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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the tag “NCAA”

The NCAA is Going Bowl Crazy

Earlier this week, there was a report that the not-for-profit NCAA is considering the addition of four new bowls to its already bloated bowl schedule.  That generated ample discussion on social media, of course, as it would open the door for some sub .500 teams to potentially go bowling.  Now, news out of NCAA headquarters (i.e. Coach K’s lap) is that the NCAA is strongly considering a change to the bowl format to allow every single FBS program to attend a bowl!  Every. Single.  Team.  Consider this the NCAA’s diving head first into the “every player gets a trophy” deep end of the mediocrity swimming pool.  It is official.  The NCAA is going bowl crazy.

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Three Divisions for ACC Football?

With the likely elimination of the strict championship game rules, the table is set for the ACC to go way out of its way to make football more competitive.  In fact, one option is to go to three divisions.  From there, the two best teams could play for the ACC Championship.  The  Confidential loves this idea.  First, it paves the way for ND football to be more intertwined with ACC football.  Second, it increases the likelihood that the two best ACC teams play for the right to move on to the playoffs.  Here are the Confidential’s other thoughts…

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The Big Dance: ACC Update

The Brackets are set.  The field is locked.  The bubbles have burst.  And the ACC is well-represented moving forward.  Here is our early analysis.  (Stay tuned for the Confidential bracket contest details!)

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The NCAA Needs a Wake-Up Call: People Want Change

Look, the Confidential understands the idealism behind the NCAA.  It wants as much of a level playing field as possible, without the risk of $100 bills passing with handshakes between school benefactors and student athletes.  But the times have changed.  You have star athletes mysteriously driving SUVs that are titled in the names of relatives that could not possibly afford same.  The stakes of college athletics have never been higher.  But those aren’t the reasons that the NCAA needs a wake-up call.  It needs to look in the mirror for why it needs to change.

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Opinion on Changing NCAA Basketball Rules

ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan recently opined regarding 5 rules changes that he would like to see in NCAA basketball governance.  Specifically, he raised the following 5 opinions:

  • I would create a strict, low, revenues and expenditures cap
  • I would lobby for a constitutional amendment to prevent any and all further changes to the structure of the NCAA tournament
  • I would allow players to return to college basketball after the draft if they went undrafted or failed to earn a contract by a given date
  • The salary of the NCAA’s president is getting cut
  • I would force a video game company to make a really good college basketball game

One suspects that the last entry was tongue-in-cheek, but the other four seem serious.  Then again, none of them seem likely.  The major conferences are not going to agree to a spending cap and our US Constitution seems to have bigger issues than NCAA sports.  The cutting of the NCAA President’s salary is a populist measure, at best.  So what are rule changes that make sense?  The Confidential has a few.

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Why the NBA Matters Little to Me

It is not unusual for someone to wax poetic regarding the way things used to be.  But I don’t care.  All I know is that I liked NBA/NCAA basketball nearly equally growing up, and yet the split now is about 1%/99% now.  The only NBA interest I have is seeing where my favorite players go.  Unfortunately, the days of my favorite players being drafted are few and far between.  You see, the NBA no longer cares about my favorite players.  My favorite players are the upperclassmen in college that I have gotten to watch for three or four years.  Not the one and dones and two and dones (often having just one year of any production).  Case in point, Syracuse’s Jerami Grant being drafted ahead of CJ Fair.  And then CJ Fair not even being drafted.  NBA GM decisions like that make me not care about the NBA.  It is what it is.

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NCAA: Alternatives for Student-Athletes

Note: this article is a repost of an April 7, 2014, article… with a better title.  Also, please see this other article about a similar topic–the student-athlete major.

As is often the case, the devil is in the details.  As a lawyer, it is notable that most commentary on legal issues in public is done by persons without the legal savvy to fully understand it.  Folks remember that woman who received the huge verdict from McDonald’s for burning herself with hot coffee.  Few realize the true facts of the case make even this grizzled civil defense attorney think that the case had some merit worthy of an atypical judgment/settlement.  The long and short of it is that people would be well advised to know the actual facts (to the extent possible) and read the actual rulings by judges with a legal eye before criticizing same.  Such may be the case with the recent Northwestern-union issue, where the idea of student-athletes as employees seems far-fetched… until you analyze the facts, the legal standard for what an “employee” is, and the ruling itself.

Indeed, it was disappointing to read that the academically-successful Northwestern student-athletes may have been discouraged from taking the courses that they wanted to take.  At the other extreme, however, are the discussions about how some student-athletes have academic skills that are so far below those of their college peers.  The purported North Carolina essay that is making the rounds on the Internet is one example of that story.  The Confidential believes that it may be appropriate to consider an alternative track for the at-risk student-athlete with subpar academic skills.

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Student-Athletes and Sub-Par Academics

As is often the case, the devil is in the details.  As a lawyer, it is notable that most commentary on legal issues in public is done by persons without the legal savvy to fully understand it.  Folks remember that woman who received the huge verdict from McDonald’s for burning herself with hot coffee.  Few realize the true facts of the case make even this grizzled civil defense attorney think that the case had some merit worthy of an atypical judgment/settlement.  The long and short of it is that people would be well advised to know the actual facts (to the extent possible) and read the actual rulings by judges with a legal eye before criticizing same.  Such may be the case with the recent Northwestern-union issue, where the idea of student-athletes as employees seems far-fetched… until you analyze the facts, the legal standard for what an “employee” is, and the ruling itself.

Indeed, it was disappointing to read that the academically-successful Northwestern student-athletes may have been discouraged from taking the courses that they wanted to take.  At the other extreme, however, are the discussions about how some student-athletes have academic skills that are so far below those of their college peers.  The purported North Carolina essay that is making the rounds on the Internet is one example of that story.  The Confidential believes that it may be appropriate to consider an alternative track for the at-risk student-athlete with subpar academic skills.

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Quick Thoughts on the Bracket

With 24-hours to digest it, and less than that until play-in games start, here are the Confidential’s quick thoughts on the bracket:

The NCAA did Wichita State a favor.  Suppose that the Midwest bracket was changed to make Louisville the 2-seed, and UCLA the 4-seed, with Kentucky swapping with UMass as the 6th/8th seeds.  With Louisville a 2-seed and Kentucky a 6-seed, everyone could step in off the ledge and stop looking for further signs of the apocalypse.  Not suppose Wichita State runs that table to get to the Final Four: (a) Game 1, a victory over a 16th seed; (b) Game 2… win over the winner of Kansas State/UMass…yawn; (c) Game 3… win over the winner of UCLA/St. Louis/Cinderella…still not impressing anyone; and (d) Game 4… win over Louisville or Duke.  With one win over an impressive, name opponent… Wichita State would still be somewhat of an question mark heading into the Final Four.  NOW, if Wichita State gets to the Final Four, it will have beaten good names AND good teams.  This is much better than if Louisville was a #2, Duke was a #3, and Creighton was a #4.  The casual fan will want to see Wichita State up against the best before deeming the season historical.  Mission accomplished.

As for Louisville, chillax.  The committee was instructed to look at the whole season.  If the committee was to look at just the last 6 weeks, it would be violating that directive.  In the not-so-distant past, momentum heading into the tournament was relevant.  Now, it is has been formally deemed a lesser variable.  Maybe it should be changed back.  Fair enough.  But to do so in this bracket would have been to violate the current rules.  Moreover, imagine if the bracket was this: 1. Michigan, 2. Wichita State, 3. Louisville, 4. Duke.  Would moving up one seed have mattered?  No!  Same basic opponents.  OK, just switch Louisville and Duke, without switching Wichita State and Michigan–still have to beat two of the three anyway.  The order is insignificant.  Just go win the darn games.

While the Midwest bracket is tough at the seeded level, are St. Louis, UMass, and Texas scaring anyone more than Kentucky?  No.  And is Kentucky really scaring anyone?  It is a perfect matchup for Wichita State–let the country root for the #1 seed against the collection of one-and-dones.  Great way to get fans rooting for a #1 seed for a change.

The East bracket is sneaky tough, with Virginia, Villanova, Iowa State, and Michigan State.  Villanova is a 28-4 team, but seems like the worst of these four teams right now.  Does that make sense?  Actually, it does.  The South is not horrible either.  If Syracuse gets is mojo back, that is three teams that might have been #1’s a month ago.  Throw in UCLA, VCU, Ohio State, and New Mexico… and that is a deep region.  The West.  Sigh.

What do you think?

P.S. Still time to get into the Confidential’s bracket contest @ https://tournament.fantasysports.yahoo.com/quickenloansbracket/group/9921/invitation?key=8777f32b05a883ef

Thoughts on College Sports: Part I, Title IX

The folks over at Frank the Tank are having an outstanding debate on various topics influencing college sports, including payment of players.  The Confidential encourages you to add that blog to your regular reading list.  But it also got the Confidential thinking about Title IX.  In fact, the Confidential proposed on major revision…

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