Category Archives: The NCAA

“Who’s seriously there for the master’s?”

A reminder that the NCAA is all about heppin’ the kids:

In two weeks, the N.C.A.A.’s primary legislative body, the Division I Council, will vote on a measure that could severely restrict graduate transfers. The proposed rule change would require that colleges accepting graduate transfers be docked a scholarship the next year if the transfer does not earn his secondary degree within a year.

So as graduate transfers have continued to increase — there were 124 this season in men’s basketball, according to the website GradTransferTracker, including a handful who were key contributors on N.C.A.A. tournament teams — and as programs have found value in them as a quick fix that suits both team and player, the new rule is seeking to discourage them by effectively adding a tax on programs that accept such players.

“That’s really draconian,” Rodney Fort, a sports economist and professor of sports management at the University of Michigan, said of the rule change. “This is like losing a scholarship from an N.C.A.A. penalty.”

… Justin Sell, the athletic director at South Dakota State who led the Division I transfer working group that developed the proposal, said that too often graduate transfers in men’s basketball and football had little interest in obtaining graduate degrees.

“We really want to protect against the football player who is done and leaves in December and the basketball player who is done and leaves in March,” Sell said. “A lot of students are looking to use it to play another year. Who’s seriously there for the master’s?”

Yeah, if there’s one thing schools are concerned about, it’s sham decisions.  What I love about Sell’s reasoning is the way he conveniently pretends the players are operating in a vacuum here, as if the coaches who take in these kids are mere accidental bystanders as they’re looking to play another year.  It takes two to tango, last time I checked.

But if you really want to gauge the hypocrisy of this, you don’t have to look very far.  For one thing, the new rule only applies to three sports, football, women’s basketball and men’s basketball.  Gee, what a funny coincidence.  Second, they know it’s bullshit.

Sell conceded objections about practicality (many graduate programs take two years to complete) and fairness (the rule does not apply to athletes who compete as graduate students without transferring) were fair, but said his group’s intent was to “manage behavior.”  [Emphasis added.]

“When you’re trying to manage behavior and put together policies and rules in trying to create ethical behavior and integrity, there are challenges to that,” Sell said. “It’s really hard to police integrity.”

To put that highlighted point another way,

If managing behavior is the major concern here, then why isn’t the rule going to be applied to all graduate student-athletes, not just those who seek to transfer?

I think we all know the answer to that.

It’s all about the control, baby.  That’s how you get to the faux concern of Jim Harbaugh.

However, Harbaugh does have one tweak he’d like to see — not even to the rulebook. Instead, he’d like to see one particular rule applied uniformly.

Last season, the NCAA changed the redshirt rule, making it so players could play in any four games and still retain that season as a redshirt year — meaning, they would retain a year of eligibility, regardless of having seen playing time. That new rule went into effect this past season, but only for players who utilized said rule.

Harbaugh would like to see that apply in arrears, so that any player who’s currently enrolled would have that same rule applied if they played in four or less games, but before the new rule went into effect.

“The other thing, though, I would say, because it can affect a lot of players – the new rule of being able to play in four games and still being able to have a redshirt, there should be a retroactive for those players that are juniors, seniors and possible fifth-years,” Harbaugh said. “Because right now, I believe there’s a hard-line on them, even though you have a new rule. If a player only played in one game or two games or played near the end of the season, but now they’re a junior or a senior, that year shouldn’t be, they should be under the same eligibility. It should be grandfathered in like those that played this past season. Hopefully, people come to the logic of that.”

That’s really considerate, Jim.  It’s nice to see that some coaches can selflessly support players… eh, what’s that?

That would give players such as Shea Patterson, who lost a year of eligibility having played in Ole Miss’ final three regular season games in 2016, a redshirt year, and an ability to come back for another season, if he so chose.


In the context of college athletics, integrity doesn’t mean what I think it means.



Filed under The NCAA, Transfers Are For Coaches.

At least they can enjoy a bagel and cream cheese.


Just when you think the rules can’t get any stupider…


UPDATE:  Can I get a harumph?

I can’t imagine why Guy would make up a story like that, so I guess we’ll wait and see how this shakes out.


Filed under The NCAA

Just imagine what’ll happen if they start paying players!

Why, the rich conferences will get all the best ones, unlike now… uh, wait.


Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

“We don’t like the notion that we’re in violation of antitrust laws.”

No shit, Mark.  Seems like there’s a way to change that.

Emmert added that the association does not believe the courts should decide what qualifies as a benefit tethered to education.

“We just find that an unworkable proposal that anytime you want to have a discussion over whether or not something is or isn’t tethered [to] education, we have to go back to a judge and have that debate and discussion. That just seems inherently inappropriate and not an appropriate role for the judiciary, but one that does fit the role of the NCAA,” Emmert said.

Eh, forget I mentioned it.


Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Some blunt advice about what the XFL can take away from the AAF’s early demise:

The XFL would be better off shutting things down now and just accepting that a second pro football league will NEVER work.

The XFL 2.0, like the AAF and the original XFL before it, is destined to fail. It does not matter how well things are planned out, there just isn’t a demand for a second professional sports league of any kind — regardless of the sport. The NFL, along with college football, is more than enough for football fans.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last fifty years, is that there’s not enough of an appetite for spring football to support a professional league.

I tried to snark about that yesterday when I noted that the AAF’s death was good news for the NCAA and schools, but I’m not sure everyone got my point.  So let’s try that another way:  for those of you who claim it should be easy to provide high school football players who don’t want to go the college route with a professional outlet, how’s that working out for you now?


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

“The NCAA is not prepared right now.”

For some reason, Mike Krzyzewski isn’t buying all the “it’s what’s on the front of the jersey that matters” talk.  He’s a little concerned about what might be coming for college basketball in a post-one and done world.

Essentially, Krzyzewski said college basketball needs to be run more like a business in the face of increased competition, calling for a “new model” for the sport.

The current model doesn’t allow athletes to get paid beyond a scholarship, expenses and a small stipend. Athletes cannot profit off their own image and likeness, a hypocrisy that’s becoming more glaring as the television contracts have soared into the billions, coaching salaries have escalated to where Krzyzewski makes $9 million annually and recent federal investigations have shown a sophisticated black market to peddle players. “In this time, the definition of amateurism … it’s outdated,” Krzyzewski said. “We need a new model.”

Soon, elite players like Zion Williamson, the star of this NCAA tournament, will no longer be required to attend college. Krzyzewski called for more to be done to make the collegiate option more attractive or at least evolved from the current space. The G League has grown into a much more nuanced and sophisticated feeder system to the NBA. It may end up a landing spot for more top high school players once they don’t have to attend college for one season, a rule that went into place following the 2005 NBA draft.

Pffft.  What does he know?  He’s clearly not a fan.


Filed under The NCAA

“I thought it would be a really cool souvenir to take home.”

I know we’re talking about an organization that famously struggled with bagels and cream cheese, but if someone could define the fine line between towels and rugs, I’d be much obliged.


Filed under The NCAA