Posted on: March 10, 2012 4:45 pm
It's not the (Dodds and) End(s) of the world. I've moved. Please follow me to my new blog site here.
In the meantime, consider that clever pun above. Thanks for following. See you on the other side.
Posted on: February 29, 2012 6:39 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 6:53 pm
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said his school and Kansas will play again “when common sense takes over emotion.”
Pinkel has been a strident supporter of keeping the KU-Missouri series alive as the Tigers head to the SEC. The argument between the two sides over the century-old rivalry has, if anything, increased after Saturday’s basketball game in Lawrence. KU’s overtime win may be the last meeting of the two schools in a major sport. Kansas has said it has no interest in playing Missouri since it is leaving the Big 12.
“It will be a great continued rivalry and it could happen this year if we really wanted it to happen,” Pinkel said. “It’s all choices. We’re ready to do it anytime.”
The war of words between the two camps isn’t going to end anytime soon. At the end of interview on other subjects Wednesday in his office, Pinkel reacted to a quote from Bill Self after Saturday’s hoops games.
“It’s not the same,” Self said of the rivalry continuing. “Missouri has got to market their future. We’re their past.”
Pinkel said he is convinced that the schools will play again in football and basketball. The rivals have played since 1892 in football and 1907 in basketball.
“There will come a time when, without question, that in Kansas City at the beginning of the football season, hopefully Missouri and Kansas will play,” he said. “That will happen sometime, when common sense takes over emotion. There is sometime when, in Kansas City, Mo., KU and Mizzou will play basketball too.”
The teams have played a neutral-site football game at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium since 2007. There is speculation the schools could meet in the future for a non-conference basketball game at Kansas City’s Sprint Center. There is still a possibility the teams could meet at next week’s Big 12 tournament and, less likely, in the NCAA tournament.
“That rivalry can last forever and ever and ever,” Pinkel said. “It gets kind of comical after a while the more you hear about it, especially when you hear it coming from Kansas City.”
Some Missouri supporters in and around Kansas City had been more vocal about staying in the Big 12 than in other parts of the state. The Big 12 traces its basketball tournament roots in Kansas City back to 1977 in the old Big Eight. The four-year-old Sprint Center was built, in part, as a way to keep that tournament in town.
“Everywhere in the state, everyone has kind of accepted it and you go into Kansas City – and Kansas City is a great city for Mizzou football and basketball – [but] after a while [pausing] … it’s going to happen,” Pinkel said. “When common sense takes over and we relax a little bit why would it not?"
Posted on: February 28, 2012 6:32 pm
It appears Oregon and the NCAA could be heading toward summary disposition of the Will Lyles case. Two sources with extensive experience in NCAA investigations told CBSSports.com they believe that to be the case after reading documents released by Oregon last week in the Lyles case.
That would be somewhat positive news for a football program concerned about major sanctions surrounding the questionable $25,000 payment to Lyles for his recruiting expertise. Summary disposition essentially means that the NCAA and a school agree on a basic set of facts in a major infractions case. The school proposes its own penalties. In such an occurrence, Oregon would avoid an appearance before NCAA infractions committee, which would have to agree to summary disposition.
Such a decision would also cut down significantly on the length of the case. Oregon has been under investigation since September.
The fact that Oregon has “agreed” to three of the seven violations released after a public records request last week – the other four are redacted – is a sign that summary disposition could be on the way. Neither the Oregon nor the NCAA would confirm that assertion.
“When I read that [Oregon documents] I said, ‘Hey, it looks like they’re beginning the process of going to summary,” said Michael Buckner, a South Florida-based attorney with 13 years experience assisting schools through NCAA investigations.
His research showed eight cases disposed of by summary disposition in 2011. That includes the notable West Virginia case decided in July. In both the Oregon and West Virginia cases, it was found that the number of football coaches exceeded the permissible limit in various activities.
If nothing else, summary disposition would signal a lack of contentiousness between the NCAA and Oregon.
“Basically what you’re doing, you don’t have to go to [an infractions committee] hearing,” Buckner said. “You’re not spending all the time and money for a hearing. Secondly, you’re trying to predict by putting down on paper and agreeing on sanctions.”
Summary disposition was a tool added a few years ago to streamline the investigative process. From the NCAA website: Summary disposition is a cooperative process between the school, involved individuals and the NCAA enforcement staff. If these groups agree about the facts and the penalties presented in the report, an in-person hearing may be averted depending on the Committee of Infractions. The COI reviews the report in private and decides to either accept the findings and penalties or conduct an expedited hearing. A school that would become a repeat-violator cannot use the summary disposition process and must go before the Committee on Infractions.
Oregon is not believed to be a repeat violator which would make the program eligible for enhanced penalties. To be eligible, a school would have to have a major violation in its athletic department during the past five years.
Since that formal investigation began in September, Oregon has not so much as received a notice of allegations from the NCAA, which would signal the next step of the investigation. But the documents in question could be a draft version of that notice. In fact, the second of two four-page documents is labeled, “Revised Draft for discussion purposes.”
While Oregon could face major penalties from the case, the fact that it has “agreed” to wrongdoing in the documents is different from more combative language where the NCAA would have “alleged” wrongdoing.
“Once the school tells them, ‘Yes, we want to go summary disposition, they change it from, ‘it is alleged’ to , ‘that it is agreed,’ said another source familiar with the NCAA enforcement process. “That’s what the language [in the Oregon documents] would suggest.”
In the documents, Oregon agrees that …
--In 2008 and 2009 it paid $6,500 and $10,000 to Elite Scouting Services and received reports from Lyles and partner Charles Fishbein
--In 2009 paid $3,745 for service from New Level Athletics and its rep Baron Flenory.
--In 2010 paid $25,000 for a subscription to Complete Scouting Services and reports from Lyles. The service “did not disseminate” recruiting information at least four times per year in violation of NCAA rules.
--From 2009-2011 the program had one more coach out recruiting than allowed.
--There was a failure to monitor football’s use of recruiting services.
Here are those Oregon proposed findings of violations released last week after Freedom of Information Act requests from media outlets.
The Lyles story was broken almost a year ago by Yahoo! It centered on running back Lache Seastrunk who has since transferred to Baylor. Lyles later told Yahoo! that Oregon coach Chip Kelly “scrambled” urging Lyles to produce retroactive recruiting evaluations to justify the $25,000 expense.
You can find a further definition of summary disposition in the NCAA Manual here on page 401.
The NCAA has stepped its enforcement procedures regarding third-party influences in football recruiting. Last year it established a football investigation arm headed by a former Indianapolis deputy police chief.
Posted on: February 27, 2012 12:17 pm
The BCS is interested in bringing in two high-profile television consultants as they move to the next level of reconfiguring college football’s postseason beginning in 2014.
CBSSports.com has learned that respected industry consultant Chuck Gerber is expected to be consulting with the BCS. Sports Business Journal reported separately on Monday that Gerber and Dean Jordan of Wasserman Media Group “were finalizing negotiations” to work with the BCS.
Bringing in TV consultants is the next step in the reshaping of that postseason. The moves would suggest the BCS commissioners are ready to begin pricing postseason models. CBSSports.com reported last week that a four-team plus-one could be worth as much as $500 million per season in the new contract. The current ESPN contract pays the BCS $125 million per year through the 2013 season (2014 bowls). The BCS distributed approximately $180 million to its members in 2011.
Both men are considered at, or near, the top of the profession. Gerber was hired four years ago by the SEC as a consultant after working at ESPN for 15 years. His work helped land the conference a 15-year, $3 billion deal with ESPN and CBS. The deal was finalized in July 2009. Jordan most recently worked with Conference USA and the Mountain West on the merging of those conferences beginning in 2013.
Sports Business Journal reported that Gerber is currently an independent consultant. Per its website Wasserman Media Group is a “sports and entertainment marketing company with expertise in, among other areas, media rights. The company has six worldwide offices including (in the U.S.) Raleigh, N.C. New York, Los Angeles and Carlsbad, Calif.
While the commissioners could stay with the current model, but it is widely assumed that the postseason will be expanded in 2014. Three plus-one models appear to be most attractive:
--Semifinals on campus sites with the championship game at a neutral site. This model is now supported by both Jim Delany of the Big Ten and Larry Scott of the Pac-12.
--The entire plus-one played at neutral sites. In both cases those sites would be bid out. Likely interested cities would include Dallas, Atlanta, Detroit and Indianapolis.
--A plus-one within the bowl system. Current BCS bowls – perhaps with additions – would rotate semifinals and championship games.
The games are expected to be played after Dec. 21 with the championship game to be played as close to Jan. 1 as possible. Last week’s BCS meetings in Dallas did not include TV consultants.
Posted on: February 26, 2012 7:00 pm
Former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese had pointed criticism for what he believes is behind conference realignment Sunday during an interview on SiriusXM satellite radio.
Tranghese said that he expects more school movement because “it’s almost like people can’t help themselves.” He added that if there is blame to go around, it should be directed to school presidents.
“I think point fingers at coaches, I think pointing fingers at television, point fingers at commissioners, it’s a joke,” Tranghese said during the interview. “The presidents are in charge.”
Tranghese, 67, remains one of the most respected figures in college athletics. He joined the Big East at its creation in 1979 before retiring as commissioner in 2009. Last year he told The Sporting News, “I would have worked another four or five years. I knew all this stuff was coming. I knew it wasn’t ending. I knew the football structure of the Big East was fragile. It’s a hard way to operate. The problem with Big East football is they didn’t win enough games.”
Here are Tranghese’s most interesting comments on SiriusXM.
SiriusXM: It looks to me as if maybe that (conference expansion) now has slowed down a bit. From your perspective how do you see where we are at right now?"
Tranghese: "I think it is temporary … I think there is going to be more movement. I just think that it's almost like people can't help themselves. Without mentioning specific conferences I just think there's going to be more movement. I think the conferences that have moved recently are probably going to move again.
“I mean, if you're willing to go from 12 to 14 [teams] then you're going to be willing to go from 14 to 16. And I think there's going to be more money when you do that. But I think there's a real negative side. We're heading for supposedly these five super conferences with 16 teams. At the end of the day … I think all it does is create more losers. It doesn't create more winners. It creates more losers.
“You're not playing true double-round robin in basketball anymore. You can't even play everybody in football anymore. I think the rivalries get diminished. It's hard for me to be objective because I'm a Big East person and we've been hit and we've been ripped apart and I know the effect it has had on a lot of people, a lot of good people. Now, some other people have probably benefitted from it but if that's what college athletics is all about then I'm missing the message because, you know, we're in the business of educating. Even the way some people leave has been somewhat distasteful to me. We're supposed to be setting examples and educating kids. I think the only message we're sending 'em is: ‘If you can make more money, do what you have to do.’ “
SiriusXM: "I get the feeling as if, maybe appropriately, you're saying it is easy to point the finger of accountability towards TV..."
Tranghese: "Oh, I don't blame TV at all...I point them at presidents … In 1990, they took over college athletics and said they were in charge. They're in charge, therefore they are responsible. They're the ones …
“I think pointing fingers at coaches, I think pointing fingers at television, pointing fingers at commissioners, it's a joke. The presidents are in charge. When an institution picks up and leaves to go to another conference and leaves the other members that it's been in partnership with for a long time, there is no athletic director who is making that decision on his own. It is ultimately being made by a board who is being directed and driven according to what the president wants.
“Therefore, if people like what's going on they ought to applaud the presidents. If they don't like it they ought to criticize the presidents. But the presidents seem to not be in the firing line at all. I find that almost comical. Because they yelled and screamed that college athletics was in trouble at the end of the 80's and they said we're taking over. That's when the whole governing structure of the NCAA was reconfigured and the presidents now form the board, they have the ultimate control, they have the ultimate control over conferences, obviously the ultimate control over institutions. If we're going to point a finger, they are the ones to point the fingers at."
Posted on: February 22, 2012 4:10 pm
DALLAS – The bullet points posted for BCS commissioners in a Grand Hyatt conference room Wednesday aren’t anything you haven’t seen or read before.
When considering reshaping college football’s postseason, the commissioners were reminded they must …
Improve the game of college football … enhance the experience for the student-athlete … Make it acceptable to the public.
Those are some of the playing rules. Those BCS commissioners left their latest meeting here having moved the ball only a few yards in what amounts to only a postseason scrimmage at this point. While they seem to have settled on no more than a four-team postseason model beginning in 2014, some of the issues are becoming clearer.
Revenue: CBSSports.com learned Wednesday that early projections are that a plus-one could be worth as much as double compared to the current BCS. That would be approximately $360 million based on 2011 distribution of $180 million.
But that’s without knowing if games would be played on campus, in the bowls or bid out to cities like the Super Bowl. The general assumption is that the money would be huge. I reported earlier in the week that a seeded, four-team plus-one could be worth $250 million-$500 million per year.
Access points: The idea of only conference winners being eligible is still on the table, mostly because it hasn’t been discussed to any broad degree. The idea has the interest of at least one commissioner.
In 10 of the 14 years the BCS has been in existence, at least one team that did not earn its conference’s BCS automatic berth ended ranked in the top four. If only conference winners were allowed in a plus-one in 2011, No. 2 Alabama and No. 4 Stanford would not have been eligible.
Rose Bowl: The 800-pound tournament float in the room. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is determined to keep the tradition and history of the Rose Bowl in a new postseason. Remember, the Rose, Big Ten and Pac-10 had to be dragged into joining the BCS. In essence, college football would not be at this point in history had not the bowl and its partners reluctantly agreed to open its bowl to the BCS.
While Delany has been adamant about keeping the Rose-Big Ten-Pac-12 connection, it was interesting to hear Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott on Wednesday. I asked him if he could ever envision the Rose Bowl game being a national semifinal.
“I’m not going to comment on hypotheticals,” he said.
The exam thing: The commissioners don’t want to play these games until after a general exam period that runs to Dec. 21. They want the season to end as close to Jan. 1 as possible. Using that window, here’s how a plus-one might look in 2014, the first year it could be played:
The weekend of Friday, Dec. 26 is a good place to start for the semifinals. Yes, that’s the day after Christmas, but teams have played on Thanksgiving for years. And Nick Saban isn’t going to fly Alabama in the night before the game just so his players can open their presents at home. It’s something we’re going to have to live with.
That leaves the championship game for Friday, Jan. 2 or Monday, Jan. 4, 2014. We’re assuming that the NFL would have dates tied up on Saturday and Sunday. College football bowls traditionally stay as far away as possible from going head-to-head with the NFL.
Ranking the teams: Another assumption -- the current system would stay in place with a plus-one – coaches poll, Harris poll, computers.
But Delany said even that subject has barely been discussed.
“Too early. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time talking about rankings …,” he said. “If there is a way to improve the poll that’s great. It’s been a pretty phenomenal kind of mechanism for building interest.”
“The level of understanding is modest in the sense that we have no idea what the marketplace would say, what the bowls would say, what the television people would say,” he added. “We’re just trying to understand conceptually what the pieces are. It will take months to test those kinds of options and ideas with presidents and athletic directors.
“It’s at the very beginning.”
The commissioners next meet here March 26. The annual BCS meeting is April 24-26 in Hollywood, Fla. The discussion could last late into the year. ESPN has an exclusive negotiating window for the new postseason model in the fall.
Posted on: February 17, 2012 3:52 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 5:34 pm
Former SEC commissioner Roy Kramer advocated taking only conference champions for any kind of postseason structure starting in 2014.
Just for giggles I went back and used only conference champions (or BCS automatic qualifier in the case of ties) in figuring both the current 1 vs. 2 game and a Plus One. Three times in 14 years, the 1 vs. 2 BCS title game would have been different. In 10 of 14 years, at least one team in the top four would have had to be replaced. In 2011, there would have been two – Alabama and Stanford.
Here’s how BCS title games and a Plus One would have looked if only conference champions were allowed, 1998-2011:
1998 championship: No. 1 Tennessee vs. No. 2 Florida State (same)
1998 Plus One: No. 1 Tennessee vs. No. 5 UCLA; No. 2 Florida State vs. No. 4 Ohio State
Not included: No. 3 Kansas State.
1999 championship: No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 2 Virginia Tech (same)
1999 Plus One: No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 4 Alabama; No. 2 Virginia Tech vs. No. 3 Nebraska
2000 championship: No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 2 Florida State (same)
2000 Plus One: No. 1 Oklahoma vs. Washington; No. 2 Florida State vs. No. 3 Miami
2001 championship: No. 1 Miami vs. No. 3 Colorado
2001 Plus One: No. 1 Miami vs. No. 8 Illinois; No. 3 Colorado vs. No. 4 Oregon
Not included: No. 2 Nebraska, No. 5 Florida, No. 6 Tennessee, No. 7 Texas
2002 championship: No. 1 Miami vs. No. 2 Ohio State (same)
2002 Plus One: No. 1 Miami vs. No. 6 Washington State; No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Georgia
Not included: No. 4 USC, No. 5 Iowa
2003 championship: No. 2 LSU vs. No. 3 USC
2003 Plus One: No. 2 LSU vs. No. 7 Florida State; No. 3 USC vs. No. 4 Michigan
Not included: No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 5 Ohio State, No. 6 Texas
2004 championship: No. 1 USC vs. No. 2 Oklahoma (same)
2004 Plus One: No. 1 USC vs. No. 6 Utah; No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Auburn
Not included: No. 4 Texas, No. 5 California
2005 championship: No. 1 USC vs. No. 2 Texas (same)
2005 Plus One: No. 1 USC vs. No. 7 Georgia; No. 2 Texas vs. No. 3 Penn State
Not included: No. 4 Ohio State, No. 5 Oregon, No. 6 Notre Dame
2006 championship: No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 2 Florida (same)
2006 Plus One: No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 6 Louisville; No. 2 Florida vs. No. 5 USC
Not included: No 3. Michigan, No. 4 LSU
2007 championship: No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 2 LSU (same)
2007 Plus One: No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 4 Oklahoma; No. 2 LSU vs. No. 3 Virginia Tech
2008 championship: No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 2 Florida (same)
2008 Plus One: No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 6 Utah; No. 2 Florida vs. No. 5 USC
Not included: No. 3 Texas, No. 4 Alabama
2009 championship: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 2 Texas (same)
2009 Plus One: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 TCU; No. 2 Texas vs. No. 3 Cincinnati
2010 championship: No. 1 Auburn vs. No. 2 Oregon (same)
2010 Plus One: No. 1 Auburn vs. No. 5 Wisconsin; No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 3 TCU
Not included: No. 4 Stanford
2011 championship: No. 1 LSU vs. No. 3 Oklahoma State
2011 Plus One: No. 1 LSU vs. No. 10 Wisconsin; No. 3 Oklahoma State vs. No. 5 Oregon
Not included: No. 2 Alabama, No. 4 Stanford, No. 6 Arkansas, No. 7 Boise State, N. 8 Kansas State, No. 9 South Carolina
Tags: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, BCS, BCS, Boise State, Cal, Cincinnati, Colorado, Colorado, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Illinois, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Penn State, Roy Kramer, South Carolina, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin
Posted on: February 16, 2012 5:05 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 9:08 am
The enduring image of Karl Benson will be his practically skipping through the University of Phoenix Stadium press box on Jan. 1, 2007.
Boise State had just shocked Oklahoma, college football and the world. The commissioner of the Broncos’ league was along for the ride. Karl Benson, a former Boise State shortstop, had just seen the gosh-darndest thing in his life. Along with the rest of us.
He was proud that his lowly-but-proud Western Athletic Conference had taken advantage of the BCS rules to – put in terms of the conference’s marketing slogan – Play Up. Yes, the loosening of BCS bowl access rules in 2006 contributed to Boise’s rise. But it took the team’s performance on the field to convince the world that college football wasn’t the exclusive domain of the Big Six conferences.
WAC member Hawaii went to the Sugar Bowl a year later but the new wave punk band that was the WAC slowly broke up over the years. Boise State skipped from the Mountain West to the Big East. Others followed.
The plucky little conference that couldn’t be killed was on its death bed Thursday with the news that Benson had become the new Sun Belt commissioner. On the surface, Benson is trading a job at the 10th-rated conference in FBS to one rated 11th(and last in the division).
In reality, it is the latest shift of conference realignment tectonic plates. The 50-year old WAC that Benson leaves behind be damaged beyond recognition. It was formed in 1962 in order to grab an NCAA tournament automatic bid – there were only 24 at the time. The Original Six included Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming. The current seven-team league (in football) could be absorbed like rain into the soil by some combination of Benson’s new conference and the emerging Big Country (Conference USA/Mountain West conglomeration).
Benson, 60, fought the good fight out West with dignity. Now it’s time to keep the Sun Belt alive and kicking. Time after time on the conference call announcing his hiring, Benson was not shy about saying he wanted the 10-member Sun Belt (in football) to grow to 12. At least. It doesn’t take too much to figure out where those two (or more) teams are going to come from.
As mentioned, in 2012 the WAC is down to seven teams, one above the NCAA minimum. The teams that emerged from that conference to gain BCS bowls under Benson’s watch – Boise State and Hawaii – are long gone. Just a guess but look for the Sun Belt to go after WAC member Louisiana Tech – if the Big Country doesn’t get to Ruston first. The New Orleans-based Sun Belt already has members at Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe.
“There are schools in the [Louisiana] footprint that would make sense,” Benson said.
Other possibilities: Any combination of Appalachian State, Georgia State, Jacksonville State and Liberty. All four are moving up or in the process of moving up to FBS.
The pity is if in the end Benson was somehow forced out of the WAC. The conference owes its current existence to him. With the Sun Belt’s Wright Waters stepping down, the lowest-ranked FBS league is about to experience a rebirth. The so-called Group of Five non-BCS conferences (WAC, MAC, Conference USA, Mountain West, Sun Belt) could to shrink to three.
In a way it consolidates Big Six conferences’ power. The apparent end of BCS automatic qualifying conferences in 2014 means that access to the game’s biggest bowls becomes more important for the “non-AQs” that Benson helped make famous.
“I often asked who is the next Boise State?” he said. “With my Sun Belt hat on, why not someone from the Sun Belt?”
WAC football membership in 2012
Tags: Appalachian State, Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas State, BYU, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Fresno, Georgia State, Hawaii, Idaho, Jacksonville State, Karl Benson, Liberty, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Middle Tennessee, Nevada, New Mexico, New Mexico State, North Texas, San Jose State, South Alabama, Sun Belt, Texas State, Texas State, Texas-San Antonio, Troy, Utah, Utah State, WAC, Western Kentucky, Wyoming