Monday, July 21, 2014

The Regents Unite Against DB


So, the regents are saner than the collective at 1000 SSS.  Last Thursday, they voted down the fireworks idea for reasons of noise, safety and believe it or not, the one thing that the AD department under DB seems to have forgotten about....

Tradition!!

You can read about it in the News here....


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

2014 Pre-Season Spectacular!!!

49 Days to Kick-Off!!!    I know it’s only July….but College Football LOOMS!!!

I’ve seen many of you over the off-season and I really do appreciate the feedback and ideas for making the blog better.  I feel like this is a “community” blog and more of a reference go to place for links to other resources, but never the less, I get to say my bit and you all get a giggle or two out of it, hopefully.

This off-season has been quieter that the last several…no Johnny Football scandal…no FSU QB scandals…well, RECENT scandals.  There was crab-leg gate that consumed a lot of the spring news, but the MMQ didn’t jump in on that…I figure everybody else could have some fun with that and really, at the end of the day, what more could be said?

So, what have you missed by not following CFB for the last several weeks?  How about a few

 Odds and Ends

This is an interesting item:  Purdue will have beer and wine sales for the first time this season at all home Football Games.  And while I get that watching Purdue Football is hard, (Insert any of the multiple jokes about trying to watch 60 minutes of Boilermaker Football SOBER HERE) since Drew Brees left, the Boilers haven’t had a winning season. And when that happens, well, you could GIVE the Beer and Wine away and I’m not sure fans would show up.  But, in case they do and due to the fact that the 'ole Ross-Ade stadium in West Lafayette was in need of a re-model, the south end zone bleachers were torn down.  And they are going to put in a patio!!!  Check it out:



That’s right on the field, folks.  Yep…I’m getting real nervous if Brandon sees this and starts thinking about what to do with the empty seats at Michigan Stadium…Of course, Michigan doesn’t play Purdue for like…ever, (next scheduled game - 2017 in West Lafayette)  but it makes me think that it’s an awfully short road trip for what would be cheap tickets and a chance to quench your thirst with a favorite Saturday beverage whilst watching the game. Yes – Road Trip in 2017...Someone write that down....Oh, I just did.

Texas A&M is going to have the BIGGEST. SCOREBOARD. EVER. To look at during home games.  I guess they figure if people want to watch a big screen, why not put one in the stadium?  How big, you ask?  163 feet wide by 47 feet tall….If I do the math correctly…let’s see…carry the 2…7,661 sq. ft.




Yep…That’s Big.  And it’s going to be 1080 HD.  So, Aggies, when to the lazy boys go in?


The Athletic Department has proposed the use of close proximity fireworks during the Sept. 13 Miami University, and Oct. 11 Penn State home games. The Penn State game has a 7 p.m. kickoff time, while the Miami start time has yet to be announced.
 

"To further enhance the fan experience for these important games, the department proposes to hold close proximity fireworks displays as part of the production," the proposal read.





But Mr. MMQ, WHY do you think this is a bad idea?  The Detroit Tigers do it on Friday nights during the summertime after home games on occasion…during the summer when everyone wants to stay up late…with baseball…and losing a regular season game is part of baseball and the fireworks are something to look forward to win or lose…Oh, I see where you’re going now and why you think fireworks in the fall are an enormously stupid idea and a waste of the fan’s hard earned coin. 
 
Yep, okay…got it!

Luckily, the regents still need to approve this and maybe there’s someone with a shred of sanity left who will put their foot down and state openly, “Michigan Football does not need the gimmick of fireworks after the game.  Thanks anyway.” 

I was recently asked what I thought of Brandon as an AD.  I remember penning some words when he was first hired that ANYTHING had to be better than Sailboat Bill Martin…Unfortunately, at this point in time, Brandon is making me wish we HAD BILL MARTIN BACK! 

I hope this answers the question on where I stand with respect to Brandon as AD…Isn’t he supposed to run for governor or something?  When is that happening?

The Michigan Take

With respect to Michigan off-season news, it’s been quiet…too quiet. I normally get an earful or eyeful from some other fans, but there seems to be a bit of apathy within the fan base…I liked it a LOT better when people were either loving or hating the upcoming season.  Right now, it seems like there’s a lot of “meh” out there and not a lot of passion…

Is Brady Hoke’s Job on the Line this Season?  I’ve had that question posed to me by several people stating that his record isn’t that much better than Rich Rod’s after 3 seasons and he should be looking at the door if he only posts 7 wins.  The MMQ will state this:  Brady is better at communicating with Michigan Football fans, the media, and the Michigan Alumni Players (AKA – The Michigan Mafia).  We get his style of football and we understand where it can go.  Yes, Borges was a problem and probably should have been canned before the end of last year if not the end of 2012.  It wasn’t working then and it certainly didn’t get any better last year.  But he's fixed that problem...hopefully, so let's see where this goes...

Long story – Short Question:  Can Michigan find its soul and figure out a way to win the B1G Championship and is Brady Hoke the guy to do that?  I say he still is until he does something to prove otherwise and he is getting closer to having the right pieces of the puzzle in place…

What does the Ole’ MMQ foresee for Michigan this year?  Let’s start with the easy one first:

 Defense

I believe with Jake Ryan returning healthy, leading a solid LB core and Jabril Peppers contributing earlier than anyone thinks, Michigan has the possibility of being the most improved defense in the B1G…if not the NCAA.  Yeah, I know, that’s really putting it out there.  The “D” was ranked 5th in overall defense last year in the B1G and that was without an offense on the other side of the ball.  I figure if there’s ANYTHING resembling an offense this year the defense will have the luxury of not being on the field for more than 30 minutes a game and should be able to not only hold their own, but play with an up tempo, turn-over producing style that Mattison loves….Yes, look for a defense that could potentially make us think about 2006 and 1997. 

 Did I just write that?  Yep, I did.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it….

Offense






 

 

That’s all I’ve got.  Yeah, DG is back and hopefully 100% healthy.  But Nussmeier is new and there’s a new (albeit streamlined) offensive game plan in place.  Michigan literally has a plethora of RB’s with transfers and incoming freshmen capable of starting.  IF Smith and Green come in at their playing weight and Funchess can play something like Megatron and he gets some help from Canteen and Chesson, among others…Well, it could be interesting...IF the offensive line can gel and get the hang of the Nussmeier mechanics…but if they can’t…  Turning around an offense and playing with a new scheme is like turning around the Titanic.  ITT- It Takes Time….Of course, Aburn did it and ended up in the National Title Game with a brand new offense…So, I dunno. 

The Rest of the Mess

Finally, after harping and complaining about the BCS for 16 years…It’s finally dead and College Football Nation is on to the 4 Team Play-off for a National Title!!  Yes, I’m excited for College Football and the first 4 teams that participate in the play-off will be Jeopardy and Bar Trivia answers for years to come.  I can only hope the Wolverines are one of them…but a lot of things have to happen before that comes to fruition.

Will the fans like the CFB Play-Off?  Absolutely.   Unfortunately, I think the places the play the semis will be completely empty as homer slappys will wait until their team wins and buy their National Championship package afterwards.  I do foresee a day when the play-offs happen on home fields.  You can say you read it here first.

MMQ Top 10

Everyone knows that pre-season Top 10’s are kind of like looking at the wedding cake and predicting that the marriage will last 25 years…All you have is a pretty picture and nobody has done anything yet.  Anyway, I will give you my thinking on who will be in the FINAL Top 10 once the season is over….

  1. Florida State – Can’t ignore the possibility of lightning striking twice and with that schedule…Well, let’s just say I will be surprised when this team loses.
  2. Stanford  - They will have beaten the 3rd ranked team in the Final 4 for a chance to lose to FSU in the College Football Play-off.  Yes, the Cardinal will win a tough Pac 12, beating UCLA in the championship…
  3. Sparty – As much as this pains me to say it…Look out for Sparty this year having a nice run in the B1G and potentially going undefeated.  They’ve got the schedule to do it and Cook has another year of experience under his belt…Unfortunately, Stanford will remember that they have a passing game and defeat Sparty in the Semis during the Final 4….
  4. Satan’s Warriors:  Yes, they will have won the SEC, but they will have a couple of blemishes on the record and will have squeaked into the Final 4.  It’ll be a close game, but they won’t get past FSU to get into the championship game…
  5. ohio – Will lose to Michigan and that will be what knocks them out of the B1G Championship Game against
  6. Wisconsin – Look out…I may have these guys lower than they should or could be.  IF Wiscy can get past Sparty in the B1G, well, they will be in the Final 4. 
  7. Oregon – Another team that could be in the Top 4 come the end of the year…Sparty visits Autzen this season and that will be a HUGE game to decide who might get a Final 4 nod…I like Sparty.  Don’t know why.
  8. Oklahoma….They could also be in the Final 4, but it will require perfection without a title game in the Big XXII
  9. Missouri – Will be in the Championship against Satan’s Warriors…but lose again…
  10. UCLA – Mora could actually win the Pac 12 Conference, but man, its solid top to bottom…
Dark horses to infiltrate the Top 10 (or even the Final 4) with a bit of Luck:  MICHIGAN, LSU, Washington, South Carolina, Baylor, and Auburn (if they get their QB back)…

So, with all that being said, how does Michigan in fact create a dream season and win the B1G and potentially get a shot at the being in the Final 4??  Here’s the entire dream season, game by game!

8-30-14  App State:  I don’t want to say anything about this game.  It’s revenge…JUST WIN!

Michigan 52- App State - 0

9-6-14  @ domers:  As usual, domer nation is all agog over what they are bringing back and who will be playing and they have all more or less accepted the fact that they will be one of the Final 4 due to "how can you not have the domers in the first play-off??"  However, I do believe that Michigan has the domer’s number and no one…NEITHER TEAM wants to lose the last one to be played between these two for the foreseeable future after the chickens backed out of the game…Yeah the game is in the dark in domerland…Big Deal.  Ask the domers how the last two night games worked out for them. 

Michigan 31- chicken dinners 23

9-13-14   Miami (Ohio):  Miami is still a bit of a train wreck and this could be a nice game to get some kinks worked out of the offense before a very good Pac 12 team comes to town….

Michigan 45 – Bo’s Alma Mater  10

9-20-14   UTAH:  This is a pretty good team that has some returning starters and they are really well coached by a guy who is on EVERYONE’S SHORT LIST whenever a vacancy pops up – Kyle Whittingham.  This could be a home game “oops” where Michigan stumbles early and loses a close one.  Or Michigan could get really exposed on defense if they aren’t careful. 

Michigan 24 – Upsetting Utes 27

9-27-14:    MINNESOTA:  Poor Minnesota got stuck with the same “two years in a row at Michigan” deal as Michigan did with respect to Sparty.  Somebody ought to be shot for letting that happen…And I’m sure Gopher fans are thinking the same thing.  Can Kill get a victory over Michigan?  I don’t think so…not after a Michigan home loss…

Michigan 35 – Road Kill 13

10-4-14  @ Rutgers:  Another train wreck of a team that looks nothing like what it used to look like under Schiano…Flood is still trying to figure out which conference his team is in and who his new rival is…

Michigan 42 –Underwater-scarlet-shorts 14

10-11-14:  PENN STATE:  This game scares the BEJEZUS out of me this year…Why?  Because I didn’t mind O’Brien being the head coach at PSU.  He was brought in to clean it up and keep it business like.  But now, NOW PSU has a guy in Franklin that actually cares about the college game and is going to have that team playing PUMPED….This one could get tricky, even though it’s revenge for Michigan…

Michigan 23 – Blue and White Kitties  20 (OT)

10-25-13  @ MSU:   Okay – either it ends here and Hoke re-establishes who is the Football Elite in the state of Michigan…or it’s a slippery slide down into the abyss.  I don’t’ want to slide down into the abyss, so Jesus-Tap-Dancing-Christ… BEAT SPARTY! 

Michigan 35 – Little Brother 33 (OT)

11-1-14  INDIANA:   This team also scares me…and I don’t like to play a game immediately after playing Sparty close.  Indiana will have some tricks up their sleeve and this is a game where Michigan fans may end up asking themselves, “How did we beat Sparty and lose to Indiana???”

Michigan 27 – Who’s Your Daddy 35

11-8-14 @ Northwestern:  The MMQ practically nailed the score and the fact that the game almost went into OT last season.  However, with distracted Purple Kitty Kats everywhere, Fitzgerald is going to find that this team won’t be as formidable as they have been in the past.  I’m guessing that the Purple Kitties go down easier…

Michigan 27 – Kitty Kats 13

11-22-14 MARYLAND:  Maryland Football is a bit of an oxymoron right now. (No Sparty and suckeye fans – I’m not calling them names.  An oxymoron is a play on words where two words are put together that can have opposite meanings:  Army Intelligence, Jumbo Shrimp, Sparty Academics, ohio degrees…see what I’m doing there?)  No Maryland is trying very hard to play football there…It just doesn’t look like football.

Michigan 35 – The Tortoise loses This One 21

11-29-14: @ ohio:  Michigan will have lost two games up to this point, (maybe 3) and again, if they want into the Final 4 and the B1G Championship Game, well…All roads go through Columbus.  Can Michigan finally shake the 11 Year Monkey off their back and have a two-loss season where they BEAT all their rivals?  I think they could!!!

Michigan 21– Suckeyes 16

Big 10 Championship:  Michigan finds a Badger team that plays right into their hands…Wiscy tries to run the ball into the league leading defense and loses a close Championship Game.

Michigan 17 – Wiscy 14

So, will a Michigan team with two regular season losses but with a B1G championship under its belt be good enough to garner a top 4 spot?  Maybe…Maybe.  I know, I have Sparty in the Final 4 and I have Michigan winning the B1G in the Dream Season...Please submit all complaints on the back of a $10 bill and mail to the MMQ....

Idle Thoughts From the Pre-Season

-The off season keeps getting shorter and shorter…
-My nephew is going to UM this fall!!
-THAT…Is hard to believe.
-I don’t feel that old…
-Well, sometimes I do…
-New team of Dierdorf and Brandstatter will make the calls on Wolverine Radio…
-I like Doug Karsch…
-Not saying he should have got the job, but when Dierforf is there..well…
-Sometimes you just have to recognize that you’re good…just not that good.
-I thought the State of Michigan did pretty well in the NBA draft.
-6 Michigan players drafted in the NBA draft in the last 2 years.
-Why bring up basketball during football season?
-“Why NOT?”



-That’s the family Tiki Bar we built over the summer!
-Hey, everyone needs a hobby.
-Two of my favorite hobbies are woodworking and beer…
-So I figured, “Why not combine them?”
-Why not, indeed!
-If you’re ever in the neighborhood, swing by!
-You BET there’s a lot of Michigan stuff hanging inside.
-All the stuff Mrs. MMQ won’t let me hang in the basement...





 
-And it’s all got a good home now.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
-Do I really think that Michigan can win 10 games this season?
-After Auburn…Anything’s possible.
-There’s a lot of desire in Ann Arbor...
-Of course, there’s desire everywhere.
-Hoke is not going to get fired this season…I don’t think.
-But if he does, who’s next?
-Good Question. 
-Took forever to get to Hoke in the first place...
-I don’t want to think about that…not yet, anyway.

The Hot Seat

I can’t believe I’ve been doing the hot seat for 5 years and we are entering the 6th season of the Hot Seat Mascot!  Truly a milestone of sorts and the careers we’ve helped to get off the ground and move forward by appearing as a Hot Seat Mascot are too numerous to mention.  So, without further ado, the 2014 Hot Seat Mascot for the Pre-Season Spectacular is  - Alison Brie!  You may have seen her in “Mad Men” playing Trudy and she has been in some other stuff as well…

 
 
 
 
 



 
 
 
 
 
 
Hot Seat Rank

  1.  Will Muschamp:  If Brady’s head is on the line, Will’s ass is certainly feeling the heat.
  2. Charlie Weis:  Believe it or not, I had to look this up.  I thought he had already been canned at Kansas…Nope.  Still there.
  3. Dana Holgorensen:  Here’s another coach that was welcomed with open arms and those same arms are trying to strangle him and desperately want him gone…
  4. Pelini:  I’m not sure why I’m putting him on here, but I guess it’s ‘cause he’s Bo and who knows what he’ll do next…
  5. Brett Bielema:  Coaches with troubles in Arkansas nation that don’t win are not tolerated very long…Brett’s seat is close to getting really hot…
  6. Hazell:  Purdue.  Even though I like this guy, he needs to win some games..
  7. Turner:  Florida International…Even though he’s a big name, you have to win a game or two..
  8. Norm Chow:  Hawaii.  The Rainbows haven’t mattered in awhile..and that’s a fan base that cares.
  9. Beckman:  Illinois.  Another coach that needs some wins…desperately.
  10. Satan:  I know, I always put him on the list.  But I have a feeling if he DOESN’T win the SEC or make the Final 4…His seat will get a little warm in Tuscaloosa..

 

FMQ

I haven’t reviewed the entire results from the FMQ last season, but I do know I wasn’t able to give it as much time as usual.  I will try to get back to form this season and we’ll see if we can’t double up on the season with some better picks!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Game Is About To Change...Continued

On the ESPN spin off editorial blog “Grantland”, CharlesPierce penned a really good entry along the lines of a train of thought that Ihad been thinking about for a while.  If you don’t have time to read it, I can summarize it here:

If you are on the side that everything is “FAIR” in college athletics and the money that student athletes receive in the form of scholarship money is fair compensation for the product they put on the field for the 3 or 4 years that they play…Than what about the time and activity post graduation where the NCAA and the associated Universities use that athlete’s image and likeness in order to promote the NCAA or the University’s agenda?

You know…Denard Robinson’s image on 110,000 tickets for the home opener?  What about Nick Stauskas all over the season opening program?
Yeah…that stuff.  Not to mention the video games and whatever else the NCAA or University can license, sell or make a buck off of. 

This is where Wilkensen is really digging in…Which is her area of expertise:
…Whether NCAA athletes like the plaintiff, former UCLA All-American Ed O’Bannon, have signed away the rights to their names, images, and likenesses to the NCAA based on its purported code of amateurism, and whether, by enforcing that purported code — even after athletes’ eligibility has ended — the NCAA has been acting in restraint of trade and in violation of antitrust laws. Wilken was curious about one point.


“Are you saying,” she asked Heckman, skepticism edging every word like a razor, “that being paid for your name, image, and likeness is the same as being paid for the activity itself?”


If Wilken believes that payment for an athlete’s name, image, and likeness is something different from being paid simply for playing the game — that it constitutes something not in violation of the rules regarding amateurism, but rather something outside of them — then that’s the ballgame.

In short, you can’t take a person or their image for the “Rest of their life” if they’ve given you 3-4 years in the athletic arena.  Not only that, but if Wilkensen rules that the individual owns their own likeness….That person should be able to take that image and make money on it whatever way they can – period. 

Which, if you’ve been paying attention to the MMQ:
THAT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING!!!  LET THE KIDS MAKE MONEY WHERE EVER OR HOWEVER THEY CAN!!!  Whether they are playing or long after they leave....

In fact, I think the NCAA and the Universities simply haven’t thought it through, which is really sad.  What I mean is, if you let the athlete use the “Image” he created at your university (jersey) and he makes a Nike shoe ad, the University will be getting a lot of free advertising from that student athlete.  And per DB, who doesn’t want free advertising?  This could be the easiest "Win-Win" no brainer out there.....
This ruling is going to dramatically change the way athletes are dealt with in Division 1 College athletics, especially Football and Basketball.  And the Universities better start figuring out a way to get on board with it.  The NCAA may already be gone and they might not know it yet. 
It’s going to be an interesting summer….

Friday, June 20, 2014

And Here They Are!!! Step Right Up and Buy a "Package"



This irks me on SO MANY DIFFERENT LEVELS that I’m not even sure where I want to begin….However, in the spirit of being objective, I will take DB’s side on this to show why this is an absolutely wonderful thing for the university of Michigan (having un-sold season tickets) and how they can leverage this “opportunity” to their advantage.

I guess I will fall back to the old numbering system to logically lay what Brandon has to believe is a “great marketing opportunity” and I in turn will spell out my perturbed-ness of this mess….

1.     DB” Pro - So, packages of tickets are now being put together with shirts and refreshments for particular games.  The casual fan now has the opportunity to see the Michigan Wolverines live and in person.   This is great for the many Michigan Fans that never, ever get a chance to come and enjoy Michigan in the Big House!!!  MMQ ConWell That’s Fantastic…The LOYAL long time ticket holders get screwed by having to pay not only for PSL’s and season tix with the likes of App State as part of the season package, but we also get to fight the university on any potential re-sale of our tickets for individual games we can’t attend or don’t want to attend…    RESULT:  Pissed off loyal fans that will quickly figure out that it’ll be better to just dump the regular season tickets and buy packages for games you want to go to, if for no other reason than to get out of the PSL’s….

2.    DB Pro   - Michigan will get to market itself to potentially new, loyal season ticket purchaser’s and other fans that they haven’t had a chance to ever sell to before due to the long waiting list that Michigan used to have….This will present a great opportunity to bring new money and fans into the Michigan Fold and let them see what the Big-House has become…
      MMQ Con   - My guess is that casual fan will see the product on the field and what they have to go through to get in and out of Ann Arbor on Football Saturday and without the tradition of “The Tailgate” and something to do before and after the game, they will quickly figure out that going to catch the Wolverines live simply won’t be worth it and you will see them once and they will be happy to stay home and watch them on their 60” screens…

3.    DB Pro  - We will have a whole new mailing list to send fans requests for contributions and possible season ticket opportunities… 
     MMQ Con – Yeah…Sure.   You think that a casual fan that is buying a package that includes a free shirt, hot dog and a coke is going to pony up a minimum of $150/seat for the “right” to buy season tix and then throw down another $500 for a single season ticket?  Exactly which casual fan are you hoping to entice with this?
So, you can see how I believe this will be the beginning of the end for Michigan’s “Continuous Sell-Out” record.  Granted, attendance figures have always been fudges and I’ve attend a couple of “less than 100K” games in my lifetime, even though Michigan still claims that is a running record due to Season Ticket Holder sales…

Maybe Hoke and company can turn it around and all of this becomes a moot point…the product on the field has always sold tickets and kicked up demand.  That’s just the way it is and will continue to be for any sporting event or sports team.

The FMQ
Yikes…Early lines are out…They are depressing, but sadly, probably very real. Michigan as a dog against Michigan State (they are +7.5) and Ohio State (+8). They're only +3 at the domers, which domer home field and all….

Michigan is a touchdown favorite against Penn State and –3 against Northwestern.  As for the rest…if they are anything less than double digit  favs against what remains of the schedule(well, except Utah – I expect a tough one at home there)…it will be a sad year indeed…

The NCCA – O’Bannon Trial
This continues to draw my interest and while I haven’tbeen following as closely as I would like, some of the stuff coming out of itjust makes you shake your head and wonder “who” the entitled people in thisoutfit are…Emmert was making arguments that if you lose “amateurism” in college athletics, the very fabric that makes college athletics possible by competing on a level playing field will be gone…and Alabama and SW Louisiana State are level playing fields????  And this coming from a man whose salary is $1.6 million annually and he’s making money off these “amateur” athletes?
Please…I want to throw something at somebody.  Of course…that’s probably why I’m not a judge.

Here’s another quote from Emmert:

 The lawsuit and other efforts targeting the NCAA have already had some effect, with the biggest five conferences moving quickly toward giving athletes more money and benefits. Emmert said he supported those moves, but said giving athletes more than the true cost of attendance would cause a free-for-all in recruiting and force many schools to give up smaller sports…
Excuuuuuse me…But isn’t college “about” studying and getting an education?  It’s only been about additional sports for men and women since Title IX came about…and who said any university “HAD TO HAVE” a sports program for field hockey just because someone else in the conference figured out a way to support one?  If the sport can’t pave it’s own way through ticket sales or private donations…welcome to the "Field Hockey Club" and the pay to play model. 

And the judge also got into the act with Emmert on the stand.  As the plaintiff’s attorney was wrapping up his questioning, Judge Wilken intervened with some of her ownquestions.
"If the money was held in trust until the athletes graduated," she asked, "would that have the same effect?"   The last thing the NCAA wants to hear mentioned in this trial is a post-graduation trust fund. It's an idea that makes a lot of sense. The money would come from merchandise manufacturers and television networks, it would not affect college budgets and it would make no changes in the players' lives on campus. It's also an idea Emmert and the NCAA will not consider…
…The judge was not done. A few minutes later, she again turned to Emmert, asking him to explain what he meant when he talked about the "exploitation of athletes" by commercial enterprises .

"I am talking about third parties who would take advantage of them, like agents and financial advisers, people who would use them as shills for products," Emmert replied.
Any payment to an athlete would be exploitation, Emmert said. (Judge) Wilken, obviously perplexed that additional resources for a college student could be viewed as "exploitation," was clearly incredulous.

"Do you think it's exploitation of them or something you don't want happening?" Wilken asked.
It didn't get any better for the NCAA when Isaacson produced several images of current and past NCAA athletes appearing in promotional materials for the NCAA men's basketball tournament and other NCAA-sanctioned events. A photo of Wisconsin's football players appearing at a Rose Bowl news conference -- in front of a Vizio logo -- also was presented into evidence. So was a photo of Texas A&M's football players celebrating a bowl victory in front of a table featuring the Chick-fil-A and Kia logos.

"And that's perfectly fine?" Isaacson asked Emmert.

"That's fine under the rules," Emmert replied. "It's not something I'm personally comfortable with."
Back to the MMQ:  The NCAA is sooooooo......F’d here.  I’m surprised they are going to go through with this all the way to the end vs. getting a directed verdict.  But with a ruling, the NCAA can continue to appeal and drag this mess out and continue to “waste” money that could be going to student athletes.  A lengthy appeals process would go so much further to protect the NCAA’s little kingdom.  Frankly, I hope Wilken’s ruling is so sound and logical that any appeal will be automatically thrown out on the grounds that any appeal is in fact ADDITIONAL EXPLOITATION by the organization that claims it’s protecting the student athlete FROM exploitation. 

That….would be perfect.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Game is About To Change "IV" and Potpourri

Today’s Word:  Potpourri – Extensively used in Jeopardy to signify a category that can mean anything…Today’s entry is kind of a big bag of crap with no one main topic…just stuff that’s happening around collegiate athletics and Michigan.

The O’Bannon vs. NCAA Trial started this week without a whole lot of fanfare, I think only because the issue has been openly debated for so long in the mainstream media and the blogosphere that everyone is simply waiting for the NCAA to make whatever impossible or lame argument it’s going to make and the judge is going to slap them with a “You’re so full of BS that I’m baffled you can stand there and make that statement” verdict.  O’Bannon took the stand and did not mince any words.  He openly stated that he was steered into curriculums that made it easier to keep his eligibility and he was a student in “name only” and was there to primarily play basketball.   He also stated he spent 50-60 hours a week performing that duty and took final exams in a hotel while at the NCAA Tourney.  Well, surprise, surprise.  I think we all saw that coming.  The question becomes, what can the NCAA possibly throw at the plaintiffs and who can they put on the stand that can somehow demonstrate that a “Student-Athlete” is more of a student than….An Athlete.  It’s not going to be easy (in fact, I think it’s impossible) and the idea of amateurism and a level playing field are going to become insurmountable issues to defend.
In fact, Washington’s AD is making statements that are going to be difficult for the NCAA to explain away in any closing argument, no matter how brilliantly contrived.  From the Seattle Times, here’s a quote that more or less directly contradicts what the NCAA stands for:
“If you’ve got a $6 million athletic budget, you shouldn’t be worrying about what I do,” Young contends. “You’re never going to compete with us. We don’t recruit the same players. We don’t even play on the same field. It just doesn’t matter.”

So, I expect the NCAA to bring a parade of former players and or coaches/AD’s in (including Brandon and Hollister from MSU) to make the case that the college “experience” has some value to it on top of the scholarship money.  Well, sure...  But how on earth do you put a monetary value on that?  And where’s the cash that goes along with it?  On top of that, DB, why not say that the experience is better due to the fact that fans value it more because they are paying high ticket prices?

Speaking of Ticket Prices
Mgoblog.com did a little research and was able to come up with the following student ticket prices for all the B1G schools. 

Ohio State -- $252 for 7 games
Penn State -- $218 for 7 games
Wisconsin -- $188 for 7 games
Iowa -- $175 for 7 games, $165 with future alumni group discount
Michigan State -- $175 for 7 games
Nebraska -- $166 for 7 games
Purdue -- $119 for 7 games
Illinois -- $99 for 7 games
Rutgers -- $99 for 6 games
Minnesota -- $90 for 7 games
Indiana -- $60 for 6 games
Maryland and Northwestern -- tickets free with full tuition and student fee payment

(get a load of Maryland and Northwestern…I remember when Michigan Hockey, Track Baseball and probably a handful of other sports had the same policy – show your student ID and come on in!!!  Sigh…It must be hard to be a student fan nowadays…)

Is it any wonder WHY the student season ticket renewal is DOWN at Michigan, much less the average ticket buyer?  Michigan student tix are $50 higher ($277 for the season) than OSU and Michigan is barely 0.500 in the last decade….Michigan used to have a general population waiting list for 30 years to buy tickets because fans thought it was a good value and hey, you could always scalp a couple of games for more than you paid…Now when you try to scalp, it feels a little bit like visiting the proctologist.  You are absolutely tickled if you can get $20 for a pair when the opponent is the likes of App State.  And you’re happy because you “only” have to eat $150 for a game you can’t attend…John Bacon also pointed this out and his blog entry is worth the read…
Brandon attributes the 68% student renewal to be about the same as the no-show rate for certain games.  Uh, Dave…The kids that are “no-showing” are going to be the same group that $300 doesn’t mean crap to because Mommy and Daddy are footing the bill from some far-off locale and the kids are telling them, “Oh, yeah…I was at the game!!” while they are partying at the frat – dorm – apartment, whatever.  My guess is the no show rate stays about the same for lousy games and next year’s renewal might improve a little, but once you lose the good student fans and they find “fun alternatives”…well, they might be gone forever.  When is all of this going to sink into DB’s little BB brain and it’s going to hit him that this is not his kingdom…It’s history that is built by the team and especially…by the fans.
Brandon’s legacy is getting worse by the minute…He’s pissing off many loyal fans and has gotten me to the point of wanting to take some sort of action – and that’s pretty hard to do.  I should have recognized that IMMEDIATELY when he canned Jamie Morris-a more loyal Michigan Man you will never meet.  I want to stand in front of DB and ask him if he remembers how his former coach openly argued against noon and 3:30 start times because College Football was meant to start at 1:00 PM on SATURDAY!!!  Yeah, I know invoking Bo’s words don’t have much effect in today’s television driven market, but this ain’t the Super Bowl, DB.  It’s Michigan.  And your loyal fans have a long relationship with that school and the game day mystique.  You keep screwing that up and more importantly, charge too much for it and, well, it’ll be easy to stop writing the season ticket check – and don’t expect many athletic donations, either, at least not from the average joe.  I’ll keep my parking pass just to enjoy the pre-game festivities with friends and family, but taking a walking tour of Ann Arbor or finding a local pub to watch the game in might become the new tradition for even the most loyal of fans.
Big Brother Might Say, "Not So Fast, Isaac…"
Ty Isaac, a heralded and successful TB from USC is transferring to Michigan due to family health issues.  (His mom went deaf).  According to the NCAA (JEEZ I HATE THESE GUYS!!!) Ty may not be eligible to play immediately under the Family Hardship Rule and he may have to sit out one season.  Frankly, anything and anyone that can come in and help the offense is welcome…leave it to the NCAA to screw stuff up.  But, what else should I expect these days?
Don’t Get Rid of That Harris Jersey Just Yet, Sparty….
With a HUGE switcheroo, the coveted WVU transfer Eron Harris, who everyone thought was going to the run and shoot offense of the Wolverines, is actually going to the land of the Jolly Green Giants after talking with Beilein about playing for the Maize and Blue.  I guess Beilein and Harris didn’t see eye to eye on what his role would be.  While this is a loss for Michigan, Sparty fills up some more offensive minutes that they lost and is looking more and more like a quiet contender for a run at the B1G Championship…  Nuts…But at least Sparty has a Harris jersey laying around…albeit they may have to change the number.
And Finally:
 

Good Luck Redskins!!!