Category Archives: The NCAA

Uneasy lies the ellipsis.

Say what you will about Hugh Freeze – and we’ve said plenty here – here’s a stat that you have to admit is pretty impressive.

There are four coaches in SEC football history whose team improved its record each of its first four seasons – Georgia’s Wally Butts (1939-42), Alabama’s Bear Bryant (1958-61), Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino (2008-11) and Ole Miss’ Freeze (2012-15).  Freeze has a chance to become the first SEC coach to improve his record in each of his first five years, but…

That “but” in the last sentence is carrying a lot of weight, though.  It’s a good summary of the man’s career so far.

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Filed under SEC Football, The NCAA

The professional amateur

Just a reminder, kids:  if you want to be a paid athlete and also play college football, make sure you excel in two sports.  Just listen to the head coach.

Kelly said earlier this month that he and Hunter had talked about Hunter keeping his options open in both sports but feels his future is brightest in football.

“Here’s what I told him, ‘Sixth-round draft picks in football this year — sixth round — had a $100,000 signing bonus,’ ” Kelly said back on June 14. “ ’So if you were a 23rd-round pick in baseball, would you get $100,000? And I think you’re way better than a sixth-round pick in football. So how about you play really well this year for everybody.’ ”

Hunter does have a fifth-year option in football for 2017, because he was a medical redshirt as a freshman in 2013.

“He graduates at mid-year,” Kelly said. “Whether he comes back for another year or not, we’ll see how that goes. But if he has a really, really good year this year, then he can take stock as to what the best decision is for him.

“I think he’s a guy who could do quite well for himself. You saw what kind of bonuses second-and third-round (NFL) picks can get. It’s a whole lot more than $100,000. So I think he’s got a lot of options in front of him.”

After all, that’s what amateurism is all about.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Mark Richt lost control before he even had control.

Welcome to the U, Coach.

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Filed under ACC Football, The NCAA

“I think you just want to be competitive with everybody else.”

If you’re the Big 12 or the Pac-12 and you’re worried about the spreading revenue gap between you and the Big Ten and SEC, what do you do?

Why, you fret about competitive balance.  And then you start pondering restrictions.

In March, Clemson hired longtime Grayson High coach Mickey Conn to take a position on coach Dabo Swinney’s staff as a senior defensive assistant. Swinney also hired a high-school coach who had developed a powerful team in South Carolina to be the Tigers’ senior offensive assistant.

The hires did not escape the notice of Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson and others, who have seen some schools’ staffs swell in size while others have remained comparatively static.

“It’s turning into basketball because what happens is you go and you hire the high school coaches, and then that helps you in recruiting,” Johnson said.

That particular recruiting tactic aside, the increase and disparity in the size of football staffs has gained the attention of coaches, administrators and chief decision makers. By NCAA rules, FBS teams may have 10 full-time coaches and four graduate assistants. While the size of a team’s strength-and-conditioning staff is limited to five, there are no limits on other positions, such as quality control, operations and recruiting…

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who is the chairman of the NCAA’s football oversight committee tasked with overseeing competitive issues in the game, said the possibility of a cap is on the table with the committee.

He noted what he termed a growing trend of personnel who aren’t technically coaches but are involved in preparing for games, such as Conn.

“And so I would say that there are some universities where it’s gotten out of control, and I think there’s probably some appetite for some limitations,” Bowlsby said.

Of course, this is Bob Bowlsby speaking, which means things are drawn in infinite shades of gray.

“But then, the other side of it, we aren’t all created equal and we never have been created all equally. You don’t want to go too far down the path of trying to legislate competitive equity, because it’s largely a mirage.”

In short, expect the whining to continue, but little else.  Then again, imagine what things are going to sound like if player payment ever becomes a reality.

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Filed under College Football, The NCAA

Today, in Baylor, a continuing series

And there it is

Garland also said Baylor has self reported to the NCAA and will “maintain normal communication with the Big 12 Conference during the course of the NCAA investigation.”

One can only quiver in anticipation at what Mark Emmert might do.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, The NCAA

Don’t ask, don’t comment.

Jon Solomon mentions that Jeffrey Kessler is interested in looking at the television deals with the P5 conferences.  The arguments for his interest?

The Alston and Jenkins plaintiffs said these documents are relevant because the NCAA and conferences “are grounding their defenses on arguments relating to financial, consumer interest, and student welfare issues.” The defendants have claimed that allowing athletes to be paid would mean reduced scholarships and opportunities for athletes.

A key issue for the Alston/Jenkins plaintiffs is proving consumer demand won’t be hurt if athletes are paid. Given that TV money continues to escalate even as football and basketball players got paid for the full cost of attendance last year, the plaintiffs wrote that “shows that loosening restrictions on payments to athletes has had no adverse impact on the attractiveness of these media properties to networks and consumers.”

The plaintiffs said they also want the documents to show contract terms illustrating the increasing time demands imposed on athletes with weeknight games. They cited North Carolina coach Roy Williams’ outrage at late-night start times for TV, in which he said, “We sacrifice your third child and anything else for the dollar.” One defense by the NCAA and conferences against paying players is the quality of the collegiate experience while integrating them with other students.

If the plaintiffs get their hands on this stuff, I foresee a lot of Stacey Osburn no comments coming.

 

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Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

The satellite camp mess, getting messier

There is so much packed into this article (h/t) that I hardly know where to start.  When in doubt, bring in the bullet points.

  • “The NCAA is considering banning satellite football camps and replacing them next spring with camps it would sponsor at NFL training centers and high schools.”
  • “If the NCAA doesn’t ban the current camps, documents indicate it is likely to set a 10-day window for coaches to attend camps. The current window is 30 days.”
  • “The NCAA would mandate counseling on recruiting and academics at its satellite camps, and is considering compensating low-income athletes for the cost of traveling to the camps.”
  • “The NCAA Council banned satellite camps earlier this spring. But just weeks later, the ban was overturned by the NCAA Board, composed largely of college presidents. The short-lived ban drew the attention of the Justice Department, which was preparing to investigate because it was concerned the ban might discriminate against players from low-income families who could not afford to travel to camps on campus sites far from their homes.
  • “Sources said the Justice Department has been involved in discussions with the NCAA.”

That all comes from a bunch of potential football rules changes discussed at the recent Conference USA spring meetings. (Copies of the proposals were obtained from ODU by The Virginian-Pilot under the Freedom of Information Act.)

The NFL on one side and Uncle Sam on the other.  Nice can of worms you opened there, Jim Harbaugh.

And that’s just on the satellite camp front.  Check out some of the other topics up for discussion:

High school football players who are rising seniors might be able to sign binding letters of intent after July 31. This would eliminate the early February signing day. If this rule takes effect, there is a proposed provision allowing players who have signed with a school to be released without penalty if the head coach leaves.

… The practice of enrolling high school players in January, before their scheduled high school graduations, might be banned or limited. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby has questioned the practice of enrolling players early.

Schools might be held responsible for all players they sign, not just those who qualify academically. College football programs don’t lose a scholarship or get penalized under NCAA academic ratings when a high school player they’ve signed fails to qualify academically. Forcing schools to count all signees against their scholarship limit of 85 would discourage them from signing players they know are unlikely to qualify. That would give those athletes an earlier chance to sign with a Division II school.

They ought to call that last one the Houston Nutt rule.  Taken together, those would radically restructure the recruiting process.  Which is why I can’t imagine most P5 coaches would be in favor of them.

If other mid-major conferences get behind this, it could get interesting.

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Recruiting, The NCAA, The NFL Is Your Friend.