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NCAA could be down to one or two years before it runs out of oxygen unless it fixes itself

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NEW ORLEANS – Mike Krzyzewski had questions. Actually several of them. The opportunity came during an aside at Duke’s media availability here for the Final Four.

Somehow the conversation veered off the great coach’s chase of a sixth national championship into the upcoming press conference with NCAA president Mark Emmert. 

“I have many questions [of Emmert],” Coach K said. “I think the very first one is where are we going? And who is going to be in charge? Not that I’m saying that [Emmert] shouldn’t be. But what are we doing?”

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Those questions have been asked for years – decades, actually. Now there is a soft deadline of Aug. 1 for their answers. That’s the deadline for the NCAA Transformation Committee that is attempting to do the heavy lifting out of the muck the association is stuck in. That committee is expected to forward a series of recommendations to reshape the NCAA Constitution that could change the look of college athletics forever

Speaking post-Krzyzewski Thursday at his annual Final Four availability, Emmert made it sound like the NCAA had accepted its diminished role. There was the same old asking Congress for help on NIL that may never happen. The NCAA’s credibility on that subject has already been altered by two huge anti-trust losses in federal court (The O’Bannon and Alston cases) as well as name, image and likeness.

Then Emmert dropped a bit of a bomb. 

“We’ve got a relatively short window of time in my estimate — one or two years these decisions have to be made because of the dynamics that are underway right now,” he said. 

“The legal landscape as it exists today simply will not support and sustain the way college sports is conducted today,” Emmert added. 

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One or two years or what? Add that to the list of Krzyzewski’s questions. It’s rather disingenuous to blame “the legal landscape” on college athletics’ current predicament. The NCAA helped shape that legal landscape. Now, the association is increasingly helpless to stop those college athletics from becoming a semi-pro enterprise at the highest level.

One or two years or what? No more NCAA? There are already signs Congress could step in and run the enterprise. A bipartisan bill is expected to be filed this week that would speed up the enforcement process. https://www.si.com/college/2022/03/29/ncaa-infractions-cases-congress-bipartisan-bill

Meanwhile, NIL has … worked? It certainly hasn’t been the ruin of college athletics. For decades the NCAA’s legal defense when any kind of player compensation came up, was the same. If players were paid, TV ratings would go down, attendance would go down, interest would diminish. That defense doesn’t hold up anymore. Not in court, not in the court of public opinion. In fact, NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt on Thursday rattled off a series of attendance benchmarks that had been reached with the men’s and women’s tournament.

I asked Emmert directly: What evidence did he have that interest, ratings and attendance had declined since the July 1 implementation of allowing NIL compensation.

“Clearly the social and political landscape has shifted pretty significantly in a whole variety of ways in the last 12-24 months,” Emmert said. “We’re going to be ready, willing and able to shift in dramatic ways.”

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That evaded the question. The truth is the NCAA got terrible legal advice taking Alston to the Supreme Court. It chose to go to war over giving more educational benefits. Emmert said “conference lawyers, NCAA lawyers and our external lawyers” made the decision. The NCAA Board of Governors signed off on it. 

That 9-0 June decision by the Supreme Court effectively caused the association to reconsider its constitution. Now that transformation committee has until August to “fix” the NCAA.

Transformation co-chairs Greg Sankey (SEC commissioner) and Julie Cromer (Ohio AD) met with the media off to the side after Emmert’s remarks. Their pairing signifies the monumental task ahead. Sankey is head of the most powerful conference in the land. The expenses of Cromer’s department is $26 million. At Alabama that number is $170 million.  

There is no certainty the two biggest tasks for the committee will be completed by the deadline. That is paring down enforcement and deciding the membership dilemma. That is, who exactly should be in Division I. 

“That doesn’t mean everybody will like the process. That doesn’t mean it will be perfect,” Sankey said of the committee’s ongoing work. 

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But will it be on time and what is Emmert talking about with a vague one-to-two year timeline on the whole enterprise? Coach K, among others, would like to know.

“He is not the only person who is disenchanted with the current system,” Cromer said. 

And now the clock is ticking. Sankey said the committee asked the Board of Governors up front: Are you serious about this task? Do you want all of this done by August?

“The Board said be expeditious but be thorough. I think there is a level of flexibility but I don’t think either of us is looking at this co-chair role as a retirement opportunity,” Sankey said. 

That statement suggests the 21-person committee could disband after Aug. 1. Other committees could take over – the NCAA takes sustenance from them – but that doesn’t solve the problem of saving the NCAA within the next two years. 

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“We have legal outcomes that say, not changing is not an option. How that manifests itself remains to be seen …,” Sankey said. “We’re [membership] really good at making rules, not really good at deleting rules.”



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Nick Wright Issues A Warning To The Chiefs

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(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

 

After the Kansas City Chiefs were rocked by the Green Bay Packers on the road at Lambeau Field, many have started to wonder whether the defending Super Bowl champions are good enough this season to successfully defend their title or even make a deep run in the NFL playoffs.

Even though the team went on to win it all last year after shockingly trading superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins, that trade is starting to come up in conversations as they have been unsuccessful in their attempts to bring in another pass-catcher to complement Travis Kelce in the passing game.

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The Chiefs are no longer looked at as that elite team that figures out a way to win every week with few flaws to pick at as the mystique appears to be gone, and this season might end sooner rather than later as a result.

Nick Wright of FOX Sports, who has no problem talking about his love for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, believes the matchup with the Buffalo Bills will be crucial to how the season pans out for Kansas City, via “First Things First.”

Even though the Chiefs aren’t the same dominant team of old, Kansas City can’t be ruled out as a legitimate Super Bowl title contender, as this team has been arguably the most resilient team in the league ever since Mahomes took over under center for Andy Reid.

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The game against the Bills will be telling, as Wright points out, as everything will be on the line for Josh Allen and company, while everyone will be waiting to jump on the Chiefs if they lose a second straight game.

The post Nick Wright Issues A Warning To The Chiefs appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Chargers LB Has Strong Opinion On Win Over Patriots

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(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

 

Heading into Week 13, the Los Angeles Chargers had to travel across the country in order to face the lowly New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium for a game that many anticipated would be a win for Justin Herbert and company.

Even though the Chargers inevitably got out of New England with a win, it wasn’t easy by any means, with the team struggling to score every time the football was in their hands.

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Ultimately, Los Angeles came out on top with the team putting six points on the board while shutting out the Patriots’ offense in order to improve their record to 5-7 on the season.

On Monday, veteran Chargers linebacker Eric Kendricks made an appearance on “The Jim Rome Show” to talk about the game against the Patriots, which was a game dominated by defense.

Kendricks played a significant role in the win for the Chargers as he finished the game with 10 tackles and a sack as the Chargers were able to avoid losing to one of the worst teams in the league this season, with New England dropping to 2-10 on the year.

At this point, making a push for the NFL playoffs might be a stretch for the Chargers, especially considering the rest of their schedule is mostly against divisional opponents and one matchup against the Buffalo Bills.

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The Chargers will take on the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders before facing the Bills and will finish the season slate on the road in Denver before their season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

The post Chargers LB Has Strong Opinion On Win Over Patriots appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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NHL salary cap estimated to increase by $4M for 2024-25 season

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The NHL salary cap is expected to rise to approximately $87.675 million for the 2024-25 season, the league announced at the Board of Governors meeting Monday.

The salary cap currently sits at $83.5 million for the 2023-24 season after a $1 million rise from 2022-23. The cap remained flat at $81.5 million for the three seasons before that.

During the 2019-20 season, when the season was paused because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the league incurred approximately $1.5 billion in escrow debt. With the debt expected to be paid off by next year, the cap will be able to increase more significantly.

The biggest single-season jump the cap has ever made is $4.5 million.

“The state of the league is very strong,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman at the Board of Governors meeting back in October. “The game is in great shape. Our franchises have never been better owned or stronger… Things are good. Vital signs are good. Revenues are growing. Everybody thinks the game is in great shape…”

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