Category Archives: The NCAA

The next front in the NCAA wars opens.

Sooner or later, you knew this was coming:

The NCAA’s transfer rules are now under attack legally. A former Weber State football player filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday in Indiana federal court that challenges the NCAA’s transfer rules requiring Division I football players to sit out a year if they leave for another school.

The lawsuit against the NCAA claims the transfer limits violate antitrust laws.

This part is sheer poetry.

“The NCAA’s limitation on the mobility of college athletes is patently unlawful,” the suit says. “For a striking contrast, one can simply examine the unfettered mobility of the players’ coaches.”

The funny thing is that in an unguarded moment, the NCAA would likely agree.  It’s just that the schools wish they could limit coaches’ movement as much as they do their student-athletes.


Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

The truth about the Gurley suspension comes out.

It was never about amateurism.  The NCAA just didn’t want to see Todd Gurley in a tutu.


Filed under The NCAA

The NCAA’s fantasy about fantasy sports

Hey, here’s a real surprise.

A lawyer for FanDuel told a top NCAA official on Monday that the daily fantasy company would not stop offering NCAA games.

The letter, emailed by the company’s chief legal counsel, Christian Genetski, to NCAA executive vice president Mark Lewis on Monday, and obtained by, noted that the site does “not plan to make changes to our games at this time, and certainly not without further conversations with you.” Genetski also maintained that the NCAA has no legal basis for forcing FanDuel to stop its college games because names when tied to statistics aren’t subject to the approval of the athletes and “cannot implicate their amateur status.”

Five bucks say as soon as he read that, Mark Emmert ran down the hall to ask Donald Remy if the NCAA could take the position that amateurism bans the use of statistics in revenue producing sports.

And another five bucks say in a decade the NCAA will be sponsoring its own version of daily fantasy games.


Filed under The NCAA

Tough Luck

NCAA vice president Oliver Luck and ESPN analyst Jay Bilas appeared at a debate this week at Texas A&M about whether college athletes should be allowed to be paid.  Check out this absurd discussion:

The most compelling dialogue occurred after Bilas described how revenue continues to increase in the multi-billion-dollar industry without players being allowed to maximize their value. Luck said he’s happy the industry’s money increases because it supports many sports teams. Bilas pressed Luck on whether it’s antithetical to what college is about when the money returning to schools gets paid in exorbitant sums to coaches and administrators. Luck acknowledged it’s a “challenge” to justify some of the coaching salaries but added there’s no legal mechanism for an NCAA cap.

“It doesn’t change in my mind the rationale because those are adults,” Luck said. “We’re talking about college students age 18 to 22, whatever it may be.”

Bilas: “Which most people would call adults.”

Luck: “They are in many respects adults. Right. They can go serve in the military.”

Bilas (laughing): “Like the law. The law calls them adults.”

Luck: “Correct. But there’s still a lot of in loco parentis (legal responsibility for an organization to take on some of the functions of a parent) on campus with athletic programs because ultimately teams are responsible for the health and safety of student-athletes.”

This is the best the number two guy at the NCAA can do to defend its bedrock principle.

And that wasn’t even the dumbest thing Luck had to say.

Luck argued that allowing athletes to be paid would make it difficult to motivate them for an education. If athletes could market themselves for money, Luck said, “there’s simply no time to do that, particularly an 18- or 19-year-old who’s not necessarily sophisticated in business or promotion.” Said Bilas: “I can tell you right now there are Texas A&M athletes on a plane flying to SEC (basketball) media day so they’ve got the time to promote college athletics when it’s making the enterprise some money. If it’s making themselves some money, we’ve got to stop that. They don’t have time for that.”

Aside from Bilas’ rebuttal, if you take Luck’s comment there out to its logical conclusion, no college student should have a paying job on the side.  Unless Luck is arguing that only student-athletes have a motivation problem, which is dumb… although, come to think of it, in the midst of taking so many dumb positions, what’s one more?


Filed under The NCAA

This is what comes from chasing a national playoff.

No surprise here.

Because if there’s anything a conference playing a round-robin schedule needs, it’s a championship game.

A decade or so from now, these assholes are going to wake up and wonder how they lost us.


Filed under Big 12 Football, The NCAA

“The integrity of our collegiate contests are paramount.”

We already know the NCAA doesn’t think much of the daily fantasy stuff.  It’s asked the sites to stop offering fantasy games based on college sports.  It’s barred student-athlete participation, with a year of lost eligibility penalty for anyone who’s caught violating the rule.

That’s the easy stuff.  Where the rubber meets the road, though…

Lewis added, “As we have communicated to you previously, since your games meet the definition of sports wagering within our bylaws, the N.C.A.A. will not allow advertising of your products in connection with N.C.A.A. championships, including television broadcasts.”

Numerous N.C.A.A. championships appear on television, but most prominent are the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with the men’s on CBS and Turner stations and the women’s on ESPN and its affiliates. The men’s tournament deal is worth more than $10 billion for 14 years. ESPN has broadcast deals for a few dozen other N.C.A.A. championships, including the College World Series.

CBS Sports and Turner Sports declined to comment.

Well, publicly, anyway.

In the world of college football, where the NCAA can only watch the deals from the sidelines, the approach is more mixed.

The College Football Playoff is not administered by the N.C.A.A., but rather by the Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and Notre Dame, which is independent. Bill Hancock, executive director of the playoff — which comprises seven bowl and playoff games annually, including the national championship game and the Rose Bowl — said the playoff had not engaged in extensive discussion on the topic yet with ESPN, which signed a 12-year, $7.3 billion contract to broadcast those games.

While several professional sports franchises and media companies are investors, the college sports establishment appeared to have fewer entanglements.

The Southeastern Conference has asked the SEC Network, which ESPN owns, not to air ads for daily fantasy sports, according to SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey.

“It certainly doesn’t seem the right tone,” Sankey said, adding, “We are in an academic environment. Candidly, a lot of this advertising reaches out to a lot of young people, and a piece of the concern is about individuals.”

The Pacific-12 Network and Big Ten Network, which are fully or jointly owned by the conferences and their universities, still air daily fantasy ads, although not ones that promote college games.

“As long as the federal government has determined this isn’t gambling, it’s in a different category,” said Larry Scott, the Pac-12 commissioner.

Sankey said the SEC had had discussions with ESPN and CBS, which broadcast conference football games, about barring daily fantasy commercials.

That money thing, she is tough.

I give it a few years and expect the colleges will fold on this, telling themselves that it hasn’t been a problem for the NBA to manage.  Then it’ll be off to the races.  Gotta be flexible with integrity when you’re paying the bills.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

“What the heck are we doing here?”

Dudes, when even ESPN can’t come to grips with college basketball giving in to the reality of one-and-done, you’ve got a serious amateurism problem on your hands.

Keeping players focused on the current season rather than future ones is a chief challenge for coaches. Jim Haney, executive director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, said: “Our guys — and they’ve done a good job on this — have had to strike the right balance. You have to be concerned about getting your degree. Even if you are a one-and-done, you have a responsibility to meet your obligations to be on this team.”

Unless you’re in denial, that is.


Filed under The NCAA