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May 15, 2014

Not a lot left from the ACC meetings. Coaches have already been departing.

The news now shifts to bigger picture things like NCAA changes. The five major conferences agitating for more control of their own interests within the NCAA was the major talking point.

One of the big topics at the ACC’s spring meetings this week was the potential changes to the NCAA governance structure. The Division I Board of Directors recently endorsed a new model. It will be officially voted on in August and one of the primary shifts would be to give the “power five” conferences — the ACC, Southeastern, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 more autonomy to create legislation.

“The whole idea here is that you would have some permissive legislation that would allow some schools to do things but not require everybody to do things,” Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said. “So if we felt like, as five conferences, this is something we were really interested in doing, that if it made sense and we could pull it together, we could take it through the five without everybody voting on it.”

This week, the athletic directors met with Wake Forest president Nathan Hatch, one of the leaders in the NCAA’s reform efforts. The goal was to get a clearer picture of what the restructuring meant and how it would be implemented.

One of the early sticking points in the review process has been the supermajority needed for the power five to pass new legislation.

Any item would be voted on by the 65 schools, as well as 15 student-athlete representatives, and need a two-thirds majority to pass.

The support is mixed on this idea. There appears to be a split among the schools and conferences on this aspect. Some such as the Big 10 and Big 12 want a simple majority. Schools in the ACC seem to be more in favor of the supermajority. Honestly, I’m not sure on which would be the better approach. It isn’t clear to me on the details, so I can’t say which would be the way to go.

One of the issues tied to the control for the five conferences would be the cost of attendance issue.

A major impetus for changes in governance came a few years ago when most of the power-five conference schools wanted to pass a $2,000 stipend for their athletes but were blocked by smaller schools that would not have been able to afford it.

Under the new model, the 65 schools would be able to legislate some sort of increased compensation for their athletes, whether it be in the form of a stipend, a full cost-of-attendance scholarship or some other avenue.

The full cost-of-attendance scholarship has gained traction recently, but, as Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick pointed out, figuring out what exactly constitutes “cost of attendance” at various schools is another challenge entirely.

“I wish people would use a phrase other than ‘cost of attendance,’?” Swarbrick said.

“It’s a fiction. It bears no relation to reality. You look at the cost of attendance of two schools located in comparable geographic situations, and they’ll be thousands of dollars apart.”

Speaking of related fiction that comes from cost of attendance, this piece from Deadspin does a great job on the fiction of scholarship sizes and aid.

Schools typically claim that a GIA [Grant In Aid] cost is equal to the full, zero-financial-aid price of attending the school, getting room and board, and getting all required books. That probably has very little to do with (a) what providing the scholarship costs, in terms of the schools’ expense (what we can think of as the “expenditure” associated with the scholarship) or (b) what revenue is lost by providing the scholarship to the athlete (this is classic economic “opportunity cost”). Instead, it represents a list price that almost no one pays, because most people who attend a college receive institutional financial aid of one kind or another. The list price is the starting point and almost everyone gets a discount off of the list. (This isn’t the place to rehash all of that, but suffice it to say that the economic literature ballparks the true cost of an academic scholarship in the range between 20 and 40 percent of the list price.)

OK, so if the school decides to put it on paper that $50,000 per year is the cost of a GIA and also determines that it provides $30,000 per athlete in “direct institutional support,” then it looks as if the school has been super generous, to the point of providing money to the athletic department to cover more than half the scholarship amount. But if that $50,000 is just a made-up number, unrelated to the actual cost of the scholarship, then this is really just a buy/sell transaction with a spread of $20,000 (which is the net payment by the athletic department to the university). In other words, the athletic department (figuratively) put the athlete into a pipeline and paid the university $50,000; when the athlete (figuratively) came out the other side of the pipeline, the school sent back $30,000.

If instead, the GIA were listed at $60,000 per year, the school would have to cover $40,000 through “direct institutional support.” If the GIA were listed at $120,000, the school would have to cover $100,000. Either way, the actual economic transaction is that, on net, the athletic department is sending the school $20,000. The school is giving the athletic department NO MONEY in this example, regardless of the prices we pick for both transactions (just like the oil extractor isn’t really selling the oil to the pipeline company). Instead, the school provides a service (educating one athlete) just like the pipeline company provides a service (moving oil long distances to a refinery), and the net difference in the two prices represent the actual PRICE the school charges the athletic department. It says almost nothing about the cost of providing that service.

So when schools with zero “direct institutional support” give out a GIA, they are simply transferring money from athletics to the university as a whole. Remember: This is the price, not the cost, of that service. To learn about cost we have to look elsewhere.

Really, read the whole thing. A private school like ND can brag about their huge financial commitment to the athletes because they are listing a much higher GIA than a public university.

Sorry, not specifically basketball related, but really interesting to me in a nuts-and-bolts kind of way.

Barry Rohrssen got introduced as a Kentucky assistant, and his press conference had an interesting moment.

Rohrssen called coaching at Kentucky a “dream come true,” but the decision may not have been as easy as it would seem on the surface. Asked about his decision to leave Pittsburgh after a second stint there, Rohrssen choked up and appeared to be on the verge of tears when describing his love for the school and people in the program.

Considering the length of time between rumors and when it actually happened, it seems more and more like a heart versus mind decision.

Coach Jamie Dixon has not said much about the next assistant. Suggesting instead that he has been busy with other things like the ACC meetings, the whole trip to the Pentagon and other things to worry too much about making a hire. Considering guys like Rasheen Davis and Tom Herrion are still available it doesn’t appear that anyone is in a rush to make a decision.

Hey, maybe he will hire Keelon Lawson.

“If [a college] hires a second or third assistant, what can they bring to the table?” Lawson said. “If you hire me, I’m automatically bringing you top-20 players in the country. Automatically. There are coaches sitting on benches right now who can’t do that.”

The Lawson brothers, detailed in a column here, are K.J. Lawson, Dedric Lawson and Chandler Lawson, and each could become a McDonald’s All-American. K.J. Lawson, a 6-foot-7 wing, is ranked No. 32 nationally in the Class of 2015 by 247Sports. Dedric Lawson, a 6-9 forward, is ranked No. 5 nationally in the Class of 2016 by 247Sports. Chandler Lawson, a 6-6 wing, is ranked No. 1 nationally in the Class of 2019 by Future150.com.

All three are set, in August, to move to Jacksonville, Fla., and enroll at a basketball powerhouse called Arlington Country Day, where Keelon Lawson has already agreed to become an assistant coach under Rex Morgan. Jacksonville is roughly 700 miles from Memphis, and Keelon Lawson said that’s important to note because some have asked how far he and his sons would be willing to go from Memphis for college, and, he thinks, he’s already proved, by committing to moving to Jacksonville, that distance from Memphis isn’t an issue. His only desire is that the family stay together, point being that if he’s working in Memphis it makes sense for his sons to attend college in Memphis, but if he’s working somewhere else it would make sense for his sons to attend college somewhere else … especially if he happens to be on staff somewhere else.

The fact that Larry Brown once hired Danny Manning’s father, John Calipari once hired Dajuan Wagner’s father, Bill Self once hired Mario Chalmers’ father, and Billy Kennedy once hired J’Mychal Reese’s father serves as proof that there’s nothing unprecedented about men getting jobs based, in part, on the talents of their sons. Still, Keelon Lawson realizes some might question a school hiring him under these circumstances, but he insists those questions are unfair. As Lawson pointed out, his credentials as a former college player (at UAB and LeMoyne-Owen) who is now a successful high school coach make him a legitimate option for any staff. Beyond that, former UCLA coach Ben Howland once hired an AAU coach from Atlanta named Korey McCray, which led to two prospects from Atlanta (Jordan Adams and Tony Parker) committing to the Bruins. Dalonte Hill was first hired at Charlotte by Bobby Lutz, then at Kansas State by Bob Huggins, for no other reason than his connection to Michael Beasley. Baylor’s Scott Drew once hired an AAU coach named Dwon Clifton in an attempt to secure a commitment from John Wall, and, predictably, Clifton wasn’t employed at Baylor long after Wall instead enrolled at Kentucky.

Nah, it probably won’t happen with Dixon.





It would seem pretty out of character for JD to make a hire to secure specific recruits but he could sure shake some people up if he did.

I was surprised to see Lebron James step up to threaten to boycott next season if Sterling doesn’t sell the Clippers. Then when he realized there is a reasonable likelihood that solving this mess might well drag on into next season he quickly stepped it back. For a minute there he forgot that the only real color worth stepping up for is green. He should stick to playing basketball and do less worrying about who writes the checks. The fact of the matter is that millionaire NBA players will have a hard time selling the idea that they are slaves to the white ticket buying public. Sterling is an ass but he’s not worth losing money over. Time is Sterlings ally here and it will take more than a media frenzy to force a wealthy attorney to sell what he legally owns against his will. This could take years.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.15.14 @ 10:13 am

Drip… drip… drip…

Every day that goes by makes it more and more likely there will be NO SLICE REPLACEMENT.

Again, hope I’m wrong… for the sake of the Program.

Comment by PittofDreams 05.15.14 @ 10:25 am

What “SILLY RABBITS” those Cleveland Browns.

Vehemently denying an ESPN report that the team originally had the name “Bridgewater” on their Draft Card at No. 22… only to change it at the last second to “Manziel.”

And now the Browns are trying to make the argument that Manziel was the ONLY QUARTERBACK they were considering at Pick No. 4… the Pick they IMMEDIATELY VACATED when Bortels was picked by the Jaguars at No. 3.

Pretty obvious that by dropping all the way from No. 4 to 22, the Browns were willing to take whatever quarterback fell to them at that point.

There was ABSOLUTELY NO GUARANTEE that Manziel would still be there, especially given all the rumors about the Vikings and Cowboys being interested in Johnny Football.

Comment by PittofDreams 05.15.14 @ 10:49 am

It appears to be more and more likely to be a major split between the Haves and the Haves Not .. and since we are in one of the Big 5 power conferences, I assume we are a Have.

The issue is muddy since there are big programs that are good or bring in mucho $$ on the football side but are not very good in basketball (e.g., PSU) … on the other hand, the current D1 BB champ (UConn) is not in a Big 5 conference. Thus, most changes will be of the FB side.

The Big 5 is currently comprised of 65 schools (if my math is correct) including ND … not sure it has to be 64, the magic number of a couple years ago.

Comment by wbb 05.15.14 @ 10:59 am

@wbb, The big 5 aren’t exactly equals either. Each conference has different numbers and some are stronger than others. I think eventually there will have to be some kind of order. The Irish are a wild card, and they have a lot of TV clout so they can dictate ,but at some point the big time football schools are going to have to work together to maximize profits. That is how the NFL has prospered so well. They have come to an agreement that let’s them share the wealth and the talent. We are part of the temporary fix which is good but we would do well to grow our football program if we want to stay that way long term. Many times Pitt has gotten looked past over the years because our fan base doesn’t travel as an example. What happens if the top 16 or 32 football schools decide to do a cash grab and start a league with a playoff system like the NFL.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.15.14 @ 12:29 pm

Pitt will host the 2015 ACC wrestling championships

Comment by Nick 05.15.14 @ 12:49 pm

Arlington Country Day. huh. My sister’s house on the St. John’s River is right up the street from Arlington Country Day.

I could recruit all 3 of them to Pitt. :-)

Comment by Emel 05.15.14 @ 12:55 pm

@ wbb

PITT is sort of in a category within another category.

Since we are football revenue wise much closer to Iowa State than Ohio State.

We’re sort of a ‘have not’ within the ‘haves’.

Comment by Emel 05.15.14 @ 1:01 pm

**Omit the we and substitute our for are, in line 3. lol

Comment by Emel 05.15.14 @ 1:04 pm

Interesting comments. The elitism of the Power Fivis troubling. Schools like Houston, UConn, South Florida deserve a seat at the table. Then real split should be between FCS and FBS schools. Delaney, Silve and tag-a-long Swofford calling all the shots is unnerving and probably discriminatory.

Comment by TonyinHouston 05.15.14 @ 1:06 pm

Typing on this phone is a pain. Sorry.

Comment by TonyinHouston 05.15.14 @ 1:07 pm

When push comes to shove, the real haves are unlikely to share with those who don’t. UConn is definitely getting dicked over and I think WVU is almost as vulnerable as them.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.15.14 @ 1:50 pm

TMZ now has the video online of Famous James steeling the crab legs. It would be funny if it didn’t show how our country continues to regress.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.15.14 @ 3:07 pm

Is there anymore people out there Hernandez killed? I mean seriously???? Aren’t we up to 5 now?

Comment by Upittbaseball 05.15.14 @ 3:59 pm

The Heisman should be taken away from the idiot Jameis.

Comment by Emel 05.15.14 @ 4:29 pm

Hernandez….oy vey….poster child for the National Felon League.

When you start having a culture resemble the prison culture(the gangs, the tattoos, the do rags,etc., you know things are bad !

Comment by Emel 05.15.14 @ 4:46 pm

USA Today has a new listing of compensation for the basketball coaches that made the tournament.

I would provide a link but don’t know how.

Let the criticism of JD begin.

Comment by PITT-cocks fan 05.15.14 @ 6:44 pm

USA Today is reporting that the ACC is going to experiment with a 30 second clock this coming season in exhibition games.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.15.14 @ 7:35 pm

Pitt-Cocks, saw that list and thought it was about right. Coach K by far the highest at >$9M (includes bonus & perks), Pitino 2nd at around $6M with Calipari a close 3rd, Self just under $5M, and Izzo around $4M.

Jamie was about 15th or 16th at >$2.4M which I thought was about right. The one guy who was overpaid IMO was the UCLA coach @ $4.3M (forgot his name but he came from New Mexico and Iowa.

Sean Miller was around $2.7M

Comment by wbb 05.15.14 @ 7:49 pm

wbb, I believe it is Steve Alford at UCLA. His pay included the buyout of Alford’s contract from New Mexico.

I agree on Jamie’s salary.

Comment by PITT-cocks fan 05.15.14 @ 8:07 pm

@ wbb, poor Shawn, how can you even make ends meet on 2.7 mill. Overworked and underpaid.He should have prioritized his college aspirations back in the day and went to dental school or something like that so that he could have made a decent living for himself at least????????!

Comment by Dr. Tom 05.15.14 @ 8:48 pm

actually I inverted Alford’s salary, believe it was $3.4

Comment by wbb 05.15.14 @ 9:18 pm

Sam Adamas ended up playing 40 minutes with 10 pts and 11 reb as OKC eliminated the Clippers.

I cannot get it out of my head how good the BB team would have been had he stayed this year as originally planned …. but then again, this is Pitt.

Maybe we should change the nickame from ‘Panthers’ to ‘Ifs’

Comment by wbb 05.16.14 @ 6:32 am

Adams also looks super comfortable in the playoffs. He hasn’t even started to shoot his jump shot either.

Comment by ShorePitt 05.16.14 @ 7:14 am

Unrelated, but has any one been able to catch some of the draft combine coverage. ESPN covered CJ Wilcox during the shooting guard drills and Patterson happened to be behind him in the drill and look to make 90% of his shots. Hopefully he can secure a spot in the 2nd round.

Comment by ShorePitt 05.16.14 @ 7:32 am

I nominate Steve Adams for playoff Rookie of the year. All in favor say I.

Comment by alcofan 05.16.14 @ 7:32 am

he may well make the all-rookie team. It’s hard for anyone on OKC to standout with Durant and Westbrook handling the ball 97% of the time, but that’s the NBA

Comment by wbb 05.16.14 @ 8:15 am

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