Another day, another $4 million salary

Gary Pinkel, come on down!

There aren’t many SEC coaching salaries south of the $4 million line any more.

14 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

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

“Sincerely yours in football, Jim Harbaugh”

Seriously, this is a great troll of every SEC coach grumbling about satellite camps:

What would be even better is if Nick Saban actually showed up.

24 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

“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?

37 Comments

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.)

16 Comments

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.

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.)

52 Comments

Filed under Gators Gators, Georgia Football