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Friday, November 25, 2011

CRAWFACTS, Edition 15

Crawfacts is news, notes and commentary on various sports items. Always loves your comments and also do not forget for lots of good college basketball info, please go to
each Wednesday and Sunday night.

Pac 12 Football--- After all the media interviews and hype during the summer about how the Pac-12 would improve their football officiating program, I for one see ZERO improvement. I actually was pulling for a big improvement and fix, but I am just not seeing it. Every week there seems to be issues in at least one game in the league and for sure there are way too many calls, rightfully so, that have to be overturned by the replay booth.

I would not be as concerned, but if you recall, we heard all summer long from the Pac-12 office that things would get better. The poor showing on the field this year by Pac-12 officials, also once again is proof that throwing thousands of dollars at program to make it better does not always work. It is people that make things better often, not money. The Pac-12 still does not have the right people in place, both on the field and off.

And I really have to think the Pac-12 coordinator of football officiating has too much on his plate. Tony Corrente is a respected longtime NFL referee, but he is still working every week in the NFL. Instead of being in the city on Saturday the day before he is working an NFL, he should every week, be at a Pac-12 game live, modern technology or not. Everyone likes to see your boss in person on occasion. And do not kid yourself, at least at present, the NFL when it comes to officiating is a priority for Corrente, only natural in the pecking order.

Even if you do not know one thing about officiating, if you watch football you can just tell the difference between the Pac-12 officiating and how much better other leagues' football officials are compared to the Pac-12. Just watch a Big 10 game as an example, I need say no more.

President's Cup---Is it time to do away with this event in golf? Yes. Is it going to happen? No. As an avid fan of golf and more important the business of golf, this event does nothing for me. The Ryder Cup every two years is special, the President's Cup is just another event and also it is a poor attempt to bring the drama of the Ryder Cup too us. Golf fans and sports fans are smarter than that, they do not like over saturation and they love anticipation. If you asked five golf fans, I bet that only about one of them could actually tell you the score of the President's Cup. I guarantee you that all of those people could tell you the score of the Ryder Cup after completion. Trying to copy events in sports never works and the President's Cup does not work for me. If it were not for Tiger Woods playing, no one would have been watching.

NCAA---It was interesting reading the study on the revenue and profitability of the 120 FBS schools through the years 2004-2009. I ams sure that not much has changed with the 2010 figures. Of those schools only two sports were profitable, football and men's basketball. And even worse, in both football and men's basketball, both were at 57 percent of the schools making a profit. That obviously means that 43 percent out of the 120 schools made ZERO profit in any sport.

Out of the 120 schools, only 14 were in the black for their athletic department. Per my calculator that is 12 percent. In case you are wondering, the average cost of running an athletic department for all of the 120 schools was 10.2 million dollars  per year. The literal bottom line here is that it costs a lot of money to run an athletic program and it is obviously very hard to make a profit.

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  1. Greg.. Nice post, but your first assertion has a big, fat hole in the middle of your argument:

    If Pac-12 football officiating is so lousy, we need a few examples this season that make your point. Without that, it's easy to accuse you of just so much empty-headed tub-thumping. We can get that anywhere. That's not you, but don't let disappointed readers park you there.

    As for the President's Cup.. I can't get worked up over a sport I have zero interest in. Golf has never been my game.

    On the cost of NCAA sports, none of us can be surprised the trend continues: Only a couple of sports and only a few schools ever make money. That's the bargain we strike: If we want those events, we subsidize nearly all of them.

    As a former reporter I saw a related comparison first-hand. Transit systems serve a real purpose for society, but they cost more to operate than they bring in. That applies to every transit system on earth. Not one pays it own way, but that's not the only measure of benefit: Fewer cars on the street, less pollution, enhanced business development along the bus and light rail alignments. All those benefits are real, but harder to quantify than turnstile activity.

    I see NCAA sports the same way: They come at a cost, but the benefits are broadly-gauged.

    Best always,

  2. Mark: Thank you for your great comments and you are right, I should have given some examples only fair, just think there are so many hard to pick, but here is two.

    1. Four replays were overturned by the booth in the Oregon/USC game, at least two of those four were horrible errors on the field that should have never reached the replay booth.

    2. Stanford/Oregon, there was no way that forward progress was stopped in that game and the referee should not have blown his whistle, the ball was intercepted and it was a huge play in the game. Blown call big time and instead of Stanford having the ball, Oregon got it back, something that is not reviewable.

    Fair points and could have done a better job giving examples like I did above. Keep reading and thank you.