Category Archives: The NCAA

TFW you know it’s not Dan Wolken’s fault

Jeff Choate, Montana State head coach, speaking truth to power dipshits ($$):

“Football only matters if you have money. The Power 5 commissioners and presidents backed the NCAA into a corner. The real tragedy here is we could not operate together in the best interest of our kids. It’s not whether we’re playing or not. The spirit of amateurism, which has been a fallacy for a long time, is totally gone now because we’re saying if you can afford to test your players at this level or provide for them at this level, then you can participate at this great game we call football. But if you can’t, then you’re less than. We’ve created a different caste system here.”

“Instead of us acting all together and providing leadership in times of crisis, which is what leaders are supposed to do, and the NCAA is the leader of intercollegiate athletics, it’s just unfathomable that they said, we’re not going to do anything,” he said “We’re just gonna kick this down. How about them saying, ‘Look, we’re in a crisis. Now is not the time to worry about playing football.’

“What is the result of this? Did you see the other statement by the Mountain West kids? This is the price of inaction. This is the price of a lack of the leadership. I’m proud of the kids for stepping forward and at least acting like the adults, but it’s embarrassing that we couldn’t get any leadership for months from the NCAA. The money machine is driving this, man. You can’t say that we’re in a global pandemic and the money machine isn’t the thing that’s driving us. Everybody wants to take the moral high ground. The moral high ground was to have said this back in June — ‘Hey, now is not the time to do this. Let’s shut this down.’ Instead of forcing us all to act like we’re gonna play and dragging our kids through all of this BS and uncertainty. It’s a really bad look.”

When this is all over, one way or another, you can pull a Danny Kanell and blame certain parts of the media for fear mongering, or you can point the finger where it really belongs, on feckless politicians and college athletics leadership (using that term loosely) for conflating hope into an incoherent strategy.


Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

The cartel takes another L.

The NCAA is probably sphinctering up today.

Screenshot_2020-08-05 Steve Berkowitz ( ByBerkowitz) Twitter

In practical terms, what does that mean?

Screenshot_2020-08-05 Roger Pielke Jr on Twitter The potential importance of the Alston case for college athletes via danie[...](1)

With the NCAA out of the picture, it’ll be up to each conference to set its own rules about education-related compensation.  Competition, in other words.

The NCAA is going to appeal, which means it’s taking the position that college athletes should be denied this opportunity.  Nice optics, guys.


UPDATE:  Get a load of this horseshit.

Screenshot_2020-08-05 Home Twitter


Filed under Academics? Academics., See You In Court, The NCAA

“A better future for college football players?” Why would anybody think that’s needed?

Some thoughtful words from Bill Connelly:

Every organization has its flaws and cracks — you just never know when and how they might get exposed.

The many cracks in college football’s infrastructure — from how players are treated to the sport’s leadership vacuum — have been exposed in a single offseason.

At some point, the athletes were going to push back in force…

Here are a few examples of those cracks, just from the last couple of days:

  • From the Virginia Tech cornerback who was the first high-profile player to bail on the 2020 college football season:  “I started having deep concerns about staying healthy,” Farley wrote in the article, posted to the website on Sunday. “Guys were going home, going to Myrtle Beach, coming back to campus, and we weren’t getting tested. We’re all together, working out, close to each other, and you have no real idea who might have it, if anybody might have it. One day I looked around, and we were like 100-deep in our indoor facility, no masks. My concern grew more and more.”  Virginia Tech’s response is oh so reassuring.
  • We’re just out here getting gaslit en masse by our university.
  • “A University of Louisville athletics document that had been characterized as a pledge to follow COVID-19 protocols reads instead like a blanket release of legal claims.”
  • “The same ones handling these regulations are the ones set to make millions if we play,” Daltoso said. “If our health and safety was No. 1, we wouldn’t be on campus.”

Seriously, we’re supposed to be surprised that there’s an organized reaction to this?

And for those of you who try to split the baby by conceding the #WeAreUnited players may have a point about concern over their health and working conditions, but that their economic demands are a bridge too far, it’s not easy to separate the two, as Connelly explains.

The shame comes when you bring back athletes without centralized, enforceable health-and-safety protocols. And it comes when, after you have acknowledged the desperate importance of athletes to your school’s well-being, you continue to actively and forcefully resist these athletes’ attempts to recognize their economic rights.

The NCAA has long insisted that college athletes are normal students taking in a normal student experience. But the fact they have been on campus at all proves they’re different from normal students. That they probably will remain on campus, working to represent their school and earn it money even if or when most of the student population is away, attending school remotely during this ongoing crisis, proves they’re different.

After giving schools permission to bring players back during a pandemic and asking them to take on physical risk in the name of their university’s financial health, the NCAA continues to restrict players’ ability to make money off of their time serving said university. And if anyone remained on the fence regarding whether this sport is fair enough to the athletes who will forever be the engine of all revenue and popularity, this great paradox of 2020 should have held sway.

Another way of looking at this:  if you honestly believed before this season that players were being fairly compensated for their efforts, now that the COVID risk has been added to the pot, how can you argue they’re still being fairly compensated when nothing has changed on that side of the equation?  How far can you stretch amateurism?


Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

Today, in Econ 101

There’s a reason a cartel’s gonna cartel, y’all.

Screenshot_2020-08-03 UConn It's Coming on Twitter If the labor of college football players was not worth more than the val[...]

It really is that simple.

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Filed under The NCAA

Today, in just sayin’, part two

Maybe the #WeAreUnited players and the P5 have more in common than I thought.


Filed under The NCAA

A pandemic power play


In anticipation of the NCAA Board of Governors potentially canceling or postponing fall sports championships, Power 5 conference leaders have begun exploring the possibility of staging their own championships in those affected sports, multiple sources have told Sports Illustrated. This could be seen as a first step toward a long-theorized breakaway from the NCAA by the 65 schools that play college sports at the highest level.

The Board of Governors, comprised primarily of university presidents and chancellors from all levels of the NCAA, has a meeting scheduled for Tuesday. At that time it is expected to make a decision on the fate of fall sports championships other than FBS football, which has a championship outside the NCAA structure. However, the board also could delay action until later in August.

In recent days, Power 5 conference officials began seeking feedback from their members about the feasibility of staging their own championships during the fall, sources told SI. When asked if such a move away from the NCAA championship structure could be seen as a precedent-setting rift between the national governing body of college sports and the Power 5, one athletic director said, “If I were (NCAA president Mark) Emmert, I’d be really worried about it. He’s got to keep the Power 5 together.”


Multiple sources said part of the motivation for the Power 5 considering hosting its own fall Olympic sports seasons is to justify playing football, the revenue-driving sport for all athletic departments at that level. If all the other sports are canceled but football perseveres on its own, the optics would open up the schools to severe criticism. Thus, playing all fall sports would allow those schools to say that they are not uniquely subjecting football players to any risk.

Sources described the discussions about breakaway championships as preliminary in nature, the first steps in gauging both interest and feasibility. An Atlantic Coast Conference administrator said the concept is “hypothetical” in nature and not mature yet, but “if the NCAA does something, it could shift it from neutral to first gear.”

Given the P5 incentive to justify football, the Board of Governors’ decision—and rationale—will be critical. If it decides to cancel fall sports championships for COVID-19 health and safety reasons, it would be difficult for the Power 5 to justify going its own way without a plan that they can definitively protect their athletes. But if the board says that the cost of safely conducting championships is prohibitive, the Power 5 could have an avenue to play all its fall sports—football included.

Puddle of vomit on the floor.

“We’re all trying to think, hey, what can we do for our kids, so they have a season and a chance to compete for a championship,” one Power 5 athletic director said. “And, quite frankly, how can we justify playing football?”

Not necessarily in that order.


Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

“The association is brazen in its requests.”

I wouldn’t expect anything less than brazen from the NCAA as to NIL rights.

The governing body of college athletics is asking for lawmakers to grant it antitrust protection, preemption from differing state NIL laws and to allow it to craft all rules on athlete compensation.

And, a pony.

Hey, if you don’t ask…


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA


NCAA gesture:

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved rules to allow student-athletes in all sports to wear patches on their uniforms for commemorative and memorial purposes, as well as to support social justice issues.

Is advocating for NIL compensation for college athletes a social justice issue?  Asking for an underpaid friend…


Filed under The NCAA

On The Ball, with Mark Emmert

The guy who allegedly runs the organization that runs a college football playoff had this to say about it yesterday:

“An individual contest — a football game, a basketball game — that’s quite different,” he said. “In the case of a bowl game or the CFP, you’re talking about a championship game. Can you create a bubble with enough lead time to have two teams play each other safely? The answer to that may be yes. The FCS is a round-robin championship with 20 teams participating and a full-on championship event. That’s a very different and much more challenging environment than adding one or two more games to a season with a lot of space in between.”  [Emphasis added.]

For the last seven seasons, the FCS tournament has been a 24-team, single-elimination event.  Other than that, the man is spot on.

It’s a good thing knowing what he’s in charge of isn’t a main requirement of the job.


Filed under The NCAA

COVID, you’re not helping…

the NCAA get its antitrust relief from Congress, that is.

All of this is happening in the shadow of the raging debate over athlete compensation, an issue that has reached the steps of the U.S. Capitol. The NCAA is asking Congress to create friendly legislation to govern name, image and likeness (NIL). Their requests are aggressive. The NCAA is seeking a federal universal standard to preempt differing state NIL laws and an antitrust exemption from NIL lawsuits, while also requesting any bill include a bevy of athlete restrictions.

The handling of virus-related matters from college leaders is under the watchful eye of lawmakers who say the two issues, NIL and the virus, are related. “I hope Congress is watching,” says Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “I hope Congress is seeing what the real priorities for these schools are because it will educate our decision on how much power to give the NCAA and schools when it comes to an NIL bill. There’s definitely an interest in handing over a lot of power of endorsement deals to the schools and the NCAA. Given what’s happened in the last few months, that increasingly looks like a bad idea.”

In an interview with SI, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) says the two issues are related in that they are exposing a “hesitant leadership team” at NCAA headquarters. The NCAA only last week released detailed, in-season medical guidelines—a week after an NIL hearing on Capitol Hill turned into an inquiry about the NCAA’s lack of leadership as it relates to the virus. “The lack of leadership issue is what is swimming through the offices at the NCAA and I don’t know if it’s a curable disease,” Blackburn says.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is at the heart of the NIL debate in DC. He’s calling for more expanded reform at the NCAA and plans to craft legislation he refers to as an athlete bill of rights. “The question in both the (virus) and NIL is whether athletes again are going to be exploited by schools for the benefit of the institutions over the interest of the athlete,” Blumenthal tells SI in a recent interview.

These days, it takes a rare talent to generate bipartisan hostility in the Senate.  So, at least college athletics has that going for it.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA