“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.

16 Comments

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.)

51 Comments

Filed under Gators Gators, Georgia Football

Friday morning buffet

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

14 Comments

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”.

7 Comments

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.

19 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

Who will step up at receiver for Georgia in 2015?

Round two of the Georgia bloggers’ roundtable discussion can be found here.

Pretty fair to say there’s a consensus around Isaiah McKenzie and the tight ends.

Oh, yeah.  And spring injuries.

16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Blogosphere

SoybeanWind is having nightmares.

We know Dabo Swinney isn’t happy about this whole letting college kids have money thing, so it makes sense that he’s indulging his inner sense of gloom and doom over the COA stipend.

“Basically, this is the way they’re getting that done, but there’s some unintended consequences. There’s no question it’s not a level playing field, and it is going to be the No. 1 topic at all the coaches meetings, because it’s not good. The intent is good, but for one school to be able to pay $3-4,000 more than another school, at the end of the day, guys are going to make decisions for the wrong reasons. It shouldn’t be that way.

“I don’t like where we are right now. We are where we are, but there has to be a better solution somewhere down the road. Eventually, we’re going to get there. It is what it is right now, and it’s going to be a factor in the recruiting process. There’s no question.”

Well, actually, Stewart Mandel has one, Dabo.

But I don’t share remotely the same concern that some do about recruiting impact. In fact, until the day comes that a recruit tells Scout.com he chose one school over another over a $3,000 scholarship gap, I’m not buying it at all. Recruits spend a year or more building relationships with coaching staffs, visiting schools, studying which have the best opportunities to play early and/or which offer the best path to the NFL. I just don’t see a kid weighing all of that, and then ultimately making his decision based on a scholarship check, even if, as you say, all other factors seem equal. I’m glad cost of attendance got passed, but my guess is a year from now, no one will still be talking about it.

If the thinking is that your average high school senior is a ruthless mercenary ready to hire himself out to the highest bidder, what’s really changing here?  Schools have sold upgraded facilities to kids for years.  Schools have paid recruiters more and more based on their success of selling whatever works.  (And let’s not even get into what boosters have done outside of the public eye.)

All that’s going on now is that kids are going to be handed a new set of checks.  If Dabo’s delicate sensitivities are offended by that, perhaps he needs to come up with a new sales pitch.  And if he thinks it’s a nightmare now, best he not ponder a future in which Jeffrey Kessler kicks the NCAA’s ass.

71 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Recruiting