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Messages - jknezek

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1
http://wellsreportcontext.com/

I reckon the NFL is toast.

You realize this was written by the Patriots' lawyer right? Putting this out is his job, and cherry picking paragraphs from a several hundred page report to dispute is a common legal tactic, especially in a p.r. war. I'm not saying the NFL or the Wells report is any better than the NCAA job done on Penn St., I'm just saying that this summary is exactly what a paid lawyer should produce for his client.

2
Men's soccer / Re: UW-Oshkosh Program Cut....?
« on: May 14, 2015, 10:00:42 am »
I daresay Northeastern Illinois doesn't want a few thousand Chinese students because their enrollment is slipping, they want them because they pay full freight, unlike those pesky in-state students. Lots of schools are pursuing this same strategy, especially state schools as budgets are cut. I find it all ridiculous since that simply undermines the point of state schools, educating the in-state kids to make a more profitable and successful workforce, but if the state doesn't want to pay for the goal of their own universities, the university admins will try and do anything to maintain their own prominence and jobs.

3
Men's soccer / Re: UW-Oshkosh Program Cut....?
« on: May 13, 2015, 12:02:56 pm »
This just seems a matter of priorities. While I love D3 sports it falls pretty low on my chart of necessities of a good college. The goal of the university is to educate, so classroom resources get priorities. The second goal is to keep the lights on, so maintaining facilities used by large numbers of students should be a pretty high priority. Whether that is grounds keeping or air conditioning the dorms to help enrollment is irrelevant, it's more important than a tennis team to me. Things like athletics are grouped with the club and social activities, good for a smaller subset of the community and prioritized and funded as such. While I think there is plenty of room in most schools budgets to manage an athletic department, at a D3 level the athletic department is ancillary to the school. So if it comes down to a choice, keep the professors and the computer labs and the new student commons, cut the sports.

But the point that the UWO soccer coach made in the article, which I haven't seen addressed yet by anyone in this discussion, is that the program is a source of revenue for the school. The Titans had 26 players on their 2015-16 roster. That's 26 tuition-paying UWO students who wouldn't have gone to that school otherwise. According to the article, the 2015-16 UWO soccer team had a $31,000 operational budget (which can't possibly include salary), and the UWO chancellor further claimed that cutting the sport would result in an annual savings of $60,000 for the school. But if the tuition income from those 26 players exceeds that of this claimed savings, then how is cutting the program going to save the school money? You lose more money than you gain, because you'll lose most or all of those 26 student-athletes. I'm sure that all, or nearly all, of them were recruited to attend UWO specifically for soccer, and it's likely that they'll transfer elsewhere in order to keep playing soccer now that the program's neck has fallen under the axe.




This is a horrible argument. The soccer team makes money because 26 student athletes pay to be on campus? UWO could pull 26 students without spending one soccer dime with no problem. So you can still kill the expense and even though the program by one measure was revenue positive, not having the program is even MORE revenue positive. Which is the point the President made by talking about expenses instead of revenue. The revenue will remain from 26 students, the expenses overall to the athletic department will go down. UWO accepts 67% of applicants (U.S. News). The student body won't drop by 26 people if you cut soccer. It will be the same size, and there will be more net profit per student (miniscule though that is) since the small expenses of soccer are removed.

4
I think the NFL has a proven track record of downright incompetence when it comes to meting out punishments.  So is this punishment fair, based on the rules and the agreement between the league and the players union?  I thought somebody posted that the punishment for the football inflation thing is $25,000.  So where did the four games come from?  Is he getting four games because he wouldn't let Ted Wells rifle through his phone?  There's no way that stands up to an appeal with an independent arbitrator.  I'd not be the least bit surprised if Brady doesn't miss a single game and the NFL office winds up with (more) egg on their face.

I agree with all of this. I never said the punishment is fair. In fact, a few days ago I thought it would be a one game suspension and a franchise token fine with a mid-round draft pick thrown in. I still think that is pretty close to where it all ends up. Which might actually be the NFL's goal.

What got me started was all these comments about rights and burden of proof like it was some kind of criminal case. It simply isn't. If you think that way, you are going about it all wrong. This is 100% a workplace issue and it will be decided and defined by the contract between the NFL and the Players Union. Anyone who thinks that there is some higher standard that needs to be met, or some kind of rights issue, is on a high horse without understanding anything about how the world works.

Why is the NFL, the NCAA, and any other organization without subpoena power so inept at these kinds of cases? Because it is impossible to compel release of the information needed. Since there is no way on God's Green Earth a non-governmental agency should have those powers, these organizations are simply stuck doing the best they can with incomplete information and, sometimes, incompetent investigation.

Unfortunately, you still have to enforce the rules.

As for the often talked about $25K that people love to throw around on the internet, they are simply wrong. That is the MINIMUM penalty for under inflation, not the maximum. See this story, about 1/2 way down and a host of other credible news stories instead of internet board postings and comments sections:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/01/21/onfoot/x9cDtrfMPAO15Stwm4uXrN/story.html

5

I don't think that breaking the workplace rule is at issue here.  I think what is at issue, now at least, is that the punishment doesn't fit the crime.  Not even close.  So what is he being punished for?  The NFL says he didn't cooperate.  He'll say that he didn't forfeit his right to privacy.  In a lot of workplace situations where somebody would rather take the discipline than forfeit that right, it stops there because most people don't have the means or patience take an action against an employer who would otherwise trample an employee's rights.  Tom Brady has the means and he has until September to figure out if he's being punished because he didn't let the NFL violate his rights and whether or not that is legal.  This part is going to be way more interesting than what happened to those footballs.

First, there is no crime. His employer says he broke a rule and is being punished for it. That's all. Punishment fits the rule breaking? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. He has the option to appeal and I'm sure he will. How are his rights being trampled? He doesn't have a RIGHT to play in the NFL. No one does. It is a privilege to play in the NFL, and if he doesn't want to, he can take his talents to a professional league somewhere else. That is not a right. He agrees to play there and he agrees to play by their rules. They say he broke the rules, and the contract by which he plays and is employed gives the NFL the option to say that and to punish him, just like it gives him the option to appeal.

He was asked for his phone, specific emails, other things germane to proving whether he broke the rules or not. He declined. The NFL did NOT violate any of his rights by asking for those things. He did not provide them, so the NFL had to make a decision based on the information it had. The NFL, as is their ability defined by the player union contract, made a decision and issued a punishment.

This is not a question of RIGHTS. This is a question of whether the punishment is allowed under a contract. The NFL says it is. Brady, I'm sure, will say it is not.

Personally I'm pretty sure the NFL issued a 4 game suspension knowing he would appeal and would probably end up with a 2 game suspension. If they issued a 2, it would have been reduced to a 1 or less. That tends to be how these things are settled in the real world.

6
General Division III issues / Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
« on: May 12, 2015, 01:57:35 pm »
I just saw an article posted on Facebook about this.  I'm not going to post it here, but one of the comments about it was "follow the money."

The school did say money was the problem, so I'm sure both sides would use the same quote to mean completely different things. Random Facebook comments from partisans are generally not worth the minute amount of long dead dinosaur used to post them.

7
South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: May 12, 2015, 01:32:30 pm »
I have the 2012 HSC at WLU quadruple overtime thriller somewhere. We could always watch that one instead. I might need a bit of that past glory after last season...

8
Men's soccer / Re: NESCAC
« on: May 12, 2015, 11:23:02 am »

5. Amherst has a great Jersey kid coming in a 6'4 CB who is very athletic and skilled. Comes from the same area as Mark Sisco at Williams. I am a big believer in recruiting from Jersey as those kids tend to have a bite and edge more so that the New England preps.

Agree with you on the Jersey kids . . .

This goes back 20 years, but as a Jersey kid who played at what was then the regional select level we used to love playing the New England regional schools. We always considered them easy to throw off their game with some early physical play. Especially the offensive types. They just didn't handle being bodied up as well as the mid-atlantic or mid-west state regional teams we matched up with, let alone the other Jersey/New York/Penn regionals. Interesting to see that some people still think that disparity exists.

9
Why do you guys keep thinking about this like it's a criminal case? It's not. It's not criminal, it's not civil, it's a workplace issue. Your workplace has rules. If you don't follow the rules, you get punished. The bar for what qualifies as "breaking the rules" is a heck of a lot lower in a workplace then in a criminal or civil case. Confusing the two and insisting on the same processes and standards is ludicrous. He's not going to jail, he's not even being sued. He's being told by the organization to which he is responsible that he broke their rules and has to take a few days of unpaid leave in punishment. Big whoop.

I daresay that if your boss thought you broke the rules in your workplace, you would face consequences as well. And your boss wouldn't have to prove it at a legal level either for a minor suspension. Don't like it? Quit and find a new job. I'm sure the CFL would love Tom Brady to come play up north of the border. But otherwise, he is subject to the rules of the NFL which don't have to reach up to the criminal statutes. If he didn't want to help the NFL investigate the case and provide the information and answers they wanted, then they will assume he is hiding something. Your boss would make the same assumption and act appropriately. The NFL doesn't have subpoena power any more than the NCAA does, so they rely on cooperation. You don't cooperate? Then you are going to be punished.

For crying out loud guys, an unsportsmanlike penalty, or a targeting call, can get you suspended. You don't have to go to court to prove it for the NFL to level the suspension.

10
As someone from NJ and a Dolphins fan I really, really dislike the Patriots. That being said, other than the fact that they broke a minor rule that had no impact on the outcome of the game in question, this isn't a big deal to me. I pretty much assume he's not the only QB to have done this. Smack them on the wrist and be done with it.

The only thing that leads me to say smack them on the nose instead is this is not the first time that organization has been caught skirting the line recently. Of course, they were punished for the last time, which I think was a bigger deal, so I'm not really into piling on. Take away a mid-round draft pick, suspend Brady for half a game, fine them something that doesn't matter, and move on.

11
Pardon my cynicism, but adding Rifle and Bowlling makes it easier to "axe" football, which was the target in the first place.

Absolutely no doubt you are correct. That's the school's POV. I was interested in the report saying, somehow, these sports either made money or came close to breaking even. I just can't possibly imagine how that is true in the real world, although I can see lots of ways to make it happen with accounting.

12
Travel expenses for bowling and rifle are actually pretty high. The rosters are small, but the travel is a killer. There's not many sponsoring schools in those sports so teams have to travel across the country to compete.

I skimmed the report but I found it a bit incredulous. Of course analyzing this stuff isn't exactly my job. I just can't see how bowling could break even. I do understand that if you do a lot of tricks to lower the cost of scholarships and add in a value for "student body enjoyment" you can get the numbers to tell you whatever you want. Part of my job involves corporate bonds, so I'm well aware of the multitude of tricks companies use for accounting purposes. It's unbelievable and I suspect both the school's supposed losses and this study's supposed benefits use all those tricks and more to support their positions, leaving the true answer somewhere in the middle.

13
South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: May 01, 2015, 03:05:58 pm »
Here is na article from the HSC website that has info o the fire, and video too

http://www.hsc.edu/The-Record/The-Record-Archive/2014-January/The-Legend-Lives.html
Thanks for the link ... very interesting.  +1  So, how does alleged arson and reportedly interfering with the fire department jive with "forming good men and good citizens since 1776"?  :)

eh... no one goes 239 years without a few hiccups. It is rumored a fraternity at W&L was once permanently thrown off campus for attempting to hijack a train to pick up their dates for a formal. I think this supposedly happened in the late 40s/early 50s, but some rumors put it much earlier. And the decision to drop out of major college football was greatly influenced by a massive football cheating scandal in the late 50s.

All this proves is that the way we cluck our tongues at "college kids" today for their poor behavior, and the things student athletes do, is probably more than a bit hypocritical when looked at historically.

To have some further fun, my dad often grumbles when he hears about college kids getting arrested for underage drinking. I had fun reminding him one day that the reason it didn't happen in his day was because the drinking age in most states was 18. We got a pretty good laugh out of the fact he hadn't remembered that pertinent information.

14
East Region football / Re: FB: Empire 8
« on: April 25, 2015, 11:10:12 am »
There is nothing wrong with playing for the regular season. The DIII tournament is about finding a national champion. Generally if you aren't strong enough to win your conference, you aren't going to be strong enough to win the national title. So yes, it's tough for a really good WIAC or OAC team that finishes second to see a much weaker team from a much weaker conference go to the tournament, but there isn't a way around that without going back to smoky backrooms.

The AQ isn't perfect, but it's better than the old alternative. Win and you are in. Not good enough to win? You probably aren't good enough to make a difference in the national title hunt either. Pacific Lutheran in '99 is the only AQ era team to win the title without being a conference champion. Only two other teams in the AQ era have made the title game in the AQ era without being a conference champion, Mary-Hardin Baylor in 2004 and Rowan in 1999.

So even being second place in a really good conference doesn't mean you have a very good shot at affecting the tournament.

I want to take issue with your second sentence.  Sure, the tourney is about finding the champion, but it is also more than that.  For the majority of D3 schools, even making the second round can be a lifetime thrill.  And for the vast majority, making the E8 or semis is a dream come true.  I realize that for some fans, there is ONE winner and 200+ losers, but I totally reject that line of thinking.

As the number of C spots dwindles towards zero, I like some version of Pat's approach: maintain AQ slots, but they CAN be lost for some period of time if certain criteria are not met.  I don't recall the exact number of C slots this year, but I regret any number below about 6-7.

Fine, the primary goal of the tournament is about finding a champion. I agree others get satisfaction out of making it and winning each game, as they should. Just like a good year for a team that usually goes under .500 is 6-4, that is celebrated as well. In any sport like DIII football there is one champion, but lots of winners. The fact remains, having 6-8 "C" bids has almost no effect in the D3 tournament. The division is so ridiculously tiered all you are doing is adding a value judgement that doesn't matter (a chosen "C") in place of a value judgement neutral decision (an AQ) that doesn't matter.

 So I won't panic about the AQ until there are none left. And I will always prefer the value judgement neutral system over what we had prior to the AQ. Can we structure a hybrid if necessary, sure. I just wouldn't do it until all the C's are gone.

15
East Region football / Re: FB: Empire 8
« on: April 24, 2015, 08:20:44 pm »
There is nothing wrong with playing for the regular season. The DIII tournament is about finding a national champion. Generally if you aren't strong enough to win your conference, you aren't going to be strong enough to win the national title. So yes, it's tough for a really good WIAC or OAC team that finishes second to see a much weaker team from a much weaker conference go to the tournament, but there isn't a way around that without going back to smoky backrooms.

The AQ isn't perfect, but it's better than the old alternative. Win and you are in. Not good enough to win? You probably aren't good enough to make a difference in the national title hunt either. Pacific Lutheran in '99 is the only AQ era team to win the title without being a conference champion. Only two other teams in the AQ era have made the title game in the AQ era without being a conference champion, Mary-Hardin Baylor in 2004 and Rowan in 1999.

So even being second place in a really good conference doesn't mean you have a very good shot at affecting the tournament.

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