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Pac-12 Notes

June 23rd

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Pac-12 AD’s discussing eliminating divisions; eight-game conference season

From the San Jose Mercury News … Pac-12 athletic directors and incoming commissioner George Kliavkoff have engaged in preliminary discussions about significant changes to the structure of the football season as expansion of the College Football Playoff appears inevitable.

Potential changes are months if not years away, but they include the elimination of divisions and the reduction in the number of conference games from nine to eight.

While the proposed expansion of the CFP to 12 teams is fueling the strategic reassessment, conference officials also have an eye on the upcoming media rights negotiations.

The amount of quality content available to potential broadcast partners will impact the valuation of Pac-12 football for the next contract cycle.

“We have to look at the equation in totality, because it’s so big that it doesn’t allow you to focus on one piece,’’ Washington State athletic director Pat Chun told the Hotline. “How do you balance the short-term needs with the long-term needs?”

Chun’s comments came in the wake of an in-person meeting last week in Las Vegas between the 12 athletic directors and Kliavkoff, whose tenure begins July 1.

Designed as a get-to-know-you session, the day-long meeting included a discussion about football strategy and the need for a thorough examination of Pac-12 football as the CFP expansion moves through the procedural pipeline.

On Tuesday, the university presidents in charge of the playoff are expected to “authorize the solicitation of feedback over the next few weeks and months … and also to begin feasibility assessments of any new format,” according to the CFP.

Formal approval of the 12-team playoff is expected this fall.

… If adopted, the format would dramatically increase the likelihood of the Pac-12 participating in the sport’s showcase event but stop short of assuring a berth.

That detail likely will weigh heavily on the athletic directors and Kliavkoff as they evaluate options for the conference schedule and the future of the division format.

Scrap the divisions, and the first-place team would meet the second-place team for the championship.

A single 12-team league would eliminate the nightmare scenario in which, for example, a four-loss division winner with no hope for making the playoff upsets a two-loss division winner that would have qualified.

The lack of a guaranteed berth would also have repercussions for the regular-season schedule: Combine the nine-game league slate with at least one high-level non-conference game, and Pac-12 teams have a treacherous path to compiling the record necessary to qualify for the CFP.

“All the issues have pros and cons,” Knowlton said, “but they aren’t made in a vacuum. What does a 12-team playoff mean for playing eight vs. playing nine?”

But there are drawbacks to playing an eight-game conference schedule, starting with the vacancy itself.

Only two of the 10 FBS leagues, the Pac-12 and the Mountain West, are located in the western half of the country. Adding a non-conference game would increase the demand without an equivalent change in supply of logistically reasonable quality opponents.

Continue reading story here

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June 22nd 

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“NCAA Amateurism is dead” – Can the NCAA as an institution be far behind?

Related … “The Supreme Court didn’t just shut out the NCAA. It ran up the score” … by Andy Staples at The Athletic (subscription required)

Related … “Supreme Court unanimously sides with former college players in dispute with NCAA about compensation” … from ESPN

Related … “Supreme Court ruling on NCAA benefits could ‘open the floodgates’ on athlete pay” … from the San Jose Mercury News

From CBS Sports … NCAA amateurism is dead. Whatever you thought the moving target that was the “collegiate model” is gone. The date for the dearly departed will go down as June 21, 2021, but really, the exit from this world was years in the making.

It’s not just that amateurism is dead. The NCAA that strangled it might not be far behind.

No rational human could recognize the association’s stance as either amateur or fair. Not with athletes working an average of 50 hours a week on their “job” (per a recent Pac-12 study). Not with the NCAA having to pass legislation to ensure practices were not held starting midnight or before 6 a.m. That needing to be legislated meant that some coach, somewhere, was actually practicing in that window.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court could no longer ignore the abuse.

In a relatively minor legal contention, it upheld a lower-court decision that will allow athletes to receive such education-related items as laptops, paid internships and post-graduate opportunities.

The NCAA was worried about recruiting advantages. The Supreme Court was concerned with fairness, violations of the nation’s 131-year-old antitrust law and NCAA power than had become intolerable.

“The NCAA is not above the law,” wrote Justice Brett Kavanaugh in a concurring opinion following the unanimous 9-0 vote.

Somebody had to say it.

Truth is there are no minor legal contentions with the NCAA. It exists to be sued these days. It chose to go all the way to the Supreme Court over laptops because it can, because powerful people like to stay in power. No matter the consequences.

Monday, the NCAA got slapped down in perhaps its biggest legal defeat. Think about the implications: The association did not prevail in the NCAA v. Alston appeal despite a conservative majority court that included three conservative judges appointed by the previous administration. In fact, the NCAA didn’t get a single judge to side with it. The 9-0 whitewash in favor of Alston was pro-player, pro-labor and probably overdue.

It was not predicted by any legal experts analyzing the case. To put it in betting terms, who would have taken Shawne Alston laying the nine (judges)?

Monday, the NCAA was certainly marginalized. It is now somewhat of a bystander as history parades by.

There are a only handful of things the NCAA still controls, namely eligibility and enforcement. And you’ll find plenty of complaints from membership regarding those subjects. There is arguably only one thing it still does well — throw a heck of a party each March known as the NCAA Tournament.

Everything else was laid bare by Monday’s decision.

There is no more amateurism because … what was it, anyway? Cost of attendance was handed out to athletes, not normal students. Bowl gifts (capped at $550) are basically pay for play. We’re down to arguing semantics and whether five figures can become six figures in the age of name, image and likeness.

Now, there are few roadblocks as to what athletes can earn. Without Congressional help in NIL, whatever the NCAA installs in its legislation will be subject to similar antitrust challenges as Alston v. NCAA.

Continue reading story here

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June 21st

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Ranking college teams’ success based upon relative success in the NFL Draft 

… Perhaps not a surprise – the Pac-12 has under-achieved over the past decade, with six of the eight teams rated falling below average … 

From Reddit.com … Which college has the most relative success in the NFL draft?

I’m thinking about this a little differently. What I’m attempting to do here, is focus on how successful players are relative to where they were selected. A college might put out a steady flow of 1st rounders, but do they underperform or perform average based on their 1st round status?

This analysis looks at every player drafted and how they performed vs how they were expected to perform based on where they were drafted (AV share minus Expected AV Share). For example, Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson was drafted in the 3rd round (75th pick) and he has well overperformed compared to his draft spot, helping to lift Wisconsin’s rating. On the other hand, Kevin White from West Virginia was drafted in the 1st round (7th overall) but he could never stay on the field and his career performance is vastly under expectation pulling down West Virginia’s rating. I won’t get into the methodology in this post, but you can find it here .

The table below shows the average AV Share gap for all the players drafted from each college in the last 10 years (2011-2020). Only colleges with 20+ players selected are included in the table.

(So … not rated from the Pac-12 – less than 20 players drafted in the past decade … Colorado, Arizona, Washington State, and Oregon State) 

You can also see a graph of this information here.

RankTeamRating
1Wisconsin0.222%
2Mississippi St.0.166%
3Boston Col.0.114%
4LSU0.102%
5Pittsburgh0.084%
6California0.072%
7North Carolina St.0.072%
8Iowa0.063%
9Boise St.0.058%
10Oklahoma0.057%
11Stanford0.046%
12Penn St.0.032%
13Texas0.030%
14South Carolina0.024%
15Georgia0.022%
16Florida St.0.011%
17Alabama0.008%
18Nebraska-0.001%
19Arkansas-0.008%
20Notre Dame-0.009%
21Virginia Tech-0.012%
22Ohio St.-0.014%
23Temple-0.019%
24Utah-0.019%
25Mississippi-0.030%
26Tennessee-0.034%
27Michigan-0.034%
28Clemson-0.036%
29Texas A&M-0.039%
30Oregon-0.040%
31Miami (FL)-0.042%
32USC-0.043%
33Louisville-0.046%
34Michigan St.-0.049%
35TCU-0.055%
36Missouri-0.056%
37UCLA-0.058%
38Washington-0.065%
39North Carolina-0.093%
40Auburn-0.099%
41Florida-0.102%
42Arizona St.-0.114%
43West Virginia-0.140%
44Baylor-0.147%

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June 20th

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AAC Commissioner to Pac-12’s Larry Scott: Stop Whining

From ESPN … In response to a statement released Friday by outgoing Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco told ESPN on Saturday that guaranteeing each Power 5 conference champion a spot in a potential 12-team playoff format would be “an enormous step in the wrong direction.”

Aresco said the Pac-12 was the only conference to raise the issue this week at the two-day College Football Playoff meetings in Chicago, where all 10 FBS commissioners met to formally review a proposal for a 12-team format. After the meetings on Friday, Scott released a statement saying the Pac-12 “supports expansion of the CFP and believes that the Autonomy Five champions should annually qualify for the CFP.”

“I didn’t sense any other traction for it,” Aresco said. “That would be an enormous step in the wrong direction from the working group’s proposal as far as I’m concerned. The top six conferences, without favor, is merit-based. It’s fair. It doesn’t reward privilege for privilege’s sake.”

The proposal, which was written by Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, does not include guarantees for particular conference champions. Instead, it calls for the bracket to include the six highest-ranked conference champions, plus the six highest-ranked other teams as determined by the CFP’s selection committee.

There would be no limit on the number of participants from a conference, and no league would qualify automatically. Incoming Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff also attended the meetings in Chicago, and will begin his role July 1, but the statement was issued by Scott. The Sun Belt followed later Friday with its own statement from commissioner Keith Gill, who said his conference supports the current proposal’s plan regarding conference champions.

“The Sun Belt Conference supports College Football Playoff expansion, including the working group’s recommendation to have the six highest-ranked conference champions in the field,” Gill said. “Playoff spots should be earned and not given. Under the proposed system, if you are a deserving team, you should have no concerns of being left out of the playoff.”

Continue reading story here

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June 19th

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Report: ASU recruiting violations date back to 2018

From The Athletic … Part of the NCAA investigation into Arizona State’s football program could dive into whether coaches paid for recruits’ expenses during unofficial visits.

Sources told The Athletic that Arizona State covered some prospects’ transportation and lodging during these visits; one said the process was often carried out through a third party and that this was done mostly with elite prospects. Per NCAA rules, an unofficial visit to a Division I program has to be financed by the prospect or his parents or guardian.

The Athletic first reported Wednesday that the NCAA is investigating whether the football program hosted recruits during the 15-month COVID-19 non-contact period. The probe could stretch into other areas that would reveal broader violations within the program. Said one former staffer when details of the allegations began to leak, “It was a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if.’”

One former staffer said Arizona State covered expenses for some recruits to attend the 2018 Las Vegas Bowl, a game the Sun Devils lost 31-20 to Fresno State. “(That) was really the breaking point,” he said, “where it kind of went from, ‘We’re going to straddle the gray area,’ to, ‘We’re in the gray area.’” Per multiple sources, one recruit hung out with the Sun Devils at the team hotel, which likely would have been a major violation. Some staffers, the sources said, were so uncomfortable to see the recruit at the team dining area that they left the room.

“It started out (quiet) but then it became certainly more out in the open,” a source with inside knowledge said. “A little bit more casual. There was always kind of an understanding. People learned not to ask those questions as far as where (unofficial visitors) were staying.”

Arizona State officials have said they will not comment on the investigation. Head coach Herm Edwards also declined to comment. Two former staffers told The Athletic that they never had witnessed coaches paying for anything improper. One called the accusation “ridiculous.” The other wondered if it came from disgruntled former employees.

As time went on, several sources say, the program fractured. Those sources say associate head coach Antonio Pierce, who is also the program’s recruiting coordinator, learned who was “on board” and who was not, working more closely with those who were. “It was definitely frowned upon if you were not willing to play the game,” a former staffer said.

Continue reading story here (subscription required) …

USC announces NIL deal with Altius Sports Partners

Compare … ‘Buffs With A Brand’ Wraps Up First Year, Readies For NIL Changes Ahead … From CUBuffs.com 

From USC Athletics … As its student-athletes prepare to capitalize on their name, image and likeness, USC Athletics announced a new partnership today with leading NIL advisory and education firm Altius Sports Partners to provide strategic guidance, consultation, and wide-ranging educational support in creating the school’s NIL program, which will benefit all 21 Trojan men’s and women’s sports programs and 550-plus student-athletes.

“Our partnership with Altius is about much more than a short-term focus on educational programming needs as we prepare our student-athletes for this new era,” said Mike Bohn, Director of Athletics. “With Altius, we are aligning with a dedicated partner that has the resources, capacity, and network to refine and enhance our strategic vision to become the national leader in name, image, and likeness in support of our student-athletes. Located in the largest market in the world for college sports, USC and its student-athletes will have a unique advantage in the NIL space. We intend to be on the cutting edge of NIL for our current student-athletes and all who join the Trojan Family in the future.”

Initially, a central component of the partnership includes developing a comprehensive education plan to support the program’s staff, coaches and student-athletes. USC and ASP’s cross-disciplinary team of NIL experts will collaborate on educational programming related to several key elements of the upcoming NIL implementation, such as rules and regulatory awareness, revenue opportunity maximization, recruiting best practices, and gender equity and social justice implications, among other considerations related to empowering student-athletes.

As the NCAA, congressional, and state legislative processes evolve, the partnership with ASP and its specific NIL focus will allow USC to be agile in response to a new and rapidly changing environment. Long-term, ASP will play a central role in strengthening USC’s NIL plan, which launched in October 2020 with the announcement of the athletic department’s in-house creative lab, BLVD Studios.

This is ASP’s first all-encompassing partnership in the Pac-12 Conference. “From being in the heart of the entertainment capital of the world, to its A-list alumni base, USC sits atop the list of schools poised to maximize on NIL rules changes in the near future. We are honored to be part of making that happen for each and every Trojan,” said ASP CEO Casey Schwab.

Continue reading story here

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June 18th

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Commissioners approve 12-team playoff; Larry Scott objects 

From the San Jose Mercury News … The proposal to expand the College Football Playoff cleared a key hurdle Friday as commissioners from all the major conferences signed off on the 12-team model put forth last week by a working group.

“The process will move forward,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock said Friday.

The next step in the transformation of college football’s postseason comes Tuesday, when the university presidents in charge of the CFP review the expansion model, which would create two additional rounds and provide greater access for conferences that have been left behind.

For example: The Pac-12.

… Outgoing Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott attended the gathering this week in Chicago — his successor, George Kliavkoff, was also present — and took issue with one aspect of the current proposal: access for the Power Five champions.

Under the format moving through the approval pipeline, the six highest-ranked conference champions would receive automatic bids, along with six at-large teams.

But there are 10 conferences in the Football Bowl Subdivision, so certain circumstances could result in a Power Five winner being left out.

Scott offered the following statement to the Hotline:

“The Pac-12 supports expansion of the CFP and believes that the (Power Five) champions should annually qualify for the CFP. We greatly appreciate the work of the CFP sub-committee, as well as the thoughtful and productive discussions amongst the management committee this week in Chicago. We now look forward to reviewing the expansion proposal more thoroughly with our members, student-athletes, partners and other key stakeholders.”

Also under the proposed expansion model:

— The 12-team format would begin in either 2023 or 2026.

— The four highest-ranked conference champions would receive byes in the opening round, while teams seeded No. 5 through 8 would play home games in the middle of December against the No. 9 through 12 seeds.

— The quarterfinals would be played Jan. 1-2 at neutral sites, followed by the semifinals and championship.

— There would be no limit to the number of berths for any single conference.

Continue reading story here

Arizona State AD: Recruiting scandal won’t overwhelm the season

From the Arizona Republic … One day after explosive allegations that Arizona State University’s football program may have committed recruiting violations by bringing in high school athletes during the time when recruiting was banned because of COVID-19, the man in charge of athletics said he doesn’t believe the NCAA investigation will bog down the season.

ASU Vice President for Athletics Ray Anderson, in a wide-ranging interview with The Arizona Republic on Thursday, declined to discuss specifics because of NCAA protocol. But when pressed whether the investigation would overwhelm the season, he firmly said “no.”

“We’re going forward. That’s something that we can’t control. It can’t be something that bogs us down. We’re heading forward with our off-season. And now we’re going to get ready to bring them in,” he said of the players.

Anderson’s upbeat attitude was not shared by Alicia Jessop, an associate professor of sports law at Pepperdine University. She described the allegations that ASU had violated college athletics’ recruiting “dead period” as a “PR nightmare” that could have major implications for Sun Devil football.

“If the allegations are true, these were definitely intentional violations,” she said. “Anyone who even had six degrees of separation from college sports realized the NCAA was in a recruiting dead period during the pandemic. The biggest reason was safety.”

Continue reading story here

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June 17th

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Getting closer to football season! Pac-12 Media Day details released

From the Pac-12 …

MEDIA ADVISORY

2021 Pac-12 Football Media Day

to be held Tuesday, July 27 in Los Angeles

The Pac-12 announced today that the upcoming season will kick off with the 2021 Pac-12 Football Media Day. The event will be held in-person on Tuesday, July 27 at the W Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles.

The one-day event will again feature all 12 head coaches and two student-athletes from each university, as well as all 12 athletics directors and representatives from the Pac-12 Conference staff, including Commissioner George Kliavkoff, Senior Associate Commissioner of Football Operations Merton Hanks and Vice President of Officiating David Coleman.

Further information regarding credential applications, hotel rooms, parking and a specific schedule of events will be announced in the coming weeks.

WHERE: W Hollywood Hotel, 6250 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028

WHEN: Tuesday, July 27, 2021 – 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. PT

No joke! The LA Bowl to now be known as the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl

From sofistadium.com … SoFi Stadium and Jimmy Kimmel entered into an unprecedented multi-year partnership to appoint the late-night host the official naming rights partner of LA Bowl, renaming the inaugural collegiate bowl game the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl. Held at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl will feature Mountain West’s No. 1 selection versus Pac-12’s No. 5 selection.

“Stan Kroenke designed Hollywood Park to be a sports and entertainment destination for Angelenos and visitors from across the world to enjoy. We cannot think of a better way to bring sports and entertainment together than by collaborating with celebrated late-night host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel on our collegiate bowl game,” said Jason Gannon, executive director, Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl. “Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl will not only bring an incredible game day experience to fans, but it will also focus on supporting our community 365 days a year.”

“Never before has a bowl game been named after a human being (as far as I know, I didn’t check). On December 18, my dream of being forever enshrined alongside orange, rose, cotton and peach comes true,” said Jimmy Kimmel. Jimmy announced the partnership and revealed the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl logo on tonight’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. Watch HERE.

Jimmy will work with Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl community partners One For All, Boys and Girls Club LA Harbor, and Boys and Girls Club LA Metro. The bowl game is committed to working with Inglewood’s One For All to support youth through social programs that emphasize the importance of personal growth and community involvement. Similarly, Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl will continue to work with the Boys and Girls Clubs of LA Harbor and LA Metro by helping to end food insecurity in those communities. Last year, LA Bowl was able to donate 24,000 pounds of food through three food drives. This year, Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl will also work with additional Los Angeles charities, some of which Jimmy has long supported.

ABC will exclusively televise the game, slated for Saturday, December 18, at 4:30 p.m. PT.

Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl will be the first collegiate football game at the new SoFi Stadium. Celebrating the legacy of college football in Los Angeles through extraordinary game-day experiences that focus on premium hospitality, Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl will bring the diverse community of Los Angeles together, and with its partners, will create a number of immersive events and activities leading up to and on game day. Partnership opportunities are still available, including presenting sponsor.

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June 16th 

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ASU football program “deliberately, blatantly and consistently broke rules related to hosting players during the dead period”

… Multiple sources indicated that at least 30 players visited campus over a span of months, a practice so common coaches referenced “official visit weekends” … 

From Pete Thamel at YahooSports.com … Earlier this month, an anonymous person sent a dossier of dozens of pages to the Arizona State athletic department. It included screenshots, receipts, pictures and emails related to numerous potential violations within Arizona State’s football program, according to sources.

The NCAA enforcement staff is in possession of those documents, sources told Yahoo Sports. Among the enforcement staff members working on the case is Vic DeNardi, an assistant director of enforcement. And the arrival of those documents to Arizona State compliance chief Steve Webb has ASU officials conducting internal interviews. (The NCAA declined comment.)

Arizona State vice president for media relations Katie Paquet confirmed the NCAA investigation to Yahoo Sports, which was first reported by The Athletic. She declined further comment on specific allegations.

The documentation includes specific evidence of multiple examples of high school prospects taking illicit on-campus recruiting trips to the Arizona State campus. Those came during the pandemic-inspired dead period that ended June 1. For more than a year prior, NCAA rules explicitly banned players from visiting on campus because of COVID-19. The dossier, according to sources, lays out pieces of both the players’ trips to campus and how those trips were paid for.

Sources said members of the football program deliberately, blatantly and consistently broke rules related to hosting players during the dead period, including coach Herm Edwards meeting with recruits. A source added that the evidence included pictures of the visits, including Edwards with a recruit who ended up enrolling at ASU. “It’s clear whoever provided it had a ton of access and knowledge of the football program,” a source told Yahoo Sports. “The stuff in there wouldn’t be provided by anyone outside the football program.”

… Yahoo Sports interviewed more than a dozen current or former ASU staff members this week. Multiple sources indicated that at least 30 players visited campus over a span of months, a practice so common coaches referenced “official visit weekends” in staff meetings, coaches bumped into recruits and families in a back stairwell and a routine developed of facility tours being given around 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. at night.

… Multiple sources indicated that there were numerous staff members — one estimated a half-dozen — “keeping receipts” on illicit recruiting activity. One said that Pierce fostered an “in or out” culture within the program, which created mistrust and fear as he accumulated power and convinced Edwards to bring in recruiting-focused coaches like defensive backs coach Chris Hawkins and receivers coach Prentice Gill. Neither had on-field experience at a Power Five school. They replaced veteran coaches who Pierce didn’t think recruited well enough.

As a distinct “camp” formed around Pierce and those loyal to him, coaches and staffers began collecting evidence as protection for their own jobs. And that’s why it remains a mystery as to who accumulated and sent the dossier, which one source estimated was more than three dozen pages.

“I don’t know who sent it, that’s what stuns me,” said another source. “I don’t know. When you don’t care [about breaking the rules], and so many people are seeing and knowing what’s going on… When you’re above the law and thumb your nose to it, it’s karma. You reap what you sow.”

Read full story here

Arizona State confirms NCAA investigation of recruiting violations

Related … Tweets from Fox Sports reporter George Wrighster… NCAA is investigating Arizona State for allegations related to the football program. The allegations include paying players, MAJOR recruiting violations, Covid violations, and other things that have left serious concern about the coaching staff being able to coach this season … The Athletic story is NOT the story I was referring too. Just the tip of the iceberg as it relates to ASU.

From CBS Sports … The NCAA is investigating potential recruiting violations at Arizona State, Doug Haller and Bruce Feldman of The Athletic reported on Wednesday. At the forefront is the allegation that the football program “hosted high school prospects during the recent COVID-19 dead period,” among other potential recruiting violations.

While the university did confirm to The Athletic in a statement that it is under investigation by the NCAA, the university did not specify the nature of the allegations.

“ASU can confirm the NCAA is conducting an investigation regarding allegations related to our football program,” Arizona State vice president of media relations and strategic communications Katie Paquet said. “In accordance with NCAA bylaws, the university cannot provide further comment at this time.”

It’s not clear how many prospects Arizona State hosted during the halt, which began in March 2020 in response to the growing coronavirus pandemic, and only recently lifted on June 1. The Athletic further reported that the “school’s athletic compliance office recently started interviewing staff members” and that “some people in the football offices are concerned about losing their jobs.”

Unclear, as well, is to what degree coach Herm Edwards is involved in the school’s investigation. Edwards’ highest-ranking assistant, Antonio Pierce, would presumably be front and center as well. Pierce is the program’s associate head coach/defensive coordinator/recruiting coordinator.

Asked if Edwards would be aware of potential recruiting misdeeds, one former athletic department staffer responded without hesitation, “No way.” Another wasn’t so sure. “He is probably aware of 90 percent of the recruiting stuff that goes on,” he said.

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June 15th 

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The Athletic: Work to do for “Relentless” Mel Tucker in Year Two at Michigan State

Season preview posted by The Athletic … The Spartans open the season with a Friday night matchup versus Northwestern, which is coming off a trip to the Big Ten championship. It should serve as a decent measuring stick to begin the year.

A non-conference September game at Miami could prove troublesome, especially if Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King produces at the level he did before his ACL injury. MSU will then Nebraska and Western Kentucky before getting into the heart of its Big Ten schedule.

On paper, there doesn’t appear to be a daunting three-game stretch on the schedule like there has been in past years. MSU will face Rutgers, Indiana, Michigan, Purdue and Maryland in October and early November. Indiana is a team on the rise and could contend for a conference title if everything goes according to plan, but it’s not exactly a gauntlet.

Taking down Ohio State and Penn State is never an easy task, and Michigan State closes its season with those opponents in consecutive weeks. A split would be an absolute win, but it would be encouraging to see competitive games in which the team shows growth and plays with an edge.

A 6-6 season and a trip to a bowl game should be a goal for this season. It would be a good experience for the younger players and something that the staff could use as a recruiting tool to let prospects know they’re right on track.

“We have a process and we have a plan and we convey that to our recruits,” Tucker said. “It’s always good when the recruits can see the tangible results and evidence of what we’ve communicated to them in terms of our culture and what our expectations are and what we’re building here.”

Final assessment

This program appears to be headed in the right direction. There’s a staff in place that values recruiting, and those efforts could begin to pay off soon. The personnel department revamped the roster in short order with transfers who can help this year and in the future. Couple that with a full offseason and the necessary time to work with players, and this team could be much more competitive, even if it isn’t ready for a return trip to Indianapolis.

That’s what this is about: building now and for later. Taking things as they come and moving forward with a plan of attack. Showing progress while working toward the climb.

“The second year, you should see improvement,” Tucker said. “You usually see quite a bit of improvement because the players understand what’s expected. … The players know the coaches a lot better, and the coaches know the players. And so now there’s a better connection, better understanding, and you know more of what your returning players can do.

“I’ve been in situations where we’ve had tremendous success in Year 2. We’ll see how it goes. But right now, our focus is just on getting better, gaining ground and just being relentless in everything that we do.”

Michigan State’s national championship odds from BetMGM: +10,000

Read full preview here (subscription required) …

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June 14th 

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Jim Harbaugh follows Bill McCartney’s lead (39 years later)

Related … “In Search of a Rival – the 1982 CU/Nebraska Game”can be found here 

From Larry Brown Sports … Jim Harbaugh may finally be taking the Ohio State rivalry to the appropriate level.

Rivals Michigan insider EJ Holland reported on Friday that Michigan’s anti-Ohio State stance was on display for recruits during summer visits. Holland says the color red has been from Michigan’s facilities. Not even red drinks are allowed.

This is great and all, but you have to ask what took so long, if all this is new.

Urban Meyer initiated this mentality with his anti-Michigan attitude from the moment he took over Ohio State’s program. He banned the word “Michigan” immediately. His teams never lost to Michigan. The mentality he instilled helps explain why the Buckeyes seemed more prepared to dominate the games the last few years.

Then in late 2019, Justin Fields said that Ohio State took the rivalry much more seriously than Michigan. Perhaps that got back to Harbaugh, who has made adjustments. Whatever the case, this is the mentality Harbaugh’s Wolverines need to have. And they need to finally beat Ohio State.

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June 13th

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Projecting hypothetical 12-team playoff for 2021: Would the Pac-12 be shut out?

From Sports Illustrated … Recent post-spring rankings suggest the Pac-12 would be in danger of not getting a team into a 12-team playoff in 2021 if the model came into being immediately.

The Pac-12 is considered wide-open in 2021 and no team is ranked higher than 10th (Oregon) in ESPN’s post-spring power rankings. With five conferences (SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, American) represented by teams ranked above the Ducks and a sixth conference not far behind with Louisiana of the Sun Belt at No. 16, a Pac-12 conference without a dominant team would be on the fringe of making a 12-team field — if these projections turn out to be accurate.

The Sporting News preseason top 25 is similar, with no Pac-12 team ranked higher than 12th (USC), five conferences having a representative ranked higher than that, and Coastal Carolina of the Sun Belt at No. 23, not too far behind USC and within range of being the sixth-highest ranked conference champion.

The point is, the 12-team model has the potential to further devalue Pac-12 football.

Realistically, though, the Pac-12 is likely to get at least one team, and probably two, into a 12-team playoff every year. Besides the fact that expansion will generate more interest in college football’s national championship run for everyone, it will be particularly helpful for the Pac-12.

Based on final CFP rankings, the Pac-12 would have had two teams in a 12-team field in 2019, one in 2018, two in 2017, three in 2016, one in 2015 and two in 2014, the first year the four-team College Football Playoff went into effect.

Having a dog in the fight would make all the difference, as Bowlsby, a former Stanford athletic director and current Big 12 commissioner, noted:

“We probably underestimated — ‘we’ being the A5 commissioners — how difficult it was to be on the outside looking in on a four-team playoff,” Bowlsby told ESPN. “I think that was a factor. There was certainly lots of consternation around those of us that were left out at one time or another, so I think that was an element of it.”

Three possible drawbacks to a 12-team playoff:

1. Two Pac-12 teams could face each other in the first round, which would have happened in 2019. That would detract from general interest and minimize regular-season results. Imagine two Pac-12 teams facing each other during the regular season, again in the conference championship game and again in the 12-team national championship playoff. Well, the SEC faces that possibility nearly every year.

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June 12th

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Playoff proposal surprises (including no concessions for Notre Dame)

From CBS Sports … So for the powers that be to suddenly have a thirst to triple the field to 12 — skipping right past six- and eight-team models — is unusually progressive.

The second biggest surprise of the expansion proposed by this CFP working group is the format, which calls for the field to be made up of the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large teams with the top four champions receiving byes.

While that certainly puts a premium on winning your conference, the surprising part is that no concession was made for Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish, which cannot win a conference because they are an independent, cannot qualify for an opening-round bye even if they finish the season at No. 1 in the CFP Rankings. Notre Dame finished No. 4 in the rankings in 2020 and No. 3 in 2018; if the 12-team format had existed then, it would be seeded no higher than No. 5.

One final surprise is that this format still does not guarantee a spot for champions from every Power Five conference.  Indeed, had this format existed in 2020, Pac-12 champion Oregon would have missed out.  In fact, the No. 25 Ducks were only the eighth-highest ranked conference champion.  No. 8 Cincinnati and No. 12 Coastal Carolina would have made the field, and No. 22 San Jose State was also ranked higher than Oregon. Two Group of Five conference champions would have earned playoff spots.

Even though the 2020 season was an anomaly in every possible way, it does show how strange things can happen, and history has shown us we do not need a pandemic for strange things to happen.

Continue reading story here

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June 11th 

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Sam Noyer finds a home: Oregon State

From the Daily Camera … For five years, Sam Noyer battled for the Colorado Buffaloes.

This year, he will compete against them.

On Friday, CU’s former starting quarterback announced that he is transferring to Oregon State. The Buffs are scheduled to host Oregon State on Nov. 6 at Folsom Field, fittingly for CU’s homecoming game.

On Monday, CU and Noyer announced his decision to put his name into the NCAA transfer portal, and it didn’t take long to find a new – and very familiar – home. The move to Oregon State is a natural one for Noyer, who was born in Portland and graduated from Beaverton (Ore.) High School.

During an interview on Portland’s 750 AM radio on Friday, Noyer said, “It’s kind of a match made in heaven, really.

“I’ve grown up here so I’ve known that Beaver Nation is awesome. I’m excited to be able to play in front of Beaver Nation next year.”

Noyer will be reunited with the man who recruited him to CU, Brian Lindgren. OSU’s offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for the past three years, Lindgren held a similar position at CU from 2013-17. During his time at CU, Noyer had four quarterback coaches in five years, with Lindgren being the only coach he had for more than one season.

Read full story here

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June 10th

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CFP Working Group formally recommends expansion to 12-team playoff

From CBS Sports … Calls for the expansion of the College Football Playoff began as soon as it replaced the Bowl Championship Series ahead of the 2014 season. Seven years later, those calls are on their way to being answered. A College Football Playoff working group is set to formally recommend Thursday expanding the four-team field to 12 teams, according to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd.

That 12-team model would invite the top six conference champions and six at-large teams into the field. In this format, the top four conference champions would get byes in the first round and the other eight teams will have first-round games on the campuses of the next four highest-ranked teams.

The working group’s recommendation will be discussed and vetted next week at a previously scheduled CFP Management Committee meeting on June 17-18. The committee is made up of the 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick.

An expanded field could be formally approved as soon as June 22 when the CFP Board of Managers meets. That group is comprised of presidents and chancellors representing the 10 FBS conferences along with Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins.

There are five years remaining on the current CFP contract with ESPN. It is unknown when Thursday’s recommendation, if formally approved, would go into effect.

The current four-team model uses a 13-member CFP Selection Committee comprised of athletic directors, former coaches and other prominent industry names. That committee creates a set of top 25 rankings weekly over the latter half of the season that seeds the top four teams. Four different programs have won the CFP since its inception — Ohio State (2014), Alabama (2015, 2017, 2020), Clemson (2016, 2018) and LSU (2019).

The CFP replaced the BCS, which was in existence from 1998-2013. That format limited the meaningful postseason to the top two teams in standings determined by a combination of computers and polls.

Details of the CFP working group’s recommendation were first reported by Yahoo Sports.

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June 9th

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Desperation setting in for Congress over NIL legislation (but not enough)

From CBS Sports … Three weeks before name, image and likeness rights will begin one way or another for college athletes, desperation is setting in. That was the overarching message Wednesday from a U.S. Senate hearing on NIL.

After years of arguments, hand-wringing and lawsuits, it has come down to this: Congress must act to control some version of amateurism in the next 21 days. If not, there is the perception that extra benefits will be running wild in the streets starting July 1.

“We need your help,” Gonzaga basketball coach Mark Few told legislators. “This is not an issue the NCAA and individual states can fix.”

That might be the most compelling NIL statement from a sitting Division I coach. It’s out of his hands; it’s out of the NCAA’s hands. On July 1, at least five states will implement NIL laws that will allow athletes in those states to have benefits the other 45 states do not permit.

Then what?

“How do you put the cat back in the bag after July 1?” Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) asked Marquette law professor Matthew Mitten during the hearing.

“I don’t think you can,” Mitten answered. “I think that is exactly the problem.”

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) is doing laudable work trying to assemble a bipartisan NIL bill through her chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Commerce. It was her hearing Wednesday. However, there is growing evidence that a federal bill coming from Commerce — if it is indeed developed — won’t be enough.

There is the thorny issue of disclosure. Should athletes be required to share their endorsement contracts with … anyone? Schools have gone to great measures to shield students’ information from the public. That’s federal law. Shouldn’t the schools be held to the same standard in NIL? Should the schools’ themselves even know what the profit margin is for an equestrian athlete marketing an apparel brand?

If not, does anyone trust the NCAA to decide what is too much? Does anyone deserve to know? If not, there essentially will be no cap to NIL earnings.

Curiously, none of those questions were asked during Wednesday’s three-hour hearing.

That’s just one of the significant issues, and again, time is running out.

NIL going forward is really about liability — allowing the athletes some form of their rights while protecting the NCAA from being sued over it. The NCAA is desperate — there’s that word again — for legal protection against a class-action suit by players from the past suing for their NIL rights.

Continue reading story here

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June 8th

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Larry Scott defends himself: “I think history will prove the wisdom of the steps that we’ve made”

From the Associated Press … Outgoing Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott spoke to The Associated Press on Monday in a 25-minute telephone interview about his time with the Pac-12:

Q: When you look back on the goals laid out when you took the job, where do you see missions accomplished?

Scott: I’m proud of much of what our team’s accomplished. There was a lot of alignment around a bold and innovative agenda when I arrived in 2009 and at the highest level, we’ve modernized the league, which is now operating at a much higher level than where it was before.

Highlights include a five-fold increase in revenue; significant improvements in student-athlete welfare and involvement; expansion of the conference; creation of our own media company, which is well-positioned for the future as evidenced by very high valuations we’ve received from private equity firms and interest from companies like Apple and Amazon; modernization of our championships in Las Vegas; and other things.

Q: The flip side of that is where do you see failures or goals left unaccomplished?”

Scott: The biggest regret is that we didn’t have teams performing better in football during our 11 years. Certainly, we’ve got some brands that traditionally would be making the College Football Playoff and competing for a national championship. It didn’t happen. For a variety of reasons. Thankfully, it has happened in our other sports where we won more championships than any other conference every year, including what was the best overall conference in basketball, men’s and women’s, this year. But competitively, teams not reaching their traditional potential was a real regret.

Secondly, hindsight is 20/20, but I didn’t anticipate the amount of change amongst our leadership, presidents, chancellors and athletics directors that were really aligned about a long-term vision. And as we had change in leadership on our campuses, the focus became much more on short-term pressures.

And in hindsight, if we had done shorter TV deals, even if it meant leaving some money on the table, I think our members would have appreciated being able to redo our TV contracts a little bit sooner. But I think the long-term, bold nature of our strategy will pay off handsomely for the league when it re-does the deals in 2024.

Q: What do you think the Pac-12 could have done under you leadership to help better position the conference’s football programs to be more successful?

Scott: I’m sure looking back we could probably identify some small things we would have done differently, but all the strategies around football and other sports were in alignment with all of our schools and our football coaches. USC, Oregon, Stanford, Washington not getting to the playoffs more often or winning has very little to do with the conference office. Between compliance issues, coaching changes and other things, some of our traditional powerhouses have struggled the last few years, and that’s hurt the league overall.

Q: In what ways did not having a background in college sports help you do this job?

Scott: When I was hired by 10 presidents and chancellors, they were very much looking for a fresh approach, a bold and innovative transformation and outside-the-box thinking. That was appealing to me coming from professional sports, where I had been for over 20 years. And I think we delivered on that vision, taking a big swing for a Pac-16, ultimately expanding to 12, being the first conference to add events in China, creating our own wholly owned media company, being a leader when it came to student-athlete reform and welfare, doing more than other conferences here during that space. So there was a lot of alignment with what our presidents and chancellors wanted at that time. So there were some significant advantages.

And lastly, taking a fresh look at postseason college football and being part of the group that led the change from the BCS to the College Football Playoff. All those things happened in the first few years when I was there with the group of presidents that hired me.

Q: Do you feel as if you should have publicly advocated for expansion of College Football Playoff sooner and more aggressively?

Scott: It’s always tempting to grandstand and say things just for the benefit of fans. But I take seriously my responsibility being on the board for the College Football Playoff.

It’s never been my view that as a board member and a person responsible for decisions, you should be sharing details of what you discuss internally with the media and the public, when you agree with your colleagues you’re not going to. So I know fans across the country can be frustrated they don’t see more posturing about playoff expansion, but everyone that’s been involved knows the strong advocacy I’ve played for us to consider it. And we are considering.

(The College Football Playoff management committee, which Scott is a member of along with the other FBS conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director, will meet next week at the Big Ten offices outside Chicago. Scott said he and incoming Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff plan to attend).

Q: In what ways was not having experience in college sports a hurdle to overcome?

Scott: I’d say being an outsider it’s hard to fully appreciate the complexities and bureaucracy of the NCAA and the ability to get things done nationally. I didn’t fully appreciate the challenges in the turnover on our campuses and how many times presidents and athletic directors and coaches changed in the 11 years that I was here. And when you go through challenging times, not having been someone that’s been on a campus is an easy shot for people to take. Like any strong leader, you try to complement yourself with skills and experience. So when I started, I hired Kevin Weiberg, one of the most experienced commissioners out there to be my deputy. When Kevin moved I hired Jamie Zaninovich (former West Coast Conference Commissioner) to be my deputy.

Q: Was the Pac-12′s decision to go it alone on its conference networks — and not have a established network partner the way the Big Ten, Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference do — a mistake?

Scott: I think short term it’s been challenging in many respects. Long term, I think it will prove to have been a great decision for the league and that will be coming down in 2024. We’ve received very, very significant offers from private equity companies. We’ve brought Apple and Amazon to the table and we will have more valuable rights coming to the market than other leagues that partnered with outsiders who are going to have to wait until the 2030s. So not not to minimize some of the challenges of tougher distribution when you’re don’t have the leverage, being an outside media company. The creation of the Pac-12 Network was the number one mission based to provide exposure for Olympic sports. And we’ve done that more than any other alternative. And secondly, to preserve the long-term value in an industry that’s rapidly changing and moving more and more to digital and direct to consumer. The Pac-12 is the best positioned of all the conferences to take advantage of those trends in 2024. So I think it’s too early to create the scorecard, but I look forward to seeing how people feel about it in 2024 when the Pac-12 is able to do its next deals, which I think will be outstanding.

Q: You have been criticized for the shortcomings of the Pac-12 Network, along with moving the league offices to a pricey San Francisco space and your own salary, which surpassed $5 million annually. In what ways was the criticism you received unfair?

Scott: When I was hired it was very much with a vision to professionalize the leadership management operations of the league and run it more like a business than it was before on many, many levels. I think we’ve accomplished that. But leadership comes with criticism, and especially if you’re going to take bold swings and do things differently than others. And that’s certainly happened. And also, I’ve never been afraid to take risks. That’s what the group that hired me was looking for. Some things worked out better than anyone could have hoped for, like in our TV deal, which was the biggest in college sports history, and other things didn’t perform as well as people would have hoped.

But the idea of the Pac-12 needing to box above its weight level, we absolutely have. When you look at our fanbase, the passion of the fans, the time zone challenges, there’s no doubt the Pac-12 has closed the gap in most respects and is boxing above its weight level. Whereas, people would not have said that about the Pac-12 in 2009.

Q: Do you believe some of the criticism was warranted?

Scott: I think over an 11-year history with a lot of big swings and bold ideas and given the very public nature of what we do, there are certainly some re-dos I’d like. We had a couple of scandals in officiating, some of which we could have avoided. There were some optics issues, around expenditures that we made that people were sensitive to.

As examples, if I could hit the rewind, it would have been shorter TV deals if I had a crystal ball and knew the short-term pressures and the reactions people would have to the SEC and Big Ten redoing their deals a few years before us. There were absolutely some adjustments I would make. But the big strategic swings where we were in complete alignment with our presidents at the time, and our ADs at the time, I feel very, very good about it. And I think history will prove the wisdom of the steps that we’ve made.

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June 7th

… Foe Pause … 

Johnny Manziel paid $33K for autographs (no punishment for A&M)

From The Sporting News … Johnny Manziel on Thursday admitted to accepting up to $33,000 for signing autographs during his redshirt freshman year at Texas A&M — after he had already won the Heisman Trophy.

The former Texas A&M quarterback, in an interview with Barstool Sports, said he accepted deals from two different men to sign thousands of autographs. Manziel was in Miami at the time for the 2013 BCS Championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame.

“This guy comes up behind me and was like, ‘Yo, how would you want to make three grand?’ I turn around, I’m like, ‘F— yeah, bro’. I got like 65 bucks in my bank account. I’m waiting on that beginning of the month January stipend check,” Manziel told Barstool. “So I take this guy’s number down, we’re doing it all sneaky, we don’t want to get caught. We’re trying to to learn from everybody else who got caught.”

Manziel said he went to the man’s condo, where he was paid $3,000 to sign 10,000 autographs — 30 cents per autograph. While there, Manziel said another man approached him to tell him he was being ripped off, offering him the number of someone who would pay him $30,000.

“I’m like, ‘F— yeah man.’ I’m making ($3,000) then ($30,000),” Manziel said. “So this guy is pretty much like, ‘All right, go to this room at the Fontainebleau. All the stuff will be in there laid out, and when you’re done, just send me a picture of all of it, I’ll give you the code to the safe and the money will be in there.'”

Manziel said he wasn’t worried about the NCAA repealing the stats from his 2012 Heisman campaign, or Texas A&M’s 9-4 record, adding that he hadn’t accepted any money prior to winning college football’s most prestigious individual award. The NCAA generally has a four-year statute of limitations, meaning Manziel’s admission will not result in any punishment for A&M.

Read full story here

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53 Replies to “Pac-12 Notes”

  1. My preference would be that the SEC, and really every conference, step up to 9-game in-conference matchups. I doubt that’ll happen though. So, then if the Pac goes to 8, adding one more non-con, as Wilner points out, how do they get quality non-conference teams to play? On the other hand, the SEC is famous for inserting directional state for the deaf and blind teams around week 9, so, maybe it doesn’t matter?

    Either way, it’s an interesting thing to watch unfold. And, as the NCAA bows further into irrelevance and obscurity, the whole 16-team super conference thing starts to reappear on the horizon, too, where the P5 just start to run their own football show, without the pretense and occasional unequal meddling of the NCAA’s pesky and often bogus rules. They’re almost there now.

    Go Buffs

  2. I was talking with a swim school owner and the I&L coming into play is going to be a positive in the Olympic sports, and schools that do well in those sports that attract endorsements for Olympic athletes; like skiing/snowboarding and track &field and swimming will now be able to keep athletes like Jeremy Bloom. Those athletes being associated with the schools will that will be a positive from “guilt by association”, so to speak perspective.

    Many “amateur” Olympians make money in endorsements and modeling, some millions, and when the Olympics changed the rules I never understood how that was amateurism, but it paid for training too, so there’s that.

    But due to the sheer size and scope AND monies involved, football (and mens basketball) will be bastardized and major changes will probably come down the road on who becomes the “amateur NFL conferences” and who becomes the rest of college football; and how that shakes out.

  3. Hey Guys, Am I off base but I think the ASU cheating scandal is a BIG BIG DEAL!! How can it not be??? They should get the DEATH PENALTY. All the other schools were abiding by the RULES and not hosting players in person and these clowns are thumbing their collective noses in the air and operating business as usual. Shame on Herm Edwards for not having a better moral compass and doing the right thing. I hope the NCAA comes down hard to set an example or this kind of activity will be embolden.
    Thank God we have a head coach that has some integrity!!

    Go BUFFS…….ASU SUCKS!!

    1. I agree it is ludicrous activity. Not sure about the death penalty though, as that punishes everyone around the program for the actions of a couple handfuls. And, I have to think there are probably ten or twenty other programs doing the same or worse.

      We know who they are.

      Go Buffs

      1. “the actions of a couple handfuls. ”

        A “couple of handfuls” is a lot of people, AND it looks like it includes the very top including the AD, Head coach and the top assistants, and now we are hearing of payments and etc. going back before the pandemic violations, so really what is the appropriate punishment?

        It seems as Herm’s miraculous climb, against many predictions when he took the job has been fueled by cheating and ASU’s rise in just a few years was due to that as much as it was his “CEO” style that he claimed.

        Since the AD was involved, the punishment should be harsh, talk about lack of institutional control when the AD is involved in the cheating you have nothing.

        1. Yes, a couple – or even a few handfuls – are a lot within a program. But, ASU has what, 50,000 students? Let alone staff, faculty, etc. The football program alone has what, 100 employees, when including support staff, etc.? So, it’s relative.

          I am not a fan of the death penalty, when we know full well ASU was not the only team in the country doing what they did. Let alone all the other crap that goes on with most of the winning programs in D1 football.

          That’s just my opinion though. And you’re equally entitled to yours. And, although we disagree on the death penalty piece, it’ll still be interesting to see how it shakes out.

          Go Buffs

          1. I ended that first statement with a question regarding what should the penalty be and then wrote there should be a harsh penalty, I didn’t write anything about the death penalty.

            A “harsh” action from the school, could be that the school cleans house including the AD, HC and top assistants that are involved, as soon as they confirm the actions. And with photos and multiple statements that can’t take a long time or it will look bad for the institution.

            A new coach and AD will clean house from there, but that would be a start. The school should be taking this seriously for their reputation, this happened during a pandemic, and the president of the school and it’s leaders should be outraged on how this makes their institution look.

            But, I guess after watching UofA handle Miller and wait so long to take control, we may see it play out differently.

          2. Yeah, Marcus, I can’t see how Herm and Co survive this either. Nor do I think they should, for the reasons you outlined. But, that should – and probably will – come from ASU, vs. the NCAA. The NCAA is a joke. Has been for a while. And were it not for March Madness, they’d be long gone. But that Billion Dollar Party pays a lot of bills. Just not those of the kids who make it so entertaining.

            Go Buffs

  4. I have to agree with Larry. Unless the conferences adopt the same number of conference games, 8 or 9, to consider ranking over conference champion is flawed. To me, all p5’s should play 9 conference games. Not sure the sec has any interest in that, though. And pretty sure their bag men don’t either.

    Go Buffs

    1. I 100% agree with your reason for supporting the outgoing PAC-12 Commissioner’s perspective. The different number of in-conference games, parity in the PAC-12, and perception bias toward the SEC and Big 10 could very easily see the twelve playoff teams come from four Power Five Conferences, one outsider and no PAC-12. He was accurate and correct to object.

  5. When I first read the headline, I thought it was just a tie in to his show, but seeing as how it’s based on his boys & girls club charities, I’m interested in seeing how it plays out.

    I have to say, it’s refreshing to see a charity based organization sponsor and use a bowl game for good and the community and not just another another corporation getting their name out there; yes I know his show will benefit too with his name on it.

    But for those who know, Jimmy gives a lot of both time and money to a couple of local boys & girls clubs and is proud of his community, so this could be a win-win; it will be fun to see how the pre-bowl events play out.

    I think it could be fun.

    I hope the Buffs make it to LA, I’ll spend my money to support the Buffs… and the charities.

      1. ep, I was stating it out loud.
        “If you want to voice your agreement with someone during a debate (especially if you’re a member of the UK Parliament), you will shout “hear, hear.” But as long as you’re shouting, no one will notice you’re wrong if you shout “here, here” because the words are pronounced the same.

  6. ASU gets a whole new staff with many NFL guys and they are the team that had probably the most Covid problems in the conference and it turns out they were cheating the whole time. That caused the Buffs to miss a game that could have really been good for the Buffs had they won that game too.

    So, ASU cheats during lock down costing other teams opportunities, while also paying players, what should their punishment be?

    This issue is only going to get more difficult to manage with the image licensing coming into play.

  7. This is awesome: “I’ve been in situations where we’ve had tremendous success in Year 2. We’ll see how it goes. But right now, our focus is just on getting better, gaining ground and just being relentless in everything that we do.”

    What was left out, apparently, is that “I’ve also been in situations where in year two, I saw it was still going to be really tough to run a program the way I wanted it to run, and so I just bailed.”

    Go Buffs

  8. It says it right in the article, ND doesn’t play a conference championship game, so that “extra” game isn’t an extra game, it’s just their Independent Championship game; their 13th game.

    If they come in ranked in the top 4 and get the 5th seed they would play the 12th seed for their 13th game. Meanwhile all conference Champs have to play a 13th game against (hopefully) a ranked team. For example, how is Oregon & the Buffs having to play a 13th game to decide a conference champion any different?

    See what I did there? 😉

    If ND’s TV contract makes it worth it, recruiting and money wise, the extra game is not really a risk. I guess if the ACC wants to let them keep extra monies from their contract then they will have to weight the potential out comes, and then decide; but they will be fine either way.

  9. Wish Sammy everything he wants. except that he and his (Macwac oc) get stuffed by the Buff D

    Go Buffs

  10. Wilner vomiting again. I see his provincial arrogance extends to the AZ teams too. AU could lick KSazz and ASU would be at least in the upper half of the middling 12 conference.
    No way I’m going to subscribe to read the rest of his garbage but I would be shocked if he wasn’t trying to get them to take the Buffs back too.
    Expanding the conference ain’t going to help the brand either. The new commish sounds like he will take care of the PR part. All the teams have to do now is win the non con and bowl games.

  11. CU’s offense should be better than cal’s. The weakness of our d has been the back end and the weakness of cal’s offense has been qb.

    Of course I pick CU to win every game, so there’s that.

    Ep, come on out. Couple great local breweries out in the sticks around our ‘hood.

    Pk, you can stay home.

    Go Buffs

    1. Didnt realize there were any “sticks” left in Cal. Do the locals refer to Napa as ” the sticks?” We are getting an increasing number of tourists from Cal out here and the few I have conversed with seem to think we are on a “sticks” par with Outer Mongolia.
      I think VK should go. In fact I will definitely go, caddy and tend the golf cart bar if you and VK play a round. It will all be recorded, of course, for the other visitors to this comment site….I’m sure there have to be a few that would be amused.
      We will need another cart driver…maybe someone who will play as well….AZ?
      I will also have to make a sartorial decision for this event. Do I get a 100 dollar haircut and start using hairspray? ……..buy a tasteless golf/polo shirt and a taylor made ball cap? or just go au natural with my unkept Steve Bannon like appearance.

      1. That would be awesome! Check out apple mountain golf course. Placerville, ca. I am a terribly mediocre golfer, but would be hilarious. And we’d finally know who that other guy really is.

        Go Buffs

        1. And to clarify “the sticks” are not placerville. Try Somerset or Fairplay. About 20-30 minutes from “the big city” of placerville. But? We are still only n hour from a couple million peeps. And two or three from like 10-15 million. But still lots o open space here in ca.

          Go Buffs

  12. On the schedule………………

    The “deeeeek” always has to throw a barb at cu.

    Buffs.

    Note: I’m gonna pay ep’s airfare and hotel to go out there and give him the whatfor.

    Note 2: Might as well do earache while yur out there

  13. and the Buffs ran to the PAC to get away from Texas? Out of the pan and into the fire.
    The arrogance is stifling. The logic is insane. So what is the rest of the conference supposed to do? just lay down for USC? Refer all the best recruits to USC? The Buffs and everyone else are supposed to keep losing to USC with a smile and a thank you?…..like its going to float the Buff’s boat any higher?
    There is no point to this garbage for anyone but USC.
    Eff USC and dont use a trojan. Pass that sentiment on to Ohio State, Clemson and Alabama too. Right now I will omit Oklahoma because their offense is so much fun to watch.

    Would it be so terrible if Washington, Utah…or even…gasp… Colorado made a regular appearance in the play offs…or even won?
    Its getting to the point where the same damn team wins the SEC, ACC and Big 10 every year and Oklahoma is close to making it the redundant foursome.
    BORING
    oh yeah….all the spoiled brats at USC are dying to join the club and make college football like elections in Russia.
    Why bother? I already wont watch an Alabama, Ohio State or Clemson game. If things keep going this way and USC manages to kill everyone n the PAC year in and year out I will quit watching college football altogether.
    The play offs have to be expanded to at least 12 teams.

    1. Dude. CU didn’t run from Texas. They ran to their alumni. Largely western. And the association with more academically focused research institutions than the big 12 had. And the money has followed. At least from alumni. And for a minute, the pac 12 distributions too. Just got lapped. I am sure you have seen the sec ads “it just means more”. Direct blast. Not entirely accurate, but ads rarely are.

      Captain obvious.

      Go Buffs

          1. you might try reading past the first sentence sometime…….and mulling it over for a couple of days before you decide on a comeback

          2. Ok ed, the story you nit picked (this time) was from trojanswire. Ahhhh. I see. They should be talking up other conference foes. Especially our beloved Buffs who’ve been irrelevant for basically 20yrs. My bad.

            Or maybe, just maybe, their veiled point was that winning cures all ills. So if the pac 12 wants to be relevant? Win games. And, in their Trojan covered eyes, their best opinion was, usc should lead that charge. But the reality is, as long as any pac 12 team can pick up that mantle, it will help. Even if it’s your favorite Nike u.

            Hopefully it is out Buffs, but they got a bill to climb. Although, I am always optimistic, especially if they have a qb. You get yer gamer shoes on yet?

            Go Buffs

          3. But Stu,
            being retired doesn’t mean I don’t golf, and then golf, and when I finish that golf.

            I’ll have one when I am ready.

            After the first one, Ill put a plan in place to do say one a week for your entertainment.

            And again, there are no restrictions on what I chose to bring to your readers attention. Not gonna deal with your cancel culture crap like you block half my posts cause you don’t like em. So that’s it. I write it you post it. No editing

            buffalo VK

          4. Funny guy. No chance that you get carte blanche on what is posted on this website.
            If you send me an essay, and it is relevant and pertinent, I will post it – no guarantees.

            Now, you can use this as an excuse not to produce an actual essay, which is fine – you’ve already proved my point.
            Your email on Friday morning was a call for more original content. I indicated that it wasn’t that easy, being as I have a job, and am not charging anyone for this site. Seeing as you are retired, and have plenty of opinions, it would have seemed easy for you to come up with an essay over the past four days … but still nothing.

            Thanks for reaffirming the Teddy Roosevelt quote …
            “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

          5. Yo Stu,

            My post didn’t criticize lack of critical content. I said I liked it and wish you would do.

            Yur sure a sensitive ol coot.

            Yur point is not relevant honey.

            Anyway I am ginning one one, call it an introductory presentation.

            As I thought about it, whether you run it or not is a net no nevermind to me. It will just prove my point about your propensity limit my posts.

            I been in the arena stu. You been in the stands.

            Buffs

          6. Still waiting … four days and counting …
            P.S. No one who knows me calls me “Stu” …

        1. What did they say that was not accurate, big boy in the kiddie pool? Who are you anyway? Whoever you are, I generally avoid your kiddie pool and the pee you leave in it.

          What are you afraid of off the high dive?

          Go Buffs

          1. High Dive. You mean a shroom jump? No problem.
            The kiddie pool is your referenced people who swim with the new dude. You don’t know anyone who swims in the pools he does Mr. ranthoneous.

            As far as your golf deal. Spending time with you would be like being stuck in a kornhusk that had been in the crib for too long.

            I’ll pass.

            See ya……………not

            Buffs

          1. I do two new essays per week during the off-season, post articles to the website a dozen times every day, and twice a month, I do a podcast.
            And then, when the season starts … I get busy.

            You’re retired – you should be able to crank out one essay a week easy.
            Your public is waiting …

  14. “Shut the front door, the usc pompous mother.. *&^%$# has spoken! But usc doesn’t need to be the only one at the top, with the same few schools behind them, while USC needs to win the title… some time(s), they really need to win more of their big non conference games and be highly ranked; so if or when they lose to another highly ranked PAC12 school with a better record, that school is talked about in the national picture.

    One with hopefully an expanded number of playoff games in the near future.

    It’s good for the conference to be known for multiple programs every year with a strong top to bottom conference that can rotate a few schools in or out of the top four as long as they can show up in a playoff game or two. And as long as the school that beats USC wins a National Title, a statistical amount of times compared to the other big players, and enough for the conference to be relevant does it matter which school wins? Isn’t it more exciting to see someone new in there every year with 2 or 3 contenders down to the wire than the same school from each conference?

    If the conference was represented every year AND competitive statistically in both wins to advance, and titles, then it wouldn’t matter if it was one of the other teams; as long as the conference gets their share of wins and advances towards the NC with their share of NCs.

    UW had it’s moment in the sun, it’s downfall, and a return to being at the top of the north, it had a good run and history for a period, along with CU in their own decade of winning, seeing them in the playoffs if competitive, would be fun. And we’d want to see more than one or two years even in the playoffs, not a bunch of one(s) and done(s). Then traction can be gained for the whole conference if consistently represented by someone to/towards the end.

    Everyone loves a comeback, with some staying power behind it. If there were more teams to talk about than just the same teams that are always being talked about, then the playoffs would be more interesting; hence the need for more teams in the conversation with more teams playing.

    That might even spread out some of the top recruits if they know 8 or 12 teams are going to be in the playoffs, now twice as many can be in the running; that could be the whole top 25… almost, for a 12 team playoff.

    Utah came off a great couple of years right before the switch to the conference, and has done well because of being able to build and recruit off of that, AND a big consistency in their HC who is a quality coach with great loyalties in that he doesn’t care about working elsewhere or higher up the food chain, he loves skiing and where he lives and has been a stable leader for something like 12 years, having a story like that in the NC picture can gain some interest in the conversation. Not, the (instert the same of 4 names) here…

    CU with the way KD was hired without prep before the pandemic, how great would that story be if they got into the playoff picture sometime soon? 3 or 4 years.

    So, really, while USC needs to win big non-conference games and be in the big conversation, so do other schools, and the trojanpress doesn’t dictate who gets to play along & who doesn’t. Such is the quote from the new commis about the PAC12’s success and deep run this year in the NCAA, we need multiple schools to advance… or at least have a chance to with a fair/share amount of titles.

    1. Are you telling us there is a chance? Mike Bohn is the trojan’s achilles heel?
      In a perfect world Sabin would run for governor, Dabo, with that name, would become a country singing star, Day would get some kind of night job and all their schools would hire the Brett Bilemas of the world.

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