• Playoff Fever: Committee members on what they'll look for when making their selections

    College Football Playoff Committee

    Tom Jernstedt, Big East Conference
    Tom Osborne, University of Nebraska
    Dan Radakovich, Clemson University

    Three members of the College Football Playoff Selection committee opened a window into how the process is expected to work next season, the first that will see a four-team playoff decide the national champion. During a panel discussion at the 2013 IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, the committee members said that while selections would be subjective, there were areas that they would pay attention to, such as strength of schedule. “Strength of schedule is going to be a major component,” said former Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne. “Somebody who has scheduled two or three FCS opponents obviously is going to be at some disadvantage over a team that has not scheduled any” As an example, he pointed to Northern Illinois, a MAC team that was undefeated before losing to Bowling Green last week. “They probably would have been ranked 12th or 15th [if they had won that game],” Osborne said. “If we would have tried to pick them for the top four because they were undefeated, it would have been a little problematic.”

    DELICATE DISCUSSIONS: The committee members said it was likely that they would recuse themselves from discussions on schools, or maybe even conferences, with which they are associated. Clemson AD Dan Radakovich said the committee likely would try to mirror the NCAA tournament basketball committee in that respect, something with which Big East senior adviser Tom Jernstedt agreed. “In basketball, when SEC Commissioner Slive and Big Ten Commissioner Delany were on the [NCAA tournament selection] committee, and any team from the SEC and Big Ten was under consideration, they’d walk down the hall and were not involved in any part of that discussion,” Jernstedt said. “There was a real comfort level with the committee.”

    ONE VOTE, ONE VOICE: The committee members said they are not likely to release a list of which members voted for which schools, but will opt instead to speak as one voice. “When we used to lose to Oklahoma, I got a whole box of hate mail,” Osborne said. “Somebody blew up my mailbox. I don’t want to go back to those days again where my vote is listed and the fifth-place team is out to get me.” Osborne praised the BCS, saying, “The top two teams usually have fallen into place. The BCS has worked pretty well over most years. I think there will be quite a bit of controversy between those three, four, five, six and seven. Therein will lie the difficulty.”

    Tags: Football, Big East, IMG
  • Commissioners Speak Out on Reform

    Commissioners Speak out

    Bob Bowlsby, Big 12
    Jim Delany, Big Ten
    Larry Scott, Pac-12
    Mike Slive, SEC
    John Swofford, ACC

    Day One of the '13 IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum included a panel featuring the commissioners of the five power conferences: Bob Bowlsby (Big 12), Jim Delany (Big Ten), Larry Scott (Pac-12), Mike Slive (SEC) and John Swofford (ACC). Below are some highlights from the panel.

     On reform in the NCAA and giving the biggest conferences more flexibility:

    Slive: "Our 65 presidents agree that we need to change things for our student athletes. Change is necessary. A more streamlined NCAA legislative process is essential. We have issues that are unique to us and I believe other colleagues agree with that."

    Bowlsby: "We're seeking a more nimble organization, an organization that has systems that facilitate moving legislation through the system in an efficient way. That's what we are all seeking. (The current NCAA structure) is no longer meeting the needs of a majority of the member institutions."

    Delany: “The only thing it seems you can't do today is to do right by the student athlete. If we can achieve that, we can all play together ... and grow together. "

    On whether college athletes should be paid to play:

    Bowlsby: "If we go down that path to establish an employer /employee relationship, we will forever severe the relationship between higher education and core circular activity on campus. If we go down that way, we will forever have lost our way"

    Scott: “So much of the media narrative is around the notion that athletes are getting a raw deal. We are on campuses with 7,000 athletes, and anyone who sees the student athletes and talks to them (doesn’t come away) with a sense that they think they are getting a raw deal. They are thrilled with the opportunity. We see everyday how thankful student athletes are."

    Swofford: "Everything should be educationally connected. It's still a collegiate model and most want to keep it that way, but at the same time enhance the scholarship in a way that helps our student athletes."

    Here's a slide show from the panel. Click any image to launch.

    Tags: Big Ten, SEC, ACC, IMG, NCAA, Media
  • Seen at the 2013 Intercollegiate Athletics Forum

    Here are photos of some of speakers and attendees at Day 1 of the 2013 Intercollegiate Athletics Forum. Click any image to launch the slide show.

    Tags: ATT, GE
  • Intercollegiate Athletics Forum: Emmert Says New Governance Structure Possible

    Emmert says NCAA could have new governance structure by this summer

    NCAA President Mark Emmert opened the ’13 IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum by revealing that the organization could have a new governance structure in place by this summer that would give greater autonomy on decision-making back to school ADs. The D-I Board is currently populated solely by school presidents, but ADs have been clamoring for reform because they often are the ones dealing with day-to-day decisions. Emmert said of the proposed model, "At the conference level in some cases, and certainly at the national level, ADs have been marginalized in the process and that’s clearly a huge mistake. So part of the discussion now is how to change that." He added, "One of the models being considered is a move to a new legislative body with presidents (at the top) -- presidents want to retain control of college sports because that’s their job description -- but move the legislative policy making on the day-to-day decisions to a new body that would be dominated by athletic directors, and bring the voice of athletic directors much more directly and much more aggressively into the conversation. ADs are clearly anxious for that -- to do that work, because it’s a lot of work -- but I think we’re in a much healthier space than where we were nine months ago." He said of the proposed changes, "It would actually be, somewhat ironically, less bureaucratic because it would have the people who really have to run the enterprise making the decisions and the board … would be along the lines of more of a veto model than passing the legislation themselves. So it would be quite a different model than we have today."

    ALLAYING CONCERNS: With the NCAA under increasing pressure to change its centralized form of governance, Emmert said he was hopeful the proposed switch could alleviate many of those concerns. He added, "This is going to be, I hope, a seminal moment in the NCAA, especially for Division I. The presidents have been talking about for some time now the need to have a decision-making structure that allows them to make decisions faster and to accommodate the huge, mostly economic differences across Division I from low-resource schools to high-resource schools. Right now, they try to write rules collectively, and that’s very, very difficult for them. So the model that’s being discussed would provide, first of all, greater autonomy and accountability for the large-budget conferences -- especially the Big Five -- that would allow them to have greater authority over a handful of areas so they could spend money more effectively on student athletes. That’s gigantic for us. That’s going to be a watershed moment.”

    Emmert also discussed Ed O'Bannon's lawsuit against the organization. Emmert: "The case, I think not necessarily intentionally, has been confused and a little distorted about what this case is and what it isn’t." He added, "The case was originally about previous student athletes and now it’s completely shifted to current and future student athletes. It was about issues of trademark and publicity and now it is pretty blatantly a pay-for-play argument for future student athletes."

    And Emmert addressed the NBA's age requirements that have increased the number of one-and-done college basketball players: "I think it's sort of illogical to force someone to go to college when they want to do something else. To have someone go touch base at college because they have to – they have no interest in being a student; they don't want to be there; they want to get out of there as quick as they can; they really want to be in the NBA, let's say – let 'em go."

    Tags: NCAA, IMG, ACC
  • TV Timeout: The Division Bell

    CBSSN's Doug Gottlieb said of the NBA potentially doing away with divisions, "I think Adam Silver is sitting there and adjusting and thinking to himself, 'I want to grow the league. I don't want LeBron only to play once in L.A.' He only plays once a year in L.A., and that doesn't make sense from a business standpoint. From a business standpoint, I want you to see LeBron James two times a year or three times a year" (“Lead Off,” CBSSN, 12/10).

    FORK IN THE ROAD: Fox Sports' Nate Ryan, on mandatory concussion testing for drivers: "NASCAR doesn't want to get itself in the situation that the NFL currently faces with the conundrum how players are facing, unfortunately, a lesser quality of life because of hits they took during their career and NASCAR is trying to be proactive and prevent drivers from facing that" ("NASCAR Race Hub," FS1, 12/10).

    HE'S THE WORST: EPSN's Keith Olbermann last night designated his "World's Worst Person in Sports" to Turkish Football Federation President Yıldırım Demirören, who is "ready to fine two of league's imports for what they wore under their jerseys during matches last Friday." The players, who were both African natives, wore undershirts honoring the late Nelson Mandela ("Olbermann," ESPN, 12/10).

  • SBJ/SBD Podcast: Saturday morning sports on TV

    SportsBusiness Journal media writer John Ourand and SportsBusiness Daily Assistant Managing Editor Austin Karp talk about the growing audiences for Saturday morning sports programming and some of the reasons behind the interesting trend.

    Tags: ING, Media, Audi, CES, SBJSBD Podcast
  • TV Timeout: They Don't Really Care About Us

    CBSSN's Bart Scott said of next year's 9:30am ET kickoff for Lions-Falcons in London, "They don't care about the players. You think they care about the players? It's about that moolah. ... This is how they do it, they always put a good team versus a bad team because they don't want two good teams to have that game come back and hurt them during the playoffs. So they purposely put a bad team in there" (“That Other Pregame Show,” CBSSN, 12/8).

    HEY, CHUCKY: ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported while some NFL team owners "may have eyes" for Jon Gruden, he "will remain with ESPN through at least the 2014 season." Mortensen said Gruden has a "strong commitment" to stay on as "MNF" analyst, and to his "popular quarterback camp series and his outreach to consult high school coaches across the nation" (“Sunday NFL Countdown,” ESPN, 12/8). 

    ESPN's Jemele Hill, on the telecast of the FIFA World Cup draw: "It is so visually stimulating. You feel like you're watching part-game show" ("Numbers Never Lie," ESPN2, 12/6).

  • SBJ/SBD Podcast: Dissecting the Most Influential list

    Executive Editor Abraham Madkour and media writer John Ourand discuss the selection of Fox Sports' Randy Freer and Eric Shanks as No. 1 on SportsBusiness Journals' annual 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business list, and why media executives dominate this year's list.

    Tags: NFL, Most Influential, Media, Fox, SBJSBD Podcast
  • The NHL Shift: Numbers and notes, 12/06/2013

    A look at the past week in the NHL and a glimpse at what’s ahead:

    The Numbers

    104,173: That’s the Guinness World Records-certified attendance mark for a hockey game the NHL hopes to top at Michigan Stadium for the Winter Classic between Detroit and Toronto. The league office will be working with Guinness staff to verify the more than 106,000 fans they believe will attend the Jan. 1 game. The current record also was established at Michigan Stadium, for the “Big Chill at the Big House” between Michigan and Michigan State on Dec. 11, 2010.

    2: As in, are two games too many for Yankee Stadium? Tickets went on sale two weeks ago, and plenty of seats remain available for the pair of games at Yankee Stadium during Super Bowl week that make up part of the NHL’s Coors Light Stadium Series. The Rangers play the Devils on Jan. 26 and the Islanders on Jan. 29. One challenge could be team performance: The Islanders are in last place in the Metropolitan Division, while the Rangers and Devils have hovered around the .500 mark so far this season. High prices also could be a problem: As of Wednesday night, it was not difficult to find eight seats together via Ticketmaster in the $198, $238, $288 and $308 price ranges for the Islanders-Rangers game.

    23: Years ago on this date (Dec. 6, 1990) that the NHL granted “conditional membership” to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The action was made permanent two weeks later, when the franchise was approved by the Board of Governors, and the Lightning began play in 1992.

    25: Number of years spent by Peter Luukko working with Ed Snider at the Philadelphia Flyers and Comcast-Spectacor. The run came to an end Monday, when Luukko resigned as president and COO. Snider could have been speaking for executives all around the NHL when he said of Luukko, “His passion and dedication are legendary in our industry.”

    NHL “super shops” are open at Dick’s Sporting Goods locations in Lombard, Ill. (above); West Nyack, N.Y.; and Cranberry Township, N.J.
    Total square footage of retail space of the three NHL “super shops” that have opened in Dick’s Sporting Goods locations. The shops, which are in West Nyack, N.Y., Lombard, Ill., and Cranberry Township, Pa. — suburbs of New York City, Chicago and Pittsburgh — are selling lifestyle apparel, jerseys, headwear, outerwear and accessories from league-licensed brands such as Reebok, CCM, ’47 Brand and Old Time Hockey.

    10,074: Attendance for the Florida Panthers’ home game against Ottawa on Tuesday. That was the league’s second-smallest crowd of the season — Nashville at Phoenix on Halloween night drew 7,401 — and images tweeted by fans and reporters at the game suggested it was more “announced attendance” than “fans in attendance.”

    Looking Ahead
    Monday and Tuesday:
    The NHL’s Board of Governors meets in Pebble Beach, Calif. Expect it to take the league’s owners about two seconds to approve the recently finalized Canadian media-rights agreement that pays the NHL C$5.2 billion over 12 years, beginning with the 2014-15 season.

    Tags: On the Ground
  • TV Timeout: Comic Relief

    Actor Will Ferrell, as Ron Burgundy, today asked Dan Patrick, "Is it true, Chris Berman, Boomer, in a rage he got mad at you because you stole a story of his and he sat on you for an hour, he pinned you down and just sat on you?" ("The Dan Patrick Show," 12/5).

    RED-HEADED STRANGER: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jason Gay, on Burton's U.S. Olympic snowboarding uniforms: "When I first saw it I thought this is something that Willie Nelson wears to breakfast. But over time, looking at it, it is an amazing sort of piece of Americana" (“Crowd Goes Wild,” FS1, 12/4).

    YIKES, STRIPES: CBSSPORTS.com's Will Brinson said of the Yankees' signing Jacoby Ellsbury, "Just because you have a lot of money doesn't mean you have to set some of it on fire, it's not a requirement. It's a terrible deal" (“Rome,” CBSSN, 12/4).

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