// Jan 10 - 2011 Season
Texas A&M serious about bolting to SEC
When Colorado was asked to join the Pac-12, it was cause for celebration in the Buff Nation.
When Texas announced the creation of the Longhorn Television Network, a multi-billion marriage with ESPN, Buff fans breathed a sigh of relief.
Colorado was very lucky not to be a part of the Texas et al. “Big 12″. Even after Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe was hailed for managing to hold the conference together last summer, it was clear that the new conference was retaining – in fact endorsing – a league of “haves” and “have nots”. Unlike the Pac-12, where the teams agreed to share television revenue equally, the Big 12 maintained (though it was modified slightly) a system where the more powerful schools (Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M) received a disproportionate amount of revenue.
The Texas Longhorn Network, though, irked even Oklahoma and Texas A&M. The TLN would not only bring in unprecedented revenue to the school – which the Longhorns didn’t have to share with the rest of the league – but would also give Texas exposure to recruits unavailable to other teams in the league.
Then, the TLN announced it …
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Pac-12 Network to be profitable “from year one”
Jon Wilner from the San Jose Mercury News was able to extract more details from Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott in an article this weekend.
A few of the highlights:
- The heirarchy. Now that the Pac-12 Network has been announced, the next step is to pick someone to lead it. The new chief executive for the Pac-12 Media Enterprises will handle the business arm of the national and six regional networks. While the new hire will have an extensive background in both media and marketing, all Scott will allow for now is that it will not be Scott’s right hand man, deputy commissioner Kevin Weiberg.
- Rights fees. Because of the deal already in place with four major distributors (see story, below), the Pac-12 Network will be profitable from year one. “How profitable”, Scott allowed, “depends on future distribution and advertising.” Start up costs, a major concern in earlier discussions concerning the new network, will be covered by the league, and not borne by individual schools. (As to the amount of the rights fees, there is an unconfirmed report from another site that Pac-12 teams should expect another $6-8 million …
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With Nembot in the fold – who is left to check in?
Fall practice begins August 3rd, but most of the members of the Class of 2011 are already in Boulder. Many signed up for summer school classes, with some taking classes in both sessions (the first beginning May 31st).
Paulay Asiasta and Stephan Nembot remained question marks for most of June, but both are now cleared to suit up as Colorado Buffaloes.
So, as we shift our attention to fall practice, what players from the Class of 2011 are still to check into the Hotel Boulderado?
The only player from the Class of 2011 who did not qualify was Rashad Hall. The 6’0″, 200-pound running back from Oak Ridge Military Academy in Lynchburg, Virginia, did not pass the NCAA Clearinghouse, and will have to go the junior college route to Colorado – if he chooses to resign in two years (Hall’s teammate at Oak Ridge Military Academy, Jermaine Clark, did qualify and is on campus for summer workouts).
Still yet to arrive in Boulder, but qualified for fall practices, are:
- Paulay Asiata. The 6’5″, 295-pound offensive lineman had to re-take the SAT’s, but was …
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Brian Lockridge only returning Buff out
There were 15 players who missed the Colorado 2011 spring game. As June turns into July, and fall practices approach, only one player, running back Brian Lockridge, remains a question mark for the 2011 season opener on September 3rd against Hawai’i.
As you may recall, there were a number of Buff players who were recovering from off-season surgeries, and sat out spring practices. Two of those players have moved on due to their injuries, offensive linemen Maxwell Tuioti-Mariner and Mike Iltis.
Others who were injured and out for much if not all of the spring, however, are on the mend and should be ready for fall practices. That number includes: FB/TE Matt Bahr (shoulder surgery); offensive lineman Blake Behrens (shoulder surgery); defensive back Vince Ewing (knee); defensive back Parker Orms (knee); and defensive back Anthony Perkins (knee).
Then there are those players nicked up enough to miss the spring game, who will be a “full go” for fall practices, including: wide receiver Toney Clemons; offensive lineman Ryan Dannewitz; defensive end Nick Kasa; tight end DaVaughn Thornton; and linebacker Derrick Webb.
Arizona star reportedly out …
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Time for a little love
If you have already grown weary of what the preseason magazines have had to say about Colorado (see, Colorado Daily, May 29th), then this might raise your spirits …
In his ESPN blog, Ted Miller wrote an article entitled, “Colorado’s visit to OSU no longer imposing“. In it, Miller notes that Ohio State was already going to be without several key players for the game against Colorado on September 24th, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, leading rusher Daniel Herron, No. 2 wide receiver DeVier Posey, All-Big Ten offensive tackle Mike Adams and backup defensive end Solomon Thomas.
If any of the nine players named in the Sports Illustrated article (see Colorado Daily, May 30th) are similarly suspended, though, the Buckeyes’ ranks could be severely thinned. Included on that list are two returning starters along the defensive line, the second-string running back, and both the first- and second-string middle linebackers. In all, Ohio State could be without seven starters and three immediate backups.
Miller notes that if any of these players are found to have taken cash or tattoos in exchange for memorabilia, that the school won’t waste much time suspending them in …
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Sports Illustrated investigation digs deeper into Ohio State’s transgressions
Perhaps now we can understand the timing of Tressel’s resignation.
Sports Illustrated is coming out with an article in this week’s edition, outlining an eight-year pattern of NCAA violations under head coach Jim Tressel.
In the article, the authors report that at least 28 players have been alleged to have traded or sold memorabilia, “at least 20″ players swapped memorabilia for tattoos, and at least four players traded memorabilia for marijuana.
The history of Tressel’s “ignorance is bliss” started at Youngstown State, where he claimed not to know that his star quarterback had received a car and more than $10,000 from a school trustee – even though it was later revealed that it was Tressel who told the player to go and see the trustee.
In 2003, Buckeyes’ running back Maurice Clarett became a pariah after he was found to have received money and other benefits, but Tressel, who had said that he spent more time with Clarett than any other player, claimed he had no knowledge of Clarett’s violations.
In 2004, an investigation uncovered a $500 payment to quarterback Troy Smith. Again, Tressel said he had no …
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“We thought it could be the best of all worlds”
The Sports Business Journal, which initially broke the story that ESPN and Fox had teamed up to outbid Comcast for the Pac-12 television rights, has put together a great article on the history of the negotiations.
Some of the highlights …
- As late as April 25th, it appeared that Comcast/Universal would be the winner in the negotiations with the Pac-12. Comcast was prepared to bid $225 million per year for the television rights, and neither ESPN nor Fox was prepared to match that offer. (As we discussed at the time … both ESPN and Fox were already well stocked with contracts to show college football. Neither network had enough air time, or “shelf space” as it is put in the article, to justify outbidding what Comcast had offered). NBC Sports executives had put together a presentation in New York in early April, and Pac-12 officials believed that Comcast would end up with the contract.
- Then Evolution Media’s Chris Bevilacqua, hereinafter referred to as “unsung hero”, proposed an idea to ESPN’s John Skipper: What if the two college football heavyweighs, ESPN and Fox, actually worked together to …
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Colorado held its own in 2011 NFL draft
The Colorado Buffaloes more than held their own in comparison to the rest of the new Pac-12 this weekend.
Only one new rival, USC, had more players selected in the first four rounds (four) than did Colorado (three). Cal and Stanford did catch the Buffs with their third picks in the fourth round, but the fact remains that, well through the midway point of the 2011 draft, Colorado was second alone in its new league in number of players drafted. At the end of the final day of the draft, only USC’s nine picks were more than the Buffs’ four.
(Before you assume a drop off next April, remember that there are more seniors in the Class of 2012 than there was in the Class of 2011. How well the Buffs’ fare next spring remains to be determined, but there is a decent chance that Colorado fans could be paying attention to the draft next year as well).
The totals from the Pac-12 in the 2011 NFL draft are: USC - nine picks; Colorado – four; Cal – four; Stanford – four; Oregon State – three; UCLA – three; …
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