Freep article on SEC hypocrisy

Submitted by StephenRKass on January 26th, 2017 at 9:36 AM

The Freep has an article this morning on the hypocrisy of SEC and ACC coaches whining about Spring Break practice in Florida. "What about the kids?" rings very hollow when they have no problem with kids giving up Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Winter Break, etc., but somehow, Spring Break is sacrosanct. It's all about a recruiting advantage, and keeping Michigan (and other northern interlopers) out of their territory.

There isn't much new ground in the article. And there is one factual inaccuracy:  the Rome trip is happening not over Spring Break but after finals and the term is over. Still, I don't think there was a single snarky comment about JH or Michigan in the piece.

LINK:  Shutting down spring break trips for Michigan football shows hypocrisy

Here's some of the content for those of you who refuse to go to a Freep link:

Really, this is nothing more than a battle for potential recruits. Schools in talent-rich areas don’t want to give up their geographical advantage. Plain and simple.
As soon as Harbaugh announced he was headed to Florida last year, coaches — primarily in the ACC and SEC — started complaining. Their conference commissioners complained, too. Greg Sankey asked the NCAA to stop teams from practicing during spring break. Last week, he got his wish, when the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee voted to ban the practice.
Sankey wasn’t concerned about the well-being of Michigan football players. He didn’t care that they might lose out on frolicking in the sand somewhere or whatever else they’d be doing if Harbaugh hadn’t dragged them down to Florida.
Sankey didn’t want Harbaugh — or any other Northern interloper with a brand name — coming down and setting up shop in the most fertile recruiting area in the country.



January 26th, 2017 at 9:53 AM ^

Or will eventually.

There's a very real risk in killing the goose that laid the golden egg.  If college football devolves into a small handful of teams that dominate year after year, then national interest to start to taper off.

It'll take more than a few years to see this effect.  My opinion is we're already seeing the front edge of this.


January 26th, 2017 at 10:02 AM ^

That's an interesting argument. It does strike me that basically, top recruits are largely choosing to go to Bama, OSU, Georgia, USC, Michigan, Clemson, LSU, FSU, Florida, Texas, Washington, ND. The playing field is such that I don't see how the likes of the bottom half of the Big 10, Pac 10, ACC, SEC really have a chance to compete. Something is unhealthy about that.


January 26th, 2017 at 10:16 AM ^

Notre Dame wishes that was true.

But let me disagree with you.

It's even more stark with basketball -- the top 10 go to Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, and maybe MSU (or maybe not anymore) or Arizona.  Then it's everybody else.  Yet... the NCAA tournament is still doing ok.

You can make this argument about "dynasties" in any sport.  The EPL for 15 or so years has been completely dominated by a total of 6 teams in 3 cities, other than last year's massively outrageous title.  Yet it's the world's most popular domestic league.  Other highly-popular futbol leagues are dominated by 1, 2 or 3 teams year after year (La Liga; Bundesliga; Serie A; etc.).  Doesn't seem to kill that.

NFL has dynasties (FUELED BY TOM TERRIFIC).  Hockey has had them.  Basketball.  I'm not sure having college football dominated by a handful of schools is necessarily bad for marketing.


January 26th, 2017 at 10:21 AM ^

But basketball is a little different than football. You can literally have a single player choose to "go in a different direction" and pick a team not in that upper echelon, and have that team immediately become an NC contender. That is very, very unlikely in football, where you could theoretically have the greatest player ever suffer through a 6-6 season because the team around them is mediocre. Put Lebron James circa 2002 with 4 functional parts who never sniff the NBA, and that team is suddenly top 5, at least... 


January 26th, 2017 at 10:39 AM ^

The other difference is that in basketball, the very top recruits leave for the NBA after their freshman year, before they have had much chance to develop their skills or bodies.  Alabama and OSU have the benefit of keeping their 5-star recruits for at least 3 years.  That's why teams like Louisville (13), Villanova (16), and the mid-majors like Wichita State can compete against the truly elite programs, whereas in college football the same 10 teams will make up at least 3/4ths of the CFP every single year.


January 26th, 2017 at 10:47 AM ^

but 2 other things to consider when talking about Alabama-like dynasties and their effect on College Football are:

1. The number of teams competing makes a difference.
NFL 32 teams, EPL 20 teams, plus lower league, etc. other leagues are similar.

2. $

You've got like 130 Div 1 football teams, all competing for 1 championship.  Then you have unequal (or non existant) revenue sharing, no AD market caps (Dabo-land, Harbaugh's salary)

It makes it virtually impossible for the have-nots to have any kind of sustained success even if lightning struck and they were able to have a magic season.

A bad EPL example: Man United is worth 7 times what NewCastle is.  But in college football, there are roughly a dozen Man Uniteds and well over 100 poor NewCastles.  It's the worst of both worlds

I'm not saying college football has to be fair, but such inequality is unsustainable long-term.


January 26th, 2017 at 11:11 AM ^

in college football and I agree it is slowly and will continue to hurt the game. I hear more and more people saying who really cares anymore, it's always Alabama, Clemson and OSU playing for the NC. Everyone else can fight for the 4th playoff spot and get smoked in the semi-final game. They have the best talent and always have the top classes in recruitng. Alabama is a huge favorite to win it next year..... yawn....

At least in major sports you have salary caps and worst teams get top draft picks, then if your team sucks you might have a chance to build up in a few years, but in college football the best teams keep getting the best players, money and facilities and it never seems to change.

Not sure what the answer is, other then restrict recruiting. Have a consesus on who the top players in the country are and say if your in the NC playoffs your next recruiting class can have no 5 star players and a limited number of 4 starts. The next 20 teams can only have 1 5 star and also limit the number of 4 stars and so on so talent is spread out.

I know this would never fly as you can't restrict a kid to what college they can or can't go to, but I wish there was a little more equality in the game.


January 26th, 2017 at 10:29 AM ^

I'll agree about ND not getting the best players. I was just going off the top of my head, without stats.

I will say, if the National Championship is basically Bama, OSU, Clemson, FSU, I don't think it would be good.

The difference with basketball, as pointed out, is that one, better two, dominant players make more of a difference. Football is much more of a team game, imhe, and you have to have a team of solid players to complete.

As regards the professional leagues, I'm assuming they are almost all in major metro areas with large populations. Dynasties can be supported by NYC, Chicago, LA, perhaps Boston. But there's a reason you don't see a dynasty happening in Oklahoma City or Buffalo. When you look at the SEC, and ACC, they largely are not in huge metro areas. And in many ways, they're the only game in town. If the national championship largely is comprised of teams from the southeast, I think you will eventually see waning interest in major metro areas. But who knows.


January 26th, 2017 at 11:07 AM ^

I'm one of those people. I watch as many games during the first weekend as I can, in the hopes of seeing a Southeast North Dakota Tech take a UCLA down - or at least, down to the wire. But by the second weekend, unless there's an underdog or two still in the mix, I can take it or leave it. The Elite Eight usually has a a big "been there, seen that" aspect that makes me start flipping channels.


January 26th, 2017 at 12:06 PM ^

By the Monday night comes around and it's Kentucky vs Duke I
don't even care to watch. The one and dones have ruined college bball.

Because Kentucky and Duke and Kansas were not dominant prior to the NBA's one-year rule? Puh-leeze.

In the last five years, 15 different teams have taken up the 20 Final Four slots.


January 26th, 2017 at 4:12 PM ^

Big schools bring big ratings. Even in college basketball big names brign higher ratings.  Upsets are fun, but the following week when you're stuck with Gonzaga instead of Duke...or in football a Michigan State instead of Ohio State, interest wanes.

College football is different than pros anyways because alumni are spread out, with more being created every year.  Alabama has no pro team nearby.  They have almost the entire state for fans, plus teh alumni that have left and will watch Bama regardless. Let's say Detroit is half Blue, half green.  I live in DC, there are A LOT of M fans here.  Michigan wins every year, they will have high numbers. People will watch to support or people will watch and hope they lose..but they will watch.  

See: Patriots ratings, LeBron in Miami etc. Schools have always been in rural areas and it's never affected fandom 


January 26th, 2017 at 1:13 PM ^

Small pool of contenders plus the "if you ain't first you're last!" line of thinking that has infected sports due to the 24/7 national and local hot take economy.

All the weekly CFP talk and focus makes the rest of college football more and more meaningless to fans, best manifested in the "playoff has the only bowl games that matter" takes. Fans need to be able to enjoy the journey and non-championship seasons; there are just too many damn teams.

Imagine the hot takes if Bo coached his 21 years in this millennium without winning it all.


January 26th, 2017 at 10:35 AM ^

I get the Freep hate. But not being in the Detroit area, I don't care as much. I respect those who have such high moral principles, they will never click a Freep link. Being starved for Michigan news, I don't have such scruples.

IIRC, Section 1 eventually cracked because of Freep hatred.

Perkis-Size Me

January 26th, 2017 at 10:29 AM ^

Because football is the money maker. Basketball can be at some schools, but football is the undisputed king.

Bringing these top recruits in indirectly can affect a school's bottom line (sickening, but a harsh reality). If the water polo team goes and sets up a satellite camp in California, no one cares, because there is no $$ to be won or lost by almost any party in that event.

This was never about the well being of student athletes. Never was and never will be. This is about the greed of the SEC in wanting to keep others out.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


January 26th, 2017 at 5:17 PM ^

Solution: do it anyway, then say you didn't. Works for the SEC...

"Jim, did you take your team to Florida over spring break?"


"Jim, you were photographed in Florida with your team."

"I was not in Florida for spring break"

"It was in the news. You talked to the press and challenged a reporter to a hot dog eating contest."


"We have invoices from your university showing team expenses over spring break."

"No you don't"

"Jim, you know you broke a rule."

"Go away"

"Jim, we have to come down on you for this..."

"Go away"

"We can't just let this go. Something has to happen here"



"...want to have a hot dog eating contest?"


January 26th, 2017 at 10:18 AM ^

in athletics, corporations, politics etc.


Those is control don't care as long as the $$$ keeps coming.  When the "oversight" is corrupt the system is broken.


January 26th, 2017 at 10:25 AM ^

Harbaugh is not going to let up. I find it funny how scared the south is. There is plenty of northern talent also. Michigan is close. The flood gates have not opened just yet, but once a NC has been won they will. Alabama will trend down eventually as their coach is long in the tooth. It is definitely about recruiting, but it also an extreme hate for Harbaugh and Michigan and really the north in general. Shame power five schools do not have to be held to the same academic standards as this would balance things out also. They do not want to lose to a northern school no matter who it is. They fear meyer just as much as Harbaugh and maybe more as he has Florida ties.

father fisch

January 26th, 2017 at 10:31 AM ^

I'll be very surprised if we do not end up with a research campus in Florida within a year.  I'm sure the university has the money to buy some property, erect a few buildings, and give students a place to conduct research.  Of course, on this property will be state of the art practice facilities because all work and no play makes for dull boys!