Category Archives: Political Wankery

Northwestern and the NLRB, a year later

The National Labor Relations Board has yet to weigh in on the regional director’s ruling that gave football players employee status under federal labor law, allowing them to unionize, but, if nothing else, the decision has played a hand in kick starting an effort by the schools and the NCAA to bend more in the direction of student-athletes.

Earlier this month outside Washington, Northwestern women’s soccer player Nandi Mehta was one of three Big Ten athletes to cast a vote in favor of the “cost-of-attendance” scholarships. Student-athletes make up 15 of the 80 votes, along with each of the 65 schools in the Power 5 conferences.

Mehta, whose three-year term will stretch beyond graduation, said she relishes having a “direct voice” in the process and does not believe that unionization — which would rebrand athletes as employees — is the right avenue for reform.

“But the way (Colter) did it,” she said, “did get a lot of attention.”

I can think of worse legacies for Kain Colter.

Of course, the decision has brought out its share of the morons, too.  If you question my characterization, read this:

I asked Pscholka about this issue of admitting athletes just for their athletic ability, and he said it’s wrong if that’s what Michigan does, but that he has seen no evidence of it. He also said that he had heard of such things happening “in the SEC, but not in the Midwest.”

Uh hunh.  Right.  That’s why everyone keeps getting the Big Ten confused with the Ivy League.

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Filed under Look For The Union Label, Political Wankery

Thursday morning buffet

There’s always something to spoon onto your plate.

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Filed under Coach O Needs Another Red Bull, ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes, Political Wankery, Recruiting, Strategery And Mechanics, The Evil Genius, The NCAA, You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy

Todd’s Law

Let’s hear it for good intentions.

Georgia state representative Barry Fleming (R-Harlem), a “double-dog” who graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1994, introduced a bill that would make it unlawful for anyone to knowingly solicit a transaction with a student-athlete enrolled in Georgia colleges, under the penalty of a $25,000 fine.

Fleming mentioned that although other student-athletes have fallen down the rabbit hole of profiting off their likenesses, the main impetus behind the bill was Gurley’s involvement with memorabilia dealer Bryan Allen.

After all, it’s not common to sell one’s meal ticket right after punching it.

Allen allegedly recorded a video of Gurley signing items and accepting $400 then offered this storyline to several media outlets, exposing additional transgressions by Gurley in violation with the NCAA’s compliance rules.

“The typical memorabilia dealer wants the player to do very well,” Fleming said. “We all know Todd could’ve won the Heisman Trophy. All this speculation that he was a Gator fan, or a mean individual, there must be some validity to that.”

Allen’s ulterior motives aside, Fleming expressed concern at the deceitful nature of Allen’s most recent business venture and hopes to get the bill passed by March.

“Driving 56 mph in a 55 [mph] zone is illegal,” Fleming said. “But if you’re going 90 mph, and putting others in danger, there’s a different level of severity.”

Whatever, brah.  The reality here is that if buyer and seller are both careful and happy campers, it’s probably not coming to light.

Profiting off student-athletes is a multi-faceted business, with recent graduate Peyton Bennett selling “Free Gurl3y” shirts during Gurley’s four-game suspension before receiving a cease and desist letter from the University.

“It was kind of just to show our support, and obviously I thought I’d be able to make a quick buck,” Bennett said.

The desire to make a quick buck might have been what sparked this controversy in the first place, as most transactions would obviously involve two willing parties.

Because of this, Bennett is skeptical of the proposed law.

“It doesn’t seem like it’s going to make that big of a difference,” Bennett said. “Because at the end of the day it’s really going to be up to the student-athlete whether or not they’re willing to break the rule and sell their autograph for money.”

Come up with all the criminal laws you want, but it’s the law of supply and demand that will drive this puppy, no matter how much some might wish otherwise.

Jim Booz, Georgia’s senior associate athletic director of compliance, raised the point that under this law, both parties will face consequences for their actions.

“In a situation like this one,” Booz said, “where a bill would penalize the patron — the solicitor, if you will — it’s assuming already that the student-athlete has or is currently serving some sort of suspension, so they’re being penalized for their actions as well.”

While proving someone knowingly coerced a student-athlete into violating compliance regulations may sound unfeasible, Booz said the dialogue opened by the bill could lead to fewer infractions.

“Whenever a law or a bill or a rule is passed with the phraseology including ‘knowingly,’ sometimes it’s even more difficult to prove intent,” Booz said. “But also those cases are always so fact-specific, that the prosecutors and district attorney would have to rely significantly on the past, but hopefully the bill as it is written will act as a significant deterrent.”

Hopefully, eh?  Well, I suspect most of us would simply prefer that Bryan Allen had been Fletcher Sanders instead of hoping for Fleming’s law to control the memorabilia market.  For that matter, Bryan Allen probably wishes he’d have behaved more like Sanders, too.

19 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

Mr. President, please don’t throw the NCAA in the briar patch.

Shorter NCAA Division I Board of Directors chairman Nathan Hatch:  If Congress and the POTUS give our schools permission to continue to do the same unlawful shit the courts are telling us we can’t, I suppose we’ll just have to put up with it.

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

Wednesday morning buffet

As you’ll see, it’s never too early to assess the 2015 season.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, Recruiting, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

The “Coalition to Save College Sports” – from what?

It sounds like Division 1 college athletics has hit upon its message to the federal government:  we’d love to fix every problem you see in college sports, but first you have to get that Jeffery Kessler fellow off our collective asses. And it sounds like at least somebody is sympathetic.

However, Moran said that getting the NCAA and its member schools to go along with the idea is critical.

“The NCAA has to buy into this,” he said. “It’s got to, or it’s not going to work. (A commission) will not be able to impose a list of reforms without NCAA concurrence.”

Moran also said that the prospect of granting some type of anti-trust protection to college sports “clearly has to be addressed. I don’t think you can ignore that – in return for some reform. That has to be part of the discussion.”

“AD’s and university presidents are very much of a mind that (creating a commission) is the right thing to do except for (those at) the few schools that control a substantial amount of the revenue” generated by college sports, Moran said.

Oh… you mean the ones that stand to profit the most from an antitrust exemption.

Yeah, this is going to end well.  Just remember to say you’re doing it for the kids, alright?

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

Sunday morning buffet

Lotta green in today’s buffet…

  • Somebody thinks Dan Mullen has emerged as the lead guy in Michigan’s head coaching search.  “Both sources said to me that with Dan, it’s not about being the highest paid coach in his state / conference/ whatever (which is more important to some coaches than many people understand), what drives Dan is his desire to win a national championship.”  You know what we here at GTP say when somebody claims it’s not about the money.
  • Georgia may be in the hunt for one of the kids at UAB who’s now a free agent.
  • Speaking of UAB, the financial fall out from cancelling football may have already begun.
  • In less than two years, Auburn has increased its coaching staff by at least 46.5 percent.  Easy to do when you don’t have to pay the labor.
  • And Boom hits the recruiting trail, with a contractual limitation:  “A clause in Muschamp’s contract (he was fired following his fourth season as head coach) does not allow him to recruit players Florida has focused on unless Auburn has done the same.”
  • This is just awful.  It’s a different world out there, isn’t it?
  • Hugh Freeze didn’t just negotiate a big pay bump for himself with Ole Miss.  The salary pool for his assistants will increase by at least 25 percent.
  • Corch may be a dick, but he’s right about this one.  And that’s only gonna get worse as the playoffs expand.
  • Yes, Condi Rice brings a special kind of gravitas to the selection committee.

24 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, Recruiting, SEC Football