Counting The Cost With Silver Bullet Points

Written January 16th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

It’s a relatively quiet week for Ohio State sports (*knocks on wood*); coaches are recruiting, hoops is preparing for an attempt to sweep That State Up North, and all the students are above average.  So, let’s dig around the ol’ interwebs and see what we can find to chat about today, shall we? Oh, and I’m enjoying this at the moment.

Nothing is free

Buckeye 411

  • Tress Talks- He’s gone, but not forgotten, and 97.1 had an interview with the new Akron administrator today that was chock full of the types of discussion that Ohio State fans were familiar with for ten years. He comments that he does “everything but Saturday afternoons” at Akron, but that he hasn’t had a moment where he felt like he needed to put the whistle back on an coach as much as he misses the chess game and camaraderie. He said that there’s a “whole bunch of things I’d have done differently”, but that he gave his heart and soul to the University for 10 years- something that he feels wonderful about. About his legacy, he looks to the players and coaches that he worked with, and sees those relationships as strong as ever no matter the circumstances. When questioned about the NCAA process, he said that he felt that he was treated more than fairly throughout and doesn’t worry too much about that now that it’s in the rearview mirror. Coach talked about his philosophy for helping engage students who might find themselves in trouble… that you support them through the process, you walk alongside them through the consequences, and that these have been watershed moments for many of the students he’s had a chance to work with. Tressel is confident that Coach Meyer is in the midst of doing amazing things, and that the Buckeyes are in great hands for the long haul.

Yeah, he’s pretty freaking good. Be sure to stay tuned to tBBC for the latest updates and coverage of the 2013 recruiting process and beyond.

Commentary- Carts and horses

Is Balance Possible?

Interesting data this week from the Delta Cost Project, furthering my concern at the financial impact and mission drift that “big time” athletics is having on institutions of higher education, including Ohio State. In a brief released today, the Project identifies the vast gulf between institutional expenditures on student athletes as compared to the “general”, full time student- $92K at FBS schools versus $14K for the traditional student. Oh, and the SEC has the largest disparity between funding per capita for athletes and other students; the B1G is in the middle of the pack.

Granted, much of this is funding that the athletic teams and department generate themselves, but it’s still crucial to acknowledge a couple of facts. First, there are still a number of institutions who rely heavily on institutional subsidies to balance their athletic budgets- only a few are able to stand alone without state funding or student fees (one in four). Second, smaller FBS programs are a financially closer to being FCS, in terms of how money is allocated and spent across the board.  Third, and most interestingly, the top tier of schools (those who have stand alone athletic departments), continue to spend and spend and widen the gap between themselves and those in the remaining tiers. As someone who’s expecting that this type of issue to facilitate a split in FBS schools, the pattern is something to monitor.

The study, which is also highlighted in USA today, also has some interesting things to say about the “positive impact” that having high profile sports programs can have on an institution-

Participation—and particularly success—in Division I college athletics often results in priceless “advertising” for colleges and universities, reaching potential students, donors, and politicians. But evidence of the ancillary benefits of college sports is mixed. Successful athletic performance appears to boost applications at winning colleges and universities, but aside from a few isolated examples—such as the often cited but largely exaggerated “Flutie factor”—the effects are typically quite modest. The applications advantage is primarily associated with success in football (winning championships in particular), and the bump generally lasts only a year or two. It is less clear whether these larger application pools result in admitting a higher quality class, but again the positive effects appear modest and are typically confined to football success.

And even then, it’s often about visibility rather than success… which is yet another reason that the television contracts are a significant part of college sports’ future.

Take a look at that from the perspective of a college student, not at Ohio State or Texas, but at one of the schools who cannot afford the competition of the “arms race” of big time athletics without relying on your contribution (fees or tax funds), Is it possible that you might feel frustrated that your college experience, while enhanced by the school spirit and pride that comes with following winning programs, is significantly different that those who are directly benefiting from your finances. While you receive aid or do work study to be able to eat like a college student, it certainly can feel unjust to know that there’s even discussion for student athletes to receive an even larger stipend- we’ve certainly heard that as a part of that debate.

And that’s not even the larger question that we’ve had here before, the one about the “purpose” of athletics and how it fits into the mission of higher education- whatever the institution.  It’s been said that where someone’s treasure is, there their heart is also… and it certainly seems as if, at many larger learning communities, the treasure is not actually in the teaching and developing of the majority of the participants.

Case in point: UNLV’s new on campus football stadium is rumored to cost more than that institution’s endowment, and is aimed both at helping the Rebels “keep up with the Joneses”, but also possibly lure a Super Bowl and/or a BCS game to the city that’s home for much of the nation’s sports gambling.  I’m sure there’ll be a lot of great research and teaching done there as well. Totally.

Around The NCAA

The institutional decline of Southern Cal, as business consultant and educator Jim Collins would put it, came like a staged disease; an initially unknown cancer that ate away silently at USC fed by its own gluttony for success. At first, it was almost impossible to detect but easily correctable. If the powers that be could have saw the writing on the wall and slowed the bleeding, the program might have been saved. Yet USC sunk deeper and deeper into the quicksand of its own arrogance, until it realized that all it had accomplished had only come about because of broken rules and scorched earth.

  • Next Up? On Sunday, speculation abounded that Miami would soon receive it’s “Notice Of Allegations” from the NCAA in the Nevin Shapiro mess. Given that it’s a private institution, and not subject to the same Freedom Of Information requests as state universities, it may be a while before we know anything about any contents of said documents. And even then, it’s important to remember that the University gets it’s chance to respond, then come the meetings with the Committee On Infractions, and then the final decisions. So, it may not be any time really soon, but we’re getting closer.
  • But That Means- that the Ducks may have a bit more time before they face the NCAA as well.  Maybe that’s why Chip Kelly decided to not jump to the pros at this time- he’s hoping for one more season before the feathers fly.

And Finally

In case you missed it this weekend, those NFL Films parabolic microphones are really REALLY sensitive:


  1. JasonNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    “For Whom Vonn Bell Tolls”… Very nice!


    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    We’ll make it a Wednesday twofer. :)


  2. KenNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Interesting commentary on ‘carts and horses’, thanks. Also, nice Hemingway reference, ‘Papa’ Mali.


    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Shhhh…. Jason thinks it’s only a Metallica song. :)


    KenNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Oh, fer gawd’s sake; youngin’s these days..


    WVaBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    January 17th, 2013 at 6:52 am

    WHU?! Ken . . , the Metallica guys are prolly YOUR age . . , just sayin


    KenNo Gravatar
    January 17th, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Actually about a decade or so after my heyday. Couldn’t sneak that one by you, could I?


  3. KenNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    And Chip Kelly will be new coach of Philadelphia Eagles.


    EricNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Wait, really? …

    Sure enough!


    KenNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either, Philly’s a pretty tough gig. Now I’m curious to see what will cascade out of Oregon.


  4. JimNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    So, uh, some bad timing on the Manti Te’o story today. Although I doubt things will be entirely cleared up even by next weeks addition of Silver Bullets.

    Crazy, crazy stuff.

    Also, Southern Cal apparently had an all out locker room brawl following their bowl game this year.

    Combined with the story you mentioned, I can only come to one conclusion: Lane Kiffin is the greatest head football coach in the history of the universe.


    KenNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Can you imagine this nonsense in Columbus? Fight on!


    KenNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Jim, that is a very bizarre story about Te’o. None of what I saw reported makes any sense at all.


    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    January 17th, 2013 at 2:35 am

    You know, my one fear was that I’d publish and the Miami NOA would drop.

    Never expected Kelly to leave Oregon, USC to be UFC, and whatever the hell is going on in South Bend.

    Yeeks. Remember when “college football scandal” was a couple of kids peeing in the bushes and running from cops?


    KenNo Gravatar
    January 17th, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Yep. Those scandalous days sound almost quaint.


  5. RyanNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    So Vonn Bell ‘silent verballed’ to Alabama. Then he told a member of the press it wasn’t true.
    The answer…
    Bell did silent verbal to Bama, and someone he knows and trusted leaked it. When asked by a member of the press he says ‘that’s not true’. Why? Because if he confirmed that he silent verballed, then it would be silent. If he says ‘no comment’ then that would confirm the silent verbal. So he did the only thing he could… deny. But that does not confirm that he didn’t silent verbal, just that he’s not stupid.
    So… we’ve lost Bell. I think Urban understands that and it’s why he’s sending out feeler offers to other talent in the country.


    KenNo Gravatar
    January 17th, 2013 at 7:54 am

    How do you ‘silent verbal’; nod your head? ;)


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