Category Archives: The NCAA

“Some things are worth waiting for.”

It’s always sad when a control freak loses a little control.

A few moments later, host Eli Gold said he didn’t want to mention names, but asked about the current transfer landscape in college football. He asked Saban if it had become like free agency.

“It’s one of those things where I think the culture has changed a little bit,” Saban said. “I think there’s a certain pride people have in competition. There’s certain things that I was taught growing up about not quitting and seeing things through. I think it I would have come home and told my dad that I was going to quit the team, I think he would have kicked me out of the house. I don’t think I’d have a place to stay.”

Coming from the guy who bailed on the Miami Dolphins when the going wasn’t to his liking, that’s a bit rich.

But the best part of this is that Blake Barnett, the subject of Saban’s wistful pondering, may have found a loophole in the transfer rules. (h/t)

The assumption from fans, message boards and even national media was that the redshirt freshman would be losing the 2017 season of eligibility regardless of his transfer plans. So, why would he leave now, four games into an undefeated season? With a true freshman starter one hit away from injury, Barnett is still a critical piece of Alabama’s championship equation and he’s being painted as a quitter by critics.

But Barnett has a plan — and it looks a lot like something we’ve seen before in college basketball.

According to bylaw 14.5.6 in the NCAA transfer guide, Barnett as a 4-2-4 transfer (four-year institution, to a junior college, and back to a four-year institution), can be eligible one calendar year from the date of his transfer from Alabama so long as he graduates with a GPA above 2.5 over an average of 12 hours per term at the certifying institution of Barnett’s choosing.

That’s a situation that happens frequently pre- and post-semester. The timing of Barnett’s transfer is what makes him a possible trailblazer: He’d be eligible to play the conference schedule at his next destination.

247Sports reviewed the NCAA transfer guide on Thursday with an FBS compliance source who has first-hand experience and knowledge in placing players from JUCOs, military institutions and other four-year colleges.

“I’ve never seen this situation before first-hand,” the compliance source said. “Because it’s so rare for somebody to leave in the middle of the season.”

It’s worth noting that every person we talk to has slightly different perspectives on the interpretation of this rule. One source with significant experience dealing in junior college transfers believed that Barnett would be eligible immediately in 2017 at a four-year program. Still another source that coaches in the junior college ranks felt that Barnett wouldn’t be able to play at a four-year institution until the 2018 season.

The source who thinks Barnett might have all of 2017 available muses that by leaving Alabama now and arriving at a two-year institution with a mid-term date in mid-October, Barnett would be essentially wiping clean the fall of 2016 at Alabama from his academic record. Consequently, his midterm transfer to a two-year institution would allow him to retroactively start the clock to the beginning of the first semester, thus allowing him to be eligible for the 2017 season with three years remaining to fulfill three years of eligibility.

Honestly, I don’t know if this will work, but you’ve got to admit it’s creative, especially when you consider that he’s leaving a program known under Saban for aggressively pushing the envelope when it comes to NCAA and SEC rules.  If it works, you’d better believe Saban won’t be applauding Barnett’s ingenuity, though.  He’ll be solemnly urging a rule change to shut down future mid-season departures.  It’s in the young men’s best interest, you know.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules, The NCAA

Another day without a comment from Stacey Osburn

This doesn’t sound like a good thing for the NCAA.

A specially presiding senior judge has ordered the NCAA to turn over emails and other communications related to the repeal of Penn State’s sanctions as part of a defamation lawsuit filed by the estate of Joe Paterno.

At issue is whether the NCAA maliciously and unfairly tarnished Paterno’s name and harmed the plaintiffs, which include former assistant coaches Bill Kenney and Paterno’s son, Jay.

The lawsuit was filed in 2013 and seeks punitive damages. The defendants include the NCAA, president Mark Emmert and former executive committee chairman Ed Ray.

According to Judge John Leete’s order, which was filed Monday, the NCAA must turn over communications between board members and administrators and between itself and Penn State officials. Privileged communications are exempt, but the NCAA must provide a privilege log outlining what documents are withheld.

It may be a bullshit lawsuit, but they’re playing on JoePa’s home field, and that’s likely to yield some embarrassing disclosures.

None of this is to excuse what went on, or to say that the school didn’t deserve to be punished for enabling a serial child molester, but when Mark Emmert decided he didn’t need to follow any established guidelines in his pursuit of Penn State, it was pretty much a given that he’d get this kind of reaction.  To mix metaphors, when you break a few eggs to make your omelet, don’t be surprised when some of the chickens come home to roost.

5 Comments

Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA, You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy

Because, Mark Emmert.

Oh, FFS.

NCAA President Mark Emmert on Thursday expressed a clear desire for the NCAA to have direct power to punish schools and athletes in connection with sexual abuse cases.

Can you imagine what he would have done with the Duke lacrosse scandal?  Or how much the NCAA would have wound up spending to defend and settle the inevitable lawsuit arising from his reaction?

Though I admit watching Emmert go after Ken Starr would have a certain sense of pass the popcorn to it.  But not enough to make this even remotely a good idea.

24 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Wednesday morning buffet

Plenty to nosh on this morning…

20 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, College Football, Georgia Football, Mike Leach. Yar!, Science Marches Onward, SEC Football, The NCAA, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

The NCAA takes a bathroom break.

North Carolina had to know this was coming.

Basketball-crazed North Carolina has lost its next chance to host NCAA men’s basketball tournament games along with several other championship events due to a state law that some say can lead to discrimination against LGBT people.

And the fallout may not be over.

After the NCAA announced it is pulling seven championship events from North Carolina for this year, Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford – whose league hosts many sporting events in the state, including its football championship game – said the ACC’s council of presidents were set to discuss the law at a previously scheduled meeting later this week.

Without NCAA cover, you’d expect the ACC to follow in its footsteps.  Banning the ACC basketball tourney from the state, even the watered down version that exists today, is gonna sting.

The cognitive dissonance in the corner of the law’s defenders is about what you’d expect.

Of course, he might be complaining about more than just who’s going to which bathroom with that.

HB2 was signed into law by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory earlier this year. A spokesman with McCrory’s office couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Monday evening, but a spokeswoman with the state Republican party blasted the NCAA’s decision in a statement, saying it is “so absurd it’s almost comical.”

“I wish the NCAA was this concerned about the women who were raped at Baylor,” spokeswoman Kami Mueller said Monday night.

I bet you do, girl.  It’s probably a coincidence that I can’t find a single other public utterance of your concern about what happened at Baylor.

But now that you mention it, Baylor canned its president, AD and head coach in the wake of its scandal.  What’s North Carolina got to offer to get the NCAA off its back?

236 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, Political Wankery, The NCAA

“Just have people sit no matter what.”

Behold what passes as concern for the student-athlete.  (h/t)

Another mid-major head coach, who lost one of his best players to a BCS school this past offseason, told ESPN he would be “slowing down the graduating process” for his players in order to ensure that he doesn’t lose another to the high-major ranks.

When asked to elaborate specifically on what “slowing down the graduating process” would entail, he said instead of enrolling a player into a pair of summer school classes in two sessions, they might not have that particular player take summer school at all — or take just one class per session. Another prevailing thought is to put players in just the minimum 12 hours of classes each semester.

“What kid is going to argue and want to take more classes?” one mid-major coach said. “There aren’t many.”

The problem with your cynicism, fella, is that the kids who want to make use of the flexibility of the graduate transfer rule are exactly the ones who are going to want to take more classes. Which should lead to some amusing conversations down the road, to say the least.

The problem in a nutshell is this:

“I think that would penalize the kid,” North Carolina’s Roy Williams said. “Let’s face it: This is a great rule for the kids and a terrible one for the coaches that lose these kids. In principle, it’s OK. But it’s not very good for college basketball.”

Translation — when the going gets tough, coaches would prefer to screw principle.

There is a legitimate concern here, that of coaches actively engaged in chasing players at other programs.  But there’s an obvious tell, as well.  Note that all the proposals being tossed out involve penalizing graduate players by limiting their opportunities.  If the real problem is poaching, why not simply punish the coaches doing that?

 

16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The NCAA

We know what you are, amateurs. We’re just haggling over the fee.

Evidently it’s okay for Olympic athletes to pocket a few bucks for their success and still compete in NCAA athletics.  But when somebody starts making Emmert-type money, well

The NCAA will likely “very quickly” address a rule that allowed a University of Texas swimmer to receive $740,000 from Singapore for winning a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, NCAA president Mark Emmert said Thursday.

Joseph Schooling, a junior at Texas, won gold in the 100-meter butterfly at the Olympics, defeating a field that included Michael Phelps. The Singapore National Olympic Council awarded Schooling nearly three-quarters of a million dollars, an amount he can keep without losing his college eligibility due to NCAA rules tied to Olympic awards.

“To be perfectly honest, it’s caused everybody to say, ‘Oh, well that’s not really what we were thinking about,'” Emmert said Thursday during a discussion about college sports at The Aspen Institute. “So I don’t know where the members will go on that. That’s a little different than 15 grand for the silver medal for swimming for the US of A. So I think it’s going to stimulate a very interesting conversation.”

Amen to that, Mark.  Things are so much easier when you can keep kids in their place by coming down on them for spending their book money on pencils, binders, and electronics at a school bookstore.

12 Comments

Filed under The NCAA