Category Archives: Political Wankery

Wednesday morning buffet

Morsels and nuggets, just for you:

  • Zamir White’s teammates are waiting for him.
  • According to the “Madness, Inc.” report, $986 million is spent annually on student-athlete scholarships at these schools to support 45,000 student athletes. That ends up being just under $22,000 per student. By comparison, approximately $1.2 billion is spent annually on coaches’ salaries to pay just 4,400 coaches. That averages out to about $273,000 per coach per year.”
  • In addition to (allegedly) murdering several hookers, Ted Cruz is accused of doing the same to Texas Tech’s national championship dreams.
  • Robert Beal was back at practice yesterday, so running those stadium steps must have paid off.
  • Another state looks at a bill allowing for student-athlete compensation.
  • Alabama and Oklahoma have scheduled a home and home for… 2032 and 2033.
  • There’s only one class in America like this“The conversation started with a question about using plays suggested by prison inmates and quickly shifted to a Valdosta State custodian named Big John who once offered a helpful tip for the school’s offensive linemen.”
  • Just curious — how much of a say-so do you think Fulmer had in the hire of Tee Martin?
  • Somebody obviously doesn’t pay attention to who’s in the stands for those cupcake games:  “(G-Day) is awesome,” quarterback Jake Fromm said. “It’s really better than a home game because you have only your fans there…”
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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, College Football, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Mike Leach. Yar!, Political Wankery, The NCAA

Just what Alabama needed.

It certainly was an eventful weekend to be an Auburn fan.  Aside from prematurely ejaculating over a men’s basketball national championship game appearance that never materialized, they were also greeted with this news:

Veteran college football coach Tommy Tuberville will run for the United States Senate in Alabama as a Republican, sources tell CBS Sports.

The longtime Auburn coach had considered running for governor in 2017. Instead, he will begin his political career pursuing the senate seat currently held by Democrat Doug Jones. The Republican primary for the seat is March 3, 2020. If Tuberville makes it through, the general election is Nov. 3, 2020.

Jones won the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions in 2017 when Sessions became U.S. Attorney General. In a bitter, contentious special election campaign, Jones finally beat Roy Moore by half a percentage point.

Former Donald Trump press secretary Sean Spicer is working on Tuberville’s campaign.

That combination of talent immediately brought this to mind.

Hey, it beats talking about the season he went to the spread and got fired.

************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Oh, boy.

I’m beginning to think there’s some real blogging manna potential here.

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Filed under Political Wankery, Tommy Tuberville - Mythical National Champ

Threat assessment, NCAA edition

A couple of things:

I know some of you blithely insist that collegiate men’s basketball and football could be stripped of its elite talent and not miss a beat.  I see things like bloated recruiting budgets, infrastructure spending on meeting space for recruits, theme park accoutrements (looking at you, Clemson) and $10k lockers and think that most schools disagree with that.

So I can’t help but wonder how much of a problem these startup pro football leagues are perceived to be by P5 programs.  It’s not so much that I see them as having viable futures — AAF, we hardly knew ye — as I do recognize the short attention span of some eighteen-year old boys.  I mean, check this out:

Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross thinks that for the right price some college players will leave the NCAA to play in the XFL.

Ross told Bleacher Report that before his big breakout he was ready to transfer and felt disappointed over receiving little playing time in Clemson’s first two games of the season. His mother told him to stay at Clemson, but he admitted that an XFL paycheck could be an alluring reason for some players to leave college before they’re eligible to enter the NFL.

Damn, two games in and a true freshman was already chafing over playing time?  Can I see an agent or a league rep swooping in and promising a player like Ross cash money and a better opportunity and getting a receptive response?  That I can.  Can I imagine Dabo’s head exploding in response?  That I can.

And I can only think of one way the schools could combat that.  (HINT:  It’s not by putting the XFL on probation.)

Here’s another.

The NCAA does nothing to change its hallowed “collegiate model” — aka amateurism — without pressure…

That’s why it was refreshing to hear NCAA president Mark Emmert open the door just a bit on players owning their name, image and likeness.

Novel concept, I know. Athletes taking control of their own human essence. Judging from what we heard Thursday at the Final Four, this is the latest legal hill the NCAA is not going to die on.

The legal pressure on that issue is a bill introduced by a North Carolina representative that would allow athletes to profit off what is lawfully theirs.

A similar bill is being introduced in California

When asked about Walker’s bill Thursday, Emmert seemed open to considering some form of athletes capitalizing on their name, image and likeness.

“We’ve talked to the congressman and tried to understand his position,” Emmert said in his annual state of the union address at the Final Four. “There is very likely to be in the coming months even more discussion about the whole notion of name, image and likeness [and] how it fits into the current legal framework.

“Similarly, there needs to be a lot of conversation about how, if it was possible, how it would be practical. Is there a way to make that work? Nobody has been able up with a resolution of that yet.”

What you didn’t hear is Emmert dismissing the concept out of hand. He’s too smart for that now. The NCAA has been found guilty twice in the last five years of violating federal anti-trust laws. It’s not even worth debating whether the NCAA is a monopoly.

If it’s hard for Emmert to understand Walker’s position, I don’t think that’s because Walker has done a poor job of communicating his bill’s purpose.  It’s hard because Emmert doesn’t want to cede ground on amateurism unless he has no choice.

That’s not because the NCAA stands to lose money if student-athletes can market themselves.  What concerns Emmert is if the change occurs without any resulting negative impact to collegiate revenue producing sports.  Because if it plays out that way, that’s going to grease the skids on the inevitable slippery slope for schools and the NCAA to share their revenues with student-athletes.

I wonder which of these is the bigger concern right now.

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

Politicians are fans, too.

Senator Chris Murphy, who’s been looking into the NCAA’s rules against paying student-athletes, is issuing a report today called Madness, Inc.: How is everyone getting rich off college sports—except the players.  He thinks something needs to be done, but knows there’s a built-in reluctance for many of his peers.

“When it comes up in casual conversation, I get a lot of nodding heads,” Murphy said. “That being said, the Power Five is the Power Five. The majority of senators have a school that belongs to a Power Five conference. There’s always been a little hesitancy here in taking on the college sports complex.”

How much of that is power taking care of the powerful and how much of it comes from having a direct rooting interest?  I have no idea, but note this comment from Murphy in the same article:  “I follow recruiting pretty closely…”  That may be the first time I’ve ever heard anyone in Congress admit that.  Some enterprising marketer at Sports247 or Rivals ought to promote that.  I mean, since student-athletes can’t…

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

TFW you’re winning hearts and minds

If anyone with the NCAA thinks that going to Congress to get an antitrust exemption is going to be a walk in the proverbial park, I would advise him or her to watch this clip with Rep. Mark Walker explaining his recently introduced “Student-Athlete Equity Act”.

That’s a conservative Congressman attacking amateurism on Fox News, without any substantive pushback.  Notice also that Walker takes pains to avoid sounding like someone trying to impose rules on the schools and the NCAA.

Again, a proactive organization would sense the ground is shifting under its feet and plan accordingly, but this is the NCAA we’re talking about.

(h/t)

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

Is the NCAA working the refs, or are the refs working the NCAA?

Andy Staples has more background on that Mark Walker student-athlete compensation bill being introduced shortly.

Walker met with several NCAA leaders last week because he’d still like to get this issue settled without passing a law. The group included NCAA general counsel Donald Remy, who was named the NCAA’s Chief Operating Officer late last month. Remy’s presence at the meeting tells us the NCAA takes this very seriously. Last week, the NCAA contingent wanted to let the courts decide all these issues. (Which makes sense, because Remy knew which way the wind was blowing in Oakland.)

The NCAA should worry, because Walker isn’t alone. He says he has met with House Democrats such as Bobby Scott (Virginia), Cedric Richmond (Louisiana) and Hakeem Jeffries (New York) about this bill, and Walker expects bipartisan support. “When we get ready to drop this thing on Thursday, we’re going to have overwhelming support,” Walker says. “It isn’t just going to be a Republican thing.”  [Emphasis added.]

It’s pretty clear why Walker went on the record publicly about what he’s doing.  He hopes to goad the NCAA into being proactive on player compensation.  Unfortunately for Walker, the NCAA isn’t an organization known for taking hints, subtle or otherwise.

Will there be Congressional hearings on the legislation?  One can only hope.

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

A new front opens in the amateurism war.

Finally, a free market pol who walks the walk:

The NCAA must allow student-athletes to use their name, image and likeness, opening the door for players to profit while in school, under new federal legislation proposed by a member of Republican House leadership.

The bill, to be introduced by Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina next week, would amend the definition of a qualified amateur sports organization in the tax code to remove the restriction on student-athletes using or being compensated for use of their name, image and likeness.

“Signing on with a university, if you’re a student-athlete, should not be (a) moratorium on your rights as an individual. This is the time and the moment to be able to push back and defend the rights of these young adults,” said Walker, a former college athlete and vice chair of the Republican conference.

I can’t wait to hear some of you call Walker a closet socialist.

Meanwhile, the NCAA is doing itself a grave disservice by not getting out ahead of this while it still has the chance to be proactive and construct something that’s at least moderately beneficial for itself.  Then again, this is the NCAA…

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA