Morning Five: 01.17.13 Edition
Posted by nvr1983 on January 17th, 2013
- It should not come as a surprise as we hinted at it weeks ago when Boise State pulled out of the Big East, but it appears that San Diego State will be following their example and staying in the Mountain West Conference. When Boise State opted to stay in the Mountain West, it seemed inevitable that San Diego State would not move to the Big East as they would be the only team west of the Rocky Mountains making it unrealistic as an entity. The two sides are now working to dissolve their previous agreement, which apparently had a clause allowing the Aztecs to leave if they were the only team west of the Rockies in the conference. This will only serve to make the Mountain West an even stronger conference that could potentially become one of the best conferences in the nation on a regular basis. So after all the handwringing about these moves it appears that nothing will come of them and geography teachers will have an easier time explaining our country’s geography to elementary school children.
- We are always curious about how Forbes comes up with their valuations for professional teams as they do not reveal the numbers they use to produce those valuations so we have to take their work on the most valuable conferences with a grain of salt, but it is an interesting read. The calculations here are a little bit easier to understand as they are a reflection of revenue rather than implicit value despite the title of the article. The two things that stand out for us are that the SEC comes in fourth and the huge gap in revenue between the BCS conferences and non-BCS conferences. The first part will likely change with the ongoing renegotiation of television contracts, but we doubt that the second part will be changing any time soon.
- Many people have questioned the true value of the scholarships that student-athletes are awarded, but they never question what is spent on athletics. And for good reason as a recent study by Delta Cost Project at American Institutes for Research indicates that universities spend on average ~$92,000 on athletics compared to ~$14,000 on academics. As the study indicates this is most pronounced in the SEC where schools spent an average of $163,931 for athletics and $13,390 for academics per student-athletes (remember this supposedly counts all athletes and we are sure that much more is spent on football and to a lesser degree basketball than in non-revenue generating sports). The study also points out that the schools are the ones subsidizing athletics not the other way around. Obviously there are some secondary effects that the school gets from athletic programs such as increased applications, donations, etc., but it should turn the argument about revenue generating sports on its head.
- Speaking of ridiculous amounts of money spent on athletics, Rhode Island reached an agreement with its former coach Jim Baron that will pay him $1.1 million over the next four years after he was fired following a season in which he went 7-24. According to the report the school will be able to pay for it with funds generated by the athletic department, which has an annual budget of $8 million per year with only $3 million coming from the “self-generating” revenues that the school will use to pay Baron. The payment will likely affect the program’s ability to spend so perhaps Ram fans should be rooting for Baron’s new team–Canisius–to do well as the last two years of payments (worth a total of $518,000) could be reduced if Baron is paid an undisclosed amount by Canisius.
- Kentucky fans took a great deal of joy in making fun of Louisville printing shirts celebrating their ascent to #1 in the polls (to be fair, Kentucky fans like to make fun of anything related to Louisville), but as The Wall Street Journal points out the feat is somewhat impressive when you consider that several prominent programs that have won a national title have never been #1 in the AP poll. The one that stands out to us is Maryland, but as the article points out they have been #2 in the AP poll on multiple occasions. It is also worth pointing out that three of these programs won titles before the AP poll was around. Having said all of that we still think printing the #1 shirts are ridiculous for a program of Louisville’s stature.