Category Archives: Political Wankery

Student-athletes’ lives matter.

Dennis Dodd has a piece about how Kansas head coach David Beaty will try to handle the new state law allowing anyone 21 or older to carry a firearm without a permit or training, but the saddest part of the story comes at the very end:

Beaty said it was only a coincidence his team, at the moment, is being taught a different kind of weapons training.

“We are training our kids right now specifically on what to do when they are pulled over on a traffic stop,” Beaty said. “Where their hands go, how their hands go, how they speak, what they tell their policeman about what’s in the car.

“We’re not taking anything for granted because we don’t want to lose one of our babies.”

Now that’s a helluva thing for a college football coach to have to worry about.

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Filed under Political Wankery

Roll ‘dem bones.

When you hear Mark Emmert decry a stated position by the organization he heads as “what often seems to be a hypocritical stance”, you’ve got to believe there’s some money at the end of it.

And you would be correct about that.

The possibility of sanctioned NCAA events being held in Las Vegas took a potentially huge leap Tuesday when the Supreme Court agreed to hear a controversial New Jersey gaming case.

The NCAA is among the plaintiffs fighting a New Jersey law passed in 2012 that would allow sports gambling in the state. The NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL, as well as the Department of Justice, have sued arguing continued implementation of the 25-year-old Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

PASPA was passed in 1992 to halt the spread of sports betting in the country. Such action is banned nationwide except for Nevada, which was “grandfathered” an exemption. Delaware, Oregon and Montana have the option of limited sports betting.

The Supreme Court could hear arguments as early as this fall, according to reports.

The NCAA has placed only one championship event in Nevada (1991 women’s basketball West Regional) citing sports gambling concerns.

“This is more than huge,” former UNLV athletic director Jim Livengood said of the Supreme Court’s consideration. “This opens up all kinds of possibilities.”

Livengood is now a consultant for Las Vegas Events, a management company interested in bringing events to the city.

The NCAA was thought to be moving toward allowing events in Nevada but was stymied by the New Jersey battle. In other words, the optics would be bad if the association was suing New Jersey while cozying up to allowing games in Nevada/Las Vegas.

Who the hell can afford optics these days?  Certainly not the NCAA, if it wants to keep shelling out the big bucks.  There’s at least one thing that happens in Vegas that doesn’t stay there.  Emmert isn’t about to miss out on that if he can help it.

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

War between the states

Well, this is interesting.

Saying that a new Texas law allowing child welfare providers to deny adoptions to parents based on “sincerely held religious beliefs” is discriminatory, California’s attorney general on Thursday banned state-funded travel to Texas.

… Alabama, Kentucky and South Dakota were also added to the list of states with California travel bans. It’s not immediately clear what the economic impact of the decision will have on Texas.

… One of the key consequences could involve higher education — and college sports in particular. Researchers and staff members from universities often travel to Texas for conferences. And California college sports teams play in Texas fairly regularly. Several major sports bowl games and tournaments are played here — including the men’s college basketball Final Four in San Antonio in 2018. The University of California, Los Angeles played a road football game at Texas A&M University last season. The University of California, Berkeley played at the University of Texas at Austin a year earlier.

The California law allows for exceptions for contracts that are already in place, and it’s unclear whether the state’s teams would be banned from playing in the Final Four. But the Los Angeles Times reported in February that UCLA has stopped scheduling games against teams in banned states.

North Carolina’s bathroom ban caught the NCAA’s attention, as we know.  Texas dodged that particular bullet (at least for the moment).  But here we are with a boycott on a new front.  Will California’s move generate any traction with the NCAA regarding next year’s Final Four?  Who knows?  Although I expect Emmert will get questions about that now.

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UPDATE:  It’s not just about Texas.

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Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

“… the looming prospect of a PAC wearing a big yellow hat…”

Alabama vs. Auburn, don’t ever change.

The linked piece is a fun read, even if I shook my head after this part:

Alabama is considered the stodgier, more football-centric school. Auburn, which is a national powerhouse on the football field as well, fancies itself a little more bookish and likes to tout its engineering program.

Okay, that was a fun read, too.  As in side-splitting…

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Filed under Political Wankery, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Much ado about Kirby’s Law

Let’s recap.  Kirby Smart is hired in December, 2015, stays with Alabama through the CFP while managing his new job in his spare time, finally gets to Athens to put on a full court press through national signing day, then turns his attention to running a program, preparing for spring practice and somehow in the middle of that mad rush finds the time to help Greg McGarity lobby the state legislature to pass an open records bill.

You’d think the timing suggests that was kind of a high priority, but Georgia’s head coach wants you to know it was no big deal.

Smart was asked if his program has benefited from the law—which doesn’t include salaries of non-clerical staff.

“I don’t think it’s had much of an effect,” Smart said. “You’d have to ask these guys (beat reporters). They send in FOI (Freedom of Information) requests all the time. They might know, but I don’t think there’s been any major benefit for us.”

So if that’s the case, Smart was asked if the law is something should be repealed at some point?

“I’ll be honest with you that’s not a major concern for me and it wasn’t a major concern when it was put in” said Smart, who has downplayed his involvement with what some have referred to as Kirby’s law after he spoke to lawmakers about it. “To me, it allows our staff to get the paperwork together and answer questions and do it in a time-wise manner.”

Lord knows, Butts-Mehre operates on the assumption that it can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, so maybe Smart has a point there.  Except if you have even the slightest lick of sense, you know the real reason UGA pushed for the new law.

And in that regard, it’s been quite the success.

One reporter who covers another school who is working on a story sought information via open records from every SEC school. Every public SEC school (not including Vanderbilt, which is private) has provided the records that were sought except for Georgia because the 90 days had not yet been reached.

That may not garner you any conference championships, friends, but don’t think that doesn’t smell like winning to Greg McGarity.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery

No thugs in our house

As cynical as I am about the need for a campus carry law, I have to admit I never thought of this scenario.

There are still uncertainties with the law such as if guns would be permitted inside the football locker room in the Butts-Mehre building.

“I haven’t had that question answered yet so I wouldn’t want to speak for our system or general counsel,” UGA president Jere Morehead said Thursday after the Athletic Association’s spring meeting. “I can’t imagine why that would be.”

Added athletic director Greg McGarity: “We have to define in our building what areas are or are not. We’re not there yet.”

For once, I can appreciate his reluctance.  But, even given the world we live in, it’s hard to think of going from Richt dismissing Isaiah Crowell over a (later dismissed) gun charge to not being able to do a damned thing about players carrying in a locker room without shaking one’s head.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery

Today, in what could go wrong?

Jere Morehead just passed along the official statement from the University System Chancellor regarding the new campus carry law.  Key language:

… Even license-holders may not carry a handgun into the following locations on college/university-owned or leased property:

  • Buildings and property used for athletic sporting events.  This exception includes stadiums, gymnasiums and similar facilities in which intercollegiate games are staged (but does not extend to so-called “tailgating” areas where fans may congregate outside the gates of the sports facility)…  [Emphasis added.]

Stay wary, my friends.  Especially after a long day of drinking.

So, who will be the first to offer Bulldog-themed bullet-proof vests?  Could be a big seller.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery