No matter what you might hear over the next few days, we’d never leave you for Austin.
Sure they’ve got great barbecue and music and… you know, on second thought… Nah. It’s always a great day to be a Buckeye- and there’s only one place in Texas that I’d be interested in going to anyway.
Commentary- Counting The Cost
It’s no surprise that there’s a lot of money involved in college football. And that’s not even counting the under the table stuff at Old Miss.
We discuss this often in this space, how the large schools have an inherent advantage over smaller programs in the “spending wars” for facilities and opportunities, how many schools dip into the general fund, tax allocations, or create student fees in order to subsidize the game that we love. And you know my confusion/concern regarding how these expenditures impact the overall mission of academic institutions. So, I’m not going to beat that drum again in this space.
Three things from this week ended up in my “This! This is what I’m talking about!!” file regarding this subject. First, since we’re now in the “everyone gets a trophy” time of year where more than half of the teams in the country get the privilege of playing in a post season event (costing them even more money- see above), it’s also time to talk about “gifting suites” full of swag that the players will be provided for participating in these corporate marketing events.
Remember though, kiddos; no selling any of the things that anyone gives you. That’s frowned upon.
When you read through that list, you can’t help but think a couple of things. First… why can’t tBBC have a “gifting suite”? Second, though, is how hypocritical some of this seems… the arguments are that we shouldn’t reimburse players for their performance other than the huge benefits they already receive (tuition, training, gear, etc.), but then we give them gifts to reimburse them for their performance.
In the past, Bowl goodies have often included copies of college football video games. Awkward.
As amazing as even the smallest bowl gifts are, it’s still just a drop in the bucket when you consider the value that top players bring to their respective Universities and programs. In this article from The Michigan Daily, the discussion centers on how Wolverine quarterback Devan Gardner’s media exposure alone provided unbelievable amounts of positive press for the University; a figure that the article estimates is around 15 million in August and September alone.
And just think if they’d evaluated the impact of a good player.
So the Nike glasses and shoes, the fancy Oakley backpacks, the leather recliners… those are just a drop in the bucket of what could be available for college football players. And, at most schools, all of this is subsidized outside of the athletic department. Makes sense, right?
Add to that Tuesday’s “Coaching Carousel Chaos” at Texas and Alabama, where Mack Brown is rumored to be on his way out this week and Nick Saban is reported to be on his way in. Again, all of this is just strongly reported rumors at this point- Brown himself has come out to say that he’s still working hard for the Longhorns (although a. That’s what was said before the AD transition in Austin and b. Brown needs to be fired/reassigned in order to maintain his buyout. So of course he’s still employed there).
Oh, and if you’re looking for comedy… Urban’s name is on the “Texas Wish List” as well.
Here’s where the dots get connected- The figures thrown around for Texas’ next coach are astounding. Whispers of $100 million buyouts, $7-$10 million per year, stake in the Longhorn network may be extreme, but are being met with “yeah, I could see Texas doing that” rather than incredulity at the huge amounts.
And who knows? St. Nick may stay in Birmingham with a new contract leveraged by this whole situation.
Granted, the CEO of a multi-million dollar organization like Texas, Ohio State, Southern Cal, Florida, Alabama, etc. should be compensated in accordance to their responsibilities. No qualms with capitalism here.
Instead, keep two things in mind as this continues to process. First, shouldn’t Mack Brown be treated better? As someone who has run a clean program as far as we can tell, has been successful at varying levels (one title, one title appearance, conference championships), and has done all this at an institution that is academically challenging should be celebrated and not merely pushed aside for the new hotness.
Second… that’s a ton of money. Being spent by a college. For non-educational pursuits. Dayum. And there’s not enough money for the players to receive stipends because????
Other Football News
Wonder if he makes home delivery: