” horse is already two counties over from the barn it escaped from.  Although I give you credit for giving the NCAA everything it had on its congressional shopping list.

The bill gives antitrust protection to the NCAA, schools and conferences in two ways. It prohibits former athletes from suing for retroactive NIL, and it explicitly notes college athletes should not be considered employees. The NCAA is fighting two ongoing court cases based on both of these elements.

Yeah, that’s going to be embraced by everyone.  Needless to say, this baby’s as DOA as his previous bill was.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

Siri, what is desperation?

When you’ve hit the “Save us, Obi Wan Tuberville, you’re our only hope” stage of NIL regulation, that’s pretty much the textbook definition.

The Power 5 conference commissioners say boosters are inducing high school and transfer athletes to attend their affiliated universities with “payments inaccurately labeled as NIL,” and they are encouraging Congress to make such actions illegal.

In a two-page letter obtained by Sports Illustrated and sent to Sens. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), the most powerful officials in the sport outlined how they believe NIL, or name, image and likeness, is being abused by donors and donor-led collectives across the country. The letter is in response to Tuberville and Manchin seeking feedback from stakeholders on the evolution of athlete compensation through NIL. Earlier this month, the senators announced that they plan to draft an NIL-related bill.

Suffice to say I don’t expect this to end particularly well.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, Tommy Tuberville - Mythical National Champ

Today, in (don’t) stick to sports

While I appreciate the attempt here to snark Florida football…

… if you’re gonna ding Dan Mullen, Tate, at least be accurate about his shortcomings.  I mean, it’s not like the Portal Master™ isn’t a target rich environment.

[Ed. note:  I’d like to think I don’t need to warn anyone of the consequences of going off the rails in the comments section with this, but I know better.  Consider yourselves warned.]


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Political Wankery

“I’ve talked to all my [coaching] buddies.”

Tubs, to the rescue!

You’ve got to admit a man who famously jumped ship from a school during a lunch with recruits ought to be an expert on free-for-alls.

Yeah, this is going to end well.


Filed under Political Wankery, Tommy Tuberville - Mythical National Champ

“I’m the governor, no big deal, governor of the state of California.”

So, this happened… or, more accurately, didn’t happen.

As governor of California, Gavin Newsom likewise is entrusted with oversight of the state’s massive, 10-campus university system.

So common sense might suggest that Newsom would have been among the very few people in the know last month as UCLA, along with private institution USC, announced plans to abandon Pac-12 Conference membership and join the Big Ten Conference in two years.

Speaking candidly with FOX-11 TV Los Angeles, Newsom declared he knew nothing in advance of the schools’ plans.

… Newsom doubled down on his being surprised at the move and indicated he was unaware that any discussion about the Bruins’ planned departure for the Midwestern and East Coast-based Big Ten had been broached at the higher levels.

“Is it a good idea? Did we discuss merits or demerits?,” Newsom asked. “I’m not aware that anyone did. So it was done in isolation, it was done without any regental oversight or support. It was done without any consideration to my knowledge.

“Now, perhaps there was deep conversation with other presidents, rather chancellors and presidents in the system it will impact more broadly. Not just to the UCs but to the other universities, including Stanford University.”

Though Newsom did not divulge what action or actions he believed could potentially be taken in the wake of UCLA’s decision, he emphasized the office of the governor is investigating the matter.

Do I think there’s anything he can do to reverse the decision?  Nah.  Do I think he’ll find some way in the future to stick it to UCLA?  Well, let’s put it this way — it probably wasn’t a smart move to give him the opportunity.


Filed under Political Wankery

Alex, I’ll take “false bravado” for $200.

Yeah, I’m sure that’s just the thing to shame Greg Sankey into action, Governor.


Filed under Blowing Smoke, Political Wankery

Transparency doesn’t win championships.

Hey, remember when members of the Georgia legislature cited the need for UGA to win football games as justification for putting a 90-day window in the state’s Open Records law as it applied to athletic departments?

The Louisiana legislature just said hold our beer.

Don’t ask, don’t tell, bitchez.


Filed under Political Wankery

Not the NIL I was expecting

Well, this is quite the plot twist.

The spectrum of activity surrounding name, image and likeness deals for college athletes grew wider this week when a college football quarterback announced his endorsement of a political figure as part of an NIL agreement. Tennessee-Martin senior Dresser Winn shared his support for a local district attorney candidate, Colin Johnson, on social media and repped Johnson’s campaign apparel while at a football camp.

“Thank you to life-long supporter, and candidate for District Attorney General for the 27th Judicial District of Tennessee, Colin Johnson, for coming to my camp this weekend!” Winn wrote. “Elections are in August, so make sure you are registered to vote!”

Winn’s NIL-fueled political endorsement is regarded as a first in college sports’ new frontier allowing athletes to profit off their public personas.

At the intersection of pay to play and stick to sports…


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

Josh Brooks pushes back.

And good for him.

I’ve had the privilege to work in collegiate athletics for more than 20 years, 11 of which have been at the University of Georgia. I love Athens. I have three boys that attend Clarke County schools.  Athens is woven into the fabric of my family’s life, so I was both saddened and disappointed to hear that an Athens-Clarke County commissioner recently made inaccurate, overgeneralized, and hurtful statements about our football student-athletes in a public meeting — statements that she has continued to defend in subsequent comments.

… The fact is, most of our student-athletes excel in all aspects of life, and while that does not excuse any instances of wrongdoing, it certainly underscores the fact that those transgressions tend to be the exception — not the rule.  The insinuation that a disproportionate number of our athletes are committing violent crimes is not only grossly inaccurate, but also woefully inappropriate and reckless. The idea that an overgeneralized, hurtful, and inaccurate statement should be accepted because it was in response to sarcastic quip about players drafted in a small room, is distasteful and careless. Misinformation and divisive rhetoric made public in any way is irresponsible, particularly coming from an elected official, as it provides a spark that can and has spread quickly.

Somebody from UGA needed to let Melissa Link know her comments about the football team were over the top.  Well said, sir.


Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery

“It’s a race to the bottom to some extent.”

And nobody wants to get left behind.

Gregory relayed the memory last week as an inspiration after rushing at the last minute to push through an amendment that would relax the state’s name, image and likeness law in hopes of further compensating athletes. In a move that should resonate from the SEC to NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis, a proposed bill would allow any athletic department official — including coaches — to assist with NIL deals.

After passing both the Missouri house and senate on Friday — less than a day before the end of the legislative session for the year — SB 718 now awaits only Gov. Mike Parson’s signature to become law.

“I want Missouri to have the best players,” said Gregory, now a farmer who grows corn, soybeans and wheat on 1,100 acres in the western half of the state.

Especially in the SEC.

That about summarizes the blink-and-you-miss-it climate. Missouri is poised to become the latest state to expand NIL opportunities beyond the NCAA rulebook.

Late last month, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill that significantly broadened NIL rights. It allows interaction between collectives, coaches and athletes. That could not have been well-received by the NCAA, which singled out collectives last week. Specifically, that law means the Knoxville-based Spyre Sports Group, which is overseeing the $8 million contract of a prospect believed to be quarterback Nico Iamaleava, would no longer be banned from interaction by the state.

Existing laws in Louisiana and Illinois are undergoing amendment conversions that would allow booster involvement…

In February, Alabama repealed its NIL law when it was deemed more restrictive than the NCAA’s meager standards. You’re not alone if you’ve noticed a lot of this activity is bubbling up from SEC schools.

“[The Missouri amendment] was more in response to looking at some other SEC state schools either a) just completely repealing their language or b) really the catalyst was when Tennessee made the same change that we did,” Gregory said.

He added: “When you have millions upon millions of dollars being thrown around and TV contracts and advertising and ticket sales and donors, the reason that [money] happens is the performance on the field. And the performance on the field comes from great coaches and great players.”

You have to think at some point in time Georgia joins the queue.


Filed under Political Wankery, SEC Football