Category Archives: The NCAA

Just when you think things couldn’t get any creepier…

I mean, what could possibly go wrong here?

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Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Title IX in reverse

What if the problem isn’t that Title IX hamstrings schools from complying with funding equality between the sexes, but that the NCAA hamstrings Title IX?

The NCAA limits the number of scholarships schools can award in each sport. For example, men’s basketball teams in Division I can only award 13 scholarships per year, while women’s teams can award 15. Under Title IX, schools are supposed to spend athletic aid dollars in proportion to each gender’s participation; an unexplained disparity of more than one percentage point indicates a possible violation of the law. If a school sees that it’s underfunding women’s athletic aid, however, it can’t just freely hand out more scholarships to female athletes—that would exceed the NCAA’s per-sport scholarship caps, which would result in association sanctions, including the possible loss of more scholarships in the future.

In other words: the NCAA is potentially limiting opportunities for female athletes, and making it harder for schools to follow federal law.

Take Notre Dame, which says it is “fully funded” in women’s sports, meaning that it is giving out all of the scholarships it possibly can under the association’s caps. Nevertheless, the school has a three percent equity gap—that is, there is a three-point difference between the rate of women’s participation in sports and the rate they are awarded athletic scholarship dollars.

If Notre Dame didn’t have to follow NCAA rules, the school says, it would offer more scholarships to female athletes.

“With respect to financial aid, all 13 of our women’s intercollegiate athletic programs receive the NCAA maximum number of scholarship dollars,” Notre Dame senior associate athletic director for business Jill Bodensteiner wrote to VICE Sports in an email. In a follow-up email, she wrote, “The NCAA limits do have an impact. And yes, we would try to be ‘fully funded’ in all sports if they were increased”—as long as increases didn’t further give an advantage to Notre Dame’s sponsored men’s sports.

It’s not just Notre Dame. In 2013-14, Florida State had an 8.5-point equity gap. It would have cost the Seminoles roughly $681,000 more in women’s athletic scholarships to make things even—an amount the school’s athletic department almost certainly could have afforded.

Tough luck, ladies.  Sure helps the schools’ bank accounts, though.  Which is the point, of course.

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Filed under The NCAA

This is what free market value looks like.

Jim Brown, one of the all-time greatest players in American football, today settled with video games maker Electronic Arts (EA) to the tune of $600,000, after he alleged that the company used his likeness in its Madden NFL games series without his consent.

Quite a bit more than the college kids got.

(Via one of my favorite h/ts ever.  He ought to know.)

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Uneasy lies the ellipsis.

Say what you will about Hugh Freeze – and we’ve said plenty here – here’s a stat that you have to admit is pretty impressive.

There are four coaches in SEC football history whose team improved its record each of its first four seasons – Georgia’s Wally Butts (1939-42), Alabama’s Bear Bryant (1958-61), Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino (2008-11) and Ole Miss’ Freeze (2012-15).  Freeze has a chance to become the first SEC coach to improve his record in each of his first five years, but…

That “but” in the last sentence is carrying a lot of weight, though.  It’s a good summary of the man’s career so far.

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Filed under SEC Football, The NCAA

The professional amateur

Just a reminder, kids:  if you want to be a paid athlete and also play college football, make sure you excel in two sports.  Just listen to the head coach.

Kelly said earlier this month that he and Hunter had talked about Hunter keeping his options open in both sports but feels his future is brightest in football.

“Here’s what I told him, ‘Sixth-round draft picks in football this year — sixth round — had a $100,000 signing bonus,’ ” Kelly said back on June 14. “ ’So if you were a 23rd-round pick in baseball, would you get $100,000? And I think you’re way better than a sixth-round pick in football. So how about you play really well this year for everybody.’ ”

Hunter does have a fifth-year option in football for 2017, because he was a medical redshirt as a freshman in 2013.

“He graduates at mid-year,” Kelly said. “Whether he comes back for another year or not, we’ll see how that goes. But if he has a really, really good year this year, then he can take stock as to what the best decision is for him.

“I think he’s a guy who could do quite well for himself. You saw what kind of bonuses second-and third-round (NFL) picks can get. It’s a whole lot more than $100,000. So I think he’s got a lot of options in front of him.”

After all, that’s what amateurism is all about.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Mark Richt lost control before he even had control.

Welcome to the U, Coach.

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Filed under ACC Football, The NCAA

“I think you just want to be competitive with everybody else.”

If you’re the Big 12 or the Pac-12 and you’re worried about the spreading revenue gap between you and the Big Ten and SEC, what do you do?

Why, you fret about competitive balance.  And then you start pondering restrictions.

In March, Clemson hired longtime Grayson High coach Mickey Conn to take a position on coach Dabo Swinney’s staff as a senior defensive assistant. Swinney also hired a high-school coach who had developed a powerful team in South Carolina to be the Tigers’ senior offensive assistant.

The hires did not escape the notice of Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson and others, who have seen some schools’ staffs swell in size while others have remained comparatively static.

“It’s turning into basketball because what happens is you go and you hire the high school coaches, and then that helps you in recruiting,” Johnson said.

That particular recruiting tactic aside, the increase and disparity in the size of football staffs has gained the attention of coaches, administrators and chief decision makers. By NCAA rules, FBS teams may have 10 full-time coaches and four graduate assistants. While the size of a team’s strength-and-conditioning staff is limited to five, there are no limits on other positions, such as quality control, operations and recruiting…

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who is the chairman of the NCAA’s football oversight committee tasked with overseeing competitive issues in the game, said the possibility of a cap is on the table with the committee.

He noted what he termed a growing trend of personnel who aren’t technically coaches but are involved in preparing for games, such as Conn.

“And so I would say that there are some universities where it’s gotten out of control, and I think there’s probably some appetite for some limitations,” Bowlsby said.

Of course, this is Bob Bowlsby speaking, which means things are drawn in infinite shades of gray.

“But then, the other side of it, we aren’t all created equal and we never have been created all equally. You don’t want to go too far down the path of trying to legislate competitive equity, because it’s largely a mirage.”

In short, expect the whining to continue, but little else.  Then again, imagine what things are going to sound like if player payment ever becomes a reality.

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Filed under College Football, The NCAA