January 26, 2011
Making the morning rounds.
• Wait, I've got a bylaw for that. If you had "six days" in the pool for "How long will it take rivals to begin sniping at Texas' partnership with ESPN?" step up to claim your prize: Texas A&M athletic director Bill "Irish Temper" Byrne told the Dallas Morning News Tuesday that the fledgling Longhorn network's plan to cover Texas high school sports could conflict with NCAA rules that prohibit universities from publicizing potential recruits.
"I can't speak for the NCAA, but I would imagine the governing body will look into the use of a collegiate television network airing games of prospective student-athletes," Byrne said in a statement. "I understand networks such as FSN and ESPN airing high school sports, but whether or not employees under contract with a university that may have additional contact would seem to be an issue." And if that doesn't stop the unholy alliance, there's always the SEC. [Dallas Morning News]
• Have a nice trip. As predicted last week, the Mountain West has formally extended a middle finger to its outgoing overlord, TCU, by voting to move the Horned Frogs' home game against Boise State this fall to the blue turf in Boise, where the Broncos have won 56 of their last 57 games since 2001. (BSU will play at San Diego State, previously marked as a home game, instead.) TCU, bound for the Big East in 2012, didn't even have a vote.
It's not personal, guys, just business: A Bronco win stands to boost the MWC's standing more than a TCU win would in the all-important BCS formula, which will determine whether the Mountain West gets its coveted automatic berth to one of the big money bowls on the next contract cycle. And, you know, if the Big East's record should happen to absorb a crucial loss in the formula at the same time, well, they can't really do anything about that, can they? [Idaho Statesman]
• Oh, and thanks for your contribution. Meanwhile, the Horned Frogs were responsible for bringing in $24.7 million in BCS revenue for the Mountain West non-automatically qualifying conferences, thanks to their appearance in the Rose Bowl as an automatic qualifier rather than an at-large selection. (No wonder the MWC aggressively shot down rumors Tuesday that it was looking to pluck two more members from the gasping carcass of the WAC: Why share?) That number is a new high for the non-"Big Six" leagues, slightly up from last year's high of $24 million, part of a record $170 million BCS payout to all eleven member conferences, more than 85 percent of which remained reserved for the "Big Six" leagues. [Associated Press]
• The Big East waits for no Wildcats. Even if the Mountain West is finished with expansion for the moment, the Big East is not, according to commissioner John Marinatto, who told ESPN Tuesday the conference won't wait for Villanova to make up its mind whether to take the plunge as the league's tenth football member. "It's their institutional decision to make, and they have a process set up to make it," Marinatto said. "We're not going to make a decision or not make a decision based on Villanova's study." [ESPN]
• OK, we're square. Former Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins – whose final year in Lawrence included multiple on-campus dustups between the football and basketball teams, the departure of a successful coach under a cloud of scandal, public outrage over Perkins' huge salary and a sprawling multi-sport ticket scandal – agreed to pay a $4,000 fine for improperly accepting a gift of exercise equipment while still working for the university. The equipment had been the subject of an apparent blackmail attempt by a former KU employee, which initiated an investigation by the state's Governmental Ethics Commission. [Associated Press]
Quickly… The Fiesta Bowl, still under investigation from the Arizona attorney general, cuts off all contact with lobbyists. … Rich Rodriguez will be on the air next Wednesday for national signing day. … Miami's new staff is scrambling to add a quarterback to its 2011 recruiting class. … Another Michigan exile, Tate Forcier, surveys the field. … Why Lane Kiffin won't talk about USC's recruiting numbers. … Trinton Sturdivant is still here. … And heavens, can you believe Gene Chizik has the gall to use such unspeakable profanity in mixed company?
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.