Monday, June 5, 2017

Motta OUT, The NCAA's Tightrope Walk & The Death of Cable

Thad Motta DONE…

I'm guessing there's not going to be a lot of Buckeye tears because of this...

NCAA Walking a Dangerous Line…

If you are even a casual follower of this blog, you’ve read multiple entries about my objective observations and subjective takes and feelings about the NCAA.  The “Grand Daddy” case of them all is finally going to come to some sort of closure in the coming months. 
Forde, as usual, does a good job of summing it up here:

As usual, I wanted to put the MMQ’s spin on this mess and reiterate for the umpteenth time why I think the NCAA should just go away or reinvent themselves as a true functioning body for Student Athletes that punishes institutions quickly and accordingly when they screw up.
First, I find it fascinating that UNC’s plan is to simply say that the academic fraud that took place is just that – Academics Related and has nothing to do with the NCAA’s larger than the US Tax Code book of rules that governs athletics.  The ole MMQ is pretty sure there’s gotta’ be something in there that covers something like “not having to go to class and getting an A” as being AGAINST THE RULES.  Of course I’m paraphrasing here, but you get the idea.  The size of the Balls on the Brass at UNC is nothing short of pure hubris, and taking a huge risk and betting that the NCAA won’t find a Student Athlete/Academic Fraud connection by-law that will hold up under scrutiny is incredibly risky.  It goes back to basic game theory:  I’m holding a winning hand right now, but the other guy has more cards to draw and can always catch up.  Why not hedge today vs. pushing it all into the middle RIGHT NOW and seeing what happens after its all said and done?   Simply stating that athletes only made up 29% of the fraudulent classes and all students “Benefitted” from the fraud is like saying that 29% of the corporations that use the federal tax code fraudulently benefitted from not getting caught.  They’re still guilty as hell and need to be punished.

I guess what surprises me the most is that UNC is really thumbing its nose at the authority of the NCAA and is more or less ready to see how far that authority can reach.  And the NCAA needs to understand that this particular case (I know the Louisville, Ole Miss and probably Baylor cases are going to be interesting as well) will be looked at and scrutinized more closely than the others.  If the NCAA is lenient on UNC (for whatever reason) and we will have a new era of the “Jerry Tarkanian Syndrome” on this go around.

 I feel like some, if not all, universities may put up a bit more of a unified response to the NCAA.  Meaning:  The guys who have been penalized unjustly (Michigan et al) will stand up and say, “Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot!  Punish these guys or were walking away.”

But from what, exactly, do you walk away from if you’re an institution(s) that’s pissed off?

That’s the hard question.  The NCAA probably is never going to “Go Away”, but it needs a serious enema.  Something that cleans out everything that’s so foul, sitting there now, and re-starts the entire thing from scratch.  University Athletic Programs still need to have some sort of governing body or board with a scope of rules that is easy to follow and, more importantly:  Strict, IMMEDIATE penalties for schools found in violation of those rules.  The UNC fraud happened almost a decade ago and the Louisville Escorts happened in 2012-13, almost 5 years ago.  And while the coaches of those accused are still around, the punishment will penalize incoming players and student athletes that didn’t get to enjoy any of the fruits associated with the broken rules…And Title IX investigations (IF Title IX is still around) need to also happen a little more swiftly and with a sense of urgency to bring to justice those accused or find innocence quickly for those unjustly accused so reputations are not tarnished forever. 

Miami getting away with murder should have really been enough for SOMETHING to have happened already regarding the NCAA, how it processes information, and creating a sense of urgency.  The fact that the NCAA bumbled the investigation and then stipulated that the way it collected evidence (using the accused’s own attorney) made that evidence inadmissible should have at least gotten Emmert canned

Speaking of the bumbling Head of the Snake – when are the University Presidents (or at least the AD’s) going to stand up to this clown and call for his retirement or dismissal?  I agree with Forde that the Penn State Penalties were egregious and should have been left to the legal system.  I didn’t have a problem with the financial penalty for lack of institutional control, but penalizing the Football Program to near extinction was NOT the right approach.  Yet Emmert still sits on the throne, overseeing everything. 

And I of course still have issues with that.

So, what conclusions can you draw from this bit of late spring/early summer rambling about an issue that will eventually be forgotten like all the other NCAA scandals that have occurred?  Not much, really.  Just hoping that someday, it all changes.  That someday, we can look at who’s making money and who isn’t when these things take place. 

What Happens When Cable Dies?

An interesting take…..

And I will say that this article really got me to thinking…Read it to get a background for where this blog entry started in the MMQ’s little ole noggin’...

There’s a big part of me that believes that Cable will live on indefinitely and eventually (believe it or not) start costing a LOT LESS in the future as cable providers won’t go quietly into the night and they will fight for their survival by competing with the other providers or apps that will broadcast games and other types of programming.  Meaning that while streaming providers might pay more for bigger games, cable providers will get a better deal for the package of lesser games and pass those savings along to the cable subscribers.  But eventually, as the article states, subscribers will see what the other fans are doing and follow suit, forcing cable cartels into a death spiral…. 

However, the article is thought provoking in that I’ve always truly wondered where the “eyeballs” are when it comes to College Football.  And by that I mean:  Who’s watching and where are they watching?  

If you consider the B1G, ACC and the SEC as the “Elite” football conferences, then you can draw a line at the Mississippi and probably 200-300 miles west of the East Coast starting at the top of the map and then slicing it across the north border of the state of North Carolina and extending it over to the Atlantic Ocean.  My guess is that is where most of the eyeballs are.  Anything west of the Mississippi is NOT catching the Saturday noon game (either 10:00 or 9:00 AM local time) with people either sleeping or involved in Saturday morning activities.  They may watch, but they’re not watching live.

Where am I going with this?  My guess is that any streaming service is going to get wise to the regional nature of CFB and start charging MORE depending on where you live!  Makes sense, doesn’t it???  IF you’re product is in demand in a certain region, why not charge more for it in that locale and less where you’re trying to attract eyeballs?
So the $1/ month for the BTN and $9/month (!!!!) for ESPN Networks in 2018 may look like a bargain if streaming companies start charging $10, $15, or $20 for an individual football game if you’d like to watch the Big 3 or 4 Games of the Day on a Saturday….
I’ve often stated I wish I could get my cable ala-carte.  But when I start thinking about things it scares the bejeezus out of me because I know that somewhere someone is trying to figure out how to make more money. And as a consumer, I have learned that I’m eventually going to get screwed in the process….

I eventually see the current scenario of spending the afternoon on the couch eating my own food and drinking my store bought beverage of choice turning into a decision to go to the local watering hole to catch a game I’d rather not shell out dough for.  But that has the unintended consequence of running up a $30-$40 bar tab for their food and drinks…So what’s the better decision?

Having a group of friends over and creating the ultimate man-cave viewing experience and charging $5/head for the streaming service may become a very real option for the future…and justifying the 3 TV set-up that the MMQ’s college roommate TJH has in White Lake suddenly becomes a very easy walk to make. 

Long story short:  CFB Fans need to be very careful about what we wish for.  The coming results could be disastrous for the football viewer.

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