Category Archives: The NCAA

Gotta take the good with the bad.

The NCAA appears to have embraced the approach of dealing with coaches on rule changes by lumping proposals they like with proposals they don’t, but requiring an up-or-down vote on the whole enchilada.  That’s what happened with the last batch of recruiting proposals, and it appears to be what’s in store for some changes to the transfer rules.

The Division I Council Transfer Working Group will ask the membership for feedback on several potential concepts designed to create the best outcomes for both student-athletes and schools involved in the transfer process.

The group set its plan during its June 25-26 meeting in Indianapolis.

The working group focused on concepts in these general areas:

  • Permission to contact, including the tie with a college athlete’s athletics scholarship.
  • Postgraduate eligibility.
  • Ethical recruiting.
  • Uniformity of rules/academic impact of transfer.

What’s likely to get hackles up fast and hard is the consideration by the working group to decouple financial aid from permission to contact.

One of the ideas posed is to modify permission to contact rules. Currently, Division I college athletes who wish to transfer to another school must first receive permission from their current school to talk with other schools about opportunities for transferring. If the school denies permission, the student-athlete can’t receive athletics aid after transferring.

Group members believe financial aid should not be tied to whether a school grants permission to contact. They want to know if others in the membership feel the same way. The group also agreed that enhancements should be made to the formal process students use to notify a school of their desire to transfer. The group will seek input from the membership on appropriate enhancements.

Yeah, that’s gonna go over well in certain quarters.

But along with that comes some direction for uniformity across the conferences with regard to transfer rules and some greater stiffening of graduate transfer rules, which seems likely to slow that trend down some.

Perhaps the most intriguing thing under consideration is this:

The working group expressed concern regarding unethical behaviors related to coaches recruiting student-athletes currently playing at other four-year schools.

The group expressed interest in increasing the consequences for coaches who break recruiting rules to seek out undergraduate and potential graduate students. The working group will ask the Committee on Infractions and enforcement staff to review the concept and provide feedback.

The group also is placing a priority on developing additional education for coaches, spearheaded by coaches associations, on rules in the transfer space.

Anti-poaching rules?  If you want to cut down on the free agency aspect of transferring, it makes more sense to crack down on the coaches (remember Mark Fox’ crack about recruiting while going through the post-game hand shake?) than student-athletes.  Still, if this winds up with real teeth, I’ll be a little surprised.

I can’t wait to hear the hypocrisy coming, though.

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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

This week, in Baylor

It’s not gonna be a good one for the Bears.

First off, the school is about to release a spreadsheet containing information behind every alleged sexual assault reported to Baylor University since 2003.  This comes as as part of a Title IX lawsuit — one of six currently pending — against the school.

Sounds bad, but to make things worse, it’s not enough for plaintiffs’ counsel.

Waco attorney Jim Dunnam, who represents the plaintiffs, said neither the spreadsheet, nor Baylor’s previous efforts, go far enough.

“(The 13-page summary) just tells you what they failed at, but it doesn’t tell you how they failed and who failed,” Dunnam said. “Fundamental to accountability is knowing exactly what and who and when.”

Plus, bullshit.

Also, in a Friday brief, plaintiffs’ attorneys took aim at Baylor’s previous claim that the summary and recommendations were released in anticipation of litigation.

“ ‘Transparency’ is now indelibly a part of the Baylor lexicon,” the brief states. “Nowhere in these public statements do Baylor officials claim that PH was hired to help it defend against litigation. Indeed, a search thus far of over 1,500 relevant news citations by plaintiffs has yielded no mention of litigation purpose behind the PH report; instead, Baylor’s statements related to PH are repeated self-laudatory statements with Baylor consistently engaging in proverbially patting itself on the back for the ‘unprecedented,’ ‘independent,’ ‘extensive’ and ‘transparent’ review conducted by PH.”

Dunnam said he “nearly fell out of (his) chair” at a June 16 initial pretrial hearing when a Baylor attorney said the investigation’s primary purpose related to anticipation of lawsuits.

“(The Pepper Hamilton investigation was) not for transparency, not for all the things they’ve been espousing for over a year,” Dunnam said.

You know you’re in deep water when even the judge isn’t buying what you’re selling.

At the hearing attended by the Tribune-Herald, Judge Robert Pitman said it is “inevitable” that some form of discovery from the Pepper Hamilton investigation will be released. He said Baylor’s statement about anticipated lawsuits is like “wanting cake and eating it too” because the argument had not been made publicly.

It’s more than a year before this will see the inside of a courtroom.  Drip, drip, drip, anyone?

Oh, and don’t miss that the other shoe has officially dropped.

Baylor University officials say the school is being investigated by the NCAA in the wake of a sexual assault scandal that led to the firing of football coach Art Briles and the departure of the school president.

Baylor officials acknowledged the investigation while asking a judge to protect the school’s communications with the NCAA from attorneys for several women who have sued the nation’s largest Baptist university.

Mark Emmert is on the mother… what could possibly go wrong?  Although in this case, unlike the Penn State fiasco, the NCAA has the luxury of sitting back and letting the justice system run its due course.

It’s starting to look like this one may not end well.

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Filed under Baylor Is Sensitive To Women's Issues, See You In Court, The NCAA

Head games

Here’s a dilemma that only college football could love.

Oregon football players used three helmets last season — green, black and white — that were mixed and matched with myriad uniform combinations.

The Ducks were pioneers in football fashion and other schools have followed, using helmets to make a statement. Now, the NCAA wants to determine whether style is coming at the expense of safety.

The governing body’s football oversight committee will meet this week in Indianapolis and is to begin studying whether multiple helmets could lead to more concussions and serious head and neck injuries…

“Style and who looks cool and who’s matching with all these different uniforms combinations each week on the helmets and the shoes, that is big-time concern when you talk about recruiting, marketing and buzz and aesthetics on game day and other times,” Anderson said. “But at the end of the day, if we’re not protecting these players at the highest degree then we’re faltering.”

Stylin’ for recruiting versus safety.  Tough call, NCAA.

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Filed under Recruiting, The Body Is A Temple, 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

“I’m not stopping for anybody.”

Is the NCAA sensible enough to ignore a USF kicking specialist making a few bucks on YouTube? I have my doubts.

Maybe we should ask Stacey Osburn.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

When I blather about student-athletes and the free market…

… this is what I’m talking about.

If it were easy to be a college football player, everybody would be a college football player.  But that’s not the case, as the stats demonstrate.

If you were in the top 6.5% of your profession, what would be fair compensation for that?

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