Morning Ed: Sports {2018.03.28.W}

[Sp1] College football attendance may be moving in the wrong direction, and AdoptedAggie blames conference realignment. Meanwhile, mixed signals in Texas.

[Sp2] President Uhuru Kenyatta wants golf in Kenya public schools, to promote the sport.

[Sp3] A look at attempts to revamp cricket.

[Sp4] I think this is a good idea. Maybe not for every game, but for a lot of them. They need to get to the kids while they’re young.

[Sp5] These all sound like some pretty good ideas for handling the NBA/NCAA problem. I am also on board with this idea, from Steve Kerr, and would probably go a step further and let anybody hire an agent on a three-month window/contract while exploring the possibility of going pro. I also like the hockey model as a possible way to give student athletes more flexibility. Charles Barkley, on the other hand, wants the kids to get off his lawn.

[Sp6] Meanwhile, tragedy in the NBA’s existing development league as a 26-year old player drops dead on court.

[Sp7] It’s not quite the same without the guided turtle shell missiles, but still looks fun.

[Sp8] It feels like there has to be more to the story than this.

[Sp9] There’s a cricket scandal in Australia! I don’t know cricket very well, but I guess it sounds like Phil Niekro.


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Will Truman is the pseudonym of a former para-IT professional who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He is also on Twitter. ...more →

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24 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Sports {2018.03.28.W}

  1. Sp3: The article isn’t so much about attempts to revamp cricket as how to respond to the implications of earlier successful revamps. The issue is that cricket has split into two forms: the traditional long form, which culminates in five day test matches; and limited overs, especially T20, which lasts two or three hours. The traditional form has gravitas, the limited overs has the spectators, and therefore the money. The result playing out is that cricketers are favoring the skills required of limited overs rather than those of test matches, and top players are starting to abandon the traditional form entirely, following the money. What to do, stipulating that this is a problem to be solved? Heck if I know. Neither really does the writer of the piece.

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  2. Sp1: The headline assumes that downward is the wrong direction. It obviously is if your paycheck derives from attendance. But in the big picture? I fully intend to encourage my daughters to go to schools without football programs, or at least without good ones. College football is a social ill that affects the entire institution.

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  3. Sp9: This is really pretty straightforward, once you get past the reflexive American “cricket is weird har! har!” reaction. They were caught doctoring the ball. It’s not as if this is a deep mystery to Americans. The only thing that isn’t clear to me is if this is a technically illegal but “if you are cheating your aren’t trying” thing, or is it the sort of thing that gets players expelled.

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  4. Sp1: To pick on one line from the second link, “Rebuild the original Big 12.” The old Southwest Conference eventually fell apart because the financial arrangements favored the University of Texas at Austin. The Big 12 schools who could find power conference homes elsewhere left because, in practice, the financial (and some other) arrangements favored UT-Austin. The previous and new presidents of the University of Oklahoma have been quoted saying that it’s important for OU to maintain its ability to leave the conference. The Big 12 is going to continue to have stability problems unless Texas gives up its financial edge.

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    • The SWC just wasn’t viable as a major conference making anywhere close to the kind of money its three most important schools could make elsewhere. The Big 12, on the other hand, could have been a viable conference except for the personalities involved. A good deal of it is Texas, but not all of it.

      OU has an Oklahoma State problem when it comes to leaving. If everything gets sufficiently unstable they might be able to leave without OSU, but they can’t be the first domino to fall in a game where OSU is left out. It is suggested that UT actually encouraged Arkansas to leave. The question is who Oklahoma could encourage to cause the instability to give them the room to go, or which conference would take both of them? The Pac-12 might, and they’re the only conference that has any need to do anything, but there are complications there.

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  5. Sp5: That article (not the ideas) was crap. Lots of revisionist history. The league didn’t institute the age limit to keep scouts out of high school gyms. It was to save the owners from themselves after doling out high picks and big contracts to unknowns. They wanted to use the NCAA as a filter. That and some racism about young black millionaires ruining everything. There was nothing altruistic about it.

    And mentioning Kobe as an example of someone ready at 18? He started 6 games and played 15 minutes a game, averaging 7 points on 41% shooting with more turnovers than assists. Not bad for a rookie but far from uniquely “ready.”

    Let them get drafted at 18. Even if the guy isn’t ready for on court action, he’ll get better support from an NBA team — on and off the court — than a college; the former has a vested interested in their well being that the latter lacks, especially for the one-and-done guys.

    It was wrong to enact the rule and we’re seeing real costs borne by the players and the NCAA game (which I don’t really care about but the carry over effects shouldn’t be ignored). Get rid of it.

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  6. Sp4 – this was always the competitive advantage of minor league teams, even in places where a major league team is reasonably close by. You can take your kid(s) to a minor league game and get good seats for the price you pay for just your own middlin ticket to a big league game.

    (If you live south of Baltimore, the Bowie team is about the same driving distance as Camden yards)

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    • I take my sons to the local high school games and they think it’s the Super Bowl. With the added benefit if it being much less sensory stimulating.

      Even Army felt the need to shoot a frickin’ cannon after touchdowns.

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    • Bowie has free parking, to boot! Well, I park free when I go to Orioles games, but that is by parking at my church and hiking a bit under a mile. Whether this is a pleasant bit of needed exercise or a burden depends on the weather.

      As for price, the cheapest Orioles tickets this year are $15, and much better seats can be had for $17. The expensive seats nominally are $60. The cheapest Baysox tickets are $8, and the best seats are $13. Of course those cheap Baysox seats would be really good locations at Camden Yards, so it is hard to really compare. But the point is that the idea that baseball, even on the major league level, is prohibitively expensive for the middle class simply isn’t true. You can get perfectly reasonable seats at a perfectly reasonable price.

      Taking kids is another matter. I take mine to minor league games (usually Frederick) a couple of times a year. Price is part of this, but so is the different experience. Minor league ball caters to kids as a mini-carnival experience in a way that major league ballparks aren’t equipped for.

      Oh, and one point in favor of affordability at the bigs is concessions. The Orioles let you bring them in, while Minor League Baseball has a policy of strip searches for contraband food. So I can stop at any number of street vendors and buy a peanuts, a couple of dogs, and a drink for under ten bucks. The same stuff inside the gate, whether at Camden Yards or Bowie, would be vastly more. That’s what kills you.

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      • I wonder if it’s a regional thing, decade thing, or corporate thing, in that when I lived in Georgia close to 20 years ago now, the farm team concessions were far less then they were at Turner Field. (but also, we’re talking a 3 dollar beer vs a 5 dollar one back then, instead of the close to 10 bucks it is now)

        (Georgia alcohol laws back then also meant you could by a beer at a game on a Sunday afternoon, but not in a grocery store for home consumption on that day)

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      • I’ve been going to Class A ballgames for over a decade with my son, and I’m happy to pay big league prices for concessions in exchange for minor league ticket prices.

        Occasionally, you get a bargain. The Clinton Lumberkings sold $4 Shiner Bocks the last time I was there, a price I’d be happy with anywhere. The Burlington Bees had $1 hot dogs the last time I was there, and I shelled out $6 for my son’s dinner that night. He was probably hungry from the 80 mile bike ride to the game. Pro tip: if you’re bicycling through west central Illinois, bring your own food.

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  7. [Sp8] Did you read the president’s statement in defence or the AD? That made me fairly confident that there is not actually significantly more to the story.

    I can’t see how to read that defence other than “I stand by my director because he’s a director and by definition in any disagreement between a director and a subordinate the director is right. The recording that was released significantly distorts the situation because it makes the director look like an irrational idiot, and as I have already pointed out, the idiot in any disagreement is the one lower on the org chart.”

    I think the proposition “idiots in positions of authority exist” gets by Occam’s razor fairly easily.

    I mean, there was a teeny tiny bit “more to it” – Aguero got his assistant coach to run one practice in 2013 so he could run the Boston marathon. Potter asked him not to do it again. In 2014, Aguero saw that the marathon was on a school holiday so he wouldn’t have to miss any work days, and ran the marathon without any impact on his work. Potter got mad because he felt this was insubordination and no amount of logical thought is going to change the mind of a fellow like that (see above, “in any disagreement the idiot is always the one lower on the org chart, QED any concrete evidence that suggests otherwise is a distortion of the facts”). (http://newsok.com/article/4888198)

    Aguero was quickly hired at Oklahoma City University and still coaches there (http://www.ocusports.com/mobile/staff.aspx?staff=114)

    Potter resigned as AD at St Gregory’s a month after firing Aguero, I rather suspect because nobody on his staff had any respect for him after that (http://newsok.com/article/4998731)

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