“The pros and cons of a spring game”

Really, it’s a coaches vs. fans kind of debate, isn’t it?  (We know where ESPN stands.)

But even the coaches know a spring game brings its own kind of juice.

“The cons [to not having a spring game] are for the fans and a certain piece of recruiting, because my first two spring games here, it’s been electric,” Stoops said. “We’ve had great crowds, very energetic and it was a nice way to break the end of spring ball and gear up for the fall and just to get out and spend some time with the fans, plus the recruiting piece.”

Sumlin’s second spring practice at Texas A&M, which included famed quarterback Johnny Manziel coming off a Heisman Trophy, drew an estimated 45,000 fans to Kyle Field.

“We had 45,000 people and ESPN; the exposure is a big deal,” Sumlin said. “I think our guys, from an energy standpoint, enjoy the spring game.”

So why not take the next step and go with what coaches like Swinney, O’Leary and Freeze have suggested:  go live.

“I would love to see us be able to scrimmage another team,” he said. “That way you can go ones on ones, twos on twos, threes on threes — really get something out of it. Maybe even adopt a charity. Maybe it’s [an FCS] opponent that you don’t play in the regular season. I think there would be a lot of interest in something like that. I wish we could do something like that.”

I know it sounds radical.  But I can’t help but wonder… Ohio State had almost 100,000 folks at its spring game, and charged them $5 apiece for the privilege.  What could schools like Georgia and Clemson collect from football-starved fans to show up for a game between the two on a nice April day?


Filed under College Football

What is the biggest concern about the Georgia Bulldogs defense?

Day three of the Georgia bloggers’ roundtable discussion at College Football Zealots brings up the question in the header.

There is less consensus in the answers to this one than there was to either of the first two questions Kevin asked.  Given that it’s Pruitt who is no longer the new face in town, I find that a little surprising.  (Although I have to admit that Greg Poole’s take on the matter is all in on the defensive coordinator.  I’m not quite that calm yet.)


Filed under Georgia Football

“Right now, I’d want the cost of attendance to be the same across the board.”

For Mark Richt, as a member of the newly hatched NCAA’s Football Oversight Committee, that header indicates what would be his first order of business.  As someone duking it out with his peers on the recruiting trail, his frustration is understandable.

When addressing fans later, Richt said: “I’m not too thrilled about that some schools are going to be able than others. At least it looks that way right this moment.”

The problem is, of course, the NCAA knows it can’t be involved in the price-fixing business.  Even Mark Emmert’s had a two-by-four whomped up against his head enough to realize that now.

Cost of attendance remains a hot-button topic among universities, particularly in the idea that such a measure, if adopted, would widen the gap between resource-heavy athletic departments and their smaller counterparts.

“Some schools are going to have to decide, do we want to allow full COA in our conference,” Emmert said. “And then individual schools will have to decide, are we going to go that high?”

That’s right, kids.  A conference could choose a limit to impose on its members.  A school can choose a limit on its own.  It’s just a universal ceiling that’s a no-no.

You know who sounds like he understands that?  The incoming SEC commissioner:

“We’re going to be attentive of to the legal outcomes,” said Sankey, addressing concern over potential recruiting advantages that could come as a result of COA. “But at the extent that we can help with implementation at the conference level, we’ll do that as appropriate.

“Those recruiting decisions have always been made on a lot of issues and people can cite why [an athlete] chose a particular school or coach, facilities, geography, television exposure. You mentioned another component that certainly could be a part of that conversation.”

But COA impacts far more than student athletes. The number, which is determined by each university’s financial aid officers and then published to school websites, is often used to help determine how much aid students can receive to attend school.

“We understood the realities that there are cost-of-attendance differentials on our campuses,” Sankey said. “That’s the way the Higher Education Act is formed and our institutions have had that flexibility over a number of years.

“Moving forward, we obviously have the requirement that we’re going to comply with litigation outcomes, as we understand those outcomes; make sure we frame properly the implementation that is consistent with the Higher Education Act.”

There are two things to pull from there.  One, Sankey’s already talked to the lawyers.  Two, there are tradeoffs to jacking up a school’s COA.  With regard to the latter, if you decide to be more generous with your student-athletes, it doesn’t end there.  The generosity has to extend to all of your students who receive aid.  That’s why you’re not suddenly going to see COA numbers in the stratosphere; it would bankrupt a school to go that route.

So keep in mind a couple of things if you’re someone pulling your hair out about the COA like Richt is.  Any redress is going to have to come at the conference level, which means that’s the level we’ll eventually watch the game of Keeping Up With The Joneses played at.  And ultimately, Mark Emmert (!) has the correct take on things.

“Will that change the balance between the haves and have-nots? I think it won’t,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said Thursday when he was asked about cost of attendance during the Associated Press Sports Editors’ annual meetings with league commissioners. “I think the answer is, it won’t change it any more than it already has been changed.”

True ‘dat.  Emmert as the voice of reason ought to tell you how much the O’Bannon ruling has resonated at this point.  So don’t kid yourself into thinking it’s not going to drive the COA train now.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Proof that Florida football existed before 1990

The truth is out there, as evidenced by this wonderful video of the Coach Ray Graves Show broadcast after the 1966 Georgia-Florida game, won by Georgia 27-10.

Yes, it’s that Bill Stanfill game.

(Big hat tip goes to Saxondawg for unearthing this gem.)


Filed under Gators Gators, Georgia Football

Friday morning buffet

I’ve kept the chafing dishes full pretty much all week.


Filed under Big Ten Football, ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, Science Marches Onward, The NFL Is Your Friend.

“It has all kinds of problems. It is highly controversial.”

Shit.  If Mark Emmert believes there’s a problem with it, I may have to rethink my opposition to Jim Delany’s “year of readiness”.


Filed under The NCAA

If one is an outlier…

Here we go again with recruits not signing NLIs.  From Demetris Robertson’s brother:

Now when it comes to signing a letter of intent, that is something we will be sitting down and discussing as a group. That has been weighing on our minds. Coaches change and move, and I saw how the UCLA coach left Roquan Smith. He got a raw deal and at the end of the day, the kid had to protect himself. Seeing how that situation unfolded is definitely cause for concern. Now that I understand that, we are seriously looking at going the same route with Demetris. We cannot dismiss it as an option now.

So much for committing to a school and not a coach.  At least they know Georgia doesn’t have a problem with it.


Filed under Recruiting