I am shocked!
SEC bag men.
Did you read the article? I don't think it claims to be uncovering all kinds of corruption in college athletics. It's just a great read into some of the details behind the scenes.
What I found most interesting is how the "bag man" alluded to 2 different groups of people: the 1%'ers who give $100,000's on up to get their name on a building, and the 3-4%'ers who are really passionate sports fans that may actually have more control over a team than the guy/gal who donates $1 million.
I didn't realize that these guys are like independant contractors who make a $200,000 a year, and want to have a direct effect on their team's success by essentially throwing away $40,000 a year to a vice. It makes me wonder if there are any Michigan "bag men" on this forum.
Yes I read the article and none of it was shocking.
I'm betting you're one of the guys who has "We already have multiple threads about topic x *sigh*" locked and loaded in the holster at all times.
The sky is blue.
Is an interesting read though.
an old ally named Harvey Dent fought it and was close to victory.... but they tore even him down.
You're not planning on posting like this forever, are you?
only until he gets 7000+ points within a three month time span.
Good. It's getting a little old already.
Maybe you should be Batman's arch nemesis...Batman really is only as good as the villain he's facing.
A middle-aged English Earl living in the early 20th century vs. an armored martial arts expert with a net worth of billions and his own underground lab for developing military technology? No thanks.
Well, if we're living in superhero land, I actually like your chances. You're royalty, so you can summon loyal soldiers/liaise with the British government for same. So, you've got the army and navy of the greatest empire on earth in terms of strength (pre- WW2 Britain) vs...Batman. Get me some popcorn, I'm in.
Least interesting game of chicken, ever.
Honestly, The Batman is the only hope to stopping these activities. The NCAA is in the middle of a fight with current student athletes over compensation. We can't expect them to fight actual corruption at the same time on their limited budget.
I haven't seen the Iron Shiek post in awhlie, so there's hope.
I hope I am alive when all this corruption blows up.
It's gonna be so fascinating watching it play out.
Probably won't happen. As the interviewee even states in the article: "Who is opposed to these kids getting paid?" Southerners have "no moral outrage" whatsoever to this behavior, and the momentum is currently swinging more towards this line of thinking nationally. The chances of this network going down in legal/NCAA flames is probably very low now, but the possibility of making it more fair, equal, and transparent with new rules may be coming in the near future.
An article about people taking a dump on the NCAA isn't going to ruffle my feathers. Very interesting to read, however.
Great read. Not surprised at all though.
I want to believe, but, as he clearly states, there's no reason to believe him. It could be completely true. Or it could be a great way to get people to read your article.
Well he did a good job because I read the it and I'm planning on watching that 45 min interview that was at the end of the article.
Paul Finebaum doesn't believe this nor is he blindingly opaque about a certain program or coach.
It sounds as if a number of you are shocked, but of course I knew it all along.
The article says that this conversation took place about a week or so before NSD, took place about a #1 ranked player at his position, and obviously happened at an SEC school.
Im also assuming the kid was uncommitted at the time and committed on NSD, just based on the wording of the bagman's quote and the fact that he was still being recruited at the time of this meeting.
Looking at 247's list of players from this past year, just briefly looking through it, Marlon Humphrey and Rashaan Evans names both jump out.
Humphrey was visiting Mississippi State January 26th, and he committed to Bama on NSD.
Evans was visiting Auburn January 24th, and he committed to Bama on NSD.
Both are ranked #1 at their position by 247.
These are two of your candidates as to who was being payed, thus making MSU, Auburn, and Bama schools that may be paying players.
So no one is shocked.
Based on that information you provided, I assume its Miss State this bag man is working for. If it was Auburn, I feel like it would be worded differently due to the rivarly.
I'm not sure the kid in question committed on NSD. He said he knew they weren't going to get him and the rivals are doing the same to their guys. It seemed to me that they do this to kids who have already committed, just to keep their reputation as a school willing to pay athletes strong.
no one is shocked, but the article is a pretty good read and i am sure that some of it (most of it?) can apply to every big-time school (including here).
aside from the scandelous nature of the article, i thought this was an interesting tidbit of recruiting information:
Some coaches encourage players to visit other campuses to recruit other players.
maybe that should make us think twice when heavy ohio-lean so-and-so comes to visit (or vice versa).
2 things, if you don't think this happens in the big ten, albeit maybe on a smaller level you are pretty naive, but two my favorite line was that they sometimes meet at a waffle house. I mean really? A waffle house?
Pretty fucking crazy that you say this doesn't happen at Michigan when we're missing 2 Final Four banners.
In some southern states there is a Waffle House at almost every exit. Maybe it is a good way to not get tracked or create a routine since you can change it up by just driving another mile down the road.
Yeah the drive from ann arbot to atlanta for the final four last year probably took us past about 300 waffle houses, and don't get me wrong it was good, it was just funny to read.
you meant Waffle House as a good thing
in a waffle house late at night or early morning...stars,ballers,businesswomen & men,regular folks and your holy rollers.
Waffle House,Cracker Barrell and Chick-Fill-A...they RULE here in Bama.
At the Waffle House.
The reason none of this gets truly exposed is:
1. No media has a real interest in exposing it. There is little to gain, but a lot to lose--a local paper in the South can basically just sell off its printing presses and leave town ahead of the bankruptcy judge if they do this to a team they're covering. We are "reasonable" up here, and look at how many of us still have trouble with the Freep for a relatively light-weight scandal caused by a respected journalist in Rosenberg.
National media doesn't really want to get into this and they don't have the people on the ground to do it. It's a rabbit hole that is simply too deep and too complex to push into, and the problems that it would cause are too much to worry about.
2. Nothing that is happening here is illegal, unless these people are evading taxes. People gripe about the NCAA being dumb, but honestly, how in the world are they supposed to police this? I thought they were stupid to give Cam Newton a blanket stamp of approval so quickly, but realistically we all knew something was up but it was completely unprovable.
The NCAA does not have subpoena power; they cannot compel people to speak honestly.
There is a reason that major scandals often coincide with serious legal issues--it is those legal issues that involve actual law enforcement, and the NCAA violations that are exposed are a tertiary effect of those investigations. Remember, that's how the Ed Martin thing blew up here--Martin got nailed for real crimes, and as a consequence the NCAA violations were exposed.
The only way any of this really comes out is if the IRS starts doing some heavy investigation of all of the cash movement. Surely some of these payments are missing from 1040s.
I hate all of this. Not because someone's sister gets rehab paid for, but because the playing field is uneven and people pretend that it is not.
Then what does the NCAA do then? What is the point of it?
So what's the consensus here? Do you think we have a bag man network in Ann Arbor?
On one hand, I say no because I hope we don't and I haven't really seen evidence of such. On the other, couldn't I just be naive with my head in the sand thinking that way?
I don't think there is a single program in the big 6 conferences that doesn't have people to grease the wheels. The only thing that is probably different is the amounts involved.
I'm sure there are very passionate and upper-middle class Northwestern guys out there, but they would probably be few and far between, and not live in many areas where you would need a few bag men to build personal relationships.
There may be some relatively small versions of what happens down in the SEC around here, but many of the driving factors that enable such a pervasive culture of corruption as described in this article don't exist in the big ten footprint.
If the B1G schools played this game I'd think that we'd see a lot more players from the south coming north, as well as a much better overall W-L record on the field. The current state of the conference suggests to me most B1G schools are not playing this game.
I'll admit this part made me pause a little bit.
It's also how lame duck coaching staffs are created. If a majority of bag men want a particular coach out and an A.D. or president won't make a move, they'll just dry up funds.
Excuse me while I look at the recruiting fall off under Rodriguez and tug at my collar.
Just under RR? Um...
But yes, that made me pause, too.
Ummm Hoke maybe?
I have a hard time believing that any major program is completely clean. I would like to think that Michigan is "as clean as it can be," but I don't know what that means and I have no evidence about it, other than the fact that Michigan hasn't been that good and maybe maybe that's because they aren't as corrupt as a certain rival.
"College majors like Exercise Science and General Education have long been assailed by critics as crip-course degrees, but shadow boosters see them as a vital way to perpetuate the cycle. If a player finishes out his eligibility and has no feasible future in the pros, he might return home and become a nearby high school coach. It doesn't matter if it's junior high or seven-on-seven camps; each means a new brand ambassador for the program."
As others have mentioned, there is not much if anything shocking about this, but it was a very illuminating read all the same just due to the detail. That part above, though, was something I hadn't really thought about before - it makes sense in a strange sort of way, however, that former student athletes would be the most convenient pool of "outside sales representatives" basically.
Fascinating read. Late for a meeting being so engrossed in the article. I think this is exactly how many of us pictured the deals going down. But I am surprised--impressed?--at how professional and precise these guys really are.
Ole Miss' Bag Men must have been very busy lately.
I'd swore he was referring to LT.
Makes the whole Nevin Shapiro incident seem like child's play
I'm not a fan of Urban but maybe he was sick of this stuff was true. Sounds like it is way more annoying doing some of these things. I can see why coaches get worn out down there.
Isn't the general consensus that OSU operates this way the most in the Big Ten?
He was sick of other people being better at it than him
The "bonus" for not visiting a school was very telling. Seems to happen to UM a lot. Who was that RB that was supposed to visit UM last year but ended up not coming? Webb basically reported that he was on the flight but it never happened? Anyone remember the name and the school he ended up at?
Leonard Fournette. He went to LSU.
Actually, I have an alternate hypothesis: The reason Michigan was able to get in on a lot of these recruits was that they were known not to be a legitimate threat in this landscape. So no need to discourage guys from taking interest in them, unlike SEC rivals.
attached to these stories or rumors? I understand reporters wanting to protect their sources, but anyone involved in recruting hears these stories and yet nothing ever comes of it. Why are people so afraid to expose this crap?
In this case, if the reporter names names the story doesn't happen and he learns (and reports) nothing. All that he gets is a small smidgen of information, which he might report, which is then flatly denied. If he gets too specific he is threatened with lawsuits. Or he winds up harming his own reputation by "spreading rumors" without proper sourcing.
This reporter didn't want to go to the incredible legwork it would take to really make this a publishable story. His route was "easier," but still worthwhile.
And that is not a bash. I think reporting a real story that really named names and uncovered real corruption would be huge. It would also take almost Watergate-level reporting and effort with no guarantee of success. I don't blame the guy for reporting the way he did.
quite flashy & don't gd if you know,he's the bagman. His name...WWWes
it lessens my interest in the game. If you lump this in a category of "Pervasive General Influence of Money on the Game," the whoredom involved in sneaking State Farm ads into the stadium should be included, too. . . Ads, naming rights, TV rights--all increase the stakes and compound the pressure to buy athletes. . . and athletes continue to see too little of the return. (To me the "they're already being paid" argument holds little water--that's why the NLRB sees them as employees; the question is whether they have a right to bargain collectively, and why shouldn't they?) The way that both education and 95% of schools are also elbowed off the path. . .
Treadwell to Ole Miss.....like we weren't suspicious of that particular incident.
Honestly though so what if OSU does this? I bet a lot of fans would take the winning if UofM was to do a little more of this as long as its never known publically. I have no feeling either way. I am at the point where college athletics hasn't been collegiate in a long time so I wouldn't mind some more winning. Thinking big programs are 100% clean is just naive.
I don't think Michigan dishes out thousands of dollars, but I would bet some people got some interviews/jobs because their son/nephew/grandson is a UofM athlete.
I wonder how well these tactics work on well educated two parent homes ? I had a sibling being recruited (albeit not a sport that matter) but illegal benefits were offered and it just made my whole family cross that program right off the list.
I wish the article talked about this. Great point. Not every kid is "country poor" and an education and relationship actually means something (may be fewer kids but there are still some out there).
Among many interesting tidbits, one near the top caught me the hardest: even if they did start paying the players, this shit would go on, because they're so much better at it than any university is equipped to be.
We've been under the assumption that if you could pay players, say, a % of their jersey sales, Michigan wins because our fans can buy so many more jerseys. But these guys figured out a player's dad needed his tractor fixed, and got the tractor fixed. How the hell do you compete with that?
I actually haven't held that assumption. A stipend is a nice way to cover the "real costs" of attendance, and perhaps it helps take care of some of the corrupt "$50 handshakes" around the edges that can get kids into, say, gambling problems.
But this stuff can and will still happen. There's a lot of cash available. The only way this gets interdicted (and I am not advocating this move) is to allow players to make as much money outside of the sport as they want, out of endorsements and such. That would introduce new semi-legitimate ways to funnel money to players, and a system of guaranteed endorsement deals and soft jobs would pop up. In that system, Michigan and Michigan State players could expect dealership and corporate sponsorships from Ford and GM and other such arrangements, while every Oregon player would become a paid Nike spokesman.
So....I got $200. Anybody else down? I say we go out and get us the best players money can buy. Seriously, hit me up.
For the right guy I'll throw down $500.
The description of the attempted tape recorded "sting" by a rival and some recruit seems like BS to me. You're telling me some recruit who is good enough to warrant a $70k payment for signing is willing to tape record himself asking for money to signe with a school?
I have a feeling that this reporter found someone that probably is shady and provides improper benefits, but the "bag man" started to like the sound of his own voice and started making shit up.
Two quotes from the article perfectly capture why this is such a hard issue. On the one hand,
"It's 2014. Who's left to tell that would get angry? Who's left that would object to seeing these kids getting some money?"
However, on the other hand,
"If we could take a vote for these kids to make a real salary every season, I would vote for it. $40,000 or something. Goes back to mama, buys them a car, lets them go live like normal people after they work their asses off for us. But let's be honest, that ain't gonna stop all this. If everyone gets $40,000, someone would still be trying to give 'em 40 extra on the side."
It seems to me there is no reasonable moral objection to every member of a football team that puts 100K+ fannies in the seats for home games getting a scholarship plus $40K/year. But, here are the practical concerns with that:
(1) Title IX: can the University afford to give every scholarship athlete another $40k/year? If you think you can get away with paying only the male, revenue sports athletes an extra $40K, you are not being realistic. Personally, I think we could come up with a stipend that you can give to all the scholarship athletes that won't force Universities to drop every men's sport that isn't basketball or football. But, this will be a lot more expensive that the kind of money the bagmen are tossing around.
(2) As the bagman points out, that will not stop people from pursuing an extra $40 under the table. We should temper our expectations that a player stipend will level the playing field between the cheaters and the non-cheaters.
you guys really should refrain from commenting holier than thou on the SB Nation article. Watch the Fab Five 30 for 30, and google how Woodson allegedly took over ten thousand from an agent while still eligible ... we have our own dirt (or suggestions of it) whether we like it or not.
I believe (hope) most schools in the B1G try to do the right thing and chase down the off books characters. That doesn't mean they don't exist, and I am guessing the Robin Hood-like activity that goes on with athletic kids on poor side of town has a different ethos: giving someone's mom or sister a job, or shoes, or money to go out in exchange for staying off the streets while continuing to participate in sports is considered a good thing.
While we are at it - we hired Jalen Rose's HS coach when Jalen committed - so we can't wag fingers at State either.
If you come at it from a "my opinion is this type of thing shouldn't happen" - then OK. I your approach is the SEC cheats and we are above that kind of thing - people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones ...
While we're at it - just with Detroit's mayors and Chicago's politics as examples, I don't think the Midwest has any higher moral ground than the South anyway.
If Woodson got paid I'm suprised as he worked for two years as a file clerk at my
"While still eligible" meant signing with an agent a bit early, right at the tail end of his career, and wouldn't have meant anything to his need for a job before that.
I have a vague memory of the details only because I was on the Michigan Daily when the allegation came out. In 2001 they were investigating a shady agent who misused players' money or something and it appeared Woodson had a relationship with him going back to summer 1997. The agent said he'd loaned Woodson $10k or $14k (the former is what the rumor always says, the latter is from my memory) after the Ohio State game that year. Woodson flatly denied it.
The university investigated and found nothing and since this was the same athletic department then in the middle of committing seppuku over Ed Martin that was good enough for most. I didn't know the Daily reporter who covered it at the time so I didn't know details. Mostly I remember being asked my opinion of it by Heather Kamins, then news editor, future EIC, because I was always "the guy who likes sports" guy in the room.
I logged in just to up vote you.