Category Archives: The NCAA

“I think (recruits) are going to start asking (about cost of attendance).”

Man, according to the data Jon Solomon’s gathered, there’s a whole lot of manipulation of numbers going on.  And the coaches know it.

“There are some SEC schools that have a really high cost of attendance even though they’re in a relatively small town, so I’d like to see the formula that they’re coming up with,” said Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez, whose school has one of the lowest COA amounts ($1,602) in the FBS.

Said Oregon coach Mark Helfrich, whose school’s COA ($2,382) is among the lowest in the FBS: “I’ve seen a few of the numbers. It’s an interesting number. The people that can control it, there are some ways you can manipulate the system. It will be another clear battle (in recruiting).”

Ohio State, college football’s defending national champion, has the fourth-lowest COA in the Big Ten among public universities ($2,970). “It’s wrong, it’s wrong,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said of the varying numbers by school. “That needs to be fixed. Whoever came up with that ruling, it’s wrong. That needs to be a standardized (number).”

Well, if you mean a number set by the NCAA, that would be illegal, Corch.  But, whatever.

But I do think something Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick offers makes sense.

… Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, whose private university has one of the lowest COA figures in FBS, believes schools should provide recruits with disclosure statements explaining every element in a proposed scholarship.

“Like when you buy a car, there ought to be a simple, federally-mandated disclosure form that says here’s what it is,” Swarbrick said. “One reason cost of attendance numbers are different is because figures embedded in other elements of the scholarship are different. You could have a different meal plan. If I only provided you 10 to 12 meals a week, your cost of attendance is higher. If you provide a 17-meal plan, it doesn’t impact your cost of attendance.”

I will bet you most kids have no clue how to make sense of that right now.  Of course, that means there are probably plenty of schools out there that would prefer not to shed any light on this.

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Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

Just your typical student

Part of college football’s power over us comes from what I call the romance of amateurism, the idea that the kids we see on television and cheer on in our stadiums are in school for the same reason our next-door neighbor’s son is, and that, outside of those game days when we connect with them, they lead the same lives.  It’s an ideal that the NCAA and the schools have done their damnedest to exploit to their profit.

But it’s nothing more than a convenient fiction.

Unless you think this is the kind of thing every college kid utters about himself…

“I’m here to serve the people,” sophomore running back Sony Michel said. “They’re fans and if they ask for something, I’m willing to give them my autograph. It’s no big deal.”

… while in almost the same breath his head coach is close to calling for an outright ban on the practice.

“You’re just about to the point where you say don’t sign anything for anybody,” coach Mark Richt said. “But that’s tough. I don’t think we can get to that point. But if you are doing it for pay, then you are wrong and you just shouldn’t do it.”

That isn’t to say Richt is a hypocrite.  He’s only pointing out the consequences of living with the risk of violating NCAA norms. Sadly, between the Green and Gurley suspensions, he’s the closest thing we’ll find to an expert on the subject.

But it’s not just about autographs and some money on the side.  More than anything else, it’s about control.

At Clemson, Dabo Swinney has banned his players from social media during football season.

Don’t expect to see any tweets, snapchats or Facebook posts from the Clemson Tigers the next few months.

As has become standard practice, the Tigers’ social media ban went into effect on Aug. 3, reportsUSA Today.

Players are not required to delete or deactivate their accounts, but are “forbidden” from being active on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or other social media during the season, according to the report.

The ban is intended to keep players’ focus on football as opposed to the outside world.

Now some of you may applaud this as a necessary or wise step.  But if that’s the case, why is focus only important for players during football season? Why doesn’t Clemson apply such a ban to all students attending school on full scholarships, or all of its enrollees?  For that matter, if the academic mission of a school is as important as the athletic one, why doesn’t Swinney ban his players from social media during the entire school year? (And while I’m asking, if you’re the parent of a child attending college and you approve of what Swinney has done, have you imposed such a ban?)

Whatever happened to letting kids learn a few life lessons from their experiences along the way?  Isn’t that supposed to be part of a college education?  What’s the point of treating twenty-somethings, people close to having to step out and make it in the real world, in the way we’d treat our eight-year old daughter?

It happens because they’re football players, because their coaches make millions of dollars a year and because those coaches think that control equals accountability (for them, not their players).  All of which may be true, but has nothing to do with the way the average college student is allowed to lead his or her life.

Another thing to keep in mind here is that those of us outside the arena don’t see student-athletes as mere students.

Carter and teammate Jake Ganus said the attention they get is nothing compared to that of running back Nick Chubb.

Even some of the other players get extra attention simply for knowing Chubb.

“I’m not Nick Chubb, but I am Nick Chubb’s friend,” Ganus said.

Chubb is aware of the public persona that comes with being a star on the Georgia football team. He likes having the ability to have his peace and quiet every so often.

“That’s part of job,” Chubb said. “You come here to be a football player, but other things come with it and that’s one of it. People want to see me and greet me and I enjoy it. But sometimes I just like to fall back into the shadows.”

Just like… I’ll let you finish the sentence there.

But it’s not just us fans who are guilty of that.  The schools themselves, the purveyors of amateurism romance, are just as bad in their own way.

Unless you think that Tennessee paints rocks for every kid who applies there.

Believe it or not, my point isn’t that this is why players deserve to be paid.  It’s that the system surrounding them is corrupt and hypocritical. The NCAA and its member schools try to straddle a divide of amateur innocence on one side and big money with big demands on student-athletes on the other.  And it’s a gap that grows ever wider as more money flows into the system and raises the stakes.  The romance isn’t sustainable, and the sooner we realize that, the less we’ll be hurt by the sport’s changes.

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

“If they’re going to let us play after midnight, they should let us practice and train after midnight.”

Dan Mullen is standing at the crossroads of broadcast demands and NCAA rules and isn’t happy with the view.

The Bulldogs open at Southern Miss with a 9 p.m. local time kickoff on Sept. 5. The next week, they host LSU with an 8:15 p.m. kick.

“The schedule changes how we prepare because we play at, like, midnight every kickoff. It is hard,” Mullen said. “Our first two games, you expect they’ll still be going on past midnight, which is kind of ridiculous. But that’s just the way it is.

“That will change how we prepare closer to game week, because I’m usually asleep by then. I’ve got to be rocking and rolling in the fourth quarter. Our guys aren’t used to physically performing.”

You’d best plenty of rest, big fella.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, The NCAA

“Yeah, anytime I can get a little bit more money in pocket, it is exciting.”

Several Georgia players are included in the class action group scheduled to receive payment from EA Sports for use of their likenesses in its NCAA Football video game.  Will some of you think less of ’em for that?

The funny thing is the kids would like to see the game return for the obvious reasons.

Theus played the game often growing up and would like to see it return. He says the game still has a huge following, and if the NCAA can work out a deal where the college football players are compensated for their likeness and image it could be a win for both sides.

“Whoever wants to play the game can play it, they [EA and the NCAA] can make money off of it, and guys can get a little more cash,” Theus said. “If they work something out, it would be awesome.”

EA Sports has already said it would be willing to resume production of the game and pay the kids for their likenesses.  But amateurism is in the fans’ best interests, right?

26 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

“Look, Nick’s a friend of mine.”

So, do you figure the next NCAA rules dispute goes a little more in Nick Saban’s favor than the 10-second substitution kerfuffle did?

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules, The NCAA

“It’s an NCAA thing.”

I think every Georgia fan knows what it means when a player is suspended for four games and his coach says, “We have to respect what they say on amateurism.”

But I have to disagree with Saban a little bit here.

Bo Scarbrough is still recovering from a knee injury. Saban said he didn’t expect Scarbrough to be healthy enough to play early in the season anyway.  And it just so happens he’ll be back in time for Alabama’s game on October 3rd in Athens.  Anybody think things would work out so conveniently in an alternate universe where it was a Georgia running back in that situation?

That’s not an NCAA thing.  That’s a non-Georgia Way thing.

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Filed under The NCAA

Wednesday morning buffet

Hump day.  Get ‘yer buffet on.

  • 100 years ago… Vanderbilt was a football powerhouse.
  • Three overrated college teams, based on advanced stats – and Georgia isn’t one of them.
  • Georgia opened preseason practice yesterday almost complete from a health standpoint.  Amazing.
  • The CFP announced yesterday that it’s expanding travel help to players’ families to cover the semifinals.  That’s a nice gesture, but it’s hard to see how you square that with amateurism.  Maybe someone could ask Stacey Osburn for a comment.
  • Pruitt on Leonard Floyd“So the good thing about Leonard is he can help everybody else right. Until we figure out the other pieces of the puzzle he’s gonna kind of do all three.”
  • More Pruitt“Sometimes your second team strong safety is better than your second team free safety,” defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt said. “So when you’re starting free safety gets hurt, it’s not real smart to put in the worse player.”
  • Even more Pruitt“This league is a physical league. You better be big up front. You better have big people so you can sustain over the course of the year…”
  • Matt Hinton says yes, the SEC West is that good.  Which makes you wonder what kind of expansion pressure will be brought to bear on the CFP if the SEC gets shut out of the semifinals because the West ate its own.
  • And Grayson Lambert sees a lot of similarities between what Virginia and Georgia run in their offenses.

17 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA