Thursday, January 31, 2008
Bob Keisser of the LA Daily News talks about the possibility of USC moving to a new stadium in Long Beach. And interesting idea, especially if it leads to an NFL team.Wednesday, January 23, 2008
A good read by Sportsline's Dennis Dodd about the situation at West Virginia.Tuesday, January 22, 2008
There's been a disturbing trend of late in college sports and it has to do with coach hirings. You probably think I'm about to write about the lack of ethnic diversity in the hiring process, but I won't. I'll save that for someone else's agenda. Mine problem are the decisions being made to crown an heir to a program, sometimes years in advance.Sunday, January 20, 2008
This past week we saw Kentucky decide that offensive coordinator Joker Phillips will take over for Rich Brooks once he retires in 2011. Note that this is the same Kentucky football program that has suffered for years, finally getting a boost this past season under Brooks.
Last month we saw Jimbo Fisher named the future coach at Florida St. This was hardly news since Fisher unofficially had been promised the position when he left LSU for the same position at FSU, rather than take other head coaching jobs that were considering him.
In basketball, we've seen something even more disturbing: straight forward nepotism. At Drake we had Dr. Tom Davis announce he would retire and his son Keno would take over. At Washington St., we had the same with Dick Bennett and his son Tony. And at Texas Tech, Pat Knight has been named the successor to his father Bobby Knight.
So what's the problem?
Simple. Why lock yourself into a decision? If you have confidence in an employee that years down to road you would consider them for the head coach position, why not allow them to explore head coaching positions and let them know that you want them to be in your programs future. If they feel the same away about your school and program, simply urge them to include a single clause in their contract (if they did leave your program) that has an out clause to return to that single program.
With these delayed coronations we've been seeing, it's putting your future into an unknown entity. Two factors: 1) you don't know how they will perform as a head coach and 2) who knows what other options are out there.
At Kentucky, the program is locking into Rich Brooks for another 3 seasons and then handing off to Phillips. So much could happen between now and then. An up-an-comer with ties to the area could become available. Say there is a former Kentucky assistant who is from the area who leads a WAC, MWC, CUSA, MAC or Sunbelt team to consecutive BCS Bowls? and what if THAT COACH would be willing to bypass openings at the other SEC and Big XII schools because he simply wants to come home and take the Kentucky program to that next level? Too bad. You decided on Phillips 3 years too early.
At Florida St., Bowden is clearly in the twilight of his career. Florida St. is slowly becoming a non-factor in the ACC and a change will be coming. So here comes Fisher to save the day. He's been the offensive coordinator, but the head coaching and recruiting has taken a step back. So what happens if in a season or two, a guy like Steve Spurrier announces he's considering leaving South Carolina. Spurrier could be a home-run at Florida St., knowing the state inside and out for recruiting. Or what if an NFL coach from the area decided that he wants a college job in Florida. So Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden and Steve Spurrier all have interest, and you're set on Fisher.
On to basketball...
Billy Gillespie is struggling at Kentucky. Perhaps his long term plan is to return to the southwest and coach in the state of Texas. UTexas isn't an option, nor is his former job at Texas A&M. The CUSA , MWC and Sunbelt jobs might not have the prestige Gillespie wants. Texas Tech is the perfect option. Too bad. Texas Tech is handing the job to the kid.
Sometimes it works. Washington St. hasn't missed a beat, and perhaps even improved under Tony Bennett. Drake is looking strong as well. And perhaps all the scenarios I mentioned above will work out for the programs. But why lock yourself into a promise and a position? Coaching has a success rate even lower than marriage. Eventually your coach will fail, leave or retire. Why not line up the best options rather than settle?
Labels: coaching changes
F.O.CSI (Friend of CollegesportsInfo) Jeff Goodman is throwing a few names out there for the Pepperdine and South Carolina openings for next season.Thursday, January 17, 2008
At Pepperdine, he says to expect Gib Arnold of USC, Brett Gunning of Villanova and Eric Musselman to surface as candidates.
At South Carolina, Tulane coach Dave Dickerson, a SC native and Gregg Marshall of Wichita St. should be candidates.
Labels: coaching changes
Pepperdine coach Vance Walberg has resigned.Wednesday, January 16, 2008
A fairly sad story.Vance Walberg was a JUCO legend as a coach. His Fresno City College teams went 133-11. In less than 2 season at Pepperdine, he's 8-23. Yet at the same time, HIS offense which he taught to John Calipari at Memphis, has Memphis as one of the best teams in recent history.
There should be more to this story other than the "family reasons". Once we know the severity of the "self-imposed sanctions" Pepperdine has placed on it's program, there should be some light.
Labels: coaching changes
Labels: coaching changes
Just a few quick thoughts...
A playoff makes sense. It's quite sad that there is so much money made in college football, but constant debate on the championship.
I like Adams idea, but I'm not a fan of the lack of detail. If you're going to make a pitch, have everything covered. He mentions using the 4 current BCS bowls as opening rounds and then having 2 semifinal games and a championship. Why not make even more people in the bowl system happy and include more of the existing bowls.
A few tweaks to the Adams plan:
In order to give the current BCS Bowls the priority they feel they deserve, a system could be put in place in which the Orange, Rose, Fiesta and Sugar bowls rotate as the National Championship game as well as the (2) semifinal games. That means that once every four years, one of the bowls would host a first round game.
That leaves 3 other opening round games to fill. Rather than lock in 3 Bowls, an additional rotation system could be used to determine locations. This would be no different than the format used in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
Locations and Bowl prestige might carry some weight. So bowls such as the Cotton Bowl (Dallas), Chick-Fil-A (Atlanta), Capital One Bowl (Orlando), Outback bowl (Tampa), Holiday Bowl (San Diego), Gator Bowl (Jacksonville), and perhaps even the Liberty bowl (Memphis), Meineke Car Care Bowl (Charlotte), or Champs Sports Bowl (Orlando) could host one of the (3) available games.
This does more to end the current bowl system than Adams' plan. His would maintain the bowl system as is, simply adding three more games.
University of Georgia president Michael Adams presented his proposal for an eight-team major college football playoff to the NCAA Division I board of directors Monday in Nashville, and they decided to study the issue with others before making any moves.
Ultimately, though, the board would prefer BCS officials figure out what's best for the postseason.
James Barker, chairman of the board and the president of Clemson, called the talks candid and constructive. But he said the directors believe the discussion should include presidents at the conference level and the committee overseeing the Bowl Championship Series.
The board also wants a task force announced last month by NCAA president Myles Brand to study issues over the use of student likenesses' to expand its review and study commercialization as it relates to postseason football.
The task force hasn't been picked and there's no timeline for a report to the board.
Adams announced his proposal for an eight-team playoff for the Football Bowl Subdivision using the BCS games following years of opposition to a playoff. He unveiled his proposal on Jan. 8, hours after LSU won the BCS national championship game.
His playoff proposal used the Sugar, Orange, Rose and Fiesta bowls as the opening round, leading to semifinals and a championship game. Adams said he believes the study will result in additional tweaking to the BCS system.
"It's not just me that's talking about tweaking again," said Adams, who also is chairman of the NCAA executive committee.
"It's some of my colleagues. It's the people in the conferences. It's others. I don't know if we will all get to the exact same decision."
The Division I board did approve 45 of 47 proposals Monday, including scholarship protection for athletes dealing with pregnancies, injuries or other medical conditions. That protection will take affect immediately.
Both Divisions I and II allowed coaches to text message athletes who have signed letters of intent.
Division II also approved a program that would allow Canadian colleges to become members, and Division III upheld the ban on text messaging that took effect Aug. 1.
Division III placed limits on the use of male practice players in women's team sports, including allowing only one practice per week. Division III also will continue discussions about possibly splitting into subdivisions or creating a new fourth division. Division III membership is expected to reach 480 within the decade.
But it was Adams' proposal for an eight-team playoff that was most anticipated at this five-day convention, which ended Monday. He had said he wanted a special NCAA committee to work out the details.
Barker called the discussions positive, but that doesn't mean the D-I board will make any decisions on a major college football playoff. He tossed responsibility for changing the postseason back to the BCS.
"I don't think that there's a desire on the part of the board to do anything other than what the structure currently in place would yield," Barker said. "We don't have that preconception."
The 11 Bowl Subdivision commissioners who make up the BCS will meet in April in Miami and are expected to discuss the so-called plus-one format, which would create a four-team playoff.
The Division I board wants the BCS presidential oversight committee involved as well.
Adams said in a letter to Brand last week that the networks, conferences and bowls had too much control power over the postseason. Adams' Bulldogs were left out of the national championship game after getting passed by LSU in the final BCS standings.
"I think there's enough concern out there not just among the institutional presidents but among the student-athletes, among the fans, among people trying to pay for this among networks," Adams said. "There are broad issues that need to be looked at."
Asked if he still feels strongly about the eight-team playoff, Adams said he feels strongly that the major college football postseason can be tweaked.
"I've said all along that I don't know I immediately thought everyone was going to agree with me on just the specific," Adams said.
He also is concerned about commercialization and wants to get presidents more involved.
"That's one of the things we've got to work through," he said.
Two names have surfaced for the soon to launch University of South Alabama football program. University of Alabama defensive coordinator Kevin Steele and Auburn University running backs coach Eddie Gran both interviewed on Wednesday according to the Birmingham News.Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Labels: coaching changes
It goes without saying that the entire situation is quite sad. A program on the rise, a coach pleas for better conditions for the team. In the end, the coach leaves a place he loves for another mid-major program.
Before leaving though, June Jones made a few recommendations for his successor:
Duane Akina - Texas assistant coach
Norm Chow - Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator
Kevin Gilbride - New York Giants offensive coordinator
Dick Tomey - San Jose State
Cal Lee - Hawaii linebackers coach
One person not on that list that is rumored to be a candidate is former Boise St. and Arizona St. coach Dirk Koetter, now the Jacksonville Jaguar Offensive Coordinator.
Labels: coaching changes
The president of the University of Georgia is calling for an eight-team playoff system for college football's top division, saying the Bowl Championship Series -- which left Georgia out of its championship game -- has become a "beauty contest largely stage-managed by the networks."
In a public statement and a letter to NCAA president Myles Brand, Georgia president Michael F. Adams, who is also chairman of the NCAA executive committee, called for an eight-team playoff to decide the national championship, with the opening rounds to be played in the four major BCS bowl games. He proposed the change be made as soon as the contracts that govern the BCS expire.Adams was scheduled to hold a news conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss the proposal. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported that Adams would support a playoff. "This year's experience with the BCS forces me to the conclusion that the current system has lost public confidence and simply does not work," Adams said in news release. "It is undercutting the sportsmanship and integrity of the game."
Georgia did not win its division of the Southeastern Conference and did not play in that league's title game, but was widely regarded as one of the best teams in the nation as the college football season closed. The Bulldogs went to the Sugar Bowl instead of the BCS Championship Game, where some believed the team belonged.
Adams did not directly address that outcome in his letter or his statement. But he did claim that the BCS system suffered from built-in conflicts of interest involving the major sports conferences and the television networks. Under his proposal, the schedule would return to 11 games from its current 12, with playoffs beginning at the major bowl games and extending two more Saturdays.
Under his proposal, a selection committee would seed eight teams to the four major bowls.
"If one of those bowls chooses not to participate, another game could be found to fill the void," he said.
Adams is the second SEC member president to advocate a playoff in the past year. Last year, University of Florida president James Bernard Machen -- whose Gators played in the BCS Championship Game and won the title -- said the time had come for a playoff system, but backed down from his position after conferring with his fellow SEC presidents.
Adams acknowledged that he has long opposed a playoff system, largely for academic reasons and because the season is already too long. However, he said in his letter to Brand that he was "troubled about the commercial influence over how the college football season is played out." He said it is time for the NCAA's member institutions to regain control over the college football postseason -- control he said is now concentrated in the hands of the television networks, the major conferences and the bowl commissioners.
"The television networks ... have grown too powerful in deciding who plays and when they play, and indeed, whom they hire to coach," Adams wrote in his letter to Brand. "The Bowl Championship Series has become a beauty contest largely stage-managed by the networks, which in turn protect the interests of their own partner conferences.
"The situation may not quite rise to the level of collusion, but it leaves an air of dissatisfaction with the fans of most institutions, even as they celebrate successful seasons," Adams wrote to Brand. "I believe the time has come for the NCAA to take control of the college football postseason, and in so doing to create a system that our players, coaches, friends and fans can support and appreciate."
"Colleges need to regain ownership of their football teams," Adams added in his letter to Brand. "While much has been made of the unique nature of the Football Bowl Subdivision [formerly Division I-A], the fact is that the networks and conferences exercise much more control over the football teams at this level then the institutions that sponsor them. Reorienting the national football championship is an important step in managing a model that benefits students, institutions and our constituents."
Adams said he would regret the football season extending into the spring semester, but noted that only four teams would be involved and before most schools return from the winter holiday break.
On Monday, Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said the ACC, SEC, Big East and Big 12 are open to a "plus-one" Final Four format in which the top four teams would be selected and seeded.
"In our conference, there's much more open-mindedness about the plus-one than there was two years ago. There's an interest in it ... and a willingness to discuss it in full," Swofford said.
The BCS is in the second of a four-year, $320 million contract with Fox that runs through the 2009 season and 2010 bowls. The BCS will begin negotiating with Fox on another deal in the fall. Fox has exclusive negotiating rights with the BCS.
The Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA), Division II and Division III all have a postseason playoff.
Bowl Championship Series officials are going to have some serious discussions in the coming months about going to a plus-one format, which could create a four-team major college football playoff.
Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford, the new coordinator of the BCS, said yesterday he intends to lead a "thorough" evaluation of the plus-one format.
Swofford and Slive, speaking to the Football Writers Association of America, said there was increased support from school leaders for having serious discussions about the plus-one, which would set the national championship game after the Rose, Orange, Sugar and Fiesta bowls have been played.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and Pacific-10 commissioner Tom Hansen have said the university presidents they work for are opposed to moving the BCS to a plus-one.
Both Swofford and Slive said if a plus-one were adopted, they would support seeding the top four teams after the regular season and playing No. 1 vs. No. 4 and No. 2 vs. No. 3 in bowl games.
An ABC executive said Monday the network would be open to working with its television partner, the Rose Bowl, if it agreed to participate in a BCS plus-one postseason format.Friday, January 4, 2008
That would probably require adjusting a contract between the two entities that extends through the 2014 Rose Bowl.
"If the Rose Bowl wanted to do it in the next cycle, we'd find a way to make that happen for them," said Chuck Gerber, ABC/ESPN executive vice president for college sports.
While other conferences are in the discussion stage regarding change in the BCS format, there's no evidence either the Rose Bowl, Pac-10 or Big Ten would participate in a plus-one. That is the model where two winners would advance to a championship game after playing BCS bowls.
Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen said last summer that a plus-one would be grounds for his conference pulling out of the BCS. Ohio State president Gordon Gee said in mid-December that a playoff would have to be "pried out of my cold, dead hands."
"It's not a small challenge," said incoming BCS coordinator John Swofford, who is also the ACC commissioner. "What I am in favor of is a full discussion, play it out and see what the ramifications are."
The next four-year cycle that Gerber spoke of begins with the 2011 BCS games. The Rose Bowl's contract with ABC, the Pac-10 and Big Ten has six more years to run and extends through that 2014 game. The other BCS bowls and conferences have a deal with Fox that expires after the 2010 games. Because the contracts overlap and two networks are involved, it makes it doubly difficult for the bowls and conferences to do things as a group.
Swofford and Gerber spoke at the annual Football Writers Association of America breakfast Monday morning here before the BCS national championship game.
The 11 I-A commissioners will discuss those issues at their annual meeting in April, this year in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. They must present to the rights carrier a BCS format going forward after the 2010 games. Even though the Fox contract has more than two years to run, it's customary to begin renegotiations how. Fox will have an exclusive negotiating window with the BCS later this year. ABC is interested in getting back the rights it lost three years ago, Gerber said.
The plus-one is seen as the next evolution of the BCS, which plays its 10th championship game here Monday night. A plus-one most likely would involve seeding the top four teams in the final BCS standings. The two highest-seeded teams remaining from the bowl games would then play for the championship.
There is another plus-one possibility: The four bowls could each host games of their own liking, with two teams advancing through a rating system and/or a human committee. That traditional setup would allow the Rose to keep the Big Ten and Pac-10 arrangement each season.
The one sticking point would be if the 1-2 teams played in one of the bowls. However, part of the reason the BCS was formed was because 1-2 matchups in bowls were so historically unlikely.
Since the BCS has been in existence, the 1-2 teams in the final BCS standings play for the championship. hat has provided for a championship game, not necessarily the championship game that everyone can agree on. There have been ongoing discussions among some BCS conference commissioners -- notably the SEC, ACC and Big 12 -- about moving toward a plus-one.
A plus-one doesn't necessarily solve the complicated I-A postseason process either. Oddly, if a plus-one existed this season, two of the hottest teams would be excluded if the top four teams were seeded. BCS No. 5 Georgia and No. 7 USC finished out of the top four in the regular season. Virginia Tech finished third and Oklahoma was fourth.
"Is this past season an anomaly," Swofford said of the parity that produced unbeaten Hawaii along with 10 major-college teams with at least one loss in the regular season, "or is it a precursor of seasons to come?"
"I don't think there are any conferences that are ready to change and say, 'We want the plus-one model,'" he added. "I don't think that necessarily closes the discussion. The discussion is needed and appropriate."
A proposed settlement in a federal antitrust suit could raise NCAA limits on financial aid and allow schools to pay athletes for other expenses such as travel, health insurance and laundry.
A trial scheduled in Los Angeles this month has been delayed while the settlement is being completed, plaintiffs attorney Stephen Morrissey said Friday. He would not divulge details of the proposed agreement.
"When the settlement is completed, it will become public record," Morrissey said.
Morrissey said court approval of a settlement was not imminent, adding the process typically takes a few months.
The class-action suit was filed in February 2006 on behalf of former football players Jason White of Stanford and Brian Polak of UCLA and former University of San Francisco basketball player Jovan Harris.
It contended the NCAA limits on scholarships, which cover only tuition, books, housing and meals, are an unlawful restraint of trade because of the billions of dollars generated from TV, radio, licensing and other agreements through major college basketball and football.
The limits "deny a legitimate share of the tremendous benefits of their enterprise to the student athletes who make the big business of big-time college sports possible," the suit contended.
The NCAA did not immediately return a call from the Associated Press.
By the NCAA's own estimate, athletes on full scholarships pay an average of $2,500 a year in out-of-pocket expenses, the suit said.
At the time the suit was filed, NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson said the association's guidelines allow athletes on full or partial scholarships to work part time and to receive additional aid based on need or academic merit.
"When we take all of that into consideration, we believe these claims don't have any merit," Christianson said at that time.
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