Category Archives: The NCAA

Now that you mention it…

In the course of a Q&A session last week, University of Maryland President tosses out the thought that the NCAA investigation into UNC-Chapel Hill would ultimately lead to the NCAA levying the so-called “death penalty” against the university.

“For the things that happened in North Carolina, it’s abysmal. I would think that this would lead to the implementation of the death penalty by the NCAA. But I’m not in charge of that.”

Now that his school is a member of the Big Ten, I bet that was a lot easier for him to say.



Filed under Academics? Academics., ACC Football, The NCAA

Today, in amateurism = socialism

Here’s what should be a clarifying pair of tweets for some of you to ponder.

Or, to translate into the original Marx, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”.

Can you imagine anywhere else in the private sector where an employer making hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars a year could get away with telling staff in one money-making department it wasn’t going to get paid so that another money-losing department could be propped up?  And before you go down the “but, Title IX” road here, remember where that mandate originates.

Yet somehow I’m the Alinsky lefty in this debate.  Okay, fine.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

What happens in Vegas…

So, with that spiffy new stadium being built in Las Vegas, what say you, NCAA, about the college football playoffs getting a shot there?

Down the road even further is the possibility of hosting a College Football Playoff championship game, however NCAA president Mark Emmert said Thursday that Las Vegas will not be eligible to host a playoff game when the next round of bidding for the 2019-22 games takes place. The NCAA sports wagering policy prohibits a state that allows single-game sports betting from hosting NCAA championship events, however, it should be noted that the playoff operates separately from the NCAA and could allow an event in Las Vegas before other sports are allowed.

That ought to chap Emmert’s ass.

“We have not begun the process of considering cities to host the CFP national championship after 2020 in New Orleans,” College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement. “So it would not be appropriate to address the matter now.”

In the local vernacular, that’s a lock, then.  Thanks for letting us all know, Bill.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, The NCAA

The power of sports

RedState’s astute analysis aside, it appears that the North Carolina legislature is poised to repeal SB2 HB2 today, just in the nick of time to dodge a six-year NCAA ban on championship events in that state in response to the law.

Without debating the merits of the proposal from either side (and it’s telling to see that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” practicality of the compromise to do away with SB2 HB2 is drawing fire from both the left and the right), one shouldn’t lose sight of the bottom-line message here.  When it comes to big-time sports today, in a world in which Nevada throws down three-quarters of a billion dollars in public funds to entice the Raiders to jump ship from Oakland and rock-ribbed conservative Cobb County bent every rule in the book to get the Braves to move north, one shouldn’t bet against the threatened impact of an NCAA boycott.

Before we’re Republicans or Democrats, Bernie Bros or Tea Partiers, we’re sports addicts, and the suppliers of our addiction know we are and act accordingly.  You’d think the lesson would have been learned after the NCAA made South Carolina bend over and take down the Confederate flag, but it seems that Southern politicians have short memories, especially when it comes to chasing voters with political posturing that has more symbolic than real effect.

So, congratulations to all you principled pols.  You’ve managed to make an organization that has a hard time avoiding tripping all over itself look noble and steadfast.  That’s not an easy thing to do.  I suspect it’s not the last time, either.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

When the romance dies

When it comes to compensation for student-athletes, this describes my personal evolution on the subject perfectly:

I was once a die-hard college football fan who thought that paying college players would destroy college sports, and thus was staunchly against it. However, I eventually realized that schools make far more money than they claim, hide profits, don’t offer real educations to athletes, and lie in court to continue to stuff their coffers. With revenues still rising, college athletics executives give themselves massive raises and hire unneeded support staff to appear broke in financial reports so they can continue to trick the public into thinking that paying athletes would destroy college sports.

Amateurism is not a principle; it’s whatever the NCAA decides it is that day. One day it was nothing beyond an academic scholarship, then nothing beyond an athletic scholarship, then nothing beyond the cost of attending a university. It’s a nostalgic tool used by the NCAA to give schools absolute power over their athletes, and its definition changes whenever there’s even the hint of a new revenue stream.

Consider the words of former NCAA president Walter Byers: “This is not about amateurism. This is about who controls negotiations and gets the money.”

Or, if you prefer a shorter definition, it’s about control.

Those of you who have a hard time accepting my point of view, I understand.  After all, I was once with you on it.  It’s simply impossible for me now to reconcile standing on tradition in this one area when the lords of the college athletics universe have managed to toss out tradition in virtually every other nook and cranny in their relentless chase to leave no dollar unturned.  You being able to turn a blind eye to that is what I have a hard time accepting.  To each his own, then.


Filed under The NCAA

For some, you can never get enough “for love of the game” romance

Funny how student-athletes don’t always share that perspective.

Amateurism, in short, is whatever the NCAA says it is. More often than not, what the NCAA says has less to do with bedrock principle than whoever is currently shaming the association and its member schools on national television, or suing them in federal antitrust court.

While athletes wonder if it’s OK to eat a plate of gratis pasta, we watch our coaches, administrators, schools and conferences grow rich. Hell, even the football strength coach at the University of Iowa makes close to $600,000 per year. And since no one is allowed to simply pay us, we watch tens of millions of dollars flow into lavish athletic facilities that stand as pharaoh-shaming monuments of excess, complete with bowling alleys, barber shops, and arcades. Anything to lure the next class of coveted high school recruits, all of us who make the money spigot possible.

Oh, but the second we talk about trust fund payouts or maybe purchasing long-term health insurance for the injuries we suffer on the job, NCAA purists bleat about the slippery slope to corruption. We can’t be paid, because that would violate the academic mission of our schools.

About that mission: Two of my college coaches left my school for new gigs that paid multimillion dollar salaries annually. Until a couple of weeks ago, my final college coach was making nearly a million dollars per year, with a variety of salary escalators built-in—including a reported annual $80,000 bonus if the players hit their APR target.

In other words: he was paid for the work we did in the the classroom. Tell me again about corrupting the academy?



Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Playing the ponies

You may have thought that North Carolina, being in the South and the ACC, would be a place where football and basketball were placed about all other sporting events, but according to one of its leading politicians, such is not the case.

HB2 supporters say its costs have been tiny compared with an economy estimated at more than $500 billion a year, roughly the size of Sweden’s. They say they’re willing to absorb those costs if the law prevents sexual predators posing as transgender people from entering private spaces to molest women and girls — acts the law’s detractors say are imagined.

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, one of the strongest supporters, accused news organizations of creating a false picture of economic upheaval. A global equestrian competition that’s coming to North Carolina in 2018 despite HB2 is projected to have an economic impact bigger than the sporting events that have canceled, Forest said. The Swiss-based group behind the event estimated its spending poured about $250 million into the French region of Normandy the last time it was held — 2014. The organization said the figure came from a study by consulting and accounting firm Deloitte, but the Federation Equestre Internationale declined to release the report.  [Emphasis added.]

Take that, NCAA and ACC, if you dare.  No doubt an unpublished report is about as authoritative as it gets these days.


Filed under ACC Football, Political Wankery, The NCAA