published Friday, August 16th, 2013

5-at-10: Friday mailbag on paying college players, SEC previews, college football previews

Gang, great week. And look for the high school preview section inside today's TFP. Lots of stuff in there. Tons. It took a whole lot of effort and energy from a lot of folks. Great job gang.

  • photo
    Will Wade is the new UTC men's head basketball coach.
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Programming note: New UTC hoops coach Will Wade will join Paschall and the TFP sports editor on Press Row at 1 p.m. today on ESPN Radio 105.1 FM. You can listen online at espnchattanooga.com and click on the Listen Live button in the top right.

We'll start the day saying Happy Birthday to the Mrs. 5-at-10. We are a blessed dude for having met her and convincing her to get hitched. (And yes, considering we have our wedding anniversary and the wife's birthday during the crazy-busy football preview section time, well, we get an F in timing.)

From the "Talks too much" studios, we'll but a yacht with a flag that says chillin' the most and we'll rock this joint up and down the coast. (Can you tell we've been on a Kid Rock vibe of late?)

From a ton of you —

What do you think about UT's new uniform?

Gang,

We dig the new digs. Seriously. In fact, we think they did not go far enough. They should have made the helmets Smokey gray, too.

The traditionalists are going to hate any change, so why stop at the shoulders.

Go the Full Monty. Wait, strike that.

And hey, the fact that everyone was talking about Tennessee yesterday — a Tennessee team that is 2-14 in SEC games in the last two years — is a great thing.

New uniforms 1, new uniform haters 0.

———

From Mr. Spud

Hey 5@10 dude,

Reading through today's 5@10 (Tuesday), I was looking at the list of top schools making money on the sale of merchandise and your comment about no money for the players. It made me think.....what is Jay's stance on college players getting paid? I say that they are already being paid...and quite well at that. I spent WAAAAYYY too much time compiling this list, but here is a break down of the schools on your list that shows how much they receive in the form of a FREE education. Cost listed for 4 years (tuition, room and meal plan) with a per year cost in parentheses. I would guess that most rosters consist of mainly out of state players, but I could be wrong.

School // In-state 4 yrs (1 yr) // Out of state 4 yrs (1 yr)

Texas $75,156 ($18,789) // $171,826 ($42,969)

Alabama $84,200 ($21,050) // $139,200 ($34,800)

Notre Dame $228,468 ($57,117) // same since private

Michigan $96,552 ($24,130) // $205,552 ($51,388)

Kentucky $80,664 ($20,166) // $125,008 ($31,252)

LSU $68,828 ($17,207) // $129,932 ($32,483)

Florida $62,052 ($15,513) // $151,160 ($37,790)

Georgia $78,032 ($19,508) // $150,872 ($37,718)

UNC $69,748 ($17,437) // $151,788 ($37,947)

Arkansas $64,432 ($16,108) // $107,956 ($26,989)

Tennessee $74,616 ($18,654) // $144,136 ($36,034)

They don't get paid??? I beg to differ.

Mr. Spud,

First, excellent research. Look at the big brain on Spud.

Second, there's no such thing as spending too much time trying to make a point to your pals. Making the point is the point. You see the point?

We agree on several levels and have always thought athletes were already getting paid.

As for your question, schools should not pay the players for a variety of reasons.

First, of the hundreds of schools playing college athletics, something like 20 of them actually make a profit. So that's out.

Secondly, we whole heartedly agree with the excellent numbers Spud has posted and remind people that say they need to be paid that they are being paid. And in most cases, those scholarships go beyond four years, and again in most cases, the schools spend some more coin doing everything they can to makes sure the players graduate.

A lot of folks have tried to come up with ways to compensate players for their jerseys or their likenesses or even their Johnny (Football) Hancocks, but we all know where that will lead. Before long, part of the recruiting pitch will be, "Come to State U., where our alumni buy more jerseys than any school and that means more coin to you." All the while some big booster is funding buying 12,000 No. 22 road jerseys to pay the running back to stay in school.

Another hurdle here is the fairness argument. While we can empathize and even agree in some point about paying players because every other person/group involved is making a ton of cabbage. But what are you going to pay them? $200 a week? That moves the argument for football players from, "It's not fair that they are not getting paid," to "It's not fair that they are getting slave wages." And you know, as with professional sports contracts, the prices will only go up to the point that it will not stop and it would bankrupt smaller schools.

Side idea: This honestly just popped into our head or we would have written it long before. When the big leagues break off, maybe the conferences pay the athletes. Take the SEC for example. They are making sick coin and let's say the pulled 5 percent aside from the amount they paid each school last may and put it into a fund to be paid to each athlete upon graduation. Last year that total would have been roughly $1 million split among roughly 500 student-athletes. That would be $2K each put into a trust. Over a four- or five-year stretch, that could be close to 10 grand, which would be a nice little graduation present.

This idea has a chance. Plus, the brainiac folks would be OK with it as a graduation motivator. The money is paid across the league, and the success of the league would mean more money for the athletes. Plus, the leagues would be inclined to do it because it would further insulate the leagues as being the destination for the elite athletes. It also would force the schools to budget this into the equation, because while we agree with Spud that the scholarship is a huge chunk of coin that is being taken for granted, it's getting tougher and tougher to stand our ground about not paying the athletes when places like Oregon are putting five-star barber shops into the athletic building and Alabama has a waterfall in the football office.

Thoughts?

(Great question and we'll ask Will Wade about this today.)

————

From Sports Fan

Jay - for the mailbag. What's your upset special on the SEC schedule this fall and who is the unknown or lesser known SEC player that we should watch for a breakout season this year? I'm getting stoked about football.

SportsFan —

Excellent question and one we will share with Paschall, the SEC Rainman — 247, definitely 247 toothpicks — on Press Row today.

And we're getting so stoked we'll do a top-five for each of your questions.

Upset specials/outlandish picks

1) Kentucky beats Louisville

2) Georgia runs the table in the regular season.

3) Tennessee beats South Carolina.

4) Ole Miss beats Texas A&M

5) Auburn scares Alabama (and yes, it's a sad state on the Iron Bowl rivalry that Auburn simply scaring Alabama is termed an upset)

Breakout players

1) Tennessee running back Rajion Neal (Hey, sportsfan could run for 1,100 yards this year behind that line)

2) Whomever wins the AU QB job, be it Nick Marshall or Jeremy Johnson. And this is a vote for Gus Malzahn making whomever takes snaps much better than we think they could be.

3) Jordan Jenkins, Georgia sophomore linebacker

4) Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri wide out

5) Derrick Henry, true freshman running back at Alabama. Man are they super-talented or what?

And who's ready for some football? Thirteen days people, 13 days.

————

From Laughing Boy

Good question by sportsfan-mine would be similar, who's the high school team this year coming out of the blue for a breakout season. It might be hard to pick a sleeper that will surprise everyone since the teams are covered so well such as in the megasize preview.

LB —

OK, same question and with a little different treatment.

Our area top five teams to start the year (we do this as teams we think would win when lined up against each other, so it's skewed toward the bigger teams):

1) Baylor

2) East Hamilton

3) McCallie

4) Cleveland

5) Calhoun

Here's our top-five state title contenders in their classifications (which is skewed toward the smaller schools):

1) Calhoun

2) South Pittsburg

3) Boyd-Buchanan

4) Gordon Lee (Hey, why not, they won like 37 state titles last year didn't they?)

5) Tyner (We like this Tyner team a lot.)

Players who will have huge seasons:

1) Zach Miller, Polk County: Dude could rush for 2,000 yards if he stays healthy

2) Chandler Curtis, Calhoun: This kid will have a monster year and go from being a mid-major recruit to an ACC/SEC type of guy.

3) Jujuan Lankford, South Pittsburg: Another 2,000-yard threat. Also, he likely will average 10-yards per touch this season.

4) Blake Zemen, Marion County: Hey, look a running back who may go for 2,000 yards.

5) Jim Cardwell, Boyd-Buchanan quarterback/safety: He'll post big numbers on offense and defense. Feels like he's been there for like 14 years, right?

Breakout players:

1) Nick Tiano, Baylor quarterback: Job is all his and he'll make the most of it.

2) Haasan Miller, Tyner quarterback: The Rams have a slew of weapons and Miller's got guts.

3) C.J. Fritz, McCallie athlete: The Blue Tornado's speed infusion led by Fritz.

4) Kareem Orr, Notre Dame wide receiver: Entering his junior year, Orr could post huge numbers.

5) Harrison Moon, Signal Mountain tight end: A highly regard recruit, Moon is poised for a breakthrough fall.

Thoughts?

————

From Chas9

Jaybo--Question for the bag: What are your top five training tips for those of us considering a try at The Ironman?

  • photo
    Triathletes run while unzipping their wetsuits as they cross onto land at the finish the first phase of the Ironman 70.3 triathalon in Boulder, Colo., Sunday Aug. 4, 2013. Roughly 2000 competitors swam, biked and ran in the event.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

9er —

Glad you asked. Here's our top 5:

1) Cut back on the Co-Colas. The actual sodas and the adult-version.

2) If you go to the Krystal, it better be to use the free Wi-Fi.

3) Start riding your bike to work. You may be the smelly guy in the meeting, but you have to start somewhere. (If you live on Signal, though, and a maroon Ford Expedition honks at you and you get scared, well, don't say you weren't warned. Stupid bikers up and down the W Road.)

4) Swim in the River. And to do this you better get a tough wet suit and be sure not to smell like chicken livers. The Tennessee River catfish do not play.

5) Save your coins for a big popcorn. What's a great movie like Ironman without snacks? Oh wait...

Discuss, and have a great weekend.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
Walden said...

Jay - I love the Pulp Fiction nod. The actual quote, however, is "Check out the big brain on Brad..." (said, of course, in the best Samuel L. Jackson accent one can muster).

This, of course, was uttered in response to Brad's shaky reply, "because of the metric system?"

August 16, 2013 at 10:28 a.m.
chas9 said...

UK won't beat Louisville, but the Cats will beat an SEC team they're supposed to lose to, possibly Tennessee. And WKU could beat either UK or UT.

Did you see that Billy the Kid's Gator roster has found a spot for a one handed player from Alpharetta?

Did you see that it's costing Maryland somewhere between $21 and $52 million to change conferences? Do they think the ACC won't survive the wars?

Did you see that most miscreants arrested on Friday and Saturday evening disorderly charges were drinking Bud? Yes, it's the US of A's favorite beer, but the percentage of the lawbreakers drinking St. Louis' best suds is higher than the percentage of our general population who choose that brand.

Second favorite brew of the drunk and disorderly set is Steel Reserve Malt Liquor. SRML's share of the beer market is minuscule, so the ratio of arrests produced by that fine swill is way, WAY off the charts disproportionate to the number of imbibers.

Seems that certain brands market to certain populations with certain tendencies. We who prefer the Terminal's IPA hardly ever get crossways with the law.

August 16, 2013 at 10:35 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Jay-

Bullet points:

-The new uniforms have grown on me now that 24 hours have sinked in. I'll give credit where credit is due: They do look a HELL of a lot better then Georgia's digs that I've beaten into the ground on said forum.

-I like the fact that the Press Box is being very UTC-friendly regarding their guest line-up. I know SportTalk is Moc supportive but it seems like you guys are definitely pushing JMF interest directly into the spotlight as suppose to the occasional phoner. Well played.

-Got approved for a paid leave for the Thursday Night Game (we're alloted two "personal days" a year and I'm burning No. 2 for the game). My apartment will be ground zero for Moc-Mania in North Texas. I actually was considering calling Eastside Tavern in old town Plano because I love their ribs and the service is excellent. But CSS (for obvious reasons) doesn't carry a channel for DirectTV or whatever the bar and grills like to use. So unfortunately it's GoMocs.com for me.

-I'm guessing because of the ho-hum season of last year the JMF fanbase will be reading about the preview at the tail end next Friday. D: I'm fine with UT being up first but the rundown should always be (UT, UTC, Georgia, Alabama, SEC, SoCon, General Conference Schedules). But then again, I hate to be North Texas or UT-Arlington which gets no love from the DMN (figurtively speaking).

-Finally, no biggie on the HS pullout. My ala mater at 640 Morrison Springs Road hadn't fielded a strong program post-Weathers (as in being in the top five as a normality as suppose to the exception). However, they did churn out Keon Williams and a few other all-stars so I hope they have a good season. :P

August 16, 2013 at 10:38 a.m.
chas9 said...

At least now if I see the window of a maroon Expedition roll down and a Co-Cola bottle come flying at my head as I bike up the W, I'll know whom to report to the police.

Attendance figures are in and Kentucky basketball led the nation in home attendance for the eighth straight year (and 17th out of the last 18 years). UK averaged 23,099 in a facility that only holds 23,000, which makes the fire marshall nervous. Syracuse and Louisville were right behind.

Tennessee was the second biggest SEC draw at 16,635 (good for #8 nationally), making their 25,000 seat arena an exercise in wishful thinking. And in an outrage that hasn't gotten enough press, Thompson-Boling Arena will not get a visit from the Big Blue this year under the new, crappy SEC schedule. That takes away The Vols' biggest crowd which had helped their attendance figures up to now.

Maybe the arena on Phil Fulmer Avenue can schedule more tractor pulls.

August 16, 2013 at 11:16 a.m.
WilliamRscott said...

C-Niner,

Your thoughts on UK not playing men's hoops in K-town this coming season?

Billy-In-Brainerd

August 16, 2013 at 11:22 a.m.
jomo11 said...

The UTK new Gray uniforms look like Stinkbugs with their feet on fire . . . .

Butchie said that in recruiting uniforms are #3 in the top ten things recruits look for . . . Im guessing #1 is CASH

August 16, 2013 at 11:36 a.m.
chas9 said...

B-I-B--In my opinion, the UK vs. UT rivalry was/is the league's most important, so the two teams should continue the home and away every season schedule. UK-UF is a good game, but can't touch the UK-UT tradition. Most KY fans appreciate strong basketball even when played by our rivals and we admire the Orange success, especially under Mears and Pearl, and so far Martin seems to be a worthy competitor. So it's a shame. Hope it changes.

August 16, 2013 at 11:53 a.m.
mcpell3 said...

c9 - in my extensive research, I have found that IPA's are like music soothing the savage beast, where the famous line "hey, y'all watch this..." is usually preceded by at least a 6 of bud. No experience with the SRML to date, and don't plan on it.

And yes, 5/10 if Auburn scares Bammer, the majority of fans will be content - this year, in light of last years smackdown

August 16, 2013 at 12:28 p.m.
Walden said...

Why do the W-Road tightpants boys feel the need to ride at 5 pm on a weekday?

August 16, 2013 at 12:42 p.m.
chas9 said...

Walden--Good question. That's dum and dummer.

MP3--Well said. The bard hisself couldn't have done better. Next Steel Reserve party, maybe Jay'll invite us. But 40 ounces is a bit much at one time.

August 16, 2013 at 1:08 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

Random thoughts on a Friday afternoon...

I will have to respectfully disagree that traditionalists hate any change. When Georgia broke out the black jerseys, Dawgs fans were pleased. When we broke out those ten-kinds-of-ugly uniforms in the Georgia Dome a few years ago, Bulldog Nation was aghast. Most of these new uniforms look to me as though they were brought to us by the people who design bowling shoes. Change is good when needed. Change for the sake of change is useless.

The "W-Road tightpants boys" as Walden described them, need to remember that the "share the road" mantra goes both ways. If you insist on riding three-wide on curvy back roads, don't get all huffy when motorists become angry. My advice: buy a mountain bike. The Chattanooga area offers hundreds of miles of great single track trails. And as long as I'm offering advice to road bikers, get some shorts that fit properly and leave those bundle huggers at home.

August 16, 2013 at 3:05 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Gang —

Great stuff and before we make our weekend plans and decide between Steel Reserve and Bud, ponder this question:

Which required uniform is worse — the cycling uni or the wrestling singlet?

Discuss.

August 16, 2013 at 3:53 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

There was a lot of dissension, from what the Spy's very good sources related to the Spy, in the Maryland ranks about departing the ACC. A lot.

For those of us once on an academic scholarship (until it was yanked for having a bad attitude and they can all go ... sorry, this a FOIB discussion. But I think you get the gist), there was no talk of paying me beyond my tuition getting covered. And I think my alma mater has gotten its share of publicity out of me.

Georgia will not run the table, 5. It may not run September. Derrick Henry still has to beat out T.J. Yeldon, who's no slouch himself. He really is no Judge Elihu Smails.

August 16, 2013 at 4:01 p.m.
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