The NCAA announced on December 23rd that five Ohio State players, including QB Terrelle Pryor, sold championship rings, game jerseys, and other memorabilia in addition to getting free or discounted tattoos. The punishment handed down was suspension for the first five games of next year, however, all five will be able to play in the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas. For the pure mind-boggling hypocrisy of this action, Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated has nailed it far more eloquently and effectively than I could.
I’m officially calling for all conferences associated with Division I-A football and basketball to put the NCAA out of business. The NCAA, as Mandel points out, seems to be making up rules as it goes. Pryor and his teammates get a five game suspension, while Auburn QB Cam Newton gets nothing for shopping himself to potential schools. Make no mistake, I have zero problem with what the OSU players did. They earned those rings, those jerseys would have zero value if not for their performances while wearing them. They should be able to sell those since they, you know. FREAKING OWN THEM. Cam Newton did nothing more than what each of us does in a job hunt; he tried to get as much as he could for his services.
The level of corruption (for lack of a better term) exists in the NCAA for one reason. It is attached to the idea that student-athletes should not receive compensation for the work they do. Think about it. We’ll use the University of Iowa as an example, since that’s my favorite team. If Ricky Stanzi, Adrian Clayborn, Marvin McNutt, Matt Gatens, Cully Payne, Eric May, and other athletes didn’t perform, or there was no athletics teams associated with the University of Iowa, I’d probably not own as much Iowa paraphernalia as I do. The point is this. Without the athletes, the schools, and by proxy, NCAA, wouldn’t be making the money they do.
Here’s my proposal.
The six BCS conferences, plus the mid-major conferences eligible for bowl games in football, and all additional conferences eligible for the NCAA Tournament each March should tell the NCAA to shove it, and leave. That sounds a bit drastic, but this solves a lot of problems. The new organization formed by the schools no longer has to pretend that athletes shouldn’t be paid for the work they do for the school, simply because they’re in college. Secondly, it can set firm and clear rules as to what constitutes a violation, worthy of a suspension. Thirdly, all the money that goes to the NCAA currently from bowl games (bowl games and a CFB playoff system are a completely different post.) and the TV rights to the Tournament are now split between all the schools. Revenue goes up, the rules are now clear and simple to understand, and there is no middle man. Every college above the Division II level will automatically bring in more cash, Each school can now clearly tell its athletes what is permissible and what is not.
The NCAA is no longer an organization with any amount of appreciable credibility in my mind. It’s eerily similar to King Henry VIII in his later years; a shadow of its youthful, idealistic self, only concerned with building its power and legacy. Doing away with the NCAA hurts no one except a few high level executives who don’t really care about the student-athletes they collect their billions of dollars from. Pretty sure I can live with that going away.
The Philadelphia Phillies Roy Halladay threw the second no-hitter in post-season history last night against the Cincinnati Reds. The majority of the Cincinnati Reds gave Halladay his due afterwards, with one exception. Shortstop Orlando Cabrerra had this quote after the game “He and the umpire pitched a no-hitter. He gave him every pitch. Basically, we had no chance.” That statement is wrong in every single way. If you need proof, here’s a graph (h/t to SportsGrid.com) of every pitch that was called a strike by the home plate umpire last night:
Literally ONE pitch was outside the strike zone that was called a strike.
As a manager, in baseball or otherwise, you cannot let control of your team get away from you. Dusty Baker has no control over his team. When a player makes a statement like that after a no-hitter, it’s quite obvious there’s little control in the situation. I could point to comments and actions by Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips this summer towards the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, but that will take too much time.
Here’s the thing: Baker is known as a players manager, but he has no control over his team. They do and say what they want, when they want, and he is left hoping none of it causes too much drama, or friction inside his own clubhouse.
Think about that in the business world. There are managers who let their employees do there jobs with little or no guidance and/or discipline. They don’t want to step on toes and try to be everyone’s friend. That’s not what a good manager does. A good manager has a good working relationship with their employees that is friendly, but both know who is in charge.
Letting employees run amok without any kind of consequence or supervision causes problems throughout the organization, and ends up being an “every man for himself” type of situation. Get control of your employees and let them know who’s the boss. Which in most cases, is probably this guy:
I enjoyed a relaxing Sunday on my couch yesterday, watching the Kansas City Chiefs destroy the San Francisco 49ers, and seeing former Iowa Hawkeye Tony Moeaki make the best catch of the day, even ending well ahead of 3:15, meaning bonus coverage! In this case, that meant the New Orleans vs. Atlanta game, which had just gone to overtime. As soon as the dulcet tones of Thom Brennaman reached my ears, he was informing me that we wouldn’t be seeing the end of the game due to NFL broadcast rules prohibiting broadcast past 3:15.
This was not a shock to me, but it had been a while since I’d run into this particular issue. Here’s the rule, and why it’s in place via Wikipedia:
First, bonus coverage offered after any early time slot games cannot be shown past the start of the late time slot (either 4:10 ET for the doubleheader network or 4:15 ET for the non-doubleheader network). This prevents people from continuing to watch the bonus coverage instead of seeing the beginning of the late doubleheader network’s game (which is usually either their local team or the network’s featured game). Again, the networks may show highlights of the game, and usually will at the earliest opportunity. The singleheader network will sometimes show each play as soon as it ends as part of its post-game show. A station originally getting the game featured during bonus coverage will stay with it unless they are leaving to show a local team.
Second, bonus coverage cannot be shown after a late game on the single-game network because it will run in opposition to the ending of the late doubleheader network’s game(s) and NBC’s pre-game show. However, the single-game network usually schedules most of its top games in the early 1:00 ET time slot (except for west coast teams’ home games, and possibly either a Giants or Jets game), so this does not tend to be a major issue.
Reading that, it seems to me the NFL is more concerned about protecting ratings for the late games than allowing the audience to choose which game it wishes to view. In my case, there was no game on the Fox station at 3:15, and the late game on CBS was Indianapolis/Denver. The Colts/Broncos games was incredibly boring at the start, which stands in stark contrast to a sudden death overtime game in New Orleans.
The NFL, in attempting to protect its entire product, cuts off what could be a huge ratings boost. The defending Super Bowl Champions in overtime at home? You can be absolutely certain I would have watched the rest of that game and THEN turned over to the Indianapolis/Denver game. The point of this is, people will tune in to the late games after bonus coverage is done. The NFL is a popular product, and the only thing that would have kept me from watching the Colts/Broncos game was my wife (since she was busy with other things, this wasn’t an issue. Praise be to God.).
Why sacrifice a potential ratings bonanza to ensure the start of a game is seen? If the network has a doubleheader, send the local audiences of the late games out to those contests, but keep the rest of us plugged into that exciting overtime game. If there is no late game, broadcast the ends of those early games. Rarely will the beginning of a game be more exciting than the end. Give the networks a choice Roger Goodell. No money is lost, you keep the audience happy, and you enhance your reputation.
The following post is by my friend Micah Chaplin. We went to college together at the prestigious Buena Vista University, she is the managing editor of the Perry (Ia.) Chief, a HUGE Texas Rangers fan (her excellent blog, Baseball Is My Boyfriend is TOTALLY worth your time. Especially if you’re a big Rangers fan, or just a baseball fan in general).
In fact, the only flaw I can find in Micah is that she is an Iowa State Cyclones fan. Neither of us felt that an exchange of widgets (because betting money on college sports would be wrong) would do the trick here. So we agreed that the loser of this year’s Iowa/Iowa State game would have to write a post extolling the virtues of the winning team to be posted on the winner’s blog.
If you happened to catch the game, you’ll know the final score was 35-7, Hawkeyes. The lone touchdown scored by Iowa State…well, Micah touches on that in the post that follows, so I’ll just let her get to it. All pictures (courtesy of the Des Moines Register or Cedar Rapids Gazette) were added by me, for the record, and she wrote this on Saturday night, thus the tense she uses. Also, I’m not sure I would have been as nice as she was had the Hawkeyes been on the other end of the stick.
In the days leading up to the 2010 CyHawk football showdown, Ken Miller of Matt and Miller on KXNO predicted a 34-31 Iowa State victory.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Even as a lifelong Cyclone, I knew that was a dream. And not even a normal dream – more like a dream inspired by some heavy substance abuse. There was no way the Cyclones were putting up 34 points against the ninth-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes. They have probably one of the top five defenses in the nation. It’s a defense so good, they don’t even have to blitz. They probably don’t even need to know how to blitz. They’re able to push teams to a three-and-out without blitzing for the QB. That’s pretty solid, and it should be enough to run the table in the Big 10.
For the second consecutive year, the Hawkeyes dominated the Cyclones on offense, putting up 35 points, which went unanswered until there were less than two minutes left in the game. It was the first time Iowa State had scored a touchdown against Iowa since 2006. That was the only thing Cyclones had to cheer about all day as the Hawkeyes delivered a CyHawk-sized pounding.
Jewel Hampton, Adam Robinson, Marvin McNutt, Karl Klug and Adrian Clayborn will live on in the nightmares of Iowa State fans (and Austen Arnaud). They were huge parts of today’s game, and will likely be the cornerstones to what is ramping up to be a historic season for the Iowa Hawkeyes.
They are going to give plenty of teams nightmares this season. There are no weaknesses in their game.
They can run the ball (275 yards rushing today).
They can throw the ball (204 passing yards today).
They can stop the run (Iowa State had 78 yards rushing).
They can stop the pass (Arnaud was 20-44, good for 197 yards…and three interceptions).
Without a doubt, the Hawkeyes are a dangerous team. To make them even more intimidating, they don’t appear to be the least bit overwhelmed by the ranking that will have a target on their back for the stretch of this season.
Iowa State looked like a pre-junior high, pee wee league team against their brother school from the east area of the state. They failed to execute for most of the game, but even if they had, I’m not sure they could have pulled off a win. And they most certainly could not have put up the victory Mr. Miller predicted on his show. Iowa was the better team going into the game, and the scoreboard reflected their dominance when the clock ran out.
As much as it pains me to say it, Hawkeye nation (which includes several people I love dearly) is in for an enjoyable ride this fall. Live it up, friends.
I don’t personally care. However, I’m glad the title has been vacated due to the shenanigans perpetrated by Pete Carroll during his run there. I think this raises a larger issue. Why does the NCAA punish the student-athletes by withholding them from post-season competition while the coach can run off to a different school and start over with a clean slate?
Pete Carroll sees the angry mob coming and bolts for the NFL. A decision that took him all of 24 hours. Lane Kiffin puts Tennessee on the hot seat with the NCAA and runs to USC. John Calipari, Rich Rodriguez, the list is endless. My point is this. NONE of those coaches must deal with the consequences of their actions at their former schools. They are able to take one job after the other, making millions of dollars in the process.
Meanwhile, if a student-athlete decides she/he would prefer to go to a different school for a shot at more playing time, conflicts with coaches/teammates, or whatever other reason, a year of sitting on the sidelines is on the horizon. Why is this? I submit it’s because the NCAA is more concerned with the appearance of amateurism than anything else.
The NCAA will receive $10.8 BILLION over the next 14 years for the rights to televise March Madness. ESPN is paying $125 million per season to broadcast the Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta Bowls, plus the BCS National Championship through 2014. ESPN already has the rights to the Rose Bowl, the fee for which I was unable to find after a quick Google search…all the time I was willing to devote to finding the number. The payout for schools, as of 2009, was a total of $18 million for the Rose Bowl, according to Wikipedia.
The bottom line is this. Coaches make millions of dollars, as do athletic directors, boosters and anyone else not actually on the field. Student athletes deserve to receive a portion of the revenue they help produce. Think about it. If college sports just went away, about 30% of fodder for ESPN goes away…along with a boatload of programming. Not to mention all the revenue it generates due to the broadcast of those sports. Bristol would be in a bad place.
I submit the NCAA should remove the hypocrisy in how it deals with coaches and players. If a coach wants to leave West Virginia to go to Michigan when allegations of inappropriate shenanigans start happening, he should be able to go. However, if inappropriate shenanigans are proven to be true, said coach should suffer the consequences…NOT the program he left holding the bag. Conversely, let’s say a student-athlete is clean, but knows some shady things are going on and chooses to leave the program to go to a different school, a school of high moral and ethical fiber. I’ll pick one at random…say…
Why should that athlete be punished for making a decision that best benefits him/herself? Sitting out for a year is an absolute travesty. Meanwhile, Pete Carroll can simply bounce to the NFL and make even more millions of dollars. Or Lane Kiffin can jump to USC with his entire coaching staff (while making calls to recruits telling them not to go to class in the morning so they can enroll at USC). There’s a double-standard in the NCAA. It’s why when I hear about students taking gifts, money, or “jobs” they don’t have to show up to and can still get paid, I have a hard time getting upset.
Billions of dollars flow every year due to college athletics in this country, yet the athletes get nothing. Yes, they get a scholarship which provides for school, room and board, etc. It doesn’t provide for the social aspect of college. It’s unrealistic to expect an athlete on scholarship to not take a job to make some money so she/he can go out on Friday night. The NCAA should worry more about what coaches and administrators are doing and less about athletes taking money from agents, boosters, or whomever else.
First of all, apologies. It’s been well over a month since I’ve written a blog post. Even the last #cookchat transcript was over a month ago. I have, in all honesty, been slacking in the blogging department. In my defense, I didn’t understand just how busy summer would be as the Marketing Module Coordinator for the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri. Zero time during the day to blog in peace, and I’ve been too exhausted, or too busy, on the weekends to do any blogging.
Onto the biggest PR winner from LeBron’s decision to spend the next few years on South Beach. I would put forth that the only group of people viewing LeBron in a positive light now are Miami Heat fans; and possibly die-hard Bron-Bron fans. After the spectacle of “The Decision”, LeBron came off as nothing more than an ego that’s really good at playing basketball. That’s all well and good, he’ll make his millions and laugh all the way to the bank. However, I think someone else that was hardly mentioned at all last night may have scored some serious PR points. Who’s that? This guy:
Kobe has slowly rebuilt his image after nearly destroying himself in Colorado a few years back. Most people will tell you he’s the best player in the NBA currently, given that he has five rings, and two won “by himself”, though Pau Gasol is a mighty fine second fiddle. More importantly, Kobe’s image has something now that LeBron’s doesn’t. Loyalty. Kobe has done everything in his career in Los Angeles. Granted, LA ain’t Cleveland (no disrespect to Cleveland), but LeBron had the tools at his disposal the past two season to make serious runs at the title; and he came up short both times.
Kobe now has a nearly workman like image now. He’s not viewed as egotistical (generally speaking), he’s viewed as a team player, and he’s viewed as a leader. Would you say any of those things about LeBron James? Maybe you would…I know I wouldn’t. Did it seem like LeBron was concerned with the playoffs this year, or was his mind already drifting to July 1st and the sweepstakes he knew would happen? Was he concerned about beating the Celtics, or was he more concerned about building the “King James” image?
Bottom line is I believe LeBron James seriously hurt his image and reputation on Thursday night. There’s a gracious way of leaving your hometown team, and there’s an ungracious. I believe James chose the ungracious route, and that may hurt him for some time to come in places far from the shores of Lake Erie.
University of Florida head football coach Urban Meyer dressed down a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel during spring practice yesterday. Jeremy Fowler, the reporter in question, writes about the confrontation here. The video of the confrontation is found here.
Coaches have a responsibility to defend their players to the media when necessary. Meyer took Fowler’s original column (which he has linked in the column I linked to earlier) as a slam on Tim Tebow, referring to “our players”. Well, here’s the thing. Tebow isn’t one of his players any more, and folks outside of Gainesville have some serious questions as to whether or not he can be an effective NFL quarterback.
When coaches go off on the media, they end up either looking ridiculous (e.g. Mike Gundy or Dan Hawkins), or like Meyer did yesterday. Meyer came off looking like an overprotective father-figure, defending someone, that quite frankly, doesn’t need defending. Publicly threatening to ban someone for honest and accurate reporting you don’t like is not an option. All it does is INCREASE the respectability and credibility of that reporter. Which, and I am speculating here, is the exact opposite of what Meyer wanted to have happen to Fowler. Threatening to ban a someone for this kind of reporting is bad for your image and reputation.
Think about it this way. If Fowler’s column had been completely off-base and the quote from wide receiver Deonte Thompson taken completely out of context, no one would be railing against Meyer today. They’d be praising him for defending his players and calling out shoddy reporting. Doing it in a public setting, around live mics/cameras/recorders is saying that on the record. He should know better than that. Meyer should have asked to have a private word with Fowler…OFF THE RECORD. During that conversation, he should have calmly explained his issues with Fowler’s column. Fowler probably would not have agreed, or retracted, the column, but at least they would understand where each other are coming from.
The biggest mistake Meyer made was losing his temper; especially since he’s dealing with stress related illnesses (which Meyer look all the worse). Getting angry in this instance comes off as just being a jerk. I’m sure Meyer thought it was righteous anger, but it clearly was not. Becoming visibly angry in public or on the record, is rarely a good idea for you or your clients. Frankly, the PR lesson to take from all of this is the same as the one to take from the Nestle fallout. Never approach a situation with a holier-than-thou attitude or of having the moral high ground. Even if you DO have that position, getting angry with the other party never turns out well for you. Gundy and Hawkins both had great points, but they were lost in the aftermath because they got angry.
It’s a lesson you can apply to practically every sector of your life. Don’t lose your cool. Bad things happen when you do.