Category Archives: The NCAA

Friday morning buffet

The chafing dishes have been refilled for your dining pleasure.

  • In case you didn’t hear, D’Wan Mathis underwent emergency surgery at Piedmont Hospital in Athens on Thursday to remove a cyst that was on his brain.
  • Meet George Pickens.  (You can bet Jake Fromm will this summer.)
  • 247Sports ranks the top twenty college football facilities in the country.  Georgia clocks in at number eleven, behind five other SEC programs and number one Clemson.
  • While we’re on the subject, Georgia is looking at dropping a cool $80 million on a new football facility, depending on ” … donor support and how it’s financed”.
  • Rankity, rank, ranking college football quarterbacks.
  • Holy crap — Texas A&M has hired Ole Miss’ Ross Bjork as its new AD.  I wonder if Hugh Freeze has a little more spring in his step this morning.  (Probably not, since Jimbo is safely ensconced there.)
  • “College athletes in California would be able to sign with agents and profit from endorsement deals under a bill that cleared the state Senate…”
  • On a related note, Mark Emmert’s net compensation for 2017 was about $2.9 million, a more than $450,000 increase over his pay for the previous year.  Further, the NCAA spent $56.6 million on outside legal fees.  Gosh, I wonder why.


Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, SEC Football, The NCAA

Bless your heart, Dabo.

I’ve got to reprint this part of a Q&A David Hale does with Clemson’s head coach in its entirety because Hale makes a valiant effort to give Swinney every First Rule of Holes chance to explain his thoughtless comment about player compensation and Dabo chooses to keep digging instead.  It reads like something straight out of a GTP comment thread, except Dabo probably makes more than all of us here combined.

ESPN: You’ve been outspoken about your concerns about paying players. The NCAA is launching a working group to look at allowing players the rights to their name and likeness. What are your thoughts on that?

Swinney: I don’t know all the dynamics, but there are a million questions about how it works. You get into equity sport to sport. Is it different for positions? I love the collegiate model. I love the model of education. I’ve always valued that. The game has changed tremendously in a positive way, and I think a lot of people aren’t informed and don’t understand how we’ve improved the game from a financial standpoint. The value of a scholarship is incredible. The improvements of meals and stipends and paying for parents to travel. There’s a lot of positives. Health care. But that doesn’t mean there’s not room to improve things, and you’ve got to always look for ways to get better. That’s the job of the NCAA.

The value of a college education is enormous when you put it on paper when you talk about scholarship and housing and tutoring and training and the value of education. It’s enormous. Sometimes when we talk about changing the model, we don’t talk about the education piece. That doesn’t count. There are things I’d love to see in continued improvement, but I think everything should be tied to education and graduation. The very few, the 1.6 percent that get to go on to the NFL, for those who don’t — maybe there’s an annuity or stipend that when they graduate, they get that. That’s a model that can be an improvement. Maybe it is the likeness. I don’t know. Then you have others out there who say we should just professionalize college athletics.

ESPN: There was a lot of criticism of your stance against paying players in light of your new contract. I think I know what your answer to this would be, that you didn’t earn $93 million at your first job either, but …

Swinney: I got paid $400 a month. I put the work in and grinded. I’m never going to apologize for working to be at the top of my profession. I didn’t get into coaching for that, but that’s how my career has gone. The CEO of Delta makes a lot of money, too, and he has a lot of people that help him be successful. What’s the average income in this country? $45,000? If we really want to professionalize it, let’s pay them $80,000. Let’s pay them $100,000. But they’ve got to pay taxes. They’ve got to pay for college. They’ve got to pay rent. They’ve got to pay their meals. They pay for their tutors. That’s the real world. You can’t have it both ways. It’s a complicated issue. It doesn’t matter what you say, so I don’t get distracted by it. Did I ever think I’d have a contract like this? No. But there’s a market, and markets drive everything.

ESPN: Well, I think that’s really the criticism, right? That the market for players isn’t as open as the one for coaches.

Swinney: And listen, I don’t have an explanation for all that. People smarter than me figure values. But I think the game’s better than it’s ever been. I think the players are in a good spot. I think there’s definitely room for improvement and it’s great we have committees that are looking for ways to burnish the student-athlete model. That’s great. But to professionalize college athletics would be — there’s just a lot of challenges that come with that when it comes to equity and Title IX. And I don’t think anybody will ever be fully satisfied. But I like that there are other options. Not everybody wants an education. I respect that. I think an education is the foundation for people’s lives. It’s hard without it.

Even if you want to give him the benefit of the doubt regarding his sincerity — and as I said the other day, for all his aw, shucks shtick, Dabo knows the math — the lack of self-awareness on display in those comments is remarkable.  He gets paid the big bucks because he’s worked hard and risen to the top of his profession, but somehow those same rules don’t apply to Trevor Lawrence.  And Dabo doesn’t have an explanation for all that!

I’ve got the same advice for Dabo that I do for the rest of the amateurism romantics:  just say you don’t like the idea of paying players and call it a day.  You’ll sound more sensible.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

A perverse incentive

Mike Brey sincerely hopes for a crackdown on dirty coaches.

Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey, who is president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ board of directors, on Wednesday challenged schools to be more be aggressive about firing coaches for cause when they violate NCAA or school rules.

“Why don’t AD’s and presidents drop the hammer?” Brey said while appearing as a panelist before a meeting of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics here.

Excellent question, sir.  It turns out the math is really, really hard.

That five-star stud generates way more revenue for a school than the school lays out for him.  Factor on top of that third-party payments to steer a kid to a particular program that don’t come out of the school’s pocket, and — if you’re really lucky — court-ordered restitution to a “victimized” school.  The end result?  It’s actually more profitable for coaches / institutions to violate NCAA rules than to follow them.  Which also means more enforcement doesn’t solve anything.

Pardon my French, but that’s really fucked up.


Filed under The NCAA

Today, in I got mine, don’t worry about his

Look who’s joined the Dabo Swinney Club on player compensation.

I hate to admit it, but there’s a part of me that would almost enjoy the NCAA getting its antitrust exemption, at least if it’s broad enough to allow it to restrict coaches’ pay, too.  Let’s see how Dabo and Adazio like making $500k/year in the name of education.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

It’s in the game.

EA Sports would love to bring back its beloved NCAA Football game.

EA would be open to making the game again, according to former NCAA Football Executive Producer Ben Haumiller. 247Sports reached out to EA Sports prior to the working group announcement and Haumiller, currently a producer for the Madden franchise, responded two days afterward through a PR representative.

“We loved making college football games,” Haumiller told 247Sports via email. “If the opportunity ever presented itself we’d be very interested in potentially getting back into that space.”

You know there’s a market.  I know there’s a market.  EA knows there’s a market.  I suspect the NCAA does, too.

There’s only one little problem.

“I mean, on black markets you can sell your body parts,” Zabransky said. “Who we are is owned by us and us only. If your likeness can generate a revenue for you then in a free capitalist society you should be able to use it.”

Too bad college athletics isn’t a free capitalist society.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Mr. Conventional Wisdom goes to antitrust court.

Hey, Tony’s got this whole player compensation thing sussed.

And there are two realities that the powers that be in college athletics have to face at this point in time:

1—Maintaining the status quo is no longer an option. We have reached a critical mass where something has to be done. If not, there are hundreds of lawyers who can’t wait to take on the system because they know they are going to win. And the NCAA member institutions know it too.

I’m not a lawyer but I raised one and I think a pretty strong case can be made that the current rules on this constitute a restraint of trade.

Oh by the way, Congress can’t wait to jump in on this one with both feet. Representative Mark Walker of North Carolina has introduced a bill that would strip the NCAA of its tax exempt status if it doesn’t allow the players to test the market place to see what their name, image, and likeness are worth.

2—You can’t just pay the players for services rendered. You can’t. As much as some players and some fans would like to just cut the guys a check and be done with this issue, there are clear reasons why that can’t happen.

Title IX says that if football and men’s basketball players get a check from the school, then the members of the volleyball team get the same check. It doesn’t matter that football and basketball generate billions and volleyball does not. College athletics is a multi-billion business but it operates under the umbrella of an educational institution.

If players are paid, then they become employees. If they become employees then they can unionize. If they unionize they can strike over compensation and benefits.

Does anyone want to tell him the players are already being paid?  Eh, what’s the point.

By the way, if you’re looking for your dose of quintessential Mr. CW, check out his conclusion:  “If this can gets kicked down the road again, it will get very, very ugly.”

And to think you can get that kind of deep analysis for free.


Filed under Mr. Conventional Wisdom, The NCAA

Talk, talk, talk.

Good for Andy Staples, who made the call to Rep. Mark Walker I was hoping somebody in the media would make in the wake of the news that the NCAA would being begin exploring allowing players to market their names, likenesses and images without ending their college eligibility.

Walker, as you might except expect, didn’t dismiss the development outright, but did express a cautious skepticism about the NCAA’s intentions.

“I want to make sure there’s more action than smoke,” Walker says. “There have been other meetings in the past. I’m going to be positive that hopefully there’s some motivation to really come out of this with a game plan.”

He’s a Congressman, after all.  He knows something about how bureaucracies work.

Walker knows all about bureaucratic tar pits. He works in one. “I thought Congress was good at beating issues into the ground,” Walker says. “But we may have to pay homage to the NCAA if they can’t get something done here.”

So, he will be watching.

Meanwhile, they’ll be watching on Capitol Hill. “We’re going to monitor what comes out of this,” Walker says. “If this is just another thing where we hear they’re just going to create another talking group for the next couple of years, we’re going to raise a stink about it.”

And what would keep them from raising that stink? “A plan of action, even if it’s not immediately implemented, to say ‘Over the next two to five years, this is the course of action steps we’re going to take to make sure these student-athletes have access to the free market like other students and like every other American,’” Walker says. “If there is a game plan to do something like that, then we’re going to applaud them and work with them to try to see that come to fruition. But if it’s more hyperbole, then I’m going to beat the drum even louder.”

There’s a fair amount of wiggle room there, but it’s not endless.  Is the NCAA willing to take the hint?  I’d say it’s even money, at best.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA