Category Archives: The NCAA

“They take care of themselves first, and us last.”

If Mark Emmert should ever part ways with the NCAA, this looks like the perfect career opportunity for him.

Amateurism is the best.

5 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Sometimes, it’s not that complicated.

Here’s a solid look over at Ole Miss blog Red Cup Rebellion at the NCAA rule that might wind up hanging Hugh Freeze.  But in the end, you don’t really need to know the details.  You just need to know his conclusion.

At the end of the day, the NCAA can do whatever the hell it wants.

Purty much.

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Filed under The NCAA

“This is a very high-value lawsuit.”

Word comes that the parties to the suit filed by the parents of Derek Sheely, the football player who died from concussion-related injuries, have reached a settlement.

The Board of Public Works approved the state’s part of the deal Wednesday. The three-member panel voted in favor of the proposed $50,000 payout to the family of Derek Sheely, who died in 2011 after he collapsed on the practice field from a traumatic brain injury.

The Maryland attorney general’s office became involved because the family filed a $1.6 million lawsuit that named three state employees — two coaches and an assistant trainer at Frostburg — among the defendants.

While the state financial settlement is relatively small, the potential reach of the case is significant.

The lead defendant is the NCAA, the governing body for college athletics in the United States. In recent years, the NCAA has come under fire for its reluctance to impose rules on colleges and universities for recognizing and preventing potentially lethal concussion-related injuries.

If you’ll recall, this is the litigation that brought out the NCAA’s callousness to an unprecedented level, which is saying something.  Even the grand poobah admitted that.

By settling, the NCAA and the other defendants can avoid the publicity of a high-profile trial. Among those who could have been called to testify was NCAA President Mark Emmert, who said in a deposition in the case that he had not heard of second-impact syndrome.

The family contends that the NCAA has known of the syndrome’s danger since the 1990s.

Emmert told Congress in 2014 that the NCCA made a “terrible choice of words” when it contended in the Sheely case that it had no legal duty to protect student-athletes.

What’s worth keeping an eye on here is the remedy that the two sides are in the process of fashioning in the settlement.  It’s not about the money, apparently, as there’s only $50,000 being paid and Sheely’s parents aren’t keeping that.

The $50,000 settlement with Maryland would go to a foundation named after Derek Sheely.

Among the changes the Sheelys have sought are a ban on certain football drills, limits on practices, and suspensions for coaches who violate rules that protect athletes’ health. They have also called for more education about concussions, and for NCAA investigations in cases such as their son’s.

Is the NCAA really prepared after all this time to put some real teeth into practice protocol?  I have no idea, but will note this was announced yesterday:

The NCAA football oversight committee recommended Division I football programs hold only one “live-contact” practice per week.

The current guidelines, which are not enforceable rules, allow two live practices per week. The new guidelines announced Wednesday will take effect this season.

I’m sure you know the difference between a recommendation and a requirement.  So do college coaches.

5 Comments

Filed under See You In Court, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

“He’d be the first football coach suspended under new penalties.”

Congratulations on being a true pioneer, Coach Freeze.

20 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, The NCAA

Hugh Freeze, trying to work that deflection game

You know when somebody’s playing the “mistakes were made” card, it’s an attempt to make you look in another direction.

Here’s Freeze’s narrative: Mistakes were made. They’ll be held accountable — he’ll be held accountable, even as he points out that some of the violations were made by boosters, people “outside the building.”

But he also says Ole Miss has been targeted because of a dramatic leap, both in recruiting classes and subsequently on the field. He believes there’s backlash from rivals over the idea that a traditionally mediocre program has moved up in the hierarchy (“People don’t like Ole Miss winning,” he said). He bristles when reporters and others tell him they’re hearing from other coaches that Ole Miss has been cheating. He wants to defend himself and the program, which is why he said:

“The day that really matters is the day we get to share our side with the Committee on Infractions.”

Andy Staples points out that one part of that bullshit is accurate.  If the NCAA finds a real problem, regardless of which staffer or staffers were responsible, Freeze will be stuck with the tab.

Freeze wants this to be an Ole Miss matter and not a Hugh Freeze matter, but that’s where it gets complicated and difficult to predict. In 2013, the schools passed a rule that allows the COI to discipline a head coach for the actions of his assistants even if the head coach didn’t know what the assistants were doing. In NCAA parlance, the head coach is now “presumed responsible” for more serious violations. The COI has the power to suspend the head coach for between 10% and 100% of a season.

You get paid $4 million a year, yeah, a little accountability should be expected.  And that makes Seth Emerson’s question something worth keeping in the back of our heads.

16 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, The NCAA

… to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

Andy Staples points out something I’ve wondered about ever since Todd Gurley got nailed for taking $3000 in improper benefits… or, really, since AJ Green and his $1,000.

… From a public relations standpoint, a harsh penalty with no new allegations will satisfy Mississippi State fans and Alabama fans. But outside the fanbases whose schools play Ole Miss on an annual basis, it would appear the NCAA is decimating a program over a little more than $15,000 in extra benefits. Among those with no dog in the hunt, such sanctions will play quite differently in 2016 than they would have in 2006 or even in 2010. Freeze and every other coach in the SEC West make at least $4 million a year. The SEC rakes in millions from its network partnership with ESPN. The general public no longer views a few hundred dollars here and there—or a few hotel stays*, as the Notice of Allegations alleges—as sins that could bring down the republic.

In the context of things, he’s got a point.  There’s so much money washing over college football these days, including the now-permitted COA stipend paid to players; how pushy do you really want to get over a relatively piddling amount?

On the other hand, there’s that damned slippery slope to consider.

… But if the COI doesn’t hammer Ole Miss, the people within the programs with skin in the game could view any leniency as a tacit approval to bring back Southwest Conference-style bidding wars. In its own way, the Ole Miss case might be as much of a referendum on the NCAA’s ever-shifting definition of amateurism as any of the cases currently circulating through the federal court system.

Tricky.

18 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Poor, poor pitiful Hugh

Hugh Freeze would love to set the record straight, believe you me, but the goddamn lawyers and those bastards at the NCAA just won’t let him.

Which makes this…

so unfair.

8 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA