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Cal Football

Finding Solutions for College Football is Straightforward

July 12, 2022
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It’s a game we all know and love.  We feel its distinctiveness in the colors of our favorite school, the sound of the band, the uniqueness of every college town and stadium, and a deep sense of rivalry, tradition, and historical import that simultaneously transcends and lifts up the particular players and coaches who take the field.

There’s something primal and tribal about college football and we relate to it in a visceral and intimate way.   Unlike professional sports, where we live for a fleeting glimpse of our stars and can only imagine the world which they inhabit, we’ve traveled the same roads, taken the same classes, and eaten at the same dive restaurants as the players we see on the field wearing our school colors on Saturdays.  It emotionally binds and reconnects us to our school and our years in college that more often than not changed our lives forever.   

The above has created the single most potent lifeline between a University and its alumni.   It’s a touchstone and catalyst for donations both academically and athletically to our schools.   Moreover, it’s the revenue engine that enables our schools to support a diverse and rich set of sports for men and women student-athletes.

All of that - from the wholly-unique entertainment experience that is college football to its role as the essential support mechanism for all student-athletes - is now at risk.

An ever-weakening governing body in the NCAA, a set of overseers who turned a blind eye to the exploitation of the student-athletes, and a group of conference commissioners and broadcast media executives who see their goals only in terms of short-term profitability and myopic self-interest have unconsciously led the sport to an inflection point from which it may never recover.

The solutions are not in the least complicated or nuanced.  They originate from an intention to preserve and grow the product that is college football for the benefit of all of its stakeholders.  It starts with the fans, the alumni, the season ticket holders, and the donors.  They are the undeniable consumers whose ongoing presence and support are existential for the sport.  If every decision is not viewed through the lens of whether it will help to nourish and grow the fan base, then it will by its very definition be a bad one.

It has to include the university presidents and their academic and athletic departments.  Does the decision help to fulfill the unique mission of higher education and do so in a way that supports a diverse set of athletic programs within these universities?  If it doesn't, then what about it is “college” football?  

The student-athletes who are the stars of the show, the players who become our heroes through both their athletic endeavors and representation of the school we love, have to share in the value that is created by their efforts, time, and sacrifices.   Allowing them to share a piece of the pie that they help create and giving them some freedom over where they matriculate have to be a part of the equation.

Conferences play a role here but it’s a second-level one.  And broadcasters also play a significant role but again, it needs to be secondary.

The 130 member schools at the BCS level have to come together and form a new (the NCAA is too broken at this point) governance entity to oversee college football.  They need to imbue this group with the power to 1.) Set and enforce regulations around revenue share for the student-athletes, including NIL; 2.) Set and enforce regulations around the transfer portal and recruiting overall; 3.) Create and manage a 8+ team playoff that results in a National Champion, including the media rights for that playoff.

The third element is a critical one as the playoff can create guidelines that improve the product of college football.  It can use the regulations in #1 and #2 to determine who is eligible for the playoff and it can require teams to play as competitive a schedule as possible in order to improve the diversity of playoff participants and overall diversity.

Beyond NIL, this entity will set aside a portion of its net revenues to be shared with the student-athletes, perhaps in the form of increased health insurance and other cash and non-cash benefits post-graduation.

The above is simple and straightforward.  The rules and regulations as well as the power and autonomy of this new entity would be subject to the approval of the 130 university presidents with the governing board made up of a subset of those members.

The challenge comes when trying to implement it.  The B10 and the SEC are out to optimize college football only for their members.   FOX, ESPN, and other broadcast platforms in some ways should have a longer-term and more holistic viewpoint. Unfortunately, they seem more focused on maximizing their profit based on today's college football landscape and on how rights grants impact them competitively with one another.  The university presidents within those two conferences are easily persuaded by the ever-increasing revenue and leverage they are getting, with not enough focus on how it will impact the sport long term much less their peers who are not in one of those two conferences.

The media can play a role here.  Instead of making the story about super leagues and the haves and have-nots, they can focus on the impact on all of college athletics and the dire consequences of our current course.   The schools not in the B10 and the SEC and their respective conferences can stop worrying about their near-term membership losses or gains and instead focus all of their attention on solving for the broader opportunity.  The public universities among those 100 (and they are the majority) can utilize their political leverage to force the needed changes.

The time is now before the cement dries around a plan that benefits only a handful of schools and creates short-sighted profits for them and their broadcast partners.   Fans, coaches, players, schools, and conferences all need to find a single voice to save this beloved sport, not only for its own benefit but for the benefit of all of the other student-athletes whose college experiences are dependent on football for their survival.   

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The Future of Cal Athletics Hangs in the Balance

Discussion from...

Finding Solutions for College Football is Straightforward

4,655 Views | 16 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by 01Bear
Bobodeluxe
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Sure. No problem.

All you have to do is get faux, espn, alabama, tosu, georgia, atm, texas, … , agree to share the revenue. Write a story about it when they agree.
Hawaii Haas
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Cal has the most to lose and the most to gain with a strong PAC-12. We also know that most schools and fan bases with the "golden ticket" to the P2 would not blink an eye for the rest of college football's dregs.

If Cal is committed to innovating to making money and experiences differently (in various degrees of change), then we (the rest of CFB) can truly rally with you.

1) for the sake of the West Coast, commit to using our location as an advantage, and not a disadvantage, via opening new markets. The homage to the East Coast is a "now" thing, but it assumes the Earth is Flat and validates a dying, regional distribution model. The fact is, American football is interesting to a Long Tail of people outside of the US. For the CFB sport to thrive on the West Coast, it's all about rivalries, closeness, collaboration. Compared to the East, our major metros are far apart. Look at developing inside-out. Would Cal playing Stanford, San Jose State, Fresno State, Nevada excite the region and overlapping populations? Only if you don't let the old way of thinking make you neglect the real customer - as you mention.

2) Be a first mover in streaming. If Larry & Co, were trying to create the platform of platforms, the "Netflix of Sports" in 2013; in 2022, do we kiss the ring of the cable gods? Finish the job. Not saying create the platform - that's too late - really partner with the most Global brands in the future streaming war: Apple, Amazon, and Netflix (once they get into sports). Get out of the regionalization of distribution and go global. Keep some of it for the transition - fine.

3) do more with less. MWC schools get $4MM per year. PAC-12 get $30MM+. While there is the keeping up with the Jones with "peers", college athletics has reached Tulip Mania. We all know nearly every college sports roster is made up of mainly good athletes and then a few great athletes. Team sports. If someone did the analysis of the millions spent trying to get marginally a couple more great athletes - it does not make sense for a public institution anywhere.

If this is a crisis that passes (PAC-10 stays together for some time), don't let complacency kill this opportunity. You see the future for better or for worse.
mbBear
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Bobodeluxe said:

Sure. No problem.

All you have to do is get faux, espn, alabama, tosu, georgia, atm, texas, … , agree to share the revenue. Write a story about it when they agree.
Exactly. I would add two other/similar reactions: the idea that 131 schools now have shared commonality seems to be a reach. The conference couldn't even get 12 to move forward together.
Some beautiful prose in there about alumni and connection, etc...but this has become so much more than that. The TV deals are never about "alumni interest" alone...the SEC isn't so monetarily successful because they have the best alums. The interest in SEC football extends way beyond the butts in the seats on a Saturday night at Death Valley in Baton Rouge, or a "Roll Tide" afternoon in Tuscaloosa. From the shore in New Jersey, to hills of Berkeley, those game are watched for fun and entertainment, and okay, maybe some rooting to the underdog/academically successful Commodores of Vandy, or maybe you just watched Bama for Najee Harris and think "what could have been." But it's big enough to have gone way beyond "regional telecasts" on a ABC Saturday afternoon...we watch games for match ups, star power, etc. and a lot of reasons beyond, or in addition to our personal rooting/alumni tie....and the schools now have passionate fans and donors that are not alums...and that all equates to dollars.
socaltownie
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I love BI but honestly this reads like one of those op eds that comes around every few weeks "Why can't congress be more collegial?"

At the core it is conflating the situation of the 130 teams that play BCS football. The differences between say a University of New Mexico or Bowling Green and University of Alamba or tOSU boggle the mind. And sad but true, any divisions of FBS football using the head into teirs puts Cal in #2 (or lower).

Yes, what you propose would be GREAT for Cal. But why would it be good for tOSU or others? For them their NIL opportunities DWARF Cal because of alumni very willing to great 8 or even 9 figure NIL pools. They regularly sell out stadiums that seat over 100K. They have endorsement and naming right deals that make our Crypto deal (ROFLOL) seem punny.

BI would do a real service if it stepped back and took a more hard headed approach here and really ask themselves whether the evolution of NCAA football and what is emerging is a place Cal should or wants to be? I think that is a serious open question.

PS. One thing that also is here that I just do not believe is that football=donations _at a school like Cal_. That just isn't at all clear to me. It would take a deep dive into the development office. But rather than assert I would like to see it actually documented/evidence that this is the case.
Take care of your Chicken
Jeff82
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socaltownie said:

I love BI but honestly this reads like one of those op eds that comes around every few weeks "Why can't congress be more collegial?"

At the core it is conflating the situation of the 130 teams that play BCS football. The differences between say a University of New Mexico or Bowling Green and University of Alamba or tOSU boggle the mind. And sad but true, any divisions of FBS football using the head into teirs puts Cal in #2 (or lower).

Yes, what you propose would be GREAT for Cal. But why would it be good for tOSU or others? For them their NIL opportunities DWARF Cal because of alumni very willing to great 8 or even 9 figure NIL pools. They regularly sell out stadiums that seat over 100K. They have endorsement and naming right deals that make our Crypto deal (ROFLOL) seem punny.

BI would do a real service if it stepped back and took a more hard headed approach here and really ask themselves whether the evolution of NCAA football and what is emerging is a place Cal should or wants to be? I think that is a serious open question.

PS. One thing that also is here that I just do not believe is that football=donations _at a school like Cal_. That just isn't at all clear to me. It would take a deep dive into the development office. But rather than assert I would like to see it actually documented/evidence that this is the case.
I agree with this. I'm frankly at the point where if Stanford is interested in going with us to a lower-level of football competition, where the players continue to be student-athletes, and the schedules are not dominated by the needs of TV, I'd be OK with that. Being the champion of a college football world that is significantly professional players who just happen to be wearing college uniforms doesn't interest me at all.

The idea that UCLA could be forced to give up some of the Big 10 money it would get to pay off the Memorial Stadium debt strikes me as a good solution.

As I've said elsewhere, the lower level of revenue from football under this scenario will likely result in more sports having to raise money to pay for themselves, with women's sports limited to what we have to do to comply with Title IX numerically.

I understand and accept that others feel differently. But I'm ready to accept that the world of college football is changing in ways I don't find attractive for Cal to pursue.
Rushinbear
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Jeff82 said:

socaltownie said:

I love BI but honestly this reads like one of those op eds that comes around every few weeks "Why can't congress be more collegial?"

At the core it is conflating the situation of the 130 teams that play BCS football. The differences between say a University of New Mexico or Bowling Green and University of Alamba or tOSU boggle the mind. And sad but true, any divisions of FBS football using the head into teirs puts Cal in #2 (or lower).

Yes, what you propose would be GREAT for Cal. But why would it be good for tOSU or others? For them their NIL opportunities DWARF Cal because of alumni very willing to great 8 or even 9 figure NIL pools. They regularly sell out stadiums that seat over 100K. They have endorsement and naming right deals that make our Crypto deal (ROFLOL) seem punny.

BI would do a real service if it stepped back and took a more hard headed approach here and really ask themselves whether the evolution of NCAA football and what is emerging is a place Cal should or wants to be? I think that is a serious open question.

PS. One thing that also is here that I just do not believe is that football=donations _at a school like Cal_. That just isn't at all clear to me. It would take a deep dive into the development office. But rather than assert I would like to see it actually documented/evidence that this is the case.
I agree with this. I'm frankly at the point where if Stanford is interested in going with us to a lower-level of football competition, where the players continue to be student-athletes, and the schedules are not dominated by the needs of TV, I'd be OK with that. Being the champion of a college football world that is significantly professional players who just happen to be wearing college uniforms doesn't interest me at all.

The idea that UCLA could be forced to give up some of the Big 10 money it would get to pay off the Memorial Stadium debt strikes me as a good solution.

As I've said elsewhere, the lower level of revenue from football under this scenario will likely result in more sports having to raise money to pay for themselves, with women's sports limited to what we have to do to comply with Title IX numerically.

I understand and accept that others feel differently. But I'm ready to accept that the world of college football is changing in ways I don't find attractive for Cal to pursue.
No one has mentioned the interests of the gambling community in all of this. I don't gamble, but I imagine that high rollers have deep and secret ties to many of the decision makers around these conferences.
sycasey
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The thing about the "Tiers" of college football is that the top tier actually has reasons to want to keep the 2nd and 3rd tier around. It means that if you're a dominant program you can basically count on 5 to 7 wins automatically, just from games against mid-majors and the bottom half of your own conference. That helps keep your donors happy. And at any given time some of those non-elite programs will be on an upswing (from a hot new coach or a star QB or something) and be able to compete with the big boys, which helps keep up everyone's interest.

If that goes away it's a very different situation. Many of these top-tier programs won't look like top-tier programs anymore. How do you keep donations flowing in if you're consistently going 3-9 in the Super League? The middle-class programs will see waning interest too, since they don't get guaranteed games against Alabama or Ohio State or USC anymore. The classic regional rivalries that kept fan bases on all tiers interested will also be destroyed by consolidation. I don't see how that's good for anyone, long-term.
mbBear
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Rushinbear said:

Jeff82 said:

socaltownie said:

I love BI but honestly this reads like one of those op eds that comes around every few weeks "Why can't congress be more collegial?"

At the core it is conflating the situation of the 130 teams that play BCS football. The differences between say a University of New Mexico or Bowling Green and University of Alamba or tOSU boggle the mind. And sad but true, any divisions of FBS football using the head into teirs puts Cal in #2 (or lower).

Yes, what you propose would be GREAT for Cal. But why would it be good for tOSU or others? For them their NIL opportunities DWARF Cal because of alumni very willing to great 8 or even 9 figure NIL pools. They regularly sell out stadiums that seat over 100K. They have endorsement and naming right deals that make our Crypto deal (ROFLOL) seem punny.

BI would do a real service if it stepped back and took a more hard headed approach here and really ask themselves whether the evolution of NCAA football and what is emerging is a place Cal should or wants to be? I think that is a serious open question.

PS. One thing that also is here that I just do not believe is that football=donations _at a school like Cal_. That just isn't at all clear to me. It would take a deep dive into the development office. But rather than assert I would like to see it actually documented/evidence that this is the case.
I agree with this. I'm frankly at the point where if Stanford is interested in going with us to a lower-level of football competition, where the players continue to be student-athletes, and the schedules are not dominated by the needs of TV, I'd be OK with that. Being the champion of a college football world that is significantly professional players who just happen to be wearing college uniforms doesn't interest me at all.

The idea that UCLA could be forced to give up some of the Big 10 money it would get to pay off the Memorial Stadium debt strikes me as a good solution.

As I've said elsewhere, the lower level of revenue from football under this scenario will likely result in more sports having to raise money to pay for themselves, with women's sports limited to what we have to do to comply with Title IX numerically.

I understand and accept that others feel differently. But I'm ready to accept that the world of college football is changing in ways I don't find attractive for Cal to pursue.
No one has mentioned the interests of the gambling community in all of this. I don't gamble, but I imagine that high rollers have deep and secret ties to many of the decision makers around these conferences.
Probably less of a conspiracy theory now that states have significant legalized betting, especially here in the east. Those running the sites/sportsbook favor anything that promotes "action"...as as rule, and without giving it much thought-if it's good for the networks, it's probably good for them...
HearstMining
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sycasey said:

The thing about the "Tiers" of college football is that the top tier actually has reasons to want to keep the 2nd and 3rd tier around. It means that if you're a dominant program you can basically count on 5 to 7 wins automatically, just from games against mid-majors and the bottom half of your own conference. That helps keep your donors happy. And at any given time some of those non-elite programs will be on an upswing (from a hot new coach or a star QB or something) and be able to compete with the big boys, which helps keep up everyone's interest.

If that goes away it's a very different situation. Many of these top-tier programs won't look like top-tier programs anymore. How do you keep donations flowing in if you're consistently going 3-9 in the Super League? The middle-class programs will see waning interest too, since they don't get guaranteed games against Alabama or Ohio State or USC anymore. The classic regional rivalries that kept fan bases on all tiers interested will also be destroyed by consolidation. I don't see how that's good for anyone, long-term.
I'm not sure anybody thinks longer term than the duration of their employment these days. Top tier but bottom-half schools like Northwestern, Indiana (FB), Purdue, Vandy, (and Cal, unfortunately) etc have been bringing up the rear for years in their conferences, catching lightening in a bottle just often enough to keep the alumni engaged. I'll bet 25 schools could drop football and five years later, nobody outside of old alums would notice. Just look in the Bay Area: USF, Santa Clara, UOP, Cal State East Bay (then Hayward), SF State all dropped the sport in the 1990s. If 50 schools dropped football or stepped down to FCS, that would have an impact, but that number is a long ways off. As said elsewhere, somehow the UCDavis's, San Jose St, and Sac States find a way to field teams on much smaller budgets, so it can be done.

Now, if UC Santa Cruz dropped Ultimate Frisbee, THAT would raise some eyebrows.
CALiforniALUM
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This feels more like a gold rush than anything at the moment. CTE is hardly part of the conversation for any college contact sports, but it will be expensive to address. Not to mention one level lower in high schools you might simply see football die. A few lawsuits will set that into motion even in the deepest parts of country where football is king. The employee angle for athletes is also a huge deal if it comes to fruition. I believe large parts of the country are just going to tune out because their school is either on the outside looking in, or doesn't play sports anymore. I have the greatest concern for how this impacts women's sports. Longer term I think people who like us playing host every 12-18 years for an Olympics have got to see that this totally undermines the college system that develops those athletes. There are a wide range of stakeholders who are going to lose as a result of these changes. I think they either haven't seen it coming, or haven't had time to react yet.
01Bear
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Hawaii Haas said:

Cal has the most to lose and the most to gain with a strong PAC-12. We also know that most schools and fan bases with the "golden ticket" to the P2 would not blink an eye for the rest of college football's dregs.

If Cal is committed to innovating to making money and experiences differently (in various degrees of change), then we (the rest of CFB) can truly rally with you.

1) for the sake of the West Coast, commit to using our location as an advantage, and not a disadvantage, via opening new markets. The homage to the East Coast is a "now" thing, but it assumes the Earth is Flat and validates a dying, regional distribution model. The fact is, American football is interesting to a Long Tail of people outside of the US. For the CFB sport to thrive on the West Coast, it's all about rivalries, closeness, collaboration. Compared to the East, our major metros are far apart. Look at developing inside-out. Would Cal playing Stanford, San Jose State, Fresno State, Nevada excite the region and overlapping populations? Only if you don't let the old way of thinking make you neglect the real customer - as you mention.

2) Be a first mover in streaming. If Larry & Co, were trying to create the platform of platforms, the "Netflix of Sports" in 2013; in 2022, do we kiss the ring of the cable gods? Finish the job. Not saying create the platform - that's too late - really partner with the most Global brands in the future streaming war: Apple, Amazon, and Netflix (once they get into sports). Get out of the regionalization of distribution and go global. Keep some of it for the transition - fine.

3) do more with less. MWC schools get $4MM per year. PAC-12 get $30MM+. While there is the keeping up with the Jones with "peers", college athletics has reached Tulip Mania. We all know nearly every college sports roster is made up of mainly good athletes and then a few great athletes. Team sports. If someone did the analysis of the millions spent trying to get marginally a couple more great athletes - it does not make sense for a public institution anywhere.

If this is a crisis that passes (PAC-10 stays together for some time), don't let complacency kill this opportunity. You see the future for better or for worse.
I totally agree with your first point. The whole East Coast Bias thing has rubbed me the wrong way since Day 1. In fact, the only reason I am rooting for Fox Sports is because it is looking to end the East Coast dominance in sports media. All the old timers on the West Coast who insist that we have to capitulate to East Coast TV viewers and have 7:30PM start times are just showing how insidious and pervasive the East Coast Bias has become. We should not allow the East Coast to dictate when we begin/hold events on the West Coast, especially if those events are intended to hold a live/in-person West Coast audience.

I also absolutely agree with your second point. I don't understand why the Pac didn't just start a Pac network on streaming devices (e.g., Roku) if it couldn't work out a deal with DirecTV, etc. I haven't looked into the specifics, but I'd bet the cost of owning a Roku channel is relatively cheap. The Pac could then charge subscription fees for it and also seek sell advertising rights, thereby getting revenue both from consumers and from advertisers. This is a model that even major broadcasters have followed (e.g., Peacock+, Disney +, Apple TV+). To ameliorate concerns of Dish and other intermediate broadcasters, a subscription to those intermediate broadcasters would also include a subscription to the Pac streaming channel (much like how ABC, CBS, ESPN, etc. streaming channels operate).

Sure, the footprint may have been small, but it would've likely had had better revenue generation that was better than what Larry David Scott managed. While it may be too late to keep USC and UCLA from leaving the Pac, it is still something worth thinking about pursuing (especially since the Pac-12 already has a free Pac-12 Insider channel in Roku's streaming app).

One major reason to move toward streaming devices is that more and more people are cutting the cord on cable (and satellite TV). This is most true among younger generations, which includes recent alumni who are the media consumers of tomorrow*, who seem to prefer an a la carte approach to their channel subscriptions over a blanket approach offered by cable and satellite companies. Even among the older generations, there's also been plenty of cord cutting and moving to streaming only^. If that continues to be the case, it makes more sense to build up a streaming presence.

As for your third point, I don't see Cal (nor any other major conference school) doing more with less. Given Title IX, which goals I support (but think it may be time to re-evaluate the compliance criteria), Cal may not be able to field a football team if it can't also support several women's sports teams. While it may be time to also require other varsity sports to be self-funding, I don't think anyone here would want to see Cal cut any particular sport, even if he were generally in favor of Cal cutting some sports**.

*After all, we old farts can't linger forever.

^TBH, I only watch live broadcast TV now for the nightly news, occasional sports programming, and even more occasional TV show. Instead, I prefer to use my Roku to watch movies and even older TV shows.

**It's easy to say "Cal should cut sports" when it's not "your" sport on the chopping block.
01Bear
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CALiforniALUM said:

This feels more like a gold rush than anything at the moment. CTE is hardly part of the conversation for any college contact sports, but it will be expensive to address. Not to mention one level lower in high schools you might simply see football die. A few lawsuits will set that into motion even in the deepest parts of country where football is king. The employee angle for athletes is also a huge deal if it comes to fruition. I believe large parts of the country are just going to tune out because their school is either on the outside looking in, or doesn't play sports anymore. I have the greatest concern for how this impacts women's sports. Longer term I think people who like us playing host every 12-18 years for an Olympics have got to see that this totally undermines the college system that develops those athletes. There are a wide range of stakeholders who are going to lose as a result of these changes. I think they either haven't seen it coming, or haven't had time to react yet.
Given the ever declining Olympic ratings and the skyrocketing costs of hosting the Olympics, it seems only a matter of time before the Olympics cease to exist.

As a SoCal resident, I absolutely did not want LA to host the 2028 Olympic games. But that's because I realized how much it would cost the city to host the games relative to any possible economic stimulus hosting the games would likely generate, how paying for the costs to renovate older venues and build new ones would've increased the sales tax rate for the city and county of Los Angeles (if not the state), how much more traffic congestion hosting the games would create, and how much more of a strain that would put on Southern California's already diminishing water reserves. On top of which, I have really little interest in the Olympics beyond basketball and a few events that aren't really popular in the US (and thus will likely not even be broadcast here).

Frankly, while the idea of hosting the Olympics may seem like positive PR, the feedback from host cities in the aftermath of the Olympics has trended toward the negative. A lot of this has to do with the cost to return ratio of hosting the Olympics. As a general rule, host cities don't really see any sort of (sustained) tourism post-Olympics. At best, there's a minor tourist bump during the Olympics, but the revenue generated by said tourism is generally insufficient to cover the cost of hosting the games. Only people who don't think through the economic ramifications and politicians looking for a (short-term) PR bump* would ever want to host the Olympics. Without host cities, the Olympics can't survive.

*I really see the Olympics becoming something that only authoritarian regimes (e.g., Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, China, Russia) end up hosting as a way to burnish their image on the international stage. Since these countries would also dictate that certain Western civil rights norms (e.g., homosexuality, women in less conservative attire, sex outside marriage) not be permitted, this could hasten the demise of the Olympics.
Rushinbear
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01Bear said:

Hawaii Haas said:

Cal has the most to lose and the most to gain with a strong PAC-12. We also know that most schools and fan bases with the "golden ticket" to the P2 would not blink an eye for the rest of college football's dregs.

If Cal is committed to innovating to making money and experiences differently (in various degrees of change), then we (the rest of CFB) can truly rally with you.

1) for the sake of the West Coast, commit to using our location as an advantage, and not a disadvantage, via opening new markets. The homage to the East Coast is a "now" thing, but it assumes the Earth is Flat and validates a dying, regional distribution model. The fact is, American football is interesting to a Long Tail of people outside of the US. For the CFB sport to thrive on the West Coast, it's all about rivalries, closeness, collaboration. Compared to the East, our major metros are far apart. Look at developing inside-out. Would Cal playing Stanford, San Jose State, Fresno State, Nevada excite the region and overlapping populations? Only if you don't let the old way of thinking make you neglect the real customer - as you mention.

2) Be a first mover in streaming. If Larry & Co, were trying to create the platform of platforms, the "Netflix of Sports" in 2013; in 2022, do we kiss the ring of the cable gods? Finish the job. Not saying create the platform - that's too late - really partner with the most Global brands in the future streaming war: Apple, Amazon, and Netflix (once they get into sports). Get out of the regionalization of distribution and go global. Keep some of it for the transition - fine.

3) do more with less. MWC schools get $4MM per year. PAC-12 get $30MM+. While there is the keeping up with the Jones with "peers", college athletics has reached Tulip Mania. We all know nearly every college sports roster is made up of mainly good athletes and then a few great athletes. Team sports. If someone did the analysis of the millions spent trying to get marginally a couple more great athletes - it does not make sense for a public institution anywhere.

If this is a crisis that passes (PAC-10 stays together for some time), don't let complacency kill this opportunity. You see the future for better or for worse.
I totally agree with your first point. The whole East Coast Bias thing has rubbed me the wrong way since Day 1. In fact, the only reason I am rooting for Fox Sports is because it is looking to end the East Coast dominance in sports media. All the old timers on the West Coast who insist that we have to capitulate to East Coast TV viewers and have 7:30PM start times are just showing how insidious and pervasive the East Coast Bias has become. We should not allow the East Coast to dictate when we begin/hold events on the West Coast, especially if those events are intended to hold a live/in-person West Coast audience.

I also absolutely agree with your second point. I don't understand why the Pac didn't just start a Pac network on streaming devices (e.g., Roku) if it couldn't work out a deal with DirecTV, etc. I haven't looked into the specifics, but I'd bet the cost of owning a Roku channel is relatively cheap. The Pac could then charge subscription fees for it and also seek sell advertising rights, thereby getting revenue both from consumers and from advertisers. This is a model that even major broadcasters have followed (e.g., Peacock+, Disney +, Apple TV+). To ameliorate concerns of Dish and other intermediate broadcasters, a subscription to those intermediate broadcasters would also include a subscription to the Pac streaming channel (much like how ABC, CBS, ESPN, etc. streaming channels operate).

Sure, the footprint may have been small, but it would've likely had had better revenue generation that was better than what Larry David Scott managed. While it may be too late to keep USC and UCLA from leaving the Pac, it is still something worth thinking about pursuing (especially since the Pac-12 already has a free Pac-12 Insider channel in Roku's streaming app).

One major reason to move toward streaming devices is that more and more people are cutting the cord on cable (and satellite TV). This is most true among younger generations, which includes recent alumni who are the media consumers of tomorrow*, who seem to prefer an a la carte approach to their channel subscriptions over a blanket approach offered by cable and satellite companies. Even among the older generations, there's also been plenty of cord cutting and moving to streaming only^. If that continues to be the case, it makes more sense to build up a streaming presence.

As for your third point, I don't see Cal (nor any other major conference school) doing more with less. Given Title IX, which goals I support (but think it may be time to re-evaluate the compliance criteria), Cal may not be able to field a football team if it can't also support several women's sports teams. While it may be time to also require other varsity sports to be self-funding, I don't think anyone here would want to see Cal cut any particular sport, even if he were generally in favor of Cal cutting some sports**.

*After all, we old farts can't linger forever.

^TBH, I only watch live broadcast TV now for the nightly news, occasional sports programming, and even more occasional TV show. Instead, I prefer to use my Roku to watch movies and even older TV shows.

**It's easy to say "Cal should cut sports" when it's not "your" sport on the chopping block.

I, for one, didn't say capitulate to the East Coast bias. I just explained the foundation for it.

When you've watched fb all day and then the west coast games come on, you're fb'd out and those games are uninteresting when you don't have any skin in the game, the teams aren't any different than what you've been watching in terms of talent and scheme, and they don't even fill their own stadia. And, they're just kicking off.

Those are just the facts. The media are just leveraging the advantages.

I'm an east coast type. If I were not a Golden Bear, I probably only look for games that have great or interesting players. Lately, that would have been Aaron, Marshawn and Thibideaux. I'd maybe watch the Furd to see how those 240# TEs became 325# OLs. Otherwise, I'd have been watching guys like the Pac all day and the west coast games would be a yawn and lost sleep.

If we want coverage of all 4 zones, we need to offer games in all 4 zones.
01Bear
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Rushinbear said:

01Bear said:

Hawaii Haas said:

Cal has the most to lose and the most to gain with a strong PAC-12. We also know that most schools and fan bases with the "golden ticket" to the P2 would not blink an eye for the rest of college football's dregs.

If Cal is committed to innovating to making money and experiences differently (in various degrees of change), then we (the rest of CFB) can truly rally with you.

1) for the sake of the West Coast, commit to using our location as an advantage, and not a disadvantage, via opening new markets. The homage to the East Coast is a "now" thing, but it assumes the Earth is Flat and validates a dying, regional distribution model. The fact is, American football is interesting to a Long Tail of people outside of the US. For the CFB sport to thrive on the West Coast, it's all about rivalries, closeness, collaboration. Compared to the East, our major metros are far apart. Look at developing inside-out. Would Cal playing Stanford, San Jose State, Fresno State, Nevada excite the region and overlapping populations? Only if you don't let the old way of thinking make you neglect the real customer - as you mention.

2) Be a first mover in streaming. If Larry & Co, were trying to create the platform of platforms, the "Netflix of Sports" in 2013; in 2022, do we kiss the ring of the cable gods? Finish the job. Not saying create the platform - that's too late - really partner with the most Global brands in the future streaming war: Apple, Amazon, and Netflix (once they get into sports). Get out of the regionalization of distribution and go global. Keep some of it for the transition - fine.

3) do more with less. MWC schools get $4MM per year. PAC-12 get $30MM+. While there is the keeping up with the Jones with "peers", college athletics has reached Tulip Mania. We all know nearly every college sports roster is made up of mainly good athletes and then a few great athletes. Team sports. If someone did the analysis of the millions spent trying to get marginally a couple more great athletes - it does not make sense for a public institution anywhere.

If this is a crisis that passes (PAC-10 stays together for some time), don't let complacency kill this opportunity. You see the future for better or for worse.
I totally agree with your first point. The whole East Coast Bias thing has rubbed me the wrong way since Day 1. In fact, the only reason I am rooting for Fox Sports is because it is looking to end the East Coast dominance in sports media. All the old timers on the West Coast who insist that we have to capitulate to East Coast TV viewers and have 7:30PM start times are just showing how insidious and pervasive the East Coast Bias has become. We should not allow the East Coast to dictate when we begin/hold events on the West Coast, especially if those events are intended to hold a live/in-person West Coast audience.

I also absolutely agree with your second point. I don't understand why the Pac didn't just start a Pac network on streaming devices (e.g., Roku) if it couldn't work out a deal with DirecTV, etc. I haven't looked into the specifics, but I'd bet the cost of owning a Roku channel is relatively cheap. The Pac could then charge subscription fees for it and also seek sell advertising rights, thereby getting revenue both from consumers and from advertisers. This is a model that even major broadcasters have followed (e.g., Peacock+, Disney +, Apple TV+). To ameliorate concerns of Dish and other intermediate broadcasters, a subscription to those intermediate broadcasters would also include a subscription to the Pac streaming channel (much like how ABC, CBS, ESPN, etc. streaming channels operate).

Sure, the footprint may have been small, but it would've likely had had better revenue generation that was better than what Larry David Scott managed. While it may be too late to keep USC and UCLA from leaving the Pac, it is still something worth thinking about pursuing (especially since the Pac-12 already has a free Pac-12 Insider channel in Roku's streaming app).

One major reason to move toward streaming devices is that more and more people are cutting the cord on cable (and satellite TV). This is most true among younger generations, which includes recent alumni who are the media consumers of tomorrow*, who seem to prefer an a la carte approach to their channel subscriptions over a blanket approach offered by cable and satellite companies. Even among the older generations, there's also been plenty of cord cutting and moving to streaming only^. If that continues to be the case, it makes more sense to build up a streaming presence.

As for your third point, I don't see Cal (nor any other major conference school) doing more with less. Given Title IX, which goals I support (but think it may be time to re-evaluate the compliance criteria), Cal may not be able to field a football team if it can't also support several women's sports teams. While it may be time to also require other varsity sports to be self-funding, I don't think anyone here would want to see Cal cut any particular sport, even if he were generally in favor of Cal cutting some sports**.

*After all, we old farts can't linger forever.

^TBH, I only watch live broadcast TV now for the nightly news, occasional sports programming, and even more occasional TV show. Instead, I prefer to use my Roku to watch movies and even older TV shows.

**It's easy to say "Cal should cut sports" when it's not "your" sport on the chopping block.

I, for one, didn't say capitulate to the East Coast bias. I just explained the foundation for it.

When you've watched fb all day and then the west coast games come on, you're fb'd out and those games are uninteresting when you don't have any skin in the game, the teams aren't any different than what you've been watching in terms of talent and scheme, and they don't even fill their own stadia. And, they're just kicking off.

Those are just the facts. The media are just leveraging the advantages.

I'm an east coast type. If I were not a Golden Bear, I probably only look for games that have great or interesting players. Lately, that would have been Aaron, Marshawn and Thibideaux. I'd maybe watch the Furd to see how those 240# TEs became 325# OLs. Otherwise, I'd have been watching guys like the Pac all day and the west coast games would be a yawn and lost sleep.

If we want coverage of all 4 zones, we need to offer games in all 4 zones.
Well said!
berserkeley
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01Bear said:

CALiforniALUM said:

This feels more like a gold rush than anything at the moment. CTE is hardly part of the conversation for any college contact sports, but it will be expensive to address. Not to mention one level lower in high schools you might simply see football die. A few lawsuits will set that into motion even in the deepest parts of country where football is king. The employee angle for athletes is also a huge deal if it comes to fruition. I believe large parts of the country are just going to tune out because their school is either on the outside looking in, or doesn't play sports anymore. I have the greatest concern for how this impacts women's sports. Longer term I think people who like us playing host every 12-18 years for an Olympics have got to see that this totally undermines the college system that develops those athletes. There are a wide range of stakeholders who are going to lose as a result of these changes. I think they either haven't seen it coming, or haven't had time to react yet.
Given the ever declining Olympic ratings and the skyrocketing costs of hosting the Olympics, it seems only a matter of time before the Olympics cease to exist.

As a SoCal resident, I absolutely did not want LA to host the 2028 Olympic games. But that's because I realized how much it would cost the city to host the games relative to any possible economic stimulus hosting the games would likely generate, how paying for the costs to renovate older venues and build new ones would've increased the sales tax rate for the city and county of Los Angeles (if not the state), how much more traffic congestion hosting the games would create, and how much more of a strain that would put on Southern California's already diminishing water reserves. On top of which, I have really little interest in the Olympics beyond basketball and a few events that aren't really popular in the US (and thus will likely not even be broadcast here).

Frankly, while the idea of hosting the Olympics may seem like positive PR, the feedback from host cities in the aftermath of the Olympics has trended toward the negative. A lot of this has to do with the cost to return ratio of hosting the Olympics. As a general rule, host cities don't really see any sort of (sustained) tourism post-Olympics. At best, there's a minor tourist bump during the Olympics, but the revenue generated by said tourism is generally insufficient to cover the cost of hosting the games. Only people who don't think through the economic ramifications and politicians looking for a (short-term) PR bump* would ever want to host the Olympics. Without host cities, the Olympics can't survive.

*I really see the Olympics becoming something that only authoritarian regimes (e.g., Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, China, Russia) end up hosting as a way to burnish their image on the international stage. Since these countries would also dictate that certain Western civil rights norms (e.g., homosexuality, women in less conservative attire, sex outside marriage) not be permitted, this could hasten the demise of the Olympics.

Los Angeles made a large profit hosting the Olympics in 1984. The trick to making a profit hosting the Olympics? Don't build new venues. LA isn't building any new venues for the 2028 Olympics.
01Bear
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berserkeley said:

01Bear said:

CALiforniALUM said:

This feels more like a gold rush than anything at the moment. CTE is hardly part of the conversation for any college contact sports, but it will be expensive to address. Not to mention one level lower in high schools you might simply see football die. A few lawsuits will set that into motion even in the deepest parts of country where football is king. The employee angle for athletes is also a huge deal if it comes to fruition. I believe large parts of the country are just going to tune out because their school is either on the outside looking in, or doesn't play sports anymore. I have the greatest concern for how this impacts women's sports. Longer term I think people who like us playing host every 12-18 years for an Olympics have got to see that this totally undermines the college system that develops those athletes. There are a wide range of stakeholders who are going to lose as a result of these changes. I think they either haven't seen it coming, or haven't had time to react yet.
Given the ever declining Olympic ratings and the skyrocketing costs of hosting the Olympics, it seems only a matter of time before the Olympics cease to exist.

As a SoCal resident, I absolutely did not want LA to host the 2028 Olympic games. But that's because I realized how much it would cost the city to host the games relative to any possible economic stimulus hosting the games would likely generate, how paying for the costs to renovate older venues and build new ones would've increased the sales tax rate for the city and county of Los Angeles (if not the state), how much more traffic congestion hosting the games would create, and how much more of a strain that would put on Southern California's already diminishing water reserves. On top of which, I have really little interest in the Olympics beyond basketball and a few events that aren't really popular in the US (and thus will likely not even be broadcast here).

Frankly, while the idea of hosting the Olympics may seem like positive PR, the feedback from host cities in the aftermath of the Olympics has trended toward the negative. A lot of this has to do with the cost to return ratio of hosting the Olympics. As a general rule, host cities don't really see any sort of (sustained) tourism post-Olympics. At best, there's a minor tourist bump during the Olympics, but the revenue generated by said tourism is generally insufficient to cover the cost of hosting the games. Only people who don't think through the economic ramifications and politicians looking for a (short-term) PR bump* would ever want to host the Olympics. Without host cities, the Olympics can't survive.

*I really see the Olympics becoming something that only authoritarian regimes (e.g., Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, China, Russia) end up hosting as a way to burnish their image on the international stage. Since these countries would also dictate that certain Western civil rights norms (e.g., homosexuality, women in less conservative attire, sex outside marriage) not be permitted, this could hasten the demise of the Olympics.

Los Angeles made a large profit hosting the Olympics in 1984. The trick to making a profit hosting the Olympics? Don't build new venues. LA isn't building any new venues for the 2028 Olympics.
Yeah, LA's 1984 is the outlier. Just about every other city in the last 60 years actually lost money by hosting the Olympics (see, https://www.yahoo.com/video/past-olympics-made-profit-160020931.html; https://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets-economy/092416/what-economic-impact-hosting-olympics.asp; and https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/hosting-the-olympics-is-a-terrible-investment/).

Also, LA's 2028 Olympic plan may not include the construction of new venues, but it will have to renovate and retrofit some of the existing venues it plans to use. Additionally, there's the cost of transportation upgrades that the city (and really, the county) will have to make for the 2028 Games. Those costs will inevitably go over what was budgeted and the taxpayer will be on the hook for the difference. Whether the city and county will make back enough in sales tax to cover the difference is currently unknown and unknowable, but the smart money would likely be on "No."


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