Category Archives: The NCAA

The Ohio State Way?

Does what Braxton Miller did the other day rise to the level of an NCAA violation?

I have no idea.

With Ohio State’s announcement that the school “is looking into the situation”, do you think it’ll handle what’s happened differently than Georgia, if presented with a similar problem, would?

I have an idea.

26 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The NCAA

The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back

The document dump in the Todd McNair defamation suit against the NCAA has generated the shitstorm anyone who’s watched the NCAA desperately try to prevent the information from being released in public predicted was coming.  There’s plenty of damning information…

•Also in a memo, Uphoff went to great lengths to compare the Bush case to the Oklahoma City bombing trial. Uphoff was attempting to show how witnesses’ credibility could be attacked by challenging the weight given to hearsay.

“This evidence in this [Bush] case is, for example, [is] markedly stronger than in the OKC bombing case which was built entirely on circumstantial evidence,” Uphoff wrote. “In fact, there was no direct evidence that [Terry] Nichols was ever involved in the bombing plot.”

•Howard added in correspondence to committee members: “McNair should have all inferences negatively inferred against him … we need not say why we disbelieve him, we only need to let the public, or whomever, know that we do disbelieve him.”

Lawyers for McNair argued in their lawsuit that the lengthy messages by Uphoff and Howard were intentionally sent to voting infraction committee members in violation of the NCAA’s procedures to influence them in their decision. Howard had just joined the infractions committee but was supposed to only be observing the USC case. Neither had voting rights to decide the case.

•Infractions committee member Eleanor Myers admitted to a “botched interview” in which investigators got the year of a key phone call wrong between McNair and former agent wanna-be Lloyd Lake. That contention had been a key part of McNair’s appeal to the NCAA, which was rejected.

… but the funniest stuff has to be the bridge too far – Junior.

The emails, among nearly 500 pages of documents filed in the case Tuesday that were obtained by the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/1HA4eCv), include members of the NCAA infractions committee deriding the school for hiring back as its head coach former assistant Lane Kiffin, who had been an offensive coordinator for coach Pete Carroll during the Bush period that led to school sanctions.

“USC has responded to its problems by bringing in Lane Kiffin,” committee member Rodney Uphoff wrote in an undated memo to other members of the committee. “They need a wake-up call that doing things the wrong way will have serious consequences.”

Another committee member expressed similar sentiments about Kiffin in an email dated March 2010, after Kiffin had returned to lead USC after stints as head coach of Tennessee and the NFL’s Oakland Raiders.

“Lack of institutional control … (and do we add the hiring of Lane Kiffin?), is a very easy call for me,” committee member Roscoe Howard wrote.

I wonder if the committee has any misgivings about Nick Saban now.  You can bet if the members do, they haven’t put those in writing.

2 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, The NCAA

Tuesday morning buffet

Chock full of goodies for your reading pleasure.

  • According to Khari Harding’s dad, local media sussed on to the problem with the new NCAA transfer rule before Tulsa did.  Ugh.
  • Five reasons why Tennessee will win the SEC East in 2015… and five reasons UT won’t.
  • Here’s Athlon’s Georgia spring preview.  Nothing particularly revelatory.
  • The NCAA is okay with a crowdfunding project for student-athletes?  Count me skeptical; it’s probably more like the NCAA hasn’t figured out a way to shut it down yet.
  • Auburn’s home/road splits over the last ten years are rather eye-opening.
  • Hoo, boy“Senior linebacker Jordan Jenkins said he thought there was an underlying issue in the team’s setbacks, though. The players who served as leaders weren’t very good, in his opinion.”
  • And this is why they pay Cam Cameron the big bucks, I guess.

16 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, The NCAA

“Deregulating the feeding of the student-athletes”

I thought the dumbest thing about the NCAA’s arcane food rules was the bagel topping nonsense.

It’s the NCAA; I should have known better.

“Not many kids growing up in Texas eat a bagel in the morning with nothing on it,” said University of Texas sports dietician Amy Culp.

It wasn’t that three meals wasn’t enough. It was that the athletes’ packed schedules often had them missing one or several of the dining hall time frames each day. The NCAA allowed one “training table” — a meal specifically geared for athletes — per day, but if a player had a class then he missed that window for the biggest meal of the day. When players missed their meals, they had to use money from their living stipend to find something on their own, which often resulted in bad decisions like fast food or pizza, like any college student would do.

The more often players had to use their own money, the less they had to do other things.

Stupid me, thinking the NCAA was aware student-athletes have to go to class.  D’oh!

30 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

The NCAA and the “VP of Common Sense”

Andy Staples has a piece up today about amending the NCAA transfer rules.  I’m not saying I agree with everything he pushes in it, but this part made me think he’s definitely on to something:

The athletic director at the previous school signs a form allowing the transferring player to play immediately.

That’s it. If the coach and athletic director at the previous school don’t care if the player contributes to his/her new team right away, why should anyone else?

If this rule was in place now, there would be no confusion about Harding’s situation. Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs and coach Gus Malzahn are human beings with functioning hearts, and neither would object to letting Harding play in 2015.

Had this rule been in place in 2012, receiver Justin McCay would have been allowed to play immediately after transferring from Oklahoma to Kansas. The NCAA denied McCay’s request for a waiver even though Sooners athletic director Joe Castiglione went to bat for McCay and requested that he be able to play immediately…

All of which makes me wonder exactly why the NCAA is in the transfer rules business in the first place.  I mean, if transfers are a matter of competitive balance, or however else you want to describe putting the brakes on kids jumping from one program to another, then in the case of a specific student-athlete, why should it be a matter of concern for the NCAA to be involved?  Doesn’t Staples’ hypothetical example make more sense?

If a hypothetical Georgia football player wants to transfer, he would request a release from his scholarship. If he decided to go to Maryland, the Terrapins could offer him a scholarship if they had one available. If the player wanted to transfer for dubious reasons, Bulldogs AD Greg McGarity could do nothing and the player would sit a year. There would be no appeal process because the only “penalty” is an extra year of free school. If the player wanted to transfer for a good reason, McGarity could waive the year-in-residence requirement and the player could suit up immediately.

That’s not exactly a rhetorical question.  I don’t know the origins of the NCAA rule, but I suspect nowadays it’s a handy place for a weaseling AD or head coach to hide instead of coming out directly to validate a decision blocking a student-athlete’s departure.  That’s hardly justification for screwing over Khari Harding’s family.

9 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

The death knell of amateurism?

Honestly, in my lifetime, I can’t recall an US President as interested in the framework of college athletics as the current occupant of the White House.  Yeah, I remember Nixon being heavily into football, but not about, say, whether college football should have a playoff.  Or what the future may hold for a sport having a serious problem with concussions.  Or chest bumping with Trooper Taylor

But I digress.

The latest foray into college athletics by the Kenyan Marxist Usurper is in the area of – gasp!amateurism.

Weighing in on the growing debate over amateurism in college sports, President Barack Obama said on Friday that universities bear “more responsibilities than right now they’re showing” toward their athletes and that the NCAA should require schools to guarantee athletic scholarships with no strings attached.

“[T]he students need to be taken better care of because they are generating a lot of revenue here,” Obama told The Huffington Post in a sit-down interview. “An immediate step that the NCAA could take — that some conferences have already taken — is if you offer a scholarship to a kid coming into school, that scholarship sticks, no matter what.”

“It doesn’t matter whether they get cut, it doesn’t matter whether they get hurt,” the president went on. “You are now entering into a bargain and responsible for them.”

Ordinarily, I would expect this to provoke immediate catcalls on the right (it wouldn’t be the first time), except Obama had to go and complicate things by saying this:

He stopped short of saying that it was time to pay collegiate athletes or that they should have the right to unionize — a possibility now under consideration by his appointees to the National Labor Relations Board.

“In terms of compensation, I think the challenge would just then start being, do we really want to just create a situation where there are bidding wars?” Obama asked. “How much does a Anthony Davis get paid as opposed to somebody else? And that I do think would ruin the sense of college sports.”

Mark Emmert just pumped his fist.

Needless to say, I disagree.  Further, I have no idea where the President is going with this thought.

“What does frustrate me is where I see coaches getting paid millions of dollars, athletic directors getting paid millions of dollars, the NCAA making huge amounts of money, and then some kid gets a tattoo or gets a free use of a car and suddenly they’re banished,” Obama said. “That’s not fair.”

Emmert just put his hand back in his pocket.  I’m using mine to scratch my head.

Why does everyone have such a hard time with this?  Is a free market for all that hard a concept to grasp?

48 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

No frickin’ shame

As much as we tend to rant about the NCAA in these parts, you can’t lay all the blame for what sucks about collegiate athletics on its doorstep.  I mean, there’s a 94-page report it issued on a number of serious infractions committed over an eight-year period at Syracuse…

In its report, the NCAA placed Syracuse on probation for five years for breaking with the “most fundamental core values of the NCAA.” Athletic department officials interfered with academics, making sure star players stayed eligible, the report said.

… concerning a program that’s been severely penalized before, whose coach harbored and defended a pedophile on his staff, and what’s the school’s response?

He’s getting three more years to coach there.  I guess that’s what being “the embodiment of Orange pride” gets you.

If there’s a message there beyond just win, baby, I’m not hearing it.  Maybe somebody from North Carolina can explain it to me.

23 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., The NCAA