Category Archives: The NCAA

FCS pity party

Vernon Adams is gone, gone, gone to Oregon.  To his credit, he bore down and got his degree at Eastern Washington before he exhausted his eligibility.  That means he’s free to transfer to another school.  It’s one of the few bones the NCAA throws student-athletes.  It’s a reward for, well, being a true student-athlete.  You work your ass off the right way, you get some control back over your football career.

And, naturally, that means it sucks for some coaches.

Vernon Adams passed for 658 yards and six touchdowns against Montana State the past two seasons, leading Eastern Washington to a victory each time.

Still, Bobcats coach Rob Ash is disappointed to see Adams transfer from the Big Sky to the Pac-12 and wants Football Championship Subdivision coaches to push to change the rule that allows the dynamic quarterback to play for Oregon next season.

”We’re Division I like the other level,” Ash said in a telephone interview. ”Our guys need to start and finish at the same school. We cannot be perceived as a farm system or Triple-A ballclub or anything like that.”

Cry me a river, Rob.

Oh, and stay classy, Eastern Washington.

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Filed under The NCAA

“It’s going to be easier to officiate.”

The NCAA rules committee met and has proposed a few changes.  This one may have the biggest immediate impact:

The ineligible downfield rule was shifted from three yards to one yard past the line of scrimmage. National officiating coordinator Rogers Redding said defenses were beginning to read run more frequently because offensive linemen were 3 yards downfield and then the quarterback would pass. “It’s going to be easier to officiate,” he said.

Yeah, well, nice for you, Rogers, but it’s going to be harder for coaches like Malzahn to run those packaged plays with the pass/run option built in that Marshall used to such devastating effect.

And as for ease of officiating, I seem to remember an SEC crew blowing a fake punt by Georgia last season with a bad ineligible downfield call.  Instead of making things easier on your guys, how ’bout focusing on making things more accurate?

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Filed under The NCAA

Today in the annals of butthurt

Eastern Washington’s AD is awash in false graciousness over the school’s star quarterback moving to Oregon under the NCAA’s graduate transfer rule.

“We are not sure that this was the actual intent of the legislation…”?  What, pray tell, was it, then?

Then again, maybe what he meant was that it’s a mistake for any NCAA rule to benefit a student-athlete.

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, The NCAA

Death, taxes and NCAA stupidity

Friends, if there’s one thing you can count on in this crazy, mixed up world, it’s knowing that any story about previously unreleased NCAA commentary is bound to be entertaining in the “damn, son, I don’t think I would’a said that” sense.  And Jon Solomon’s piece about some letters and e-mails about the one-year scholarship rule that is currently the subject of (another) antitrust suit doesn’t disappoint.

“The one-year rule also preserves the NCAA’s brand of intercollegiate athletics by preventing ‘employment contract’ like negotiations, bidding wars and other tactics between and among schools and students,” NCAA attorney Greg Curtner wrote to the DOJ, according to Rascher. Curtner also wrote, “Given the short-term gains — in terms of athletic success, institutional and individual prestige, and commercial rewards — that schools and individuals can realize by deviating from the long-term norms of amateur intercollegiate athletics … this sort of ‘cheating’ would likely make it impossible to sustain the NCAA brand of intercollegiate athletics …”

The NCAA said in a statement Tuesday that last sentence was taken out of context…

Shit, the NCAA would like to argue that every moronic utterance ever made on its behalf has been taken out of context.  (No wonder Stacey Osburn prefers being closed mouthed.)

But today’s winner is Texas women’s athletic director Chris Plonsky, who possesses the icy soul of Montgomery Burns and, combined with Steve Patterson, gives the University of Texas the greatest one-two douchebag punch in college athletics.  Evidently Plonsky has never met a student-athlete who wasn’t a lazy, good for nothing bum.

… Plonsky wrote an email saying guaranteeing scholarships beyond one year would “result in MORE complacency” among college athletes who “then go on a form of cruise control.”

Plonsky said the promise of multiyear scholarships “with little ability to hold feet to fire is not the way the world works. If you don’t do your job, you get warned. If you continue to fail, you get fired. If you fail to reach benchmarks, you cannot simply say, ‘you still pay me.’”

Um… I thought the whole point was you weren’t paying them.  Besides, it seemed to work for Mack Brown for a number of years.

What amazes me  – somewhat, anyway – is that at this point the organization has to realize it hosts a treasure trove of stupidity and embarrassment, things that it cannot hope to hide in litigation, and yet it keeps fighting lawsuits to the death instead of trying to keep the dumb under wraps by settling.

What’s that definition of insanity again?

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Filed under The NCAA

Tuesday morning buffet

Jump right in, folks.

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Big 12 Football, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Pac-12 Football, Recruiting, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

“Academics are vitally important and demand just as much attention as athletics, especially in college.”

One thing about next year’s recruiting scene that isn’t getting much attention now, but I suspect will as things move on, is that 2016 marks the year when the NCAA’s new academic standards for high schoolers kick in.  And they’re a fairly big deal:

The new initial-eligibility requirements create a higher academic standard for freshman to play. That standard is higher than what will be needed to receive aid and practice, creating an academic redshirt year.

Student-athletes who achieve the current minimum initial-eligibility standard will continue to be eligible for athletically related financial aid during the first year of enrollment and practice during the first regular academic term of enrollment. Student-athletes could earn practice during the second term of enrollment by passing nine semester or eight quarter hours.

For immediate access to competition, prospective student-athletes must achieve at least a 2.3 GPA and an increased sliding scale. For example, an SAT score of 1,000 requires a 2.5 high school core-course GPA for competition and a 2.0 high school core-course GPA for aid and practice.

Prospects also must successfully complete 10 of the 16 total required core courses before the start of their senior year in high school. Seven of the 10 courses must be successfully completed in English, math and science.

The ostensible purpose is to make sure that incoming student-athletes are better prepared to handle the academic pressures of college.  Whether that works is something we’ll have to wait to judge, but even with the four-year transition period to adapt to the new requirements, I expect we’ll see a larger number of kids in the 2016 class who aren’t accepted by D-1 schools than we’ve previously seen.  Those whispers you hear about a particular kid’s grades being shaky may have more weight than ever.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., Recruiting, The NCAA

“Coach Lilly, did you order the Code Red?”

Even if the NCAA wanted to take on the coaches in fixing the screw job recruits face on signing day by coaching moves that have been conveniently kept under wraps by their recruiters – and it doesn’t – Kevin Trahan points out a more practical reason it won’t:

The NCAA is in major legal trouble right now, having lost the O’Bannon case and facing the possibly more challenging Kessler case in the coming years. The association has focused on proving that its athletes commit to schools, not coaches. In fact, the letter of intent states that:

I understand I have signed this NLI with the institution and not for a particular sport or coach. If a coach leaves the institution or the sports program (e.g., not retained, resigns), I remain bound by the provisions of this NLI. I understand it is not uncommon for a coach to leave his or her coaching position.

Athletes don’t sign the NLI to clarify this; they do it because they really have no other choice. In actuality, coaches have a major effect on the schools recruits choose, an ESPN poll found. Schools know this, and they also know there is no punishment for exploiting that relationship.

If the NCAA fixes this problem, it would be acknowledging that many recruits choose schools based on coaches, not just the schools themselves. This would not only place more scrutiny on the NIL program, it would also severely hurt the NCAA’s court arguments that athletes choose schools primarily because of education.

Making a change to support athletes is not worth that risk to the NCAA.

Add that to the list of potential targets in litigation for enterprising antitrust plaintiffs attorneys.  And just think who their star witness might be.

“It was everybody on the staff,” Macon County Athletic Director and football coach Larry Harold said Thursday. “Coach (John) Lilly was the first I heard from. We weren’t answering our phones, I wasn’t answering mine and he wasn’t answering his. All the sudden these text messages started coming in. They said, ‘RED ALERT: READ THIS.’ Somebody screen-shotted (the website) FootballScoop(.com) and it grew from there. It was crazy.”

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Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA