The NCAA report on revenues
The link takes you directly to the report. If you're a fan of college sports, I'd reccomend checking it out. But skip to page 29 for the money quote:
"On average, expanding spending on football is neither the road to riches nor the road to ruin."
You spend a lot of money, you'll probably make it back, but no more. You don't spend money, you'll stay where you are. Cut the budget? Revenues will slide at about the same rate. In effect, do what you want. And, money won't help you win. Or lose. It has no statistical effect, which is counter-intuitive, but they have some neat graphs which explain why it is so.
The report clearly states there is no "arms race" going on, so Brand's statement about more measured spending is even more ridiclous. But I find it interesting to not where the money is going.
GROWTH RATES FOR SPENDING, 1985-2001
This means college budgets have gone up by about four percent, and athletic budgets have gone up about 4.5. And while football budgets are going up (so are basketball budgets), spending on all men's sports is not going up, it's declining. Why? Because there is increased spending on women's sports. So presidents and boards aren't making unnecessary investments, to steal Brand's language, they are spending on expressed NCAA mandate.
Budgets are going up, but the money is going to women's sports and the two cash cows: football and basketball. Minor men's sports are out of luck. So, this tells us what we already knew.
Finally, check out the net revenues of D-1 schools
10th percentile: -$1.6 million
25th percentile: -$1.0 million
MEDIAN: $1.6 million
75th percentile: $6.7 million
90th percentile: $13.3 million
So, the average school turns a small profit, but the top 25% are raking in the big bucks. Once again, stop the presses.
posted by Poseur 8/14/2003 04:08:00 PM
The triumph of hope over experience
Colleges see no return — financial or competitive — from increased spending on athletics, according to an NCAA report to be released today. The findings from a two-year study of spending on college sports, touted by the NCAA as the most comprehensive of its kind, strike at the heart of conventional wisdom that bigger is better. Increased spending doesn't result in more victories or high-caliber applicants for admission, the report says.
Nonetheless, spending is up: Athletic operating expenses in the NCAA's top-tier Division I-A rose 62% from 1996-97 to 2000-01, compared with a 39% increase in total university spending.
NCAA President Myles Brand predicts the report "will result in more restrained and measured spending. ... Presidents and boards can now resist making unnecessary investments. They can say 'no,' where it was much harder to say 'no' before."
Oh, that NCAA, it kills me. A report will result on "more restrained and measured spending". Yeah, and if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. Oh, that kidder, Myles Brand. He really should go on a comedy tour. Measured spending... That was a good one.
Once the report comes out, we'll go over the findings. But until then, go buy Brand's album. It's a riot.
posted by Poseur 8/14/2003 09:21:00 AM
NL Central race getting tight
Three teams are now within one and a half games of each other. A Cubs sweep would close the gap even further. It's a division that's too close to call, and we should be gearing up for a classic pennant race, but it is interesting that the team making a move in the standings was the only one which made a move before the deadline. Methinks the Astros and Cards are regretting standing pat.
posted by Poseur 8/14/2003 09:17:00 AM
Panic in Red Sox nation
It may be time to confront -- and try to conquer -- a familiar August feeling. Shooting for their first playoff berth in four years, the Red Sox last night plunged into one of their most precarious positions of the season. A year to the day after their 2002 season began to go south, the Sox fell to .500 (13-13) since the All-Star break as they dropped their fifth game in six outings by bowing to Barry Zito and the A's, 5-3, before 26,823 at Network Associates Coliseum.
Well, the Sox won last night, but you get the point.
The Sox just have a brutal schedule ahead. They are in the midst of 4-game series in Oakland, followed by three in Seattle. Then they come home only to play the same teams over the next seven games. They then wind through some games against Toronto and the ChiSox, with 6 games against the Yankees thrown in. If they are still in the race at the point, things get easier. Lots of Tampa Bay, Baltimore, and Cleveland come September.
The point is, don't panic Red Sox fans. This is the roughest stretch of the season, all you need your team to do is just stay within 3-5 games, then from Septemeber 8th on, the Sox only play one team with a winning record (Chicago).
posted by Poseur 8/14/2003 09:12:00 AM
E A S T W L PCT GB
New York 71 46 .607 -
Boston 68 51 .571 4
Toronto 59 60 .496 13
Baltimore 57 61 .483 14.5
Tampa 47 71 .398 24.5
CENTRAL W L PCT GB
KC 63 55 .534 -
Chicago 63 56 .529 .5
Minn 61 58 .513 2.5
Cleveland 51 69 .425 13
Detroit 31 86 .265 31.5
W E S T W L PCT GB
Seattle 72 47 .605 -
Oakland 69 50 .580 3
Anaheim 55 64 .462 17
Texas 52 67 .437 20
E A S T W L PCT GB
Atlanta 76 42 .644 -
Florida 65 54 .546 11.5
Philly 64 54 .542 12
Montreal 60 60 .500 17
NY Mets 49 69 .415 27
CENTRAL W L PCT GB
Houston 64 55 .538 -
St. Louis 63 56 .529 1
Chicago 61 57 .517 2.5
Pittsburgh54 63 .462 9
Cincy 52 66 .441 11.5
Milwauk 47 71 .398 16.5
W E S T W L PCT GB
San Fran 73 45 .619 -
Arizona 63 55 .534 10
LA 61 57 .517 12
Colorado 61 61 .500 14
S Diego 47 73 .392 27
OK, why am I posting the MLB standings? Easy, because I want to point out what liars everyone who complains about competive balance are. We're 75% of the way through the season, and if all of the Chicken Littles were correct, there should be barely anyone left in the pennant race. But look.
In the AL, 7 of the 14 teams are still viable contenders.
In the NL, 11 of the 16 teams are still in the race.
That means fully 18 of 30 teams not only can dream of the World Series right now, but that of the 12 teams out of contention, two of them for sure (Anaheim and the Mets) thought they had contenders in spring training. The line that half of the teams come to spring training with no hope is a lie. Hell, more than half of the teams reach the backstretch with dreams of October in their heads.
Baseball's got problems, but competitve balnce is not one of them.
posted by Poseur 8/13/2003 01:53:00 PM
Kick Baylor out!
Baylor couldn't even cheat its way to mediocrity.
That by itself says something about the state of this athletic program and the depths to which the proud Bears have sunk.
It says something else loud and clear, too:
It's time for Baylor's Big 12 brethren to listen to their heads, not their hearts, and expunge the Bears from the Big 12 Conference.
Help the Bears help themselves, Big 12, because they've got too much pride and too much of your money to do it themselves.
Baylor couldn't even buy players right. It couldn't even doctor admissions records right.
I completely agree. The only thing a lousy athletic program like Baylor brings to the table is integrity the rest of the conference can hide behind. Like the SEC and Vanderbilt. Vandy keeps churning out actual student-athletes, giving the SEC cover for its, um, unsavory habits. But at least Vandy gives Bama a game every year. They occasionally flirt with .500. They've never won a conference title in any sport, but they usually will play a competitive game. Sure, they stink, but they don't stink stink.
Baylor does. OK, they have a good baseball team. But their football team is god awful. so is the basketball team. and worse yet, nobody comes to see them. Now, it turns out they are cheaters as well. They bring nothing to the table. OK, there's Baylor's academic reputation, but that's cancelled out by the whole dirty cheater thing. Vanderbilt has the decency to at least stink with class.
With the ACC suddenly elbowing its way into the ranks of the heavyweights, the Big 12 can sure up their weak link. But who could they add? Here's a quick list of contenders:
TCU. Old SWC team, rivalry already in place with the Texas schools. Rich football tradition (that Doak Walker guy). They are one of the dominant teams of C-USA, and they play a pretty good game of basketball. They are the best fit.
Houston. Another old SWC team, but they have been awful in football recently. Joining the Big 12 would boost their recruiting, but why bother when there's a better option in TCU?
Tulane. A strong academic school. It would be like having another Baylor, only without the academic fraud. It also gets the Big 12 in the New Orleans TV market, and opens up Louisiana to Big 12 recruiting.
Arkansas. Do they really fit in the SEC? Their defection pretty much killed the old SWC, but what rivalries have been developed in ten years playing in the SEC? LSU? The Boot is a pretty contrived trophy, there's no real animosity between the schools. Maybe Tennessee since they share the Memphis recruiting grounds, but not really. Arkansas is another prime candidate for the Big 12 and would be a huge feather in the conference's cap, if they could successfully raid the SEC. But not as big as...
LSU. The chances are remote, but if the Big 12 could steal LSU from the SEC, it would solidify themselves as the top conference in America. We're not talking about a johnny-come-lately, we're talking about a founding member of the SEC. In 75 years, who's their top rival? Alabama? Not with Auburn around. Ole Miss? Maybe in the 1950s, but State's rise ruined that. Florida? Sorry, Georgia's got that one. Lacking that one true rival, LSU could bolt to the Big 12 without feeling like they are losing anything. And they pick up their most natural rival: Texas A&M, a school sick of being Texas' #2 rival.
If I work in the Big 12 offices, which I don't, I'd be making calls to TCU and LSU right now. Remember, there is no cash penalty for leaving the SEC, and there is for leaving C-USA. So LSU comes cheaper.
posted by Poseur 8/13/2003 01:23:00 PM
Bonds, Leiter get covetted endorsement from the Big Dog
``He's [Bonds] a special talent, and it's not just his extraordinary physical ability. It's up here and in here,'' Clinton said, pointing to his head and heart.
In his brief remarks, Clinton showed a solid working knowledge of Bonds' bloodline and Giants history.
Clinton then joked that politicians and the press should play a game and have the players ``ask mean questions.''
Clinton, who lives in the New York suburbs and attended the game with relatives, signed autographs during batting practice and visited with Mets pitcher Al Leiter.
While posing for pictures with Leiter, Clinton quipped: ``This may ruin his career -- his political career if not his playing career.''
Clinton knows what it's like to be hounded by the media, so he probably has a special place in his fanboy heart for Barry Bonds, the Media's Least Favorite Player. You'd think the media would love a devoted family man who puts in a ridiculous amount of time and effort to be the very best at his profession. But they don't like Bonds. Or Clinton.
posted by Poseur 8/13/2003 12:58:00 PM
Everybody's in camp!
McGahee and Leftwich finally signed their contracts and now every rookie is in camp. The two longest holdouts were actually the two guys with the least to lose from a long holdout. It's not like McGahee is missing valuable practice time, and Leftwich won't be starting this year. The few weeks of development he lost won't kill him.
While we're talking football, check out our NCAA preview.
posted by Poseur 8/13/2003 12:52:00 PM
You can't cheat death, kids
But contrary to recent news reports, Williams' body is not resting upside down in a liquid nitrogen tank at Alcor. Instead, reports Verducci, his head sits on a shelf in a liquid nitrogen-filled steel can, while his body is in the same room, stored upright in a liquid nitrogen-filled, nine-foot-tall cylindrical steel tank.
The silver can containing Williams' head resembles a lobster pot and is marked in black with Williams' patient I.D. number, A-1949, according to the SI story. Williams' head has been shaved and drilled with holes. Verducci also reports that, before the head was placed in its present location, it was accidentally cracked as many as 10 times due to fluctuating storage temperatures.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
10 times? His skull cracked ten frickin' times? And lemme get this straight, Williams is now a headless corpse, and the head, kept in a lobster pot (insert Boston joke here), has been cracked 10 times unintentionally, but also had numerous holes drilled in it intentionally. So if Ted ever comes back, boy, is he gonna look like crap.
Oh, and the lab is getting shorted on the bill. AND they have lost some DNA samples. In the wake of the news, I've just cancelled my cryongenic appointment.
posted by Poseur 8/13/2003 12:48:00 PM
I wanted to keep Herb Brooks as the top story, but Baseball Prospectus has breaking news on that Pete Rose will be reinstated to baseball.
The agreement includes removal of Rose from baseball's permanently ineligible list. This would allow Rose to appear on ballots for baseball's Hall of Fame, which bars such banned players from consideration. The agreement allows Rose to be employed by a team in the 2004 season, as long as that position does not involve the day to day operations. That employment restriction would be removed after a year, allowing Rose to return to managing a team as early as the 2005 season if a position is offered to him.
A spokesman for Major League Baseball denied this report. Baseball Prospectus stands by its story.
In December, several publications reported that Rose and Bud Selig met in Milwaukee last winter, and that lawyers for both sides were exchanging proposals to end Rose's lifetime ban from baseball. Jayson Stark of ESPN wrote in a column August 7th that Reds owner Carl Lindner intends to hire Rose as the team's manager and has agitated for Rose's reinstatement for some time.
Go read the Dowd Report.
You probably didn't read it, as the report is several hundred pages, but if you take the time to read it, you can walk away confident that Rose bet on baseball. They have witnesses and physical evidence against the guy. He violated a basic rule of baseball and earned his lifetime ban.
This isn't the same as Ty Cobb being a racist asshole or Albert Belle running over kids with his SUV. Betting on baseball is a on-field related crime. It strikes at the integrity of the game. No sport can afford to have its on-field integrity challenged. Letting Rose back in is a mistake.
That said, I do believe Rose should be eligible for the Hall of Fame. It should be up to the voters to reject his application, just like they rejected Joe Jackson. Rose should be eligible, but he does not deserve enshrinement. But it's a vote that deserves to take place.
posted by Poseur 8/12/2003 01:08:00 PM
Herb Brooks dies in an auto accident
If you click on the link, there is another link which allows you to send condolences via USA Hockey.
I was five years old when the Miracle On Ice happened, so my memory of it is both cloudy and crystal clear, in that bizarre way we store all our childhood memories. So I don't remember the socio-political consequences, though I do remember how big of an upset it was. It made anything seem possible and it will always rank as one of the greatest sports moments.
My best friend, Jim, also saw the game. We didn't know each other yet, as we wouldn't meet until we were 12. But the game so inspired Jim that he took up hockey even though most other sports barely interested him at all. He went from apathetic to practicing wrist shots in the time it took the game to finish.
Jim called me up yesterday to tell me the news. It was like a friend died. Rest in peace, Herb Brooks. We won't forget you.
posted by Poseur 8/12/2003 12:57:00 PM
Reader Sillius Sodus chimes in with a little ballpark tour of his own:
I went to Dodger Stadium this past weekend and watched Dem Bums beat up on the Cubbies. First time I've ever seen an inside the park home run in person. That was fun. But why couldn't the Dodgers have one of their patented under-3-run performances on a night when they held their opponent to just a single run? I really wanted to see Gagne. Oh well. Two things:
1) The beach ball thing HAS to stop. It's ridiculous and out of
control. There were about 10 little kids in our section and the only thing they wanted to do was hit beach balls during the entire game. There was one heroic old man who confiscated a ball that got too close to him and when a young boy of about 7 asked for it back, the man said "No! Pay attention to the game!" Good for him. For his trouble, he was subsequently plastered in the back of the head by the next beach ball that came sailing through, hit at him by a 20-something idiot who thought the old man was taking away the kids' fun and who was trying to impress his airheaded girlfriend. I hope Vince Coleman was waiting for him in the parking lot.
2) After Robin Ventura hit a two-run homer, I started chuckling and my girlfriend wondered what was so funny. I had to explain to her that sometimes when a pitcher and a batter love each other, the batter will try to visit the pitcher during a game, and the pitcher will grab the batter in a headlock and pummel his forehead to show his love. She didn't get it.
Hey, I'll reply in italics.
One, not only does the beach ball thing has to stop, so does the wave. If you are doing the wave, it means one of two things: the game sucks or you are a moron (or under the age of 12, kids get a free pass). It's a good game, watch it. If you don't want to watch it, stay at home and don't screw it up for those of us who do want to watch the game.
Two, Nolan Ryan beating up Robin Ventura is an all-time great baseball moment. and it contains a lesson for the kiddies. When you beat up some idiot charging the mound, be sure to punch him with the non-pitching hand. That's Ryan for you, always thinking about the game.
posted by Poseur 8/12/2003 12:50:00 PM
Working hard on our NCAA previews. Check it out, still in the embryonic stages.
Sorry, it's a GeoCity. Free web space and all. We're big fans of free.
posted by Poseur 8/11/2003 05:08:00 PM