Mike Martin hits the airwaves on today's Tim Brando show. Hear it here.
Mike Martin hits the airwaves on today's Tim Brando show. Hear it here.
“People have to understand that bigger is not necessarily better. What we are trying to do...is to build unity. We have two new members. Let the membership be comfortable with each other before they ever consider going forward. We've taken care of the contentious issues. We have a very workable solution. Let's build on that, then down the road maybe think of expansion."
-Chuck Neinas in the Dallas Morning News
No matter what you think of the job Randy Spetman has done in his four years at Florida State, as major college athletic directors go the guy is underpaid. His $350,000 salary isn't chump change to most of us, but look how he compares to his contemporaries.
Only one A.D. in the state makes less than Spetman. No surprise that the gator A.D. is paid like a Fortune 500 exec. But check out the guys Spetman takes a back seat to.
UF - Jeremy Foley $1,545,250
USF - Doug Woolard $479,686
FIU - Pete Garcia $421,116
UCF - Keith Tribble $365,580
FSU - Randy Spetman $350,000
Florida Atlantic - Craig Angelos $192,456
Miami did not disclose the salary of A.D. Shawn Eichorst
Spetman is practically low man on the A.C.C. totem pole. Some of these don't make a lot of sense. Or maybe a few of these A.D.'s have compromising pictures of their school's president.
Duke - Kevin White $908,659
Wake Forest - Ron Wellman $694,950
Ga. Tech - Dan Radakovich $623,500
Clemson - Terry Don Phillips $601,160
B.C. - Gene DeFilippo $600,884
Va. Tech - Jim Weaver $557,876
Maryland - Kevin Anderson $475,090
N.C. State - Debbie Yow $450,000
Virginia - Craig Littlepage $350,000
FSU - Spetman $350,000
UNC - Dick Baddour $325,000
How does he compare to the Big 12 A.D.'s? If FSU makes the switch, Spetman would fall in near the bottom -- just like the A.C.C.
Texas - DeLoss Dodds $1,093,391
Oklahoma - Joe Castiglione $975,000
Texas Tech - Kirby Hocutt $580,000
Iowa State - Jamie Pollard $450,000
Kansas - Sheahon Zenger $450,000
Baylor - Ian McCaw $423,449
Kansas State - John Currie $412,500
West Virginia - Oliver Luck $405,600
Oklahoma State - Mike Holder $387,560
TCU - Chris Del Conte $115,639
The Noles dipped into Alabama again -- kudos to Dameyune Craig -- to grab an unhearlded cornerback for an already talent-rich defense. The good news is getting a jump on a guy with great potential through smart, ahead-of-the-pack talent evaluation. The bad news: waking up Bama and Auburn to somebody with size and skills right in their back yard. It was only after Mobile's Jake Coker committed to the Noles a few years back that Nick Saban suddenly became interested.
Which is why you like to hear things such as this: “I prayed to God and when I was offered I felt I would have been a fool not to commit.” White added it was a “dream opportunity” to be offered by Florida State. More good stuff here from White's hometown newspaper.
Keep an eye on this site. For now it just says "Under Construction". But if John Swofford allows FSU and Clemson to slip away to the Big 12, it might become the favorite place for people to vent their frustration at the commish for not doing something more to keep the ACC intact.
Who's behind FireJohnSwofford.com? Somebody or group that wants to keep their identity secret. They registered the domain through a third party company that serves to mask the actual owner of the URL. Any guesses who that might be?
In the latest episode of the suspenseful soap opera "As The ACC Turns," TCU's athletic director bragged that schools like FSU, Clemson and Miami are "trying to get into the Big 12." Responding to that claim today on 104.5 "The Zone" in Nashville, John Swofford was asked if it would surprise him if Florida State and other teams in his conference might be talking with the Big 12 about a possible switch, Swofford said:
“Yes, it would. And I base that on talking to their presidents and athletic directors who’ve told me there’s been absolutely no contact or conversation with the Big 12. The Big 12 Commissioner told me the same thing yesterday. I find those comments (laughs)…just one more rumor.”
Listen to the complete interview here as Swofford dismisses those silly rumors and talks about how proud the ACC is to have a team in the Music City Bowl.
Drawing a play in the dirt that will stun the college football world and keep the league from becoming a chummy little club of basketball elites once again? Or is he doing that deer in the headlights thing, kicking back in Greensboro like Nero while Rome burned?
IF the Big 12 and FSU, Clemson and perhaps other ACC schools are in super secret negotiations, then Swofford is in the hot seat as much as any underachieving head coach.
Act swiftly and decisively to solve some major issues shared by FSU and the prominent football schools and you're a hero. Or, put more bluntly, it's time to earn that $1.5 million per paycheck*, John (the second highest salary of any conference commissioner).
For example, a few of the creative, earth-shaking ideas that could make Florida State and others stop and listen include:
• Division Realignment - Putting the Noles in a division with natural geographic opponents like Clemson, Georgia Tech and Miami, as detailed here, not only makes incredible sense, it solves part of the budget problem by reducing travel costs for all sports.
• Revised Revenue Sharing - Football is the league's cash cow and FSU is the main teat. The Noles are on TV every week, including nationwide prime time games with millions of viewers. Duke is lucky to be on those regional games at noon more than once. So Swofford must find a way to ensure a measure of fairness. It could be simple incentives, like a bigger share of bowl profits.
We're not saying FSU should throw its weight around like Texas in the Big 12. But now's the time to use the leverage the Noles have built as one of the best known brands in the game.
• Give Back - Who knew that the ACC office claims a full $16-mil share of the latest TV contract? By scaling it down to a 3/4 bite ($12 million), as proposed by the ACC Football Rx, $4 million in new incentives could be made available.
• Nail Down Notre Dame - Nothing would shake up the college football landscape and pump up the ACC TV contract more than bringing the Irish into the fold. And there's a pretty good argument why the South Bend school would be a nice fit (strong academics, for example). Git 'er done, John.
• Think Waaay Outside the Box - Or outside the region. After Notre Dame, what school not already anchored to a conference might consider a move to the ACC? None other than Boise State. Sure, the geography doesn't make sense. But the marquee football reputation does (and it's as logical as West Virginia joining the Big 12). Because of the distance, the Broncos could be a football-only member. Working out all the details would take some effort -- starting with luring Boise away from a 2013 jump to the Big East. However the addition of BSU and Notre Dame makes the ACC a football conference that can't be overlooked in the national playoff scheme. Yeah, it's crazy, but that's the kind of fresh thinking the league needs from its commissioner right now.
Those are a few of our ideas. We hope you have some even better ones, John.
*According to research done by USA Today's Steve Berkowitz, in calendar 2010 total comp was as follows: Larry Scott (Pac-12) $1.9 million, Jim Delany (Big Ten) $1.8 million, John Swofford (ACC) $1.5 million and Mike Slive (SEC) just over $1 million. Dan Beebe (former Big 12) was paid nearly $1.7 million and John Marinatto (former Big East) received just over $600,000. Britton Banowsky (CUSA) earned nearly $900,000 and Craig Thompson (MWC) earned slightly over $600,000.
Update after the jump.
Welcome to a new week of opinion based on speculation, rumor tea leaf reading and leaks by confidants and cronies. Which of the latest have any connection to reality? Take your pick from the following.
1. Done Deal. According to Ingram Smith’s Sunday bombshell, the Noles are signed, sealed and awaiting delivery to the Big 12. After all, “two people with the strongest ties possible to Florida State's Athletic Department” pinky promise that it’s so. Meanwhile, a West Virginia site insists that “both Clemson and FSU are safely in the Big 12”.
Believability Rating: 5 on a scale of 10. It’s incredulous that Randy Spetman, Monk Bonasorte, Jimbo or anybody else “with the strongest ties” is blabbing to Ingram or the WVU Dude. Andy Haggard and the Board of Trustees? They have opinions -- which they’re now undoubtedly keeping to themselves -- but not the strongest ties to athletics. And then there’s Eric Barron. The final decision is his, and he continues to sound unconvinced.
2. Uncertainty Abounds. Here in the muddled middle ground, two Texas Longhorn sites offer reasons why the process won’t go quickly or smoothly. Burnt Orange Nation says Big 12 schools are split on expansion, with the Longhorns possibly “pushing hard to prevent it.” Meanwhile, Orangebloods believes “there’s nothing set in stone” yet, and offers a new plot twist: Texas actively courting Notre Dame to join the conference, apparently even before FSU and Clemson.
3. Forget About It. Chad Scott makes some compelling points in his recent column on why FSU switching conferences makes no sense. Among them is this argument about the paramount reason for a move to the Big 12: Money.
“For the 2010-2011 school year the University of Florida had total operating expenses in its athletic department of $107.7 million. Florida State’s total operating expenses were $86.9 million and the Seminoles have beaten the Gators like a drum in football the past two seasons. Florida State has made more good decisions and had better leadership recently. What is Tennessee doing with its monstrous $111.7 million in operating expenses ? How has Virginia Tech managed to be nationally viable in football for 15 years despite spending much less than the heavyweights, a relatively trim $62.6 million for ’10-’11? (Clemson’s total athletic operating expenses in ’10-’11 were $58.4 million).”
As was announced Wednesday, Florida State basketball announced the signing of Michael Ojo. From Tennessee Temple Academy in Chattanooga, Ojo earned All American player at the National Association of Christian Athletes. While at Temple Academy he averaged 15 ppg, 14 rpg, and 5 blocks per game. At 7-1 you would expect the blocks and rebounds total.
He is no stick either at 290 pounds.
With that kind of size and weight it does make you wonder why it was just 15 ppg. Temple however was not a prolific scoring team, usually averaging in the high 50's and low 60's per game.
But the key words from Leonard Hamilton and Ojo's coach at Temple, Randy Lee, were patience and a perfect fit for Hamilton's system. I read that as Ojo will need time to develop. He was not ranked by any recruiting services and has played the game just a couple of years at an organized level. It could be as many as four years to see the true potential of Ojo as we know Hamilton will not rush his younger players.
As for Lee's comment, clearly what he is referring to is Ojo's defense. We all know Hamilton's calling card is defense first and with Ojo's size he gives what Hamilton's strategy has been for several years now....considerable size and a lot of it in the middle.
But don't expect Ojo to be an impact player right off the bat. That is just not going to happen because of his inexperience. He will play, no question. But as usual Hamilton, or more specifically, Stan Jones, who works with the big men, will take their time with him. Jones has shown his ability to improve the skills of his players.
And don't expect this to be the end of Hamilton's recruiting for the 2012-2013 season. With the transfer of Antwan Space to Texas A&M, that opened up another scholarship. Most Seminole fans are hoping that will be 6-8 SG Rodney Hood, formerly of Mississippi State.
Notebook: Budget issues - With the recent news that Florida State will have a budget shortfall of $2.4 million dollars, the impact of that was the men's coaches will not receive the anticipated raises after the ACC Championship season. Now how Hamilton feels about that is completely unknown as he does not discuss such mundane and private matters. But my guess is the money aspect to coaching is not his priority. So if fans are thinking he will be looking for greener and more financially rewarding pastures, I am doubting it will. When he says he likes Tallahassee he really means it. I also expect this staff to remain intact for some time to come.
The Tuck -- The Civic Center -- is in need of renovations and upgrades. How that will be paid for in light of the budget is up for debate. It's not the best nor is it one of the worst places to watch a game. How the venue affects recruiting is also up for debate. Years ago the coaching staffs would cringe at the prospect of showing prospective recruits the old practice facility at Coyle. Of course, FSU has the new (well, ten years new now) practice facility that is still among the best in the country. But in my years following the program I have never heard any FSU player complain about the venue we play in.
by Seminole Savant
Is there an offseason in college football anymore? Not at Florida State the past few weeks. Just a refresher of what’s happened in less than 14 days:
• FSU administrators announced that there would be a $2.4 million budget deficit that would need to be covered by a reserve fund.
• The ACC signed an extension to its TV deal with ESPN, which was quickly ridiculed for not being as lucrative as those of the other major conferences (more on this PR mess later).
• Athletic director Randy Spetman pledged FSU’s commitment to the ACC – on Friday.
• The next day, the Board of Trustees chairman Andy Haggard says that FSU should pick up the phone and listen to the Big 12 if they call.
• A few hours later, coach Jimbo Fisher says that FSU needs to do what’s best for FSU.
• And at 11 p.m. on a Saturday, FSU president Eric Barron is forced to e-mail a statement to media pledging the school’s commitment to the ACC.
• But Barron is forced to defend the school’s commitment to FSU on Monday, this time in a strongly-worded defense of the ACC (and often-critical of the Big 12) in a letter to FSU’s faculty.
• On Wednesday, former FSU star and former BOT member Derrick Brooks says he thought that there had been contact between FSU and the Big 12 … contradicting everything that Barron, Spetman and Haggard have already said.
Dizzy? Think there’s been some miscommunication among the leaders at FSU?
FSU fans and alumni have been firing e-mails at the athletics department and Barron for weeks. The overwhelming majority seems to be in favor of a move to the Big 12.
There are two very important issues as it relates to FSU’s situation. In the near term, FSU surely will be a member of the ACC.
But in the long term, FSU needs more than what the ACC is able to provide financially. That may sound contradictory, but it’s the dilemma that is surely facing Barron and those who are advising him.
Issue 1 is that FSU faces a considerable buyout to leave the ACC – in the neighborhood of $20 million. FSU is already $2.4 million in the hole for the 2012-13 athletics season. And despite a $5 million gift from Al Dunlap, the Seminole Boosters are trying to close the gap on the other $10 million for an indoor practice facility.
Seminole Boosters doesn’t have the spare change to pay the ACC. Yes, the Big 12 could give FSU part of the buyout. But that would likely be in the neighborhood of $5 million.
This issue alone is why I strongly believe that FSU is set in the ACC for the near future, which would be at least 3-5 years.
But the long term could be very different.
Issue 2 is the TV deal, and here’s where things get really interesting. The ACC office sold the deal with its best PR spin, claiming that it would send $17 million to each school. That’s about $4 million more than member schools receive now.
Sounds great. But it ain’t.
Bits and pieces of the deal have been leaked to reporters with well-placed sources. Like many of these TV deals, the ACC’s extension is backloaded. So FSU and the other ACC schools will see paltry increases early in the deal.
And even when the ACC gets to the meat of the contract, nearly 10 years from now, this deal is far behind the likes of the other major conferences and light years behind the SEC.
The TV deal is so bad that there is only one way out for the ACC: improve as a football conference and, yes, expand. That’s the only way to re-negotiate a bad TV deal.
Last year, we had all of the FSU-to-the-SEC talk. This year, it’s the Big 12 chatter. Next year, there will be more expansion discussion. And FSU’s name may be brought up again in the conference shake-up.
But odds are FSU will be in the ACC, and will quietly have to argue for schools (Notre Dame? Rutgers?) that enhance the value of the conference’s TV deal.