Maestro, if you please, the Steve Spurrier-approved theme music:
It's Friday. And while there's an NCAA regional baseball tournament game involving your Georgia Bulldogs, there is still no college football. That's a problem. It's not my problem. It's not your problem. It's everybody's problem. And all problems of either a moral or financial nature can be smoothed over with the clever application of a little folding money. I learned that one from the Ole Ball Coach. But since blogging is one of the world's worst sources of extra folding money, you'll have to content yourselves with Free Form Friday, a disorganized and occasionally disturbing riff on what's happening in the world of college sports and beyond. Consider it your prelude to this afternoon's group reading of To Kill A Bluejay.
By now you've already heard that the "roster management" proposal that Mike Slive was discussing with the media last week not only failed but failed with a passion in terms of staisfying the league's coaches, being voted down 12-0 (which shouldn't have surprised anyone). Of course they don't cast the deciding votes, as those will come from the league's Presidents sometime this morning. You also know that Steve Spurrier proposed paying players a $300 per game stipend out of coaches' salaries. He even got 6 of his SEC cohorts to sign onto the proposal.
Does it have a chance of actually happening? Hell no. As Graham Watson notes the NCAA would most certainly find the proposal inequitable to the Bowl Subdivision schools which don't throw off cash like grease from a fish fry. Paying seventy players $300 per game over the course of a twelve game season equates to a shade over $250,000 per season. Obviously the Spurriers, Sabans and Richts of the world could do that. And I imagine that if this idea came to fruition you'd see almost every coach in the league get a swift $250,000+ raise. Why? Oh, no reason. However for some coaches that would essentially be their salary. And for some athletic departments it would be the difference between being "in the red" and being "sell the popcorn machines out of the concession stands in the red." It's a nice gesture, but it won't happen.
Mark Richt recognized this, striking what I'd characterize as a pragmatic, reasonable tone when he told the AJC's Chip Towers:
"The spirit of wanting to get more financial help for our players is unanimous. But how to go about it, I’m saying that wouldn’t necessarily be the best way to do it. I didn’t sign it because I didn’t want to say that’s how I felt was the best way to get it done.
In no way shape or form was I saying I didn’t want to help student-athletes. I 100 percent do. Every single coach in that room wants to do that. We all believe that. But how do you do it without hurting amateurism? How do you do it without tax implications? Maybe it’s through the scholarship becoming more valuable
All of which got me thinking, what other utopian proposals to make SEC football better could we petition for? I envision a world in which SEC football is completely equitable to everyone all the time, from fans, to coaches, to players, to whatever absurd bow tie Michael Adams happens to be wearing while he swills chardonnay in the President's Box (while you're busy getting gently frisked on the off chance that you're toting a flask in your skivvies). I envision a southern gridiron upon which:
- Every school is required to provide Nick Saban with a stepstool on the visitor's sideline, or to raise that sideline by 5 inches to accomodate him.
- No herbicides are sprayed from the closest hash to the visitor's locker room of every conference football venue. You never know where Les Miles will want to graze, and he shouldn't have to worry about some sort of awful carcinogen getting in his way.
- Mark Richt's Bulldogs get to wear whatever crazy demotivational uniform they want. Wherever. Whenever. If we're going to underachieve, the least we can hope for is to do it stylishly.
- Derek Dooley's coach's show is broadcast on the History Channel because, well, you know.
- Kentucky gets to start Jared Lorenzen at quarterback once per season. This one's not really for the Wildcats, it's to amuse the rest of us, and prop up the Bluegrass State's sagging Bojangles chicken franchises. That's economic stimulus right there.
- Will Muschamp will be supplied with fresh bandages and microphone sniffing dogs to prevent any annoying audio slipups. And high quality video of the 2006 and 2007 Georgia/Auburn games. You know, to bolster his confidence upon the occasion of his triumphant return to the SEC.
- Houston Nutt will get whatever he wants. You don't say no to a crazy bastard like that. You just give him what he asks for and lock the door behind you.
- Gene Chizik gets a prepaid ticket aboard Delta airlines from Atlanta to any destination of his choice. No expiration date. No blackouts. Because one way or another he's going to need to get out of Auburn with a quickness one day.
Feel free to include your own totally realistic proposals to improve SEC football in the comments, and don't forget to be back here this afternoon for the Diamond Dawgs' game against the Creighton Bluejays. Until then . . .