Manzielgate: NCAA Can Profit From Johnny Football, But Johnny Can’t … Yet

8 Aug


Johnny Manziel — a/k/a "Johnny Football" — in his Texas A&M uniform, available for sale (although Johnny won't get a dime for it)

Johnny Manziel — a/k/a “Johnny Football” — in his Texas A&M uniform, available for sale (although Johnny won’t get a dime for it)

Jonathan Paul Manziel (a/k/a Johnny Football®) won the Heisman Trophy last year as the top player in college football. Now, it may be time for Manziel to give the NCAA the Heisman — not the trophy itself, but rather the stiff-arm to their collective faces.

Manziel, who earns approximately not a dime for playing pro football at Texas A&M, is being characterized as a money-grubbing scumbag for (allegedly) signing autographs with the Johnny Football® tagline in exchange for cash. Meanwhile, Texas A&M, the Southeastern Conference and the rich guys with $100 haircuts at the NCAA are collecting untold amounts of cash from marketing Manziel jerseys, Manziel T-shirts and other Manziel bric-a-brac.

As Manziel often explains, he’s from a family that is not hurting for money, but that’s no reason to say that he should not be allowed to profit from his own image.

What are others saying about Manziel and the autograph fiasco:

USA Today: Manziel Should Quit College Football

ESPN: Broker Says Manziel Was Paid $7500

Associated Press: Autographed memorabilia not limited to Johnny Manziel

“Johnny Football®” is a registered trademark used for illustrative purposes only.

The NFL Kickoff Konundrum…

7 Dec
Roger Goodell -Time Cover

Roger Goodell — a/k/a “The Enforcer” — on the cover of the Dec. 17, 2012, edition of Time.

NFL czar Roger Goodell, looking to protect players, has put forth a bizarre plan to change the game of pro football by eliminating kickoffs.

Does the plan make any sense? Not in any way whatsoever.

There are a dozen better ideas out there, some better than others, some not even worth discussing … but all of them are one-hundred times better than Goodell’s idea.

We’re growing more fond of the two-pronged proposal to (1) eliminate the kicking tee and (2) penalize any kick that goes out of bounds, either out of the back of the endzone or on the sideline.

Part 1 of the proposal allows the kicker to use a human (or other carbon-based life form on the team’s active roster) to spot the ball, or he can drop-kick the pigskin. This still permits a team to attempt an onside kick if they want to, which is a whole bunch better than the ridiculous “fourth down and fifteen” kickoff plan being floated.

Part 2 of the proposal eliminates the “blast the ball out of the back of the endzone for a touchback” tactic that occurs far too frequently these days in the Shield League. Under this proposal, if the ball goes out of bounds, on the fly or on the bounce, it’s a five-yard penalty on the kicking team and a re-kick, period.

And now that we’re thinking about it, how about the same rule on punts? We’ve always had a deep distaste an intense hatred for the punt that lands twenty yards out of bounds on the fly, followed by a referee jogging up the sideline, trying to triangulate where, exactly, the ball crossed over the sideline. Under our dream scenario intelligent alternative, the punt goes out of bounds, the ref throws the yellow hanky, turns on his wireless microphone and announces a five-yard illegal procedure penalty on the kicking team … repeat fourth down.

We think it’s a great idea. Until we don’t.

Read the Goodell article in Time Magazine.

’Tis The Season … For Coach Poaching

7 Dec

The hypocrisy of the NCAA sports cartel rears its ugly head again as franchise “university” search committees begin flying into town in their private jets, loaded down with massive sacks of cash, looking to poach a coach away from one school … which will then try to poach a coach away from some other school.

Meanwhile, college players — you remember them, the chattel that gets a “free education” in exchange for a few years of free labor — can’t slip away under cover of darkness on a private jet, lest they be banned from playing for the cartel.

Tennessee has hired Butch Jones, poaching him away from Cincinnati after he declined taking the Colorado job. Bret Bielema took a bushel basket of bucks to bolt from the Badgers of Wisconsin (apparently without having the good taste to inform his boss, Barry Alvarez) for the high-profile Arkansas head coaching gig.

And why now? Bielema, whose 8-5 Wisconsin squad will play Stanford in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, won’t be in Pasadena (Alvarez will be wearing the headset) because the NCAA — which punishes its players for getting a free lunch or (gasp) a free tattoo — has no barriers on a millionaire coach adding more money to his pile and leaving at any time. Pay the buyout fee on your contract, and you’re free to move on, even before the season is actually over.

I’m sure Bielema mentioned “it’s all about the kids” at some point during all of this…

Related Story: Vols Hire Butch Jones From Cincy (ESPN)

Colorado’s Embree Exits Emotionally

27 Nov

Jon Embree got canned by the University of Colorado, and reacted emotionally at his press conference — during which he received the wholehearted support of his now-former players (emphasis on the “heart”)…

By all indications, Embree is a great guy, a damned good coach, and an above-average recruiter, but he may not get another head coaching job at a major college because he apparently stressed academics above winning.

Details at

Fantasy Hoops…

26 Nov

It’s time for the Varsity League Basketball poll of the day!


Gene Chizik Birmingham Bound?

26 Nov

Gene Chizik Birmingham Bound?

Two seasons after leading Auburn to the national championship, Gene Chizik has been fired as the Fighting Tigers’ head coach. Chizik’s skills as a coach and recruiter could make him a viable candidate to build the Varsity League Football franchise in Birmingham, Orlando or Tampa/St. Pete.

This morning, reported that Chizik, a Florida native who played collegiate ball at the University of Florida in Gainesville, will receive his full severance package, with a total buyout for Chizik and his assistant coaches valued at $11.09 million. On its own, Chizik’s buyout will total $7.5 million, payable in monthly installments of $208,334 for the next 36 months.

The ESPN report notes “If new violations arise stemming from his time as coach, the school would have to head to court to get the buyout money back from Chizik,” and that “the deal calls for Chizik to make ‘reasonable’ efforts to land a new job, with that salary deducted from the buyout.”

Varsity League Proposal Posted

26 Nov

Varsity League V-LogoThe draft proposal laying out the basics of the Varsity League — football and basketball — has been distributed to nearly two dozen sports agents, marketers and management firms, detailing how the new league plans to offer college-bound athletes a compelling option to college sports: pay for play.

The Varsity League proposal presents a basic foundation for the alternative to the NCAA cartel, which would serve as a “minor league” for the NFL and NBA. Young players just out of high school prep programs and collegiate players looking to make a paycheck will now have a perfect platform to display their talents, while veteran players can continue to work, improve their skills, come back from injuries and have the opportunity to move back to the pro level.

The proposal is subject to change, massive whittling and extensive revision.

Access the Varsity League proposal by clicking here.

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