Category Archives: Political Wankery

Pay as you go.

For once, I welcome our new legislative overlords.

With the athletic departments of Washington’s two biggest public colleges reporting budget deficits two years in a row, state Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) is proposing a bill that will subject college athletics budgets to legislature approval if their athletic departments run deficits for three consecutive years.

Washington State’s athletics department has reported deficits of about $13 million in each of the last two fiscal years, while UW’s athletics department projected a deficit of about $15 million for the 2016 fiscal year, but that figure was later updated to about a $7 or $8 million deficit. Last year, new WSU President Kirk Schulz also proposed a plan that he believes will get WSU’s athletic department solvent by 2019.

Under the new bill Baumgartner is proposing, if a college athletic department cannot get back in the black after three consecutive years, its budget will have to be reviewed and approved by the Commerce, Labor and Sports committee before it can be adopted by the college.

‘Bout damned time.

“I’m a big fan of college athletics, but I have no doubt much of the public would appreciate a timeout on the arms race of college athletics spending,” Baumgartner said in the news release. “This is about ensuring the long-term viability of these programs that give our state’s students so many opportunities. This bill gives our state’s universities a three-year runway from today to get their budgets balanced, and if they can’t do it, my committee will help do it for them.”

Help us to help you!

Of course, the hard part comes in deciphering a college athletics department’s budget.

“The overriding goal is to bring transparency and public oversight to the use of public resources,” Baumgartner said in a phone interview with The Seattle Times. “I think sports is an important part of the university experience, but within balance and reason. More than determining the outcome, I want to make sure public dollars are protected.”

If this bill passes, what do you want to bet those deficits come down faster than planned?

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25 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

The Republic is saved!

Meet LEAD1.

LEAD1 Association (the “Association” or “LEAD1”), which represents the 129 athletic directors and programs of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools, announced the formation of a Political Action Committee (“PAC’), a means by which the Association’s members and affiliate members can support candidates for elective office. A PAC allows the Association’s members and affiliate members to pool their personal financial resources to support candidates who philosophically align with the Association’s goals and objectives so that they achieve a stronger voice on Capitol Hill. The LEAD1 PAC will be the first for a college sports organization.

The Honorable C. Thomas McMillen, the President and Chief Executive Officer of LEAD1, who served three terms in Congress, commented, “This is a positive move by the board of the Association to support the goals of its members in dealing with policy makers. At the annual meeting in September, the members agreed to hold next year’s annual meeting in our nation’s capital and to explore the formation of a PAC. With the PAC now approved, it further ensures that the concerns of the LEAD1 members will be heard by members of Congress, and other key decision makers in Washington, D.C. and across the country.”

Essential to the mission of the LEAD1 Association are influencing how the rules of college sports are enacted and implemented, advocating for the future of college athletics, and providing various services to the members, ranging from professional development to pooled purchasing arrangements. The mission statement of the LEAD1 Association is, “Supporting the athletic directors of America’s leading intercollegiate programs in preparing today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders.”
[Emphasis added.]

I don’t know about you, but I’m inspired.

(h/t)

11 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery

All the time in the world

Those of you who insist that Georgia needed that open records law to avoid being overwhelmed with the hardship of providing information… well, maybe you can explain what’s so tough about this.

The Georgia football team has agreed to host East Tennessee State in 2020, according to a memorandum of understanding that was signed earlier this year.

East Tennessee State will be paid $550,000 for the game. The day of the game is to be decided, and due to be finalized by Dec. 1, 2018.

The memorandum shows that East Tennessee’s athletics director signed the memo in May – UGA athletics director Greg McGarity’s signature is undated – but the memo was not released until Friday. It was in response to a request for scheduling contracts made by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on July 18. UGA is using the full 90 days the state legislature gave it to respond to athletics-related requests, starting in July.

Man, I can only imagine the mad scramble that went on behind the scenes to put that together for the media’s satisfaction.  A flock of staffers frantically trying to lay their hands on the raw data.  Days, stretching into weeks, as the information was studied, analyzed, correlated and organized into an effective presentation.

To put all that together in a mere ninety days without the athletic department’s regular business grinding to a halt?  Wow.  Somebody deserves a bonus.

Or, it could just be that Greg McGarity doesn’t want to tell anyone his business until he has to.  I know which answer Occam’s Razor suggests.  It’s too bad Occam won’t be getting a ticket to see Georgia play in the SECCG, though.

16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery

“They got 90 days for no good reason.”

Pity the poor McGarity.

Last spring, UGA Athletic Director Greg McGarity complained that UGA’s athletics department had to work through mountains of records requests, almost 100 in the past four months. I called Atlanta police. They get 4,000 a year. And they answer in three days. McGarity did not respond to my request to talk.

He’s too busy winning.

28 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery

Special teams and the offensive line may not be working well…

… but that effing Open Records law is hitting on all cylinders.

The University of Georgia is taking full advantage of the new open records law for athletics passed by state legislators after football coach Kirby Smart discussed with them the “difference” in play at his new program with competitors…

Among information requested the school’s Division of Marketing & Communications has not responded to yet under the new law except to acknowledge receipt of the request:

• A Sept. 5 request for the latest multimedia rights deal for Georgia athletics with IMG College and JMI Sports. The Sports Business Journal reported the school signed a 10-year contract. Georgia would not provide the financial arrangement of the deal that runs through 2026 without going through open records. The school made an average of $11 million a year under the previous contract.

• An Aug. 13 request for any communication about Alabama football graduate transfer Maurice Smith with the Southeastern Conference, Alabama or Smith and/or his family. In a much-publicized case, the SEC granted a waiver for Smith to play immediately for Georgia. He is a starting defensive back.

• A July 5 request for the amount of money Georgia spent to recruit College of Southern Idaho basketball transfer Pape Diatta who signed with the school. Assistant coach Jonas Hayes travelled to Senegal to visit the player’s mother. Asked in October if he could estimate how much a trip like that cost, head men’s basketball coach Mark Fox said: “I’m going to guess it probably cost $1,500. He just flew there. I think he did get a hotel room just to take a shower but he was only there, not even for 24 hours.”

My only question is where is the national championship Casey Cagle promised us when the bill passed.  I mean, they’re winning, aren’t they?

25 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery

Gloria Johnson is the worst Tennessee coach ever.

This is how you go negative with political ads in Urnge Country.

3 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Political Wankery

We don’t know our ass from a hole in the ground.

It’s times like this I’m reminded of Randy Newman’s great song, “Rednecks”.

By the way, can anyone from Wisconsin explain why the rules ban wearing a mask into the stadium, but not so once the mask is inside?

7 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, Political Wankery