Category Archives: The NCAA

As long as they spell your name right.

The NCAA puts a bit of a brake on the satellite camp craze with this:

That will cut down on the self-promotion.  But don’t think the visitors won’t be making sure their hosts pump up the noise about the trip.

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Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

The NCAA and “economic nonsense”

Shorter defense brief from the Alston and Jenkins cases:  You try telling Nick Saban he’ll have to take a pay cut.

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Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Two can play the lobby Congress game.

The NCAA is spending money in Washington, preparing for the day when it asks for an antitrust exemption.  The big argument you can expect it to make about why it needs the protection will be about the academic mission.

And that’s why this letter was written.

In a letter dated April 28 and released Thursday by attorney Michael Hausfeld’s office, two lawyers wrote that continued Congressional examination is needed due to “the apparent inconsistencies and divergences in positions taken by the NCAA” before the senate committee last July and in federal court. The letter from Hausfeld and attorney Bob Orr, who are suing North Carolina and the NCAA in relation to the academic scandal at North Carolina, was addressed to Sens. John Thume, Bill Nelson, Jerry Moran and Richard Blumenthal.

“In the course of the (July 2014 Senate) hearing, representatives of the NCAA, including its President, Dr. Mark Emmert, testified, in essence, that the mission and commitment of the NCAA was to provide and assure a meaningful education for these athletes,” Hausfeld and Orr wrote. “Subsequent events and information, however, have raised serious doubts about the accuracy of that representation.”

The letter released by Hausfeld, who is also the lead attorney in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, cited the NCAA’s recent court filing in the Rashanda McCants lawsuit that stated the association has no responsibility to ensure “the academic integrity of the courses offered” at schools. The Hausfeld letter also cited a legal statement by the NCAA that it has no role in “the quality of the education student-athletes received at member institutions or to protect student-athletes from the independent, voluntary acts of those institutions or their employees.”

The NCAA has a sincerity problem.  That’s the price you pay when you fight so many battles with conflicting priorities.

The exemption hearings should be a real hoot.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., Political Wankery, The NCAA

Pay for play: a thought experiment

After yesterday’s spirited discussion about COA, I’ve got something to ask the crowd ready to burn their college football fan cards over money paid to college football… oops, paid to college football players.  Check out this quote from Todd Gurley:

“You’re the one who brought up what-ifs,” he says while going over his abbreviated career. “I try not to focus on that, but I can’t help it sometimes. We were so close to winning championships. I missed 10 games. What if I had gotten to play in all of those games? We’ll never know, and we can’t go back and fix it. So now I’m focused on making sure I can max things out at the next level.”

So here’s another what-if for you.  What if, in a shocking burst of common sense, the NCAA had thrown in the towel in the O’Bannon litigation and agreed to let student-athletes market their names, likenesses and images without that affecting their eligibility?  And what if last December, instead of Mark Richt announcing that Todd was going to enter the NFL draft, Gurley held a press conference to announce that he was coming back for his senior season because he felt he owed it to his teammates and the fans and could afford to do so after signing several lucrative endorsement deals?  Would you be excited, or would you walk away from Georgia football because of Gurley’s bank account?

Bonus quasi-rhetorical question:  we know for a certainty that at least two of Georgia’s best players over the last decade (Gurley and AJ Green) were paid because of their football prowess.  If paying players is such an anathema, are you still following the program?

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

How do you know when the NCAA is serious about academics?

When academics give student-athletes a little too much freedom.

The NCAA’s new vice president for Division I governance told The Associated Press there are growing concerns among the division’s 345 members over the surging number of students switching schools — and that the debate could come to a close sometime in the next year.

Some of the ideas bandied about would have a dramatic impact on graduate transfer students. The proposals include giving schools the ability to restrict where former players can go and requiring the athletes to sit out one year before becoming eligible. Undergraduates already are required to sit out one year, but the current rules allow players with bachelor’s degrees to transfer to another school and become eligible immediately if they attend graduate school.

“If you’re transferring to be in a graduate program, the NCAA wants you to be working in earnest toward that degree rather than just using up your last year of eligibility,” Lennon said last week, noting there are no formal proposals yet.

Yes, we can’t have kids who aren’t working in earnest towards a degree… unless they’re one-and-done star basketball players who help drive March Madness television ratings.

This, of course, is bullshit of the highest order.  And they know it.

“No one is happy with the transfer rate, particularly in the sport of men’s basketball,” Lennon said. “When 40 percent of your students are leaving after their second year, that’s a signal something’s wrong.”

Duh.  The problem is everyone agrees on the symptom, but not the disease.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., The NCAA

“Well, why is that a bad thing?”

Wisconsin football team chef Sean Sommers slices sirloin in the Student Athlete Dining Hall. (Photo: Mary Langenfeld for USA TODAY Sports)

Feeding student-athletes, the next frontier in competition.

Eleven schools with major-conference football programs that submitted financial totals to USA TODAY Sports budgeted an average increase of nearly $600,000 for the new legislation, with numbers ranging from Nebraska, Wisconsin and USC on the higher end to Utah, Colorado and Oregon State on the lower end — the Buffaloes and Beavers have allotted an increase of $175,000 and $215,000 for the measure, respectively.

“That’s real money, and I understand that, but I’m all in favor of it,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “They were going to spend that money anyway. It wasn’t like they were taking that and $700,000 and sending it to the chemistry department. They were going to spend it on the locker room, or they were going to spend it on the video system.

“Spend it on kids. So they’re spending it to give kids better nutrition.”

You’ve come a long way from bagel spreads, baby.  This is Willie Williams‘ wet dream.

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Filed under Recruiting, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

Drug policy and The Oklahoma State Way

The NCAA just put the hammer down on Oklahoma State for its repeated violations of its own drug policy.

Just kidding, at least to the first part of that sentence.

In addition to a reduction in recruiting evaluation days for football coaches and number of allowed official visits, both of which were self-imposed penalties, the NCAA put Oklahoma State on probation until April 23, 2016, levied an $8,500 fine and suspended the Orange Pride program for four years.

Orange Pride, in case you were wondering, is an all-female hosting group that “…did not follow NCAA guidelines in its recruitment of prospects.”  (I’ll leave that for you to ponder.)

But with regard to the latter, the NCAA found five football players between 2008-2012 who should have been withheld from a total of seven games based on the school’s testing policy.  And that’s supposedly a pretty big deal, because the NCAA’s only involvement in the drug area is a rule stating that schools must follow their own policies.  Which OSU clearly didn’t.

The topper is the school’s defense here:

According to the final public report, Oklahoma State athletics director Mike Holder told the infractions committee he believed he had “latitude” to make exceptions to Oklahoma State’s policy and did so after consulting with football coach Mike Gundy on the individual cases. He admitted during the hearing he was mistaken in that view and that he should have abided by the “letter of the law.”

… (Oklahoma State president Burns) Hargis said the instances where the drug testing policy wasn’t followed were the result of Gundy “trying to do what was best for the student-athlete.”

So even with a program (allegedly) enforcing a drug policy weaker than Georgia’s, the school still felt the need on an institutional basis to ignore it whenever the head coach thought it was inconvenient and all NCAA enforcement can come up in response with is a fine and a restriction on a few official recruiting visits.

We are such chumps.

50 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The NCAA