Good Unverified Voracity For People Who Like Bad Unverified Voracity

Submitted by Brian on May 16th, 2017 at 1:11 PM


[Patrick Barron]

All position switches are good news and bad news. Drake Harris is now a cornerback:

I'm dubious that this will work out, but Sam Webb asserts that Harris was not flat out told to move—he was in fact told that if he stays at WR he would be a contributor. The uncertainty at corner is greater and a guy with Harris's frame has a super high upside if it works out. Yes, Richard Sherman was inevitably brought up.

Moving your most experienced WR to CB after spring practice says something about the guys who are still there: DPJ and Tarik Black must have shown plenty for Michigan to move forward with those two guys and Kekoa Crawford as their main outside threats. It obviously says less than great things about cornerback, but I wouldn't get too despondent. Flipping guys around just to check is a Harbaugh trademark; sometimes it's paid off handsomely.

It is not a great sign for Harris's playing time since it directly states that he got passed by the two early-enrolled freshmen as soon as they showed up. Richard Sherman, yeah, but for every Sherman there are 20 shots in the dark that fail to salvage careers. There's a 10% chance he's a starting corner, a 20% chance he's on the two deep, and the rest of it is fading into Bolivia.

A combine weekend is good and bad. It's bad for the NBA prospects of Michigan's two potential early entrants, and that's good for Michigan. DJ Wilson had an injury that prevented him not only from playing 5 on 5 but also testing, which he would have been real good at. Wagner had a Wagner-versus-Oregon weekend, not a Wagner-versus-Louisville weekend. Both landed on Chad Ford's Go Back To School team. Both have also more or less directly stated that they are not going to stay in unless they're in the first round. Wagner:

“If I have that feeling that a team believes in me that much to draft me in the first round, I’d have to seriously consider that.

“As long as I don’t have that feeling, I won’t risk losing two years of eligibility at the University of Michigan.”


"If it's anything second round, then I don't really think that I'll be staying in the draft, I'll probably come back to school," Wilson said. "That's the good spot that I'm in -- I don't have a bad choice either way."

Wagner seems to be solidly in the second round and we can expect him back. Wilson is in a tricky spot; various mock drafts have him at the tail end of the first, including SBN and DX. I don't think he's going to have clarity either way unless a team gives him a guarantee.

In other combine news, any Michigan fan could have told you this:

Standing vertical leap (no steps) high scores: Donovan Mitchell (36.5 inches), Derrick Walton Jr. (36), Frank Jackson (35.5), Devin Robinson (35.5) and Derrick White (35.5)

Secretly 6'8" Derrick Walton and his rebounding chops.


This week in amateurism. Jim Delany gets a 20 million dollar bonus; the Big Ten is blindsided by complaints about Friday night games. Jim Delany is still getting a 20 million dollar bonus; this year's basketball schedule is so borked because of someone's bright idea to play the conference championship a week early so it can be at Madison Square Garden that Michigan might only play 30 games. And this is on the table:

“Do you end up playing a nonconference game during that week that’s after the conference [tournament] finishes up in New York?” Phillips pondered. “That’s a possibility. But who do you get who’s available? Do you play another conference game, and it’s a ‘nonconference’ game, but you play another conference opponent during that week? And I think you’ve got to be creative … how long a layoff is too long, where it really starts to have an adverse effect when you go into the postseason, whether it’s the NCAA or the NIT?”

If it maximizes revenue like a duck, pays only lip service to everything else like a duck, and compensates executives like a duck, can we finally pay the players?

Can't even scrape right. I wouldn't pay much attention to that NCAA report about the number of staffers across college football:

The Irish have a combined 45 on-field coaches, strength coaches, graduate assistants and support staff, according to the survey distributed to the NCAA Council last month. Notre Dame is followed closely in the top five by Texas (44), Georgia (42), Auburn (41) and Michigan (40).

However, the NCAA told CBS Sports the methodology to measure the staff sizes of 127 FBS schools in 2016 came from mere website research.

That research is also wrong. The report was for internal use and was obtained by CBS, thus putting a not ready for prime-time document on display. The numbers in it are not worth your time.

More worthy, perhaps, is this thought process:

The number of those added support staff is not capped. In fact, some argue that the NCAA should limit staff size even as they try to determine whether such a restriction can be legally instituted.

"You got it," said Phillips, also Northwestern's athletic director. "Maybe you can't limit [it], but the idea is that's how we've structured ourselves in the past. That's why we don't have seven assistant basketball coaches."

The money has to go somewhere. Now a lot of it is going to low level staffers. If it can't go to low level staffers it will go to midlevel staffers. Or it will buy Jim Delany yet another Ford Fiesta. You know he's just got a hangar full of 'em.

Etc.: Notre Dame is done paying Charlie Weis. xoxo miss you, Big Guy. M-OSU on Fox appears all but official. Hockey commit Antonio Stranges gets an "A+" rating from SBN College Hockey. Money has to go somewhere.

Justin Meram is doing work in MLS this year. I wonder if he regrets closing the door on the USMNT by playing for Iraq. I certainly regret it. Haven't had a winger in a minute.



May 16th, 2017 at 1:28 PM ^

Ink Master had an episode where the challenge to the aspiring ink masters was to do an inner lip tattoo. That is still the most painful episode I've ever seen.

I was walking past a tattoo parlor on Mother's Day, and the place was loaded with Mom's getting ink. Hey, whatever floats your boat.

Sac Fly

May 16th, 2017 at 1:38 PM ^

Anyone who compares a player who has never played corner to the best corner in the NFL because they're the same height should be launched into the sun.

It's just lazy.

Whole Milk

May 16th, 2017 at 1:55 PM ^

Although I agree that the comparison is probably out of reach, there are more similarities than just the height. It is a guy, playing for jim harbaugh, who makes a switch to cornerback late in their college career with the chance of playing as a big corner in a system that utilizes them. Analyzing only the height comparison is "just lazy".


May 16th, 2017 at 2:32 PM ^

I mean, nobody was saying "Harris is going to be Richard Sherman".  But it's a quick short-hand for a tall guy with solid speed and a big frame.  I mean, every QB drafted in the 5th and 6th rounds gets the whole "Tom Brady was ALSO drafted late" tag for a hot minute because "yeah, this guy is probably not going to make the roster" isn't nearly as sexy.  Hell, Rudock got that treatment 2 years ago.  

It may be lazy.  Welcome to sports journalism, please take a seat next to Mitch Albom, Mike Lupica, and the rest of the Sports Reporters.


May 16th, 2017 at 3:30 PM ^

Well, it might have to do something with both being moved from WR to CB by Jim Harbaugh.

Not saying its a great comparison, but there is more than just "they are the same height." 

Section 1.7

May 16th, 2017 at 1:35 PM ^

With all due respect:

1.  Even though Jim Delany didn't "get" a $20 million bonus, for anyone who reads the USA Today story (extremely well done in my view) will have a lot of questions about the nature of Delany's compensation (and perhaps every other P-5 conference commissioner), and I say "Yay, for more questions and disclosures."

2.  I think that current football ticket prices are galling and too high and of course they are just going to keep going up.

3.  "Therefore, we need to pay players..." ?

How does paying players help, with the skyrocketing prices and costs?  I am leaving out the Title IX issues, where the work of football and basketball players buys equipment and travel for lots of other teams.  So you can too, my critics.

See, Brian, I agree with you that administrative salaries are an issue of concern.

And I'll bet that you'll agree with me -- because Bacon sure does -- that the costs of tickets and PSD's is a concern.

So where does "paying players" fit in, as any sort of solution?


May 16th, 2017 at 1:56 PM ^

I'm pretty sure his argument is that the people in charge of college football (ADs, conference commissioners, and the like) have been disgustingly successful chasing cash, and now they're just at the point where they're gilding the everliving fuck out of the lily because they don't know what else to do with all this they might as well start giving some of it to the players.  It's not a solution to anything, so much as a "you don't really have a great excuse" kind of argument.  And I'm not in favor of paying players either, in most forms those arguments take, but if you can afford a small army of support staff, it's a lot harder to cry poverty.

Section 1.7

May 16th, 2017 at 2:13 PM ^

Well, the old argument is, something like this; "Jim Delany helped make $463 million for the Conference.  So our paying him $20 million is right and fair and consistent with other businesses, industries and professions.  And, we had a third-party review service confirm that for us..."

I know that lots of people have problems with that formulation.  Was it really Delany, who made all that money?  Could we have hired Brian Cook, or John U. Bacon, or Jason Preistas, for  a half a million/year, and made just as much money?  And yeah; are third-party compensation review panels really fair and disinterested?  Etc., etc.

The other old argument -- and probably even dumber -- is, "If we took ten or twenty or fifty million out of the Conference revenue and split it up among football and basketball players, then we'd be doing some real social justice."  (We could also take ten or twenty or fifty million out of non-revenue sports and give it to football and basketball palyers, too.)

But at least we agree; neither one of us is in favor of paying players, in most forms that those arguments take.



May 16th, 2017 at 3:10 PM ^

I think the NFL and NBA should be disbanded and each NFL and NBA team should be associated with the largest/most popular college in the respective state (or half of the state where two NFL teams both reside within a state).  As a result of the realignment, I think the players should not receive financial compensation.  Instead, they should receive graduate degrees in exchange for their services.


May 16th, 2017 at 3:41 PM ^

While I understand your point, there is no question that revenue has soared under Delany. It was 177mm in 2006-2007 and was nearly 450mm in 2015-2016. Part of that was inevitable (climbing television contracts) and part of it was innovation (BTN). He's been in charge for nearly 30 years and any executive that raises the top line like that will and should be rewarded.

I really feel like these two things are very separate. Jim Delany isn't the NCAA.


May 17th, 2017 at 9:07 AM ^

Money was thrown at them. It is also still higher than every other conference and means schools like Purdue and Indiana get more of that TV revenue than Notre Dame or Clemson. The conference could be in a much worse position like the Big 12 or AAC but it has been stable and the BTN has raised the profile of the conference and all of their sports.


May 16th, 2017 at 2:10 PM ^

The paying players fits in because college administrators are having to find more and more creative ways to spend the gobs of money college football is pulling in. It doesn't seem at all strange to you that people would rather effectively flush money down the toilet than give some to the people who actually earn it?


May 16th, 2017 at 2:44 PM ^

I hear this argument, but why would a company stop charging more for their product if demand is there?  Season ticket sales reached some near-record total recently; there is clearly a lot of people who are comfortable paying the fees to be in that stadium.  Brian and all cried foul about the "eroding" love by the fans for the team under Brandon, but the minute they hired Harbaugh and won 10 games, people were back in droves.  Sure, a couple of people might have not renewed, but fans are fickle and appealing to their loyalty seems foolish.  When the team was terrible, people stopped showing up and you saw some loosening around price points, but teams will only listen when their revenue actually goes down, not just the threat of it going down.

Michigan Arrogance

May 16th, 2017 at 4:35 PM ^

supply, meet demand. you guys should get along really well.


They charge what they charge b/c they can. The market clearly supports these prices. Section 1 drives me nuts on these things. He clearly espouses right wing views re: Title 9 and the Delany 20M bonus being what the market says is reasonable. But when he has to pay 1800 bucks in PLCs and tix and donations to get 50 yard line box seats, the market should be artificially deflated.


The question is, what to do with all this revenue. Build *another* academic center? Hire *more* coaches? Increase coaching salaries from 700k to 1.5 mil? There are only so many people with law degrees that can't find real jobs in "the law" and are subsequently landing as "compliance officers" at every college and U in the country (DIII and up). Pay the guys that generate this revenue XX 15-35k every year. Half into an annuity/trust for when they graduate/run out of eligibility.




Section 1.7

May 16th, 2017 at 5:21 PM ^

You are right about my criticism of Title IX.  Me, Don Canham and Bo Schembechler were all on the same page of that one.  And it was Michigan letterman and Republican President Gerald Ford who resisted the intense lobbying of Bo, Canham, and Darrell Royal and went ahead and signed the major piece of legislation enabling the modern codification of Title IX.

But even I don't know how I feel, about the Delany bonus, or coaching salaries, or the number of assistant athletic directors.  I have a lot of understanding and sympathy for the NCAA's regulatory task, so I am not even sure how I think about the number of "assistant athletic directors for compliance."  I started my commentary here off with the comment that I have questions, and would like a lot more disclosure, about Conference bonuses.  Beats me, why Jim Delany deserves a multi-million dollar bonus.

And I suppose that I am okay with paying what I am paying, if it was all going to football.  But it isn't.  Football, is paying for field hockey and water polo and volleyball.


Michigan Arrogance

May 17th, 2017 at 7:07 AM ^

And I suppose that I am okay with paying what I am paying, if it was all going to football.  But it isn't.  Football, is paying for field hockey and water polo and volleyball.



when you pay for things, the proprietor has no obligation to spend their revenue on what you demand they spend it on. If you don't like it, don't buy the product. but we all know that won't happen. why are we even arguing this?

Section 1.7

May 16th, 2017 at 2:22 PM ^

Gee whiz, with the "gobs of money" that roll into 1000 S. State Street, you'd think that they might lay off begging me for more.  And in fact demanding more, at PSD-renewal time.

There is lots of REVENUE in Michigan athletics.  More than $150 million.  There are lots of EXPENSES in Michigan athletics.  So close to the revenue number, that there is only a tiny operating surplus.  With a sizable debt service in the background.

The Athletic Department is literally begging for money every day of the year, and about 95,000 times a week in the fall.

I'd like to ask Warde Manuel to address the MGoBlog community with an answer to the question, "Are you really looking for clever ways to spend the gobs of money that you preside over?"


May 16th, 2017 at 2:38 PM ^

"you'd think that they might lay off begging me for more"

Why would you think that? This is America, there is never enough when it comes to the almighty green god.

"Are you really looking for clever ways to spend the gobs of money that you preside over?"

Would you actually believe the answer he gave you to this question? Why do you think there is more staff making infinitley more in salary than their counterparts did even five years ago? Why do you think schools are building all these outrageous facilites? How do you think UM got to go to Rome? (I know someone donated that money, but if bills were in danger of not getting paid...)

Football programs are raking in the dough. So much so that even after paying the bills for the rest of the athletic deparment there is still a surplus. So they hire more staff, for larger salaries, and build locker rooms where each locker has its own flat screen TV. Those are decidedly not the actions of people hurting for money.



May 16th, 2017 at 2:50 PM ^

The debt service is quite manageable, and is what most entities with large capital expenditures carry when rates are this low; nobody believes Michigan can't cover its debt, and it was more fiscally prudent to carry them now and allow more spending.

And even last year, with massive costs and strong-but-not-spectacular revenue, they still made a surplus of about $1.5MM.  

Michigan asks for money because everyone asks for money; if you (or others) are willing to hand it over, why should they stop?  I donate a small amount to the engineering college because I like what they are doing, and I don't think for a second they need that money to keep the lights on.


May 16th, 2017 at 2:55 PM ^

Yes, there are lots of expenses in Michigan athletics.  Much of which are gilded lilies and the upkeep on them.

Believe me, I would love to do a massive sanity check on college football, and say, look, you don't actually need all these millions, because you don't actually need to spend them.  But the funny thing about money is that once an organization starts spending it, it feels compelled to continue doing so, and will always, always look for ways to increase revenue before it has to decrease expenses.  Only when all avenues of revenue generation are exhausted will any organization cut expenses.

Section 1.7

May 16th, 2017 at 3:13 PM ^

"Believe me, I would love to do a massive sanity check on college football, and say, look, you don't actually need all these millions..."

Exactly.  "Paying players," creating a new expense/entitlement, adding (probably massively) to the complexity -- and especially the administrative complexity -- of managing college football is going in exactly the wrong direction.

My quoting you might make it seem like I am picking on you when the opposite is true.  We are in very powerful agreement.

I'd rather not simply vote with my wallet and inform the University of Michigan Athletic Department that the financial growth of college football got to be too much for me.  That is the point at which for me personally, it's "too late."

I'd rather go to Warde Manuel now, and let him know.  I'd rather lobby to head off any player-payment schemes before they get enacted.  Because we all know that they will never get un-enacted.

I have this hair-trigger response, to sports writers talking about paying players.  I go out of my way to shoot it down whenever it pops up.  The one advantage that Brian Cook has, unlike any regular sports writer, is that he actually knows what it means, to pay for tickets, and a PSD.



May 17th, 2017 at 12:43 PM ^

If you read through Section's many posts and replies on this excess money topic and how it should be distributed, you'll see numerous references to things like "social justice" and "entitlements"...

This topic is helpful not because M or college AD's in general will stop putting their hand out if a light is shined upon them, but because the topic of whether players "should" get some of these vast sums and how that might work has become code for how the individual posting feels about a whole rasher of current topics relevant in our society.

Soon the topic will be met with cries of "no politics" I'd guess...

Section 1.7

May 17th, 2017 at 3:42 PM ^

I would like to see college football players being less professionalized, not more. I'd like all intercollegiate athletes be more like regular students, with fewer demands on their time, not more. If the complaint is about compensating players for their enormous expense of time in their sport, then let's reduce it. If the complaint is that there is too much money in the game, then let's take that out too. As I mentioned before, our Athletic Department is in aggressive, non-stop fundraising mode.

This is not -- not even remotely -- any sort of political position. I suspect that I might not have much in common, politically, with John U. Bacon. (I don't know and have never asked, and probably would never ask.). But I think that this topic is one where Bacon and I would be in much agreement. Not political, but aesthetic agreement.

L'Carpetron Do…

May 16th, 2017 at 5:34 PM ^

there are lots of expenses but let's face it a lot of them are ridiculous.  You don't even have to pay the players a salary necessarily but give them something, especially football and basketball players. Shit ,even a stipend of $15K-$20K for each season they play would be fair and doable (a lot of schools can't do this but the ones who can should). And if you want to maintain the specter of amateurism, you can even place it in a fund they can't touch until they graduate.  And for star players like Peppers or McCaffrey, give them a cut of their jersey sales and put that in the fund too. You can't tell me that would bankrupt these conferences or programs.

Don't be fooled - this is extra money and a lot of these expenses are not necessary. It's an embarassment of riches out there. Didn't they just greenlight $14M for a reno of Schembechler Hall? The lacrosse facility (which I think is funded by a single donor) opens next year and that thing is completely necessary.

Iowa just finished a bonkers $55M reno of its football facility and even pays its strength coach $450K/year. Don't you think they could pay him half that or even $100K, which is generous , and they'll be OK?  And then give the rest to the players? I think so. And I'm not even going to start on Kirk's contract.

There's money. To think there isn't is plain foolishness.

Section 1.7

May 16th, 2017 at 6:08 PM ^

"They" have a lot of money.  "They" are making tons of money from tv, and apparel licensing.  "They" have gobs of money and need to find ways to spend it, they have so much.

I don't know about anybody else here, but I pay enough that I am motivated to follow the budget line items with more than a casual interest.

And the "they" is partly "me."  The two largest -- together dwarfing all others -- sources of revenue are ticket sales and PSD's and other gifts.  Not tv.  Not apparel and licensing.


Honk if Ufer M…

May 16th, 2017 at 8:51 PM ^

So instead of being outraged at the slavery and the slave owners and their disgusting and hypocritical exploitation profiteering of & from the slaves while they claim a ridiculous moral high ground and integrity in selling the "need" for "amateurism" ONLY on the part of the players, and blaming THEM for the obscene pricing of everything involved from tix to parking to food to merch, you draw the line and make your stand ONLY when it comes down to paying the ONLY people who bring in ALL the money and you can't see where the money will come from!

The whole country is so brainwashed from birth that nobody can think straight. Why does everyone simply go along with the idea that the income, salaries, bonuses and perks of owners and those at the top of each pyramid scheme filthy business are somehow sacrosanct and the idea that paying the slaves that pick your food or provide your entertainment and vicarious glory would necessarily, and should, be put on the backs of the consumer instead of coming out of the pockets of the dirty pigs who have been exploiting and profiteering all this time?

Shouldn't they be on chain gangs and the players/workers be the owners and cut out the middle man who steals from all sides called the boss?

Shouldn't they be in charge of their own work, their own money, their own health and safety conditions, they're (our) government, and consider the peoples and societies & the environments rights and needs as the prerequisites for doing business at all before thinking about profits? Then they would  give better products, services and performances for customers and people at half the prices by excising the cancer of the 1% & their sociopathic and destructive behavior from involvement and control.

Couldn't we just TRY democracy at least once before we go?

If those lying asshole fake news spewers think the sport should be pure and amateur than make it so completely with amateur/volunteer everyone and everything from coaching to broadcasting, administrating to selling shit.

Absolutely NO advertising or sponsorship. No labels or logos. Free tickets, free parking, free food, free M shit. Uninterrupted broadcasts without commercials or ads of any sort anywhere. Or give them scholarships if they want to go back to school, and the same stipend they give the players.

How can you watch corporate "people" pay their employees peanuts, and claim that's a fine and worthy living wage, and workers should be happy with it, but then somehow think it's some sort of a hardship if a CEO, exec, share holder, vulture, or a Coach has to cut back on their obscene wealth so that they only make a couple of hundred times what they pay the people who bring in all the money instead of 500 or 700 times, or infinity times when it comes to the unpaid? 

Do you think if the rules capped coaching salaries at, well any figure, half a mil, a quarter, 100k even, and for school and conference and NCAA administrators too, that suddenly there'd be nobody with any ability willing to do those jobs for those wages?

What if the players simply coached themselves or voted in coaches from among the team as player coaches, would you still watch?

This is as phony a "debate" as is every bullshit political "debate" we have in this country!

Gosh, all these perplexing issues, we simply can't come up with a fair way to do it, omg, can't figure it out! Just no way to solve it, what a quagmire! Glad they were SOMEHOW able to figure out how to pay themselves and each other though, phew! Musta had Einstein in on that one!!!



May 16th, 2017 at 2:40 PM ^

The "sky-rocketing prices and costs" are a chicken-and-egg situation, wherein the league gets close to half a billion in revenue from its various TV and media licensing deals, and each team has to find a way to spend that.  So it goes to administrative staffs, mid-level coaches, "new" facilities to replace the 10-year-old facilities built last cycle, etc.  So if you have a problem with rising ticket costs, so be it, but telling people they can't spend as much money as before because people don't want to pay as much for the event isn't a reality until people actually stop buying the product being sold.  

Delaney has fully vested his bonus rates, so he can now start receiving them.  Which is how they computed the $20MM+, and I highly doubt he won't be getting at least that in the coming years.  

And fine, let's ignore Title IX, but when you consider the fact that a linebacker coach/recruiter at Alabama nearly clears a million a year, and the guys he recruits and coaches get a small living stipend plus room+board, it is not beyond the pale to argue that perhaps some of the money that is generated by these guys on the field could be redistributed back to them.

But this is a dumb argument to have, because people have burrowed into side they want, and nobody is going to budge.  

Section 1.7

May 16th, 2017 at 5:24 PM ^

and I would never, ever be afraid to have an honest disagreement with Brian.  My disagreements with Brian are so few, that they are sort of fun for me.

Just don't try it, with Ramzy Nasrallah at 11W.

Pepto Bismol

May 16th, 2017 at 1:46 PM ^

Promising evaluation of Michigan Hockey commit Antonio Stranges is linked at the end.  In all of the 'pay the players' dead horse-beating, it appears Brian missed Michigan commit Jacob Truscott was also graded as one of just five "A" defensemen. 


May 16th, 2017 at 1:46 PM ^

I have a female patient, 26 years old, who has "FUCK IT" in the same spot.  The ink is already bleeding out into the surrounding tissue.  Looks awful.  Pain wouldn't be that big of a deal if you see me first and I could numb the entire area with two small shots.  Although I hear people have said about piercings, "The pain is why I do it.  The jewelry is just a souvenir.