NCAA coaches dumping on players re APU movement is kind of a dick move.

Fitzgerald “disappointed” — OK when you read the details, Fitzgerald actually is pretty reasonable, but still his word choice “disappointment” is what carries the day. And he should know that. A guy in position of power, making millions of dollars, expressing any disapproval of a young player who is under-compensated and has few rights — that is a dick move. Saying it is a team issue and should have been handled within the team, and then talking to the press about it and expressing disappointment — how exactly is that a team move on the coach’s part?

Hopefully some coach will get on the right side of this issue.

What Minnesota sees in the mirror, and what the rest of us see

What We See
What We See
What Minnesota Sees
What Minnesota Sees

So Minnesota fired Tubby. @MedcalfByESPN is pretty clear that the real problem lies within the Minnesota athletic program and community — failure to build facilities, failure to support program, etc:

That’s the truth. Gophers need to invest a lot of money to right the ship. I’m gone. Feel free to disagree.

You can get lost in Minneapolis. When the Gophers are good, everyone cares. When they’re not, they go away. That’s just how it is.

The Gophers need so many additional resources to compete with the best teams in the Big Ten and the country. Limited investment.

Pretty classic mediocre team problem. The institution thinks it is a premier program, and thinks it deserves premier people and premier results. The truth is different.

Working for the NCAA drains 20 points from your IQ.

I worked for part of my career in the Personal Systems group at Microsoft. The Personal Systems group was full of great people, was a very successful business (MSDOS and Windows 3.x/95), and there was just a great vibe in the organization. I think I had a decent reputation as a manager and peer, but as they say “a rising tide lifts all boats”, and it was easy to seem smart and effective when I was part of a great team and business.

In early ’98 (I think), I moved over to the MSN group, Microsoft’s first major foray into online services. The joke inside Microsoft was that “moving into the MSN group caused 20 points of IQ to evaporate”, and I fared no better than anyone else. The group was dysfunctional, there were too many people without great product shipping experience, the strategy was unclear, the whole thing was just a cesspool. Ultimately I left Microsoft in large part due to my experience in this group — there was no coherent view of what the strategy should be (at every level of the company), and I was going to have spend years moving people out of the organization, which was not a challenge I wanted to take on.

I’ve been reading all the negative press around the “NCAA and Emmert”:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/28/sports/ncaafootball/calls-for-reform-grow-louder-for-ncaa-and-mark-emmert.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1& this week. The mishandling of the Miami case, Pete’s broadside against the NCAA, stupid amateurism decisions, etc. A lot of finger pointing at Emmert and calls for a change in leadership.

I have no idea if Emmert is a great guy or not, but he is in a broken system. The entire premise of the NCAA is wrong. Billions of dollars sloshing around in the system, flowing to the institutions and media companies and adults, and just a dribble flowing to the athletes. The system is doomed to failure, there is going to be leakage everywhere. As long as Emmert tries to maintain the system, he is going to look like an incompetent. If he really cares about the student athletes, he’d be wise to step outside the system and attack it.

What will the Big10 do now with PSU’s impending penalties?

So apparently the “hammer is going to fall on PSU tomorrow”:http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/ncaa-announce-penalties-against-penn-state-monday-paterno-141212517–ncaaf.html. Who knows what will happen, but I think it is reasonable to assume that PSU will be uncompetitive in football for at least the next 5 years. Either because of massive financial penalties (this seems likely to me as it penalizes the institution directly), significant scholarship reductions (less likely in my mind, as this hurts future kids), loss of TV and bowl exposure which has financial and recruiting implications (this will certainly happen), an outright ban on the team (unlikely), and the resultant flow of staff and players to other schools. It is hard to imagine that PSU will field a quality program for years.

So what does the Big 10 do? I am sure there are very active conversations today.

* Stand by PSU. The noble thing to do. And the Big10 at times has tried to be noble. I could certainly live with this. But you can bet this would hit the Big10 in the pocketbook, it will affect the next round of TV rights negotiations. And on every discussion of the Big10 standings, or Big10 allstar teams, or whatever, there will be that PSU logo and the PSU issues will come up. It is going to be a thorn for the league. But I could live with this.
* Dump them ASAP and try to fill their spot with 1 team. Given how damaged the Big10 would be with PSU in the league, I think the league would make substantial compromises to get the right 12th team in, so this may be ND’s best time to strike a deal that preserves some of their special treatment.
* Dump them ASAP and make a big play to the south. Try to pick up the disaffected ACC football programs who aren’t getting the revenue they should because of their ACC affiliation. This would be costly, but there are no cheap solutions in sight. If you could pick up 3-5 southern teams, this would create a dramatic positive press story and allow the league to bury the PSU story.

My bet is that the league does not stand by PSU. They may throw PSU a bone and say that they will reconsider them for full membership in 6-7 years but this is just window dressing.
to
I wonder if this PSU story was a motivator for some the Pac-12 schools who submarined the Big-10/Pac-12 linkup.

UPDATE: and so we know. The Big10 will stand behind PSU, as PSU works thru it’s misery. It is going to be 10 years before PSU is a competitive team again, if that. I’m not sure this was the right business move for the Big10, but it is noble. Perhaps having PSU ever-present in the league will serve to remind every other coach and institution, every day, that they need to put the kids and players first.

NFLand NCAA step in it on Pryor decision

I am glad that the NFL has allowed Terrelle to pursue his career and wish him the best of luck. But man did the NFL and NCAA step in it big time as “CBS blogger Mike Freeman notes”:http://mike-freeman.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/6264363/31396933. By enforcing these arbitrary NCAA rules, the NFL has made it clear that it is fully cooperating with the NCAA to establish and control the labor market for football players. These two organizations have always claimed in the past that they are separate, it is hard to maintain that fiction. There is clear collaboration to limit the opportunities for 18-21 year olds, and no representation of these players in the system at all.

“Sometimes, the NCAA just makes me want to puke”

Completely totally 100% agree with “this gentleman”:http://blutarsky.wordpress.com/2011/04/10/sometimes-the-ncaa-just-makes-me-want-to-puke/.

I don’t understand how anyone with a straight face can propose to generate yet more incremental revenue off the revenue sport athletes, without proposing anything regarding greater compensation for the players. This proposal will generate more money for media companies, for entertainment companies, for advertisers, for the NCAA, for schools. And $0 for the athletes involved. The athletes don’t even get to have a say in the process.

Nuts.

BTW, al.com is running a nice series on “the treatment of players in division 1 revenue sports”:http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2011/04/college_athletes_rights_who_fi.html. Worth a read. And nice pointes to “oversigning.com”:http://oversigning.com/testing/ and the related site “Parents of Players”:http://www.parentsofplayers.com/.

NCAA bracket tools — the majors

“ESPN’s tool”:http://games.espn.go.com/tcmen/en/frontpage is super easy to use. Can make picks first time right from the ESPN main page.

“SI”:http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/ncaa/mens-tournament/?eref=sinav — where is your brain? Shoving me to Facebook and forcing me to let some other random Facebook app smash through my privacy wall? Wow this seems dumb dumb dumb. How can a sports media site let fantasy sports activity slip off their site??

“CBS Sports”:http://mayhem.cbssports.com/splash/mayhem/spln/opc/free?tag=railLeftContent;fantasyGamesCol also good, easy to enter, also a nice bracket manager for your own pool. They have a facebook thingy too but it is an optional side thing, much more rational.

“Foxsports”:http://mayhem.cbssports.com/splash/mayhem/spln/opc/free?tag=railLeftContent;fantasyGamesCol. Visually clumsy — orange, too much Hootersness, and the bracket layout is hard to parse. Not my fav. Oh and registration seemed more onerous.

“Yahoosports”:http://tournament.fantasysports.yahoo.com/ seems good, nice bracket manager too.

OSU can never beat Minnesota by too much

Nice to see the Buckeyes wrap up the Big10 title in dominating fashion, onto the dance! And especially nice to wipe out Minnesota, too bad they weren’t knocked out of the tourney altogether. Why the hatred for the hapless Gophers? It all goes back to this incident, which pretty much flattened the OSU program for the next 10 years and ended Witte’s career. The Minnesota thugs got wrist slaps, Winfield went on to a successful baseball career which always galled me.

Here’s hoping the Gophers flame out in their first game.

NCAA APR — Another Preposterous Requirement

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Rather than some sort of conspiracy, the APR and its sanctioned, slow strangulation of smaller schools unable to pay for massive academic support centers is the result of something even more unstoppable and faceless: bad policy.

Exactly. The big schools have the dollars to pay for staff and facilities to manage APR. Small schools do not. That is why 35 out of 37 schools punished this year come from non-BCS conferences. Just another face of the ridiculousness of the current “student-athlete” pretense.