Unverified Voracity Abandons The Field

Submitted by Brian on July 18th, 2013 at 1:16 PM


sometimes google image search is art

We are not worried about this frivolous lawsuit. NCAA Football is dead, you guys:

NCAA will not renew EA Sports contract

The NCAA has made the decision not to enter a new contract for the license of its name and logo for the EA Sports NCAA Football video game. The current contract expires in June 2014, but our timing is based on the need to provide EA notice for future planning. As a result, the NCAA Football 2014 video game will be the last to include the NCAA’s name and logo. We are confident in our legal position regarding the use of our trademarks in video games. But given the current business climate and costs of litigation, we determined participating in this game is not in the best interests of the NCAA.

Paired with the credit-rating downgrade the NCAA just received, that sounds like a team of lawyers running around in circles shouting "THINK OF SOMETHING" to each other. Most favored bomb-thrower Patrick Hruby:

What gives is lawyer-ese. The NCAA is never going to publicly say that the O’Bannon case has them scared, because that would imply they’ve done something wrong and therefore have reason to be afraid of adjudication. However, the current facts of the case don’t look good for it: O’Bannon’s claim is rooted allegations that the NCAA and co-defendants EA Sports and the Collegiate Licensing Company colluded to profit from the unauthorized use of former players’ NILs – price-fixing their value at zero – and documents uncovered by the plaintiffs’ lawyers during discovery strongly support said allegatioons.

The other tell? Check out the rest of the NCAA’s brief statement, which says that “given the current business climate and costs of litigation, we determined participating in this game is not in the best interests of the NCAA.” (Bold added.) In this case, current business climate and costs of litigation are lawyer-ese for ruh-roh.

Individual schools and conference can still license their trademarks to EA. Will they? I'm guessing yes, as Kotaku explains that most of the licensing is through the CLC, making the NCAA's decision "nearly a technicality."

If not get ready for EA Sports Football Type Substance And Incredibly Easy To Edit Thing 2015. Back in the day when I was playing the college version of Front Office Football I had to download a file to turn "South Bend" into "Notre Dame," and such, but it's a lot harder to import winged helmets than change names.

Shots fired. Will Muschamp is pretty cheesed off at Urbs, you guys. SEC Media days are ongoing, and Muschamp's turn at the tiller included this gem:

Muschamp, who succeeded Meyer as the Gators' coach, is even borrowing a page from Michigan coach Brady Hoke, who won't even call Ohio State by its full name.

"That's really a dead issue with me," Muschamp said Tuesday at SEC media days. "In both situations, we were turned in by Ohio. We didn't do anything wrong. The University of Florida didn't do anything wrong. And so we appreciated our friends from Ohio making sure we're compliant with NCAA rules. They certainly know a little bit about that subject."

That zing was followed up by a personal shot at Urban Meyer for fostering a murderer he is responsible for. No, seriously:

"You can’t expect a coach to know where all 125 players are all the time," Muschamp said. "But you also can’t stick your head in the sand and think everything is OK. You're 100 percent responsible."

Arrest Urban Meyer! Unless that would help his recruiting, which it might. Arrest Urban Meyer or take a picture of him checking out a Justin Beiber concert?

I hope you guys are better at real defense than computer defense. Ondre Pipkins played Dymonte Thomas in NCAA and came out with a screenshot that is just all kinds of wrong:


Are these 30 minute quarters? Why are you taking Ohio State? Why has Ohio State scored if that was the case? What is going on? IS URBS GOING TO FLIP DYMONTE?

Slive pushing. Self-interest, sure, but self interest in the name of providing a fig leaf of player compensation is better than the alternative:

"The NCAA has not been successful in meeting the full cost of attendance of our student athletes, whether through the so-called miscellaneous expense allowance or some other model that provides broad access to additional funds," said Slive, about to begin his 12th year as commissioner.

The issue, in a nutshell, is that some schools can afford to pay the stipend and some can't. Those that can't are able to keep the idea bottled up. Those that can, like schools in the SEC, are getting tired of it.

"Conferences and their member institutions must be allowed to meet the needs of their student-athletes," Slive said.

Slive followed up by saying that in meetings with other conference commissioners "there appears to be a willingness" to go through with a cost of attendance adjustment, at least until individual schools submarine it through the override process.

Mitch staying. SI spotlights Mitch McGary in a manner that'll get your salivary glands going:

When he submitted his name to the NBA's draft advisory board, McGary was told what he already suspected: He was a surefire first-round pick, and very possibly a lottery pick. The vast majority of college players would have jumped at that opportunity, but McGary defied convention and announced he would stay in school. "I want to prove to people that my potential is much greater than what I showed," McGary explained. "The way I look at it is, so far I've only cracked the glass. Next year I'm trying to break through it."

McGary is down to around 255 after starting last season twenty pounds heavier—too heavy—and you could see the increased stamina and athleticism late. That was the #2 recruit in the country, and Michigan figures to get that this year.

TSN's Mike DeCourcy, meanwhile, says McGary is still a load even at the lighter weight:

4. Jadeveon Clowney was a big topic of conversation at SEC Media Days. What current college hoops player could take your head off if he played football?

DeCourcy: Michigan’s Mitch McGary. Not messing with that dude. If Mitch had been the Wolverine in possession of that football instead of Vincent Smith back in the Outback Bowl, it might have been Clowney whose helmet went flying.

So much for that. If you were hoping that Fox Sports 1 would be an alternative to ESPN, it will, but not in the way you want:

…to differentiate FS1, to lend it personality and create a distinct brand, Fox is going with a concept that David Hill, chief executive officer of Fox Sports, calls “jockularity.” The plan is for FS1 to be the funny, irreverent, less serious sports channel.

Among other things, that involves hiring a couple of Canadian pranksters to anchor the network’s flagship program and building another show around Regis Philbin.

So much for that unless the Canadian is Norm Macdonald.

Never say die. The Big Ten has created a new bowl at Ford Field, but the Pizza Bowl guys won't let it die:

Ken Hoffman feels there’s no reason Ford Field can’t handle playing host to two bowl games starting in 2014.

Hoffman’s Little Caesars Pizza Bowl was on the outside looking in following the news Wednesday the Detroit Lions bowl game was official, starting Dec. 30, 2014, with a Big Ten team going up against a team from another power conference.

Guys. It's over.

Etc.: Eleven Warriors' guide to visiting Ann Arbor is seemingly designed to get you to dislike Ann Arbor, but I guess it's aimed at guys who get ATV catalogs. Pro sports attendance beginning to suffer in baseball and basketball. Average Boston Red Sox ticket cost: 88 dollars! FIFA can't sell the World Cup to pay-TV in the UK.

Music City Bowl will pit an SEC team versus an ACC/B10 team for the next five years. A la carte ESPN projected cost: 30 bucks. Thanks, people who don't care about sports but pay for ESPN anyway. Old man yells at cloud. Potential VCU rematch in the second round of Puerto Rico.



July 22nd, 2013 at 6:16 PM ^

til I looked at the bank draft four $6795, I have faith that...my... cousin was truly earning money part-time from there computar.. there aunt haz done this for only twenty three months and just took care of the mortgage on there villa and bought a great Land Rover Defender. go to, kep2.com


July 18th, 2013 at 1:35 PM ^

And you have to love how it ends. This:


Whatever you do, make sure you rub it in with class. We are Buckeyes, after all.

Immediately followed by this:


GODOFWARBUCKEYE on 18 JUL 2013 - 12:07PM #

This thread bloooowwwss!!! Screw tsun!! GO BUCKS!!!!!


French West Indian

July 18th, 2013 at 1:41 PM ^

Player compensation will never happen.  Universities will fight this to the death because they have zero-interest in fielding professional sports teams (and dealing with all the cans of worms that will open).


"a funny, irrererant, less serious sports channel"...say what?  The problem with ESPN is that it's already too funny & irreverant.


Why can't Detroit have two bowl games?  Pizza! Pizza!  Isn't two for the price of one the Little Caesar's way?



July 18th, 2013 at 1:45 PM ^

the problem with ESPN is that it's the only game in town and therefore is hated by everyone for all sorts of contradictory reasons. I've seen many people who think the problem with ESPN is that it takes itself too seriously and isn't as much "fun" as it was in the 90's, just like there are people who want ESPN to be more about hard news than personalities. If FS1 wants to claim that Craig Kilborn vibe for themselves, so be it. 


July 18th, 2013 at 3:21 PM ^

The problem with ESPN is not that it's too serious or that it's too funny.  The problem is all the fluff.  It's like the CNN of sports television, except that at least CNN has competition (of course their competition also has problems, but I don't want to start a political thread and be in big big trouble.)

I'd like ESPN better if they talked more about the actual sports themselves, not the hype, the gossip, the rumors, the controversies, the culture of athlete celebrity, etc.  I also don't care for the obsession with that small handful of big market teams to the point where 80 or 90% of other teams are barely discussed at all, even during really good seasons.  The Lakers sucked last year and still got more coverage than anyone in the NBA outside of the Heat.

I never held out much hope that the new Fox project would be what I was looking for in that regard.  I expect they'll also choose the fluff approach, hoping that their fluff of a different flavor will win us over.  All that said, someone needs to get Norm MacDonald's sports show back on the air.  If they're looking for Canadian pranksters, then Fox can have my viewership 30 minutes a week at least.

matty blue

July 18th, 2013 at 1:45 PM ^

"Arrest Urban Meyer or take a picture of him checking out a Justin Beiber concert?"

- how about we just blast josh groban at him from his front yard until he starts singing him at press conferences?


...and i hate to keep harping on this, but the pro sports ticketing problems are just a canary in a coal mine.  u-m (and other) ticket prices are a bubble that will eventually pop.  ain't no way people will continue to pay $75 to see akron.


July 18th, 2013 at 1:49 PM ^

Maybe they're playing as OSU to get a feel for their players when they do actually play them? I know it's just a video game simulation (a not-so-accurate one at that) but better than nothing?


July 18th, 2013 at 1:58 PM ^

...this route appears to require a Lake Erie transit. 

It's not Michigan week yet, not by a long shot. In fact, we actually have 44 days until football season even begins. But permit me the luxury of breaking out one of the oldest and most often repeated jokes that you typically hear during that week: Directions to Ann Arbor...north till you smell it, west till you step in it.

Stupid Buckeyes.

Colt McBaby Jesus

July 18th, 2013 at 3:48 PM ^

1.) Super original joke. Nice work 11W!

2.) This joke doesn't even imply anything bad about Ann Arbor. Personnaly, I think it smells delightful. Like deli's and football all in the same glorious location. Once you've smelled it, you will literally step into the city of Ann Arbor.

3.) Not even an insulting joke. Nice work 11W!


July 18th, 2013 at 2:00 PM ^

"…to differentiate FS1, to lend it personality and create a distinct brand, Fox is going with a concept that David Hill, chief executive officer of Fox Sports, calls “jockularity.” The plan is for FS1 to be the funny, irreverent, less serious sports channel."

I must admit my expectations were never that high, but that's still disheartening. I guess a sports channel devoted to actual intelligent analysis is just too much to hope for.


July 18th, 2013 at 2:06 PM ^

I think Onrait and Otoole have some real potential. I wouldn't be surprised if they endured a rough Conan O'brien-like teething period (not when Conan took over for Jay, but when Conan took over for Dave and took a year to get his feet under him). And if FS1 doesn't stick with them it might not matter. They can be pretty funny, though.

Brian briefly mentions the $30 a la carte ESPN cost estimate. That doesn't surprise me much, and it's actually a pretty big deal: it confirms that our chances of getting a la carte cable channels and saving any money is practically nil. Unless you only watch cable for the Food Network.


July 18th, 2013 at 2:41 PM ^

Those big bad meanies at the NCAA will finally no longer get to steal money out of the pockets of the poor widdle student-athletes with binkies in their mouths.  Now there will be no video game at all... everyone wins!

It wasn't as far back as Front Office Football that college athletes were stoked to play as themselves.  But enough people started whispering in their ears that they should be getting paid for this novelty, and finally a class action suit was drummed up to kill off the endeavour.

The sport itself will take longer to unpack because there is exponentially more money behind it than one video game franchise monopoly.  Expect this little episode to be a harbinger of things to come: it will be "social justice" criers demanding "equal rights" for "fair market value" that ultimately drives college sports out of the bottom half of competitive universities, who are not interested in bidding for semi-pro athletes.  Everything will be different in twenty years.


July 18th, 2013 at 2:41 PM ^

I don't think DeCourcy realizes that Vincent Smith was the toughest player on the team last year. A lesser back would have been out cold after that hit. Smith actually reached after the ball.

Also, it's silly to compare basketball players and football players like that.


July 18th, 2013 at 2:48 PM ^

I wish that ESPN a la carte article mentioned how they arrived at the $30 value. The circular logic in it also got to me - they talk about how many subscribers they would lose at the ridiculously high price, then talk about how much advertising revenue they would lose since they lost so subscribers. How about not charge as much so you don't lose as many subscribers and can still get higher advertising rates?


July 18th, 2013 at 3:32 PM ^

Every time the ala carte model comes up, the cable networks always exaggerate what the costs would be.  They HAVE to keep costs down under such a scenario or they are going to lose viewers, as they already are.  Not only are there more alternative forms of entertainment than ever competing with television, but there are alternative ways to watch what is on television without paying costs that the average consumer views as excessive.  Even at $10 a month, the more resourceful among us may choose to watch our sports online instead, even in spite of the potential legal issues.  But $30 a month is going to push a LOT of customers down that road.  It is only going to get easier to do, not harder.  TV can bang their heads against the wall like the music industry and feel sorry for themselves because new technology is so big and scary and unfair, or they can adapt and evolve.  Part of that evolution includes not charging $30 for any individual cable channel.  They'll find a way to get that price down if and when the day comes where cable is ala carte.  Failure to do so is only hurting themselves.



Colin M

July 18th, 2013 at 3:33 PM ^

I didn't read the whole report, but the descriptions I have read made it seem like a very simplistic analysis. Basically, they just calculated the total revenue from subscription fees and then estimated the price level that would result in enough demand in an a la carte environment to replicate their current subscription revenue. 

I'm not convinced, however, that charging 20M households $30/month is the profit maximizing decisions. With only 20% of the viewership, I'm guessing the NFL would rethink it's decision to put MNF on ESPN. Likewise, other sports leagues, as well as collegiate conferences/teams would reconsider their affiliations/contracts. That could lead to a severe degradation in content quality that would hurt their brand as the WWL, which could lead to some of the 20M households dropping their subscription. At that point, would they raise rates further and chase off their few remaining subscribers?

It seems more likely that they would seek to moderate their initial price offering in order to minimize losses in their subscription base. Obviously, that will hurt revenue and profits, but it's better than the whole thing going under. I have to believe that someone in Bristol is smart enough to realize this. I'm guessing they would also try to use some price discrimination methods, but the overall point stands.


July 18th, 2013 at 4:15 PM ^

Let's not lose track of the fact that ESPN is not commercial free.  They lose subscribers, they lose viewership.  They lose viewership, they lose ad revenue.  Pricing something like ESPN would be tricky business and would also likely include a voluntary revenue loss to keep viewers from trying cheaper alternatives of which there are several popping up.  If NBC or FOX put together a suite of channels for one price their fledgling sports networks would have the chance that ESPN really doesn't want to give them.  This also does not address legal or illegal means of watching what we want for free mentioned above.

Wee-Bey Brice

July 18th, 2013 at 3:48 PM ^

I'm sure he chose Ohio because you can successfully run for your life with Braxton when the pocket collapses. Once he participates in the Game he won't be able to stomach playing with them ever again though


July 18th, 2013 at 5:24 PM ^

I gotta hand it to Eleven Warriors...of all the attractions in Ann Arbor that I've recommended to  visitors, the Henry Ford Museum has never, ever crossed my mind.


July 18th, 2013 at 5:44 PM ^

Not really $30. ESPN would not really cost $30 because consumers wouldn't buy it at $30. That number is just what ESPN would want to charge to keep their current money flow intact and pay off all of these massive agreements they've made. Guess what: if consumers won't pay that rate they won't get that rate, and ESPN will go the way every business that has tied itself to bundled cable ought to go. This is a classic example of a company operating outside their actual value. People want to pay $6/month to have ESPN a la carte, or they don't want to pay that. The sooner Disney realizes that is their real market, the more likely they'll be to survive. The last thing they'll admit in public right now, however, is that they're all making way too much money because they've been cheating the system.


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