Category Archives: The NCAA

Today, in irony

The irony comes from Martell having to sit out a year while Heisman Trophy candidate Justin Fields starts for Ohio State after he gets his waiver.

You’re the best, NCAA.  Don’t ever change.



Filed under The NCAA, Transfers Are For Coaches.

A cannon shot in the facility arms race

You know how screwy college athletics are now?  Student-athletes have access to school-provided perks the typical student never sees, but the typical student can receive third-party compensation for things a student-athlete can’t.

If there’s some logical explanation for that, I’m all ears.


Filed under 'Cock Envy, College Football, The NCAA

“In business, you have to pay for talent, and at a university you have to pay for talent.”

I can’t argue with Oklahoma’s president about coaching salaries.

I also expect him to make the same argument if market based player compensation becomes a reality.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Is amateurism about to get a real market-based threat?

Oliver Luck, who once was one of the higher-ups in the NCAA’s chain of command and is now the commissioner of the reconstituted XFL, isn’t exactly saying his league is ready to sign kids who don’t want to stay in college for three years, but he’s not kicking the possibility out of bed either.

… Players have to be three years out of high school to be eligible for the NFL Draft.

During a December podcast interview with with Brian Berger of the Sports Business Radio Road Show, Luck said flatly: “We’re not subject to that.”

“Theoretically we could take a player right out of high school. I doubt we’ll do that,” Luck said, noting the difference in physical development between an 18-year-old and the 24-to-25-year-old fringe NFLers they plan to build their base from.

“But I wouldn’t rule it out,” Luck said. “Nor would I rule out taking a player who played a year of college football and let’s say isn’t eligible academically, which happens. Or a player who is two years out of college, and is transferring, and would have to sit out a year. A lot of guys don’t want to. . . . We are in that position to be able to take players who wouldn’t be eligible to play in the NFL. . . .

“But that’s an option that we have and we’re going to look at it long and hard. There are a lot off very good college players after a year or two who may not want to play that third year of college football, may need to earn a little money, support the family. That’s not uncommon as well.”

You can almost hear Mark Emmert whining, “why that ungrateful son of a bitch… after I took him in and showed him everything I know.”

Now, remember, this is a long way from reality.  The XFL isn’t even hitting the field until 2020.  Events like the Alston case may overtake Luck before then.  And as much as the schools may pretend otherwise, I really doubt they’ll simply let an upstart league peel away the biggest names in college football without countering.  (Then again, this is the NCAA we’re talking about, so who really knows if there would be a coherent response.)

But for those of you who have been hoping for an alternative that would take some pressure off the player compensation front, maybe this is the opportunity you’ve been hoping for.  Maybe worth keeping an eye on…


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Thursday morning buffet

The chafing dishes are set out and ready to go.

  • Here’s a lawsuit I’ve been waiting to see drop.  Adding the NCAA is a nice touch.
  • The AFCA wants the targeting rules changed to allow for two levels of penalties.  On its face, it sounds sensible, but you can just see that next can of worms waiting to be opened.
  • Malzahn’s “right hand man” jumps off the Gus Bus for… Georgia Tech.
  • Les Miles asks for a change to the recruiting rules after he sees the Kansas roster he inherited.
  • This really seems like the least they could do.
  • And this continues to be the name I hear most frequently as the candidate to be Mel Tucker’s successor, although it has to be said that Kirby seems to be in no hurry on that front.
  • Now they tell us.
  • “If a shoe company wanted to pay one of University of Washington’s running backs $50,000 to appear in a television commercial, House Bill 1084 would permit that.”


Filed under Academics? Academics., Alabama, Auburn's Cast of Thousands, College Football, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, Recruiting, See You In Court, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA, Wit And Wisdom From The Hat

Spreading the wealth

Perhaps the news that the Pac-12 is exploring the opportunity of allowing a private equity investor to buy a stake in the conference should cause me to take these college football program valuation stories that crop up in Forbes and the Wall Street Journal more seriously.

Brewer’s study calculates what a college team would be worth on the open market if it could be bought and sold like a professional sports franchise. Brewer analyzes each program’s revenues and expenses along with cash-flow adjustments, risk assessments and growth projections.

The problem with that approach is that the value of a college football team is based in part on its business model, which incorporates amateurism, and that is something that is unlikely to translate seamlessly on the open market.

Then again, those times may be close to a-changin’.

While tens of millions of college sports fans watch the action between Alabama and Clemson unfold Monday night in Santa Clara, Calif., college sports power brokers, and their lawyers, will be monitoring developments about 40 miles away in Oakland where, any day over the next few weeks, a federal judge could issue a ruling upending the economy of major college sports, clearing the way for more money to make its way to athletes…

In a statement, Donald Remy, the NCAA’s chief legal officer, denounced the athletes’ demands, and asserted they would sap money from sports subsidized by football and basketball.

“All of the Clemson and Alabama student-athletes taking the field in the College Football Playoff championship game are just that: students. However, the plaintiffs would rather see a world in which paid professionals would instead take the field,” said Remy, who earned $933,000 in 2017, the most recent year the NCAA’s nonprofit IRS filing is available.

“Replacing scholarships with salaries would professionalize college sports, de-emphasize academics and reduce future opportunities for incoming student-athletes,” Remy said.  [Emphasis added.]

It’s okay to be a professional as long as you don’t step on the field, eh, Donald?

At the bench trial late last year, lawyers for the NCAA and the conferences essentially made two major arguments: (1) Droves of fans would stop watching college football and basketball if they knew the players were getting paid, and (2) Allowing pay would “drive a wedge” between college athletes and their classmates, hurting “integration,” an essential goal of college sports.

Those are tough sells in this day and age.  With regard to the second argument,

To counter the integration argument, the lawyers for the athletes put their clients on the stand, where they testified the feared “wedge” between them and their classmates already exists, created by demanding practice schedules, frequent travel, and high-end workout facilities and dormitories built exclusively for athletes.

Former West Virginia running back Shawne Alston testified he was told by academic advisors to take only easy classes that met in the mornings, so he’d maintain eligibility and not miss practice, and he spent his little down time with other athletes.

“We never built relationships with other people,” Alston testified.

And as for the first,

Last March, meanwhile, provided what could be considered a real-world experiment on how college sports fans’ behavior might change when they learn players are getting paid for their talents.

As an ongoing Justice Department investigation roiled college basketball with revelations that Adidas officials arranged bribes to players and families to get them to attend preferred schools, CBS reported ratings for the first full weekend of the men’s tournament: They were up by 11 percent.

Never mind that players are already getting paid with COA stipends, that student-athletes aren’t disqualified if they receive payment from their countries’ Olympic committees for winning medals and that the NCAA recognizes that a student-athlete who turns pro in one sport retains his or her amateur status in another.  The irony here is that the schools and the NCAA count on our continued passion for consuming sports as the basis for ever increasing revenue streams from ticket sales and broadcast deals, no matter what they do about conference realignment, scheduling and playoff expansion, while pretending that it’s fragile enough to be unable to withstand more dollars in student-athletes’ pockets.

If you’re looking for the real driver behind player compensation, you don’t need to go any farther than your mirror.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, See You In Court, The NCAA

Another good day for the NCAA

Hoo, boy.  From the Alston case today,

Obviously she undervalues the worth of a college scholarship, amirite, amateurism romantics?


UPDATE:  The NCAA’s attorney strenuously objects.


Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA