this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Old school item. Michigan-Navy, newsreel 1967:
72,000 was announced, which seems high for the end of the Bump era.
Not bad. A Lion Eye is considering the wreckage in Champaign by adding up football and basketball conference records over the past two years. Results:
Michigan State 28-12
Ohio State 27-12
Penn State 16-24
He admits it's a dumb way to put together a statistic. I like it anyway.
In which Gene Smith, who bumbled his way to a bowl ban for a 12-0 team, is more sensible than Michigan's athletic director. Kind of, anyway:
"I kind of lean toward having us in the same division," he said. "But I'm open to keeping it as it is, based on what my colleagues might share."
In an email to ESPN.com, Brandon said, "I would certainly not be opposed to being in the same division as OSU if it was in the best interest of our conference. I look forward to the discussion with my colleagues and our conference leadership."
"If it was in the best interest of our conference" should not even come into consideration. The conference doesn't pay the bills. Hopefully this is just PR; I miss the days when someone in charge of something had a greater-than-zero percent chance of saying something that he thought.
We had a shifty season. Probably.
"We had a s****y season, to be honest with you," Hoke said at the MHSFA's Winner’s Circle Clinic. "Bad year, to be honest. Proud of the kids, how they kept moving forward, but it wasn't the year Michigan deserves."
The comparison is left to the reader.
Lol Adidas. I keep comparing the alternate hockey jerseys to replicas you'd get off the rack at Wal-Mart, but apparently the basketball jerseys are literally that:
Four of Michigan’s blue road jerseys ripped in the Wolverines’ 83-75 win over Minnesota Wednesday.
Impossible is nothing, right, Adidas?
Trey Burke’s No. 3 was the first to rip, so he played most of the game wearing No. 12, which was also ripped later in the game. So after Jordan Morgan used Michigan’s second and only other extra jersey — the redshirt junior played the second half wearing No. 30 — Burke and, later, Caris LeVert were forced to play with holes in their uniforms.
I can’t remember the last time the Wolverines beat a top-10 opponent on the road after four of its jerseys were ripped since no official statistics are kept on road games won with ripped jerseys. I can assure you, though, that no Michigan team has won a road game over a top-10 team since the Wolverines beat No. 10 Duke, 62-61, on Dec. 8, 1996 until Wednesday. That was more than 16 years ago.
I did not think it was possible for an apparel company to fail so spectacularly as Adidas has and still exist. The level of incompetence they've shown over the last couple years is incompatible with a still-extant huge company. At some point they should have had a company-wide party during which everyone put on their new GasolineTech line and then lit a bonfire.
I have never taken any economics courses but I'm pretty sure this is ignorant of basic economics. Something called the "Delta Cost Project" at something called "American Institutes for Research" released a study about how much colleges spend on athletes. Surprise: it is a lot relative to students that don't have skills that cause hundreds of thousands of people to want to watch them do things.
I wasn't going to mention this because it is blatantly dishonest to not even casually mention that the big time schools with all of these expenditures are raking in piles of money, but Deadspin flogged it.
The obvious takeaway: the SEC is insane. SEC schools spend more than 12 times as much on each athlete as they do on their regular, non-revenue-generating students. They spend 40 percent more than Big Ten schools, and 60 percent more than Pac-10 (now PAC-12) schools. The SEC's nearly $164,000 median cost per athlete is almost twice as much as the FBS average, and four-and-a-half times as much as the median FCS program. Becoming the country's undisputed college football elite conference doesn't come free, and it doesn't come cheap.
And remember, these figures are per athlete, not just per football player. Considering the costs of running a girls volleyball program, feel free to slide the football expenditures upward.
The imbalance isn't just an SEC problem, though. The average D-1 football school is spending 6.7 times more money on each athlete than on each regular student. The question then becomes: where is that money going? Those athletes sure as hell aren't getting paid.
I hear you about the getting paid thing; when the biggest individual hunk of the athletic spending is on compensation for coaches and ever-growing numbers of athletic department staffers it grates. But the reason there is spending is that there is revenue. Find me a chemical engineer making revenue for the school on the order of the quarterback, and then get him to file patents for you, and then come to me and say "look at this chemical engineer."
It is in fact the lowest schools on the totem pole who are setting money on fire to do this:
The top ~60 schools that approximately comprise BCS conferences are in those first two quartiles, and spend relatively little money from students and the institution. Get below that and it's fees and tuition. We could have a discussion about whether this is a good idea. I don't want to bother talking with these people since they are framing the "problem" of college sports spending without noting that colleges don't have shareholders to provide dividends to and that at the top schools money in is therefore destined to equal money out, and there is a lot of money in.
BONUS: The one interesting thing about this is a glimpse into how the Big Ten's supposed money advantage evaporates in the face of the SEC's laser focus on football. That per-athlete number is 50k more than the Big Ten despite revenues being close to equal because SEC schools carry many fewer sports than the Big Ten does. Call it the Six Million Dollar Rower gap.
I find you guilty of the passing blasphemy. Lloyd Carr is now on the Committee on Infractions. In related news, teams that do anything that seems tricky will be ejected into space.
Random dude says implausible thing about Big Ten expansion. Given what happened last time, the dumber and less credible the rumor, the more we have to pay attention to it. First, this comes from a guy whose bio reads like so:
Chris usually writes using the pseudonym "Honus Sneed" is known as the "Dude of WV". He's sometimes controversial and sometimes funny but his love of the Mountaineers is always apparent. He is married to smartest, most bad-ass, derby girl who is as beautiful as she is tough. They share their life with the iirrepressible Fozzie Bear of Chaos who denies he is related in any way to Bo Obama.
So take it for what it's worth. He says the Big Ten is aiming for Virginia and would like to add UNC or Georgia Tech. I put no credence in it, but it's clear the Big Ten isn't done and has adopted a strategy of stealthily making stupid moves because their previous approach—doing intelligent things publicly—was totally square.
As previously stated, at this point I am in favor of the Big Ten adding six more teams and putting all of them in the other division so we can pretend none of this ever happened. So whatever. Add away, deranged fang-beasts with MBAs. You already blew it all up.
Slice. A fairly large deregulation package just passed one level or another of the NCAA's governance structure. I think this is the stage at which the thing gets passed by a small group and then Indiana State tries to override it because it's not fair they're Indiana State, so some of these proposals could meet the same fate as the cost-of-living increase did down the road.
If these things do get through, they're for the better:
Several of the 25 changes adopted Saturday are small and fairly obvious. Schools, for instance, can now provide "reasonable entertainment in conjunction with competition or practice," which means the old joke that athletes could be provided bagels but not cream cheese – yes, that was an actual NCAA rule – no longer applies. And a new rule that will allow athletes to receive "$300 more than actual and necessary expenses" as long as they don't come from an agent or booster will save a ton of paperwork and compliance headaches for things that used to be considered secondary (or minor) violations.
But there are also some significant ways in which recruiting has now been deregulated, ways that could favor the bigger schools with bigger budgets.
Coaches can now make an unlimited number of contacts with recruits via text messages or social media. Printed recruiting materials sent through the mail are now completely deregulated in terms of frequency or expense. And schools will now have the ability to hire a recruiting coordinator who isn't a head coach or full-time assistant coach, which is a particularly big deal for football.
Think of all the paperwork that will no longer be done. You should be in favor of anything that 1) moves the focus away from nothing secondary violations onto big issues *cough*OLEMISS*cough* and 2) allows Michigan to use its money firehose to either distance themselves from schools with less or close the gap on schools operating outside of the framework, cough OLE MISS cough.
This was the easy bit. Emmert's got a bigger reform package on the table that won't be as easy to shove through since it deals with big, big things like transfer rules and agents and, uh… "meals." What exactly they'd like to do isn't something I could google up. Hopefully it includes some accommodation with the realities of agents these days and maybe some movement towards allowing some money to flow to the players.
BONUS: When you want to name-check a 'have', you go to one place.
"There are universities that made investments 100 years ago that, by historical accident in some instances, have set as their role, scope and mission, things that give them competitive advantages in their ability to fund and support ahtletics," NCAA president Mark Emmert said Saturday. "Michigan has been Michigan for a long time.
Etc.: Sportswriters now pondering whether anything was ever real. That's actually a good column by Tim Layden about the inherent uncheckability of a lot of stuff. Will Campbell is reprising his high school camp performances. I guess Will Hagerup really has a chance to come back; must be Stonum-style double-secret probation. Michigan's defense is short of national-title expectations.
Kate Upton. We win.