Naturally. If Harbaugh can't do camps he's going to do something:
Jim Harbaugh takes on clerk role in Genesee Probate Court
This will result in lawyers dorkin' out:
Flint Attorney Rick Hetherington, who appeared on a child support motion, on the way out asked: "Excuse me judge, but for clarification, I was wondering ... who has it better than us?"
Before the judge could respond, Harbaugh replied,
"I know the answer to that...Nobody!"
There's a 50% chance that guy has a username.
On the Go Blue Guarantee. Michigan has declared that instate students with family incomes of less than 65k a year will no longer pay tuition. This is a good thing. Maybe it's less of a "whoah" moment than it first appears since Michigan was already paying the bulk of costs for students in this income bracket, but taking it to zero means something. It also drops out a bunch of paperwork:
"The 'Go Blue Guarantee' cuts through the complexities of financial aid to help us reach talented students from all communities in our state. I have always believed that talent is ubiquitous in our society, but opportunity most certainly is not. The 'Go Blue Guarantee' helps us ensure wider opportunity."
I have Read The Comments on this, unfortunately, and one of the most common attempted gotchas is weeping for the family making 66k. They're not exactly boned by this move:
Tuition slides up gradually as income increases. As it would in any non-insane system. Concerns about families making twice the state median having problems shouldering their burden should be mitigated by the existence of 529 plans, which allow folks who have money to invest—ie, 120k-per-year households—to grow that money tax-free. You have to have a plan, but you can afford to have one at that point.
As state appropriations have shrunk as a portion of Michigan's budget, Michigan has responded by continually increasing costs for the wealthy. They've also tried to up their appeal to that segment of the population. If anything it's worked too well; Michigan's ability to enroll lower-income students has fallen off a cliff. This will help. It is unlikely to have a huge impact since ability to meet admissions standards is highly correlated with family income.
There's not much of a sports angle here unless Michigan starts covering large chunks of living costs as well. Those are estimated at about 15k annually and are covered by an athletic scholarship elsewhere. Since the sort of families covered by the guarantee are also the ones for whom 15k is a huge deal, this does not get Michigan a bunch of free scholarships for instate kids. If Michigan manages to extend this to room and board, then you might see a notably improved class of walk-on. Until then hold your birdman dot gifs about gaming the system.
Athletic budget notes. Michigan continues to live in the black after late Brandon shenanigans, projecting a two million dollar surplus this year. Athletic department budgets being what they are, a tiny profit is all that will ever be allowed. This helps schools cry poor when amateurism is questioned. Michigan can't quite disguise why a good year for the AD is always a 1% profit margin, because the way they make this happen is a PR boon:
Included in the department's projections is an increase in transfers to the university from $3.825 million in FY17 to $7.875 million in FY18.
Does the athletic department need to double the amount of money they transfer back to the general fund? No. Does the general fund need a four million dollar drop in a swimming pool of funding? No.
Michigan's also setting aside four million dollars into its deferred maintenance fund. They need to do this for major renovations—they cannot soak taxpayers by issuing bonds like pro teams—but that is also money that exits that they expensed away with some handwaving. Michigan expects to make at least 14 million dollars profit in 17-18.
That's due in no small part to this:
Conference distributions are projected to increase to $51.1 million in FY18 from $36.3 million in FY17 due mostly to a new conference media rights agreement.
You might be able to pay the players now instead of coming up with increasingly transparent ways of laundering the money.
Get hype for Gary. Peppers kind of talk about Mr. Gary from Don Brown:
Brown was asked Saturday after Michigan’s high school football camps how good Gary, a defensive end, can be.
“Best I’ve ever seen,” Brown said. “Best I’ve ever seen combining speed, strength, change of direction, and the mental curve. He’s unbelievable. The sky is the limit.
“The good thing is I think he understands that there’s a lot on his shoulders.”
It is rare to hear that kind of thing from a coach, and it portends good things.
Other minor roster notes from recent coach availabilities: Grant Perry won't play until his court issue is resolved and Grant Newsome is still expected to redshirt.
It's a contract. The NCPA, an NCAA union with the minor problem of not having any officially-designated employees to unionize, is doing what it can in the current regulatory environment. They've introduced a binding contract that they say is kosher with the NCAA that covers various aspects of the player-school relationship not covered by the LOI. Highlights:
According to the contract document obtained by CBS Sports, the CAP Agreement can be used instead of the National Letter of Intent or with the NLI. Either way, it would cover several areas the letter of intent doesn't. …
A school could be bound to an all-encompassing transfer release for a prospect before enrollment. The document asks if an institution "agrees" or "does not agree" "to comply with any request for transfer" and "to not restrict the ability" of a player to transfer to any other school. …
A school could not "cancel, reduce or fail to renew financial aid … due to injury or athletic performance." …
A player could negotiate the cost of a remaining scholarship to complete a degree at some point in the future should he/she leave early for a professional draft.
These things rarely get off the ground, unfortunately. High level players are deciding between competing under-the-table offers that supersede the relatively minor concerns this contract can cover, especially in basketball.
(Also, since I just rolled my eyes at Dennis Dodd I should point out that this is a good and interesting piece he got first.)
Da Coach D. I forgot that LSU hired Cajun Brady Hoke after running Les Miles out of town, and have been momentarily boggled by this once again. LSU has all the money in the world, and they hired an interim coach whose previous experience was crashing and burning at Ole Miss. Anyway, Orgeron is using the NCAA's new camp rules to shut the rest of the country out of Louisiana. Michigan canceled a scheduled camp of their own, but that pales in comparison to the hoops Texas has been trying to jump through:
This marks the third announced camp in Louisiana that Texas was scheduled to take part in. And it’s the third camp that LSU has worked hard behind the scenes to prevent from happening. In a phone interview earlier on Tuesday, the local high school coach who initially helped facilitate the field for the Baton Rouge camp expressed pessimism about it happening. “We're in LSU's backyard,” said Mike Roach, the coach at Madison Prep in Baton Rouge and the father of Texas player Malcolm Roach. “Louisiana home cooking may have played a part in it.” Roach, who initially tried to help facilitate the camp, declined to go into details on what LSU may have done to attempt to prevent the camp from being held at Memorial Stadium. But his comments proved to be prescient.
After camps affiliated with Texas got canceled at Louisiana College and Southeastern Louisiana in the past few weeks, Mumme acknowledged on Tuesday afternoon there was still a chance LSU or political officials in the state would attempt to thwart Texas’s presence. “Oh yeah,” Mumme said. “But it’s only a day away now. I don’t think there’s a lot they can do. The only thing that can kill it is if it rains.”
He was wrong.
A silly waste of time on their part, and one that does nothing to help anyone. It sucks most of all for the mid-level kids who might catch on at Cornell or Belhaven or wherever if they can just get in front of some coaches; top-level guys don't need and rarely work out at these satellite camps.
But Orgeron's mostly notable for being unintelligible, so that fits.
Somebody did it for me. Many thanks to the Crimson Quarry, which donned its fisking hat in response to this:
This saves me a couple hours of brow-furrowed typing. For real:
[Politi:] Big Ten rival Michigan
[CQ]: Ahh of course, that famous Rutger rival Michigan, against whom the games are always close.
This is a thing a person said and was paid for.
I do have assorted comments about the Rutgers thing three years in that will not reference the Politi column:
- The huge uptick in dough raked in by the league is approximately zero percent Rutgers's doing. Rutgers was useful to Delany as he attempted to expand the Big Ten Network's footprint. The 15-million-dollar uplift this year is because of the Big Ten's new national contracts with FOX and ESPN. The Michigan-OSU game, which is on FOX for the first time this year, is a bigger reason for the uplift than every game Rutgers plays in every sport.
- Rutgers is probably worth it in this brief window when they don't get a a full share and cable cutting has not been epidemic, which is all Jim Delany cares about since he's old and will never have any legacy other than dollar bills.
- We should kick Rutgers out the instant they're supposed to get a full share.
Matt Brown addresses the elephant in the room for fans: we get zilch from the Big Ten's constant dollar chasing. We get less than that.
Does the difference between $51 million in conference payouts and $43 million in conference payouts change the fan experience, or even the trajectory of football or basketball programs in a meaningful way? It’s very hard to argue it does, especially if you’re a fan of an already rich program, like say, Ohio State.
Nobody gets a bowl invitation because they got the biggest conference check. There is no trophy for it. It’s a meaningless thing to brag about.
But the addition of Rutgers does impact the fan experience and day to day performance of football and basketball programs. It means fewer games between traditional opponents for your favorite teams. It means an RPI anchor in basketball and baseball. It means an expensive road trip. And it means a lot of unwatchable games.
Again, we should kick 'em out in three years just for the fun of it.
Oh okay. Sympathy for John Calipari is still reading zero:
"They need more inventory for their own network so you just play more league games and then you have more inventory for your network to put on," Calipari said via teleconference Tuesday. "Hopefully in our case in this league (the Southeastern Conference) we stay where we are and if we don't, we'll make it work."
"What you do is, you take away some of those kind of games that have been good to us," Calipari said. "North Carolina, for example: If they go to 20 games we won't have any more series with North Carolina, so I'm not for it."
Calipari cancelled the UK-Indiana rivalry because Indiana refused to play at a neutral site. He can pound rocks.
Some hockey recruiting stuff. Bob MacKenzie's annual poll of NHL scouts and GMs in the run-up to the draft is out. Incoming freshman Josh Norris is a late first round pick at #23; rising sophomore Luke Martin is #69, nicely slotted into the early third round. Michigan also picked up its first new commit of the Pearson era when Phillipe Lapointe jumped on board a couple days ago. Phillipe is former Red Wing Martin Lapointe's son
Etc.: Muckalt hire official. Hooray for (potential) (slight) changes in municipal bonds that would (hypothetically) make it tougher for billionaires to get public money for stadiums. All hail the double team. Second string OSU TE out for season.
Oklahoma State's mascot is stranger than fiction. As college and NFL OL play diverges, busts become more common. Should be sent to all linemen considering M. Paris, London, and Normandy Beach on the docket next year. Obamas invited to be honorary captains. DJ made a good decision.