Category Archives: The NCAA


For the 2015 fiscal year, the NCAA budgeted $6.7 million for legal expenses.  It wound up spending $25 million.  CFO Kathleen McNeely’s reaction to the disparity?  “I was naïve in believing that our legal fees would start to come down, I’m willing to admit that. It’s a litigious environment.”

No shit, Sherlock.  I wonder how that happened.

The dramatic increase in legal costs occurred amid an array of legal challenges, including the Ed O’Bannon antitrust case and a suit stemming from the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal at Penn State. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled on the O’Bannon case in August 2014, but the NCAA’s appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals occurred during 2015.

It’s like they expect to be able to do whatever they want without anyone objecting to it.  Including their own lawyers.

… She said that for the 2016 fiscal year, the association again budgeted $6.7 million for outside legal fees, and while she is not yet certain of what the final expense total will be, she said it could be more than $20 million.

As a result, she told the business managers, the NCAA’s fiscal 2017 expense budget includes $20 million for third-party legal fees “and we’re asking our attorneys to try to live within that.”

I’m sure representing the NCAA is a real privilege.



Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

“The NCAA made a rule 10 minutes ago saying I couldn’t.”

Yes, I know that Jim Harbaugh can be a self-aggrandizing arse, but the NCAA’s fixation on satellite camps is bordering on farcical.

According to, during a camp hosted by USF, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said the NCAA told him to stop taking pictures with and signing autographs for campers, parents and fans…

The coach I heard from last week thought there was a bit more to it than that. That picture of Harbaugh above with a four-star O-line prospect and his mom seemed rather ordinary, but the assistant coach pointed out the attire of the recruit, which appeared to indicate that the player didn’t actually take part in the camp and never registered. The upshot: “We can’t have contact with the kids and their parents,” the coach said. “It’s an illegal contact.”

The coach said this is why so many coaches thought Saban raised a lot of good points about the spread of satellite camps and how many unwieldy issues it’s going to add in the recruiting process. That they’re more about schmoozing and recruiting than instruction.

Now I get all that, but how is it any different than the absurdity of the Saban Rule – you know, the one supposedly prohibiting purposefully bumping into recruits during high school visits that is routinely breached?

Look at what the NCAA is devoting resources to these days.

Later, Harbaugh interrupted an interview with his son, tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh, because he had just heard that the NCAA wasn’t allowing interviews with the media during camps. That changed within the two-hour practice, and he addressed reporters after the first session.

“I believe we can do interviews,” Harbaugh said. “That’s what we’ve been told. You were there, you saw what’s going on with the changing daily rules. It’s very interesting. It’s very interesting. The NCAA compliance people are here. They’ve been at every single one. The NCAA has sent at least one or two of their people to each of our camps and we’ve had one of our compliance people at each one of these camps. That notion that there’s not oversight of these camps — you’ve seen it with your own eyes, there absolutely is.

Freaking satellite camps, this year’s most overblown, over-covered college football subject.  Again, I get that it’s Harbaugh and the “we’re going to fight for the youngsters and the student-athletes and their families and for the game of football itself” he tosses out in defense of his crusade is complete garbage, but, seriously, I only wish the NCAA paid this much constant attention to, say, academic fraud.

A pox on ’em both, I say.


Filed under Heard About Harbaugh?, The NCAA

It’s not exactly the death penalty.

Ooh, look what might happen to Ole Miss.

Eh, if that happens, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see ole Hugh suddenly schedule a regular season game with Hawaii to close out a year.  He’s all about doing it for the kids.  Meanwhile, SEC, you know where to keep sending those sweet checks.


Filed under SEC Football, The NCAA

Is the NCAA really considering eliminating signing periods?

Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but it strikes me as a rather significant acknowledgement.

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has long been an advocate for a rather radical change to the process of signing recruits to letters of intent –eliminating signing periods and instead allowing prospects to sign at any point when they’ve decided they’re ready to end the recruiting process.

Johnson said at the ACC meetings in early May that he thought that the option was gaining in popularity. He may have known what Division I football oversight committee chairman Bob Bowlsby acknowledged in an interview with the AJC last week – that the committee is looking into it.

“I think a case can be made for that,” Bowlsby said. He called it a “large departure from where we’ve been in the past. Maybe it’s time for consideration of that. I think that there clearly are young people that want to get the process over with. They want to take a visit in the summer and maybe an official visit in the fall and be done with it long before the February signing date. Not everybody agrees with that, but it’s certainly one point of view.”

Now, sure, this is coming from Bowlsby and it may simply be a case of saying something to get a pesky reporter off the phone, but if the NCAA is really doing more than giving lip service to the possibility of canning signing day, that would be a big deal.

Johnson’s rationale for eliminating signing periods is that, beyond giving prospects (and coaches) the chance to be finished with the recruiting process and eliminate the need for “babysitting” prospects after they’ve committed, it would also introduce more transparency to the process of giving commitments and scholarship offers. If a prospect says he wants to attend a particular school but isn’t ready to sign on the spot, then it’s a far clearer indication of his mindset than a commitment, which are often broken at the occasion of a better offer. Likewise, if a coach indicates he’s offering a scholarship but won’t give a prospect the chance to sign, then, the validity of the offer becomes more clear.

“You’ve heard the horror stories of people committed 10 times, and I think that’s not good for the schools, it’s not good for the kids,” Bowlsby said. “We need to figure out how that happens. I think there are some ways in which the student-athletes and their families can stop the recruiting process by making a commitment. Either that, or by actually signing. I think we need to bring as much honesty and transparency to the process as we possibly can.”

As Johnson points out, there really is something in this for both coaches and recruits.  But having Paul Johnson as the public spokesman for the idea lacks a certain pizzazz.  Maybe we could get Harbaugh and Saban to start a Twitter spat over it.



Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

If Ole Miss ain’t cheatin’, it ain’t tryin’.

From the Oxford Citizen (h/t):

… Hot flash to the NCAA, the fans don’t care or understand your laws. What the fans that pack Vaught-Hemingway Stadium want to see on a Saturday afternoon is a good game. And preferably a win.

You think people who pay $1,600 for four season tickets care if a player’s family got an extra $800 at the airport or not? You think the vast majority of those same ticket holders care if Laremy Tunsil or CJ Hampton are driving around with a loaner Nissan Titan or Dodge Challenger? Most people would say “It’s not my car. It’s not my issue. I just want to see a win over Alabama for the first time in my life.”

Hot flash to the Oxford Citizen, Ole Miss is a member of the NCAA.  The NCAA is the schools’ creation.  When you’re bitching at the NCAA, you’re bitching at Ole Miss.  Which, of course, is kind of detail the fans that pack Vaught-Hemingway Stadium don’t really want to think about.


Filed under General Idiocy, Media Punditry/Foibles, The NCAA

Thanks, Baylor.

If you figured the release of Ole Miss’ response to an NCAA notice of allegations was being deliberately timed to follow in the wake left behind of the Baylor news means it’s probably not good, hey, give yourself a cigar!

It’s that bad.

The Rebels self-imposed the loss of 11 total scholarships in football over a four-year period from 2016-19, including a reduction of three initial scholarships in each of their next three recruiting classes, which would allow them to sign a maximum of 22 players in each class.

The Rebels also previously self-imposed a ban on unofficial visits from Feb. 21, 2016, to March 31, 2016, a 10 percent reduction in off-campus evaluation days for coaches during the 2015 evaluation period (from 168 days to 151) and a 12.5 percent reduction during the 2016 evaluation period.

Thirteen of the 28 NCAA allegations involve the football program. Eight were Level 1 violations, the most severe — four allegedly during the Hugh Freeze era and four under the previous coaching staff.

If you’d prefer it in 140 characters,

I guess somebody took Hugh up on that tweet.

The worst part of this is that they still haven’t gotten to the Tunsil draft night stuff.

In a letter posted on the university’s website on Friday morning, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork and chancellor Jeffrey Vitter wrote that the school has requested that its case be delayed in light of allegations made by former Rebels offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil at last month’s NFL draft in Chicago.

Bjork and Vitter wrote that they’ve asked the NCAA not to require the school to appear in front of the Committee on Infractions this summer so it would have ample time to investigate whether or not Tunsil, a first-round pick by the Miami Dolphins, received improper benefits while playing at Ole Miss.

“On the first day of the 2016 NFL Draft, new information came to light involving a former football student-athlete,” the letter said. “That very night, the University and NCAA began a joint review to determine whether bylaws have been violated, and we hope this review will be concluded soon. To ensure fairness to all parties and pursuant to [Committee on Infractions] procedure, we have asked the COI to remove the hearing from this summer’s docket until this review can be completed and closed.”

“More to come” doesn’t do this justice.  I guess Bjork is hoping there’s another school’s big scandal in the future he can slipstream behind.  Looks like he’ll need it.


Filed under SEC Football, The NCAA

The NCAA just wants to be loved.

Introducing the “haters gonna hate” defense.

In the motion filed earlier this week, the NCAA said the “public perceives potential judicial bias” because Judge Frederick Shaller graduated from USC.

“While it is unlikely the NCAA can ever receive a fair trial — just miles from USC where students and alumni publish vitriolic, hateful messages about the NCAA with each case development — the court should guard against any public perception of bias arising from a trial judge’s ties to USC,” the motion said.

Shaller rejected a similar request by the NCAA in March, noting the issues raised by the organization weren’t “legal grounds for disqualification.”

In this week’s filing, the NCAA cited years-old news stories about the case in addition to anonymous postings on message boards and comments below stories.

“Strong hatred of the NCAA for sanctioning USC permeates social media posts,” the motion said.

It added that “even mainstream media has vilified the NCAA…”

If disliking the NCAA is grounds for moving the case, they’re gonna have to go far, far away.  Can you move a California trial to Timbuktu?


Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA