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Cal Basketball

March Madness? No, April Madsen-ness

April 2, 2023
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Cal introduced its 19th men’s basketball coach Monday at Haas Pavilion. If positive words and attitude were all that is needed to produce a winner on the basketball floor, Mark Madsen would have taken the Golden Bears to the airport and flown to Houston to compete in the National Championship game that evening.

Alas, more is needed.  In the case of a basketball program that could not fog a mirror last season, producing the worst record in the program’s more-than-a-century history, a LOT more is needed.

Madsen hit all the right notes in his introductory ceremony, televised on the PAC-12 Network. He acknowledged that he had attended high school at San Ramon Valley, coached by a man who had played under Pete Newell at Cal. He pointed out that he wound up majoring (at Stanford) in economics because of the passion of his high school econ teacher, a Cal alumna. He acknowledged Cal alum Leon Powe in the audience, along with many other stellar names from the school’s rich basketball past – Sean Lampley, Tony Gonzalez, Jaylen Brown, Jason Kidd, and several others.

However, that econ degree (and subsequent MBA) might not have trained Madsen to do medical triage – he repeatedly referred to Cal as “a sleeping giant”, when the very few who came out to watch the latest version play this past season are well aware that it was comatose, at best, if not deceased.

Madsen has a long, uphill fight to bring the program from its current state (irrelevant on the national, and even on the local, stage) back to where he can honestly smile at the parents of recruits and say, without crossing his fingers, that “Cal is exactly where your son needs to be at this stage of his basketball career.”

I’m not betting against him.

As a player, Madsen stayed at Stanford for four years – and appeared in the Dance all four seasons. He then went on to have an NBA career that lasted nine seasons (and has a pair of rings to show for it), and a coaching career of six more including a D- (now G-) League assignment. His playing career was recent enough that he can show clips of himself in high definition, and he can honestly speak to students about the benefits of playing four years in a single location. He can look a recruit (or a transfer portal possibility) in the eye and say he coached Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Steve Nash. He can say he shared NBA floors with Shaquille O’Neal (who famously said Madsen left him bruised and battered in practice), Bryant and Kevin Love.

But perhaps the most important thing Madsen can say is, he took a small, unglamorous WAC school in Orem, Utah (if you can place it on a map without looking you were either born there or went to school there) that was just six years removed from the Great West Conference and brought them to the Final Four of the NIT in just four years. WAC Coach of the Year for this past season, 11-19 his first year, Madsen’s teams won 48 games in his final two seasons in the Utah Valley.

Yep. A track record at building a program. Now, some alumni are going to say that you aren’t building a program that already has 115 years of history and some banners in the rafters; you are resurrecting it, or rebuilding it. Don’t bring that weak stuff in this conversation. If you watched last year’s squad (and I know if you did, because I could count most of you on my fingers), you know it’s generous to say that Madsen’s first job will be to sweep away the rubble and see if there is any usable foundation left.

“First thing I want to do,” said the 47-year old, “is build a chain link fence around California and keep the best players from California, AT California.”  That was as close as he got to discussing the fact that only two Power 5 schools will remain in the conference in California after UCLA and USC defect to the Big 10.

Madsen acknowledged the role of NIL in modern roster building. He repeatedly harped on the fact that the NIL committee at Cal “is looking at having kids give back to the community, be involved in things outside of basketball.” For a family-oriented (Madsen’s newest child, Anastasia, was born the day before his press conference, and he was presented with a Cal basketball onesie for her, to his obvious delight), up-front LDS Church member, these things would matter. He, and Cal AD Jim Knowlton, both referenced “winning the right way with NIL”, and Madsen said multiple times “I support NIL, but it is NOT pay-for-play”. It remains to be seen whether recruits share his enthusiasm about giving back, but he only needs to find a few each year, and, I wouldn’t bet against him doing that.

Every person I spoke to Monday, whether coaches, players, or media, all said some variation of “the hardest thing to grasp about Mark Madsen is, what you see in front of you is exactly who, and what, he is.” Transparency and honesty were words I heard a lot. Former Cal coach Mike Montgomery was quoted as saying, “Mark will hit you in the nose, maybe breaking it, but he will also grab a towel and be the first to help you up.” Hard-nosed himself, he earned the sobriquet “Mad Dog” while at SRVHS, and it has stuck.

“I am so fired up, ready to work, I’ve been working the portal ever since the announcement, working with the current players – we can do this thing,” Madsen said. “There are great things ahead. I am well aware of the tradition of the past here, and we can get there. And it’s not going to take as long as everyone thinks.” To further whet your appetite for next season, Madsen wants to “play aggresively up-tempo basketball”, noting, “no kids want to play slow.”

The enthusiasm was palpable. I’m as skeptical as anyone about this program, but I can certainly see how it would be hard for any parents to invite Madsen into their home and not come away Madsen, and Cal, fans. The man is relentlessly positive.

Dave Newhouse, eminence grise among Bay Area sportswriters, said he was sent to cover Madsen at the Final Four in 1998. En route to that appearance, Newhouse built a relationship with Madsen, and said “each game, he would tell me beforehand exactly what it would take to win the next contest. He had a coach’s mentality and understanding even then.”

I wouldn’t bet against him.

Discussion from...

March Madness? No, April Madsen-ness

7,921 Views | 18 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by calumnus
calumnus
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I think you hit on the biggest issue. There is no real way to distinguish NIL from pay to play, so if Cal is going to be successful in the NIL world, we need to play by the same rules everyone else is playing by. Setting a higher standard for ourselves in academics is one thing, but holding ourselves to a "higher" standard on NIL is just foolishness.

The way I saw it, Pasternack represented a path forward to succeed at a high level by working with certain donors to help push the envelope on NIL as other schools are doing. That path, and Pasternack as the embodiment of it, was flatly rejected by Knowlton.

Knowlton was most comfortable with Madsen's honesty, integrity and pledge to stick to the strictest interpretation of payment for "name, image and likeness." I think the approach is what will be limiting. Madsen will do a great job within the constraints we place upon him and he will not push to remove those constraints. Much like Troy Taylor at Stanford. I think it will limit our upside, but that will be more than good enough for the administration and good enough for most fans.

Cal8285
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calumnus said:

I think you hit on the biggest issue. There is no real way to distinguish NIL from pay to play, so if Cal is going to be successful in the NIL world, we need to play by the same rules everyone else is playing by. Setting a higher standard for ourselves in academics is one thing, but holding ourselves to a "higher" standard on NIL is just foolishness.

The way I saw it, Pasternack represented a path forward to succeed at a high level by working with certain donors to help push the envelope on NIL as other schools are doing. That path, and Pasternack as the embodiment of it, was flatly rejected by Knowlton.

Knowlton was most comfortable with Madsen's honesty, integrity and pledge to stick to the strictest interpretation of payment for "name, image and likeness." I think the approach is what will be limiting. Madsen will do a great job within the constraints we place upon him and he will not push to remove those constraints. Much like Troy Taylor at Stanford. I think it will limit our upside, but that will be more than good enough for the administration and good enough for most fans.


Madsen's words didn't say to me that SUBSTANTIVELY, Cal won't be in the "pay-to-play" market.

In THEORY, NIL is not pay-to-play. Whether at Cal or anywhere, however, the vast majority of players getting NIL money are, in substance, getting "pay-to-play" money, even if they need to do a "little" extra to get it. There are exceptions where it really isn't pay-to-play, the player is getting money he or she would get regardless of where he/she is going to school (like Mia Mastrov).

On the other hand, "providing opportunities for certain players to play at certain schools," as NIL collectives are doing, is substantively pay-to-play. We have a VERY weird world where in addition to fans buying tickets and watching AD supported TV, some of the fans are paying the "salaries" of players to play. Football is already clearly in it. Madsen is clearly advocating for Cal to be in it.

He can say it isn't "pay-to-play" because the payment technically won't be for play, but for most of the guys getting money from the collective, they are getting payments because they are playing for Cal. As Madsen talks about NIL, clearly he understands this reality, even if he wants to focus on technicalities and rule following that can allow him to say it isn't "pay-to-play."

SebastaBear and BearGreg have indicated that the Collective will be following the "rules," as vague as they might be. I get no sense of trying to "push the envelope" as the rules stand. It is more a matter of doing what the rules seem to allow.

SebastaBear and BearGreg can address this a million times better than I can, but so far, it seems that Knowlton (and Christ) are providing support for NIL within the rules. But while support helps, the money raising and creating what is substantively pay-to-play is technically outside of Knowlton and Christ, they can do nothing to stop it. If Madsen wants to say it isn't "pay-to-play," fine, because technically it isn't even if it really is, so Madsen can go out and use it within the rules. I suspect the Collective board wasn't worried about Madsen's words.

I don't know what Pasternack was advocating, and in the wild west of NIL, I'm not sure it is clear what "pushing the envelope" means. If any candidate was advocating "pushing the envelope" with Knowlton, then he wasn't reading the room very well. I don't think the donors ready to back Pasternack with NIL money were interested in "pushing the envelope" or believed there was any need to in order to get what Cal wants.

I wouldn't worry about Madsen's words, follow the actions, if they're the same as what is going on with football, you don't need to worry about Madsen and Knowlton, worry about how much basketball NIL money gets raised by the Collective.

annarborbear
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I think that instead of just endorsing Top Dog and Fenton's, our NIL payments will be attached also to an agreement to participate in worthwhile community activities. Don't see why that would be a problem, and is actually part of Madsen's plan to help players grow into useful lives.
southseasbear
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Cal8285 said:

calumnus said:

I think you hit on the biggest issue. There is no real way to distinguish NIL from pay to play, so if Cal is going to be successful in the NIL world, we need to play by the same rules everyone else is playing by. Setting a higher standard for ourselves in academics is one thing, but holding ourselves to a "higher" standard on NIL is just foolishness.

The way I saw it, Pasternack represented a path forward to succeed at a high level by working with certain donors to help push the envelope on NIL as other schools are doing. That path, and Pasternack as the embodiment of it, was flatly rejected by Knowlton.

Knowlton was most comfortable with Madsen's honesty, integrity and pledge to stick to the strictest interpretation of payment for "name, image and likeness." I think the approach is what will be limiting. Madsen will do a great job within the constraints we place upon him and he will not push to remove those constraints. Much like Troy Taylor at Stanford. I think it will limit our upside, but that will be more than good enough for the administration and good enough for most fans.


Madsen's words didn't say to me that SUBSTANTIVELY, Cal won't be in the "pay-to-play" market.

In THEORY, NIL is not pay-to-play. Whether at Cal or anywhere, however, the vast majority of players getting NIL money are, in substance, getting "pay-to-play" money, even if they need to do a "little" extra to get it. There are exceptions where it really isn't pay-to-play, the player is getting money he or she would get regardless of where he/she is going to school (like Mia Mastrov).

On the other hand, "providing opportunities for certain players to play at certain schools," as NIL collectives are doing, is substantively pay-to-play. We have a VERY weird world where in addition to fans buying tickets and watching AD supported TV, some of the fans are paying the "salaries" of players to play. Football is already clearly in it. Madsen is clearly advocating for Cal to be in it.

He can say it isn't "pay-to-play" because the payment technically won't be for play, but for most of the guys getting money from the collective, they are getting payments because they are playing for Cal. As Madsen talks about NIL, clearly he understands this reality, even if he wants to focus on technicalities and rule following that can allow him to say it isn't "pay-to-play."

SebastaBear and BearGreg have indicated that the Collective will be following the "rules," as vague as they might be. I get no sense of trying to "push the envelope" as the rules stand. It is more a matter of doing what the rules seem to allow.

SebastaBear and BearGreg can address this a million times better than I can, but so far, it seems that Knowlton (and Christ) are providing support for NIL within the rules. But while support helps, the money raising and creating what is substantively pay-to-play is technically outside of Knowlton and Christ, they can do nothing to stop it. If Madsen wants to say it isn't "pay-to-play," fine, because technically it isn't even if it really is, so Madsen can go out and use it within the rules. I suspect the Collective board wasn't worried about Madsen's words.

I don't know what Pasternack was advocating, and in the wild west of NIL, I'm not sure it is clear what "pushing the envelope" means. If any candidate was advocating "pushing the envelope" with Knowlton, then he wasn't reading the room very well. I don't think the donors ready to back Pasternack with NIL money were interested in "pushing the envelope" or believed there was any need to in order to get what Cal wants.

I wouldn't worry about Madsen's words, follow the actions, if they're the same as what is going on with football, you don't need to worry about Madsen and Knowlton, worry about how much basketball NIL money gets raised by the Collective.


Madsen is smart enough (even though he went to school on the wrong side of the Bay) to know he cannot go against the wishes of his bosses - at least for now, as they are both practically lame ducks. If he can turn the program around to respectability, he will have bought himself sufficient time to allow him him to be working under a new Chancellor and AD.
85Bear
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Kinda OT, but seeing the OP's subject of this thread made me realize an anagram of "March Madness" is "Madsen charms," which is exactly what he did on Monday. :-)
drizzlybear
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85Bear said:

Kinda OT, but seeing the OP's subject of this thread made me realize an anagram of "March Madness" is "Madsen charms," which is exactly what he did on Monday. :-)

Nice.
Cal8285
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southseasbear said:

Cal8285 said:

calumnus said:

I think you hit on the biggest issue. There is no real way to distinguish NIL from pay to play, so if Cal is going to be successful in the NIL world, we need to play by the same rules everyone else is playing by. Setting a higher standard for ourselves in academics is one thing, but holding ourselves to a "higher" standard on NIL is just foolishness.

The way I saw it, Pasternack represented a path forward to succeed at a high level by working with certain donors to help push the envelope on NIL as other schools are doing. That path, and Pasternack as the embodiment of it, was flatly rejected by Knowlton.

Knowlton was most comfortable with Madsen's honesty, integrity and pledge to stick to the strictest interpretation of payment for "name, image and likeness." I think the approach is what will be limiting. Madsen will do a great job within the constraints we place upon him and he will not push to remove those constraints. Much like Troy Taylor at Stanford. I think it will limit our upside, but that will be more than good enough for the administration and good enough for most fans.


Madsen's words didn't say to me that SUBSTANTIVELY, Cal won't be in the "pay-to-play" market.

In THEORY, NIL is not pay-to-play. Whether at Cal or anywhere, however, the vast majority of players getting NIL money are, in substance, getting "pay-to-play" money, even if they need to do a "little" extra to get it. There are exceptions where it really isn't pay-to-play, the player is getting money he or she would get regardless of where he/she is going to school (like Mia Mastrov).

On the other hand, "providing opportunities for certain players to play at certain schools," as NIL collectives are doing, is substantively pay-to-play. We have a VERY weird world where in addition to fans buying tickets and watching AD supported TV, some of the fans are paying the "salaries" of players to play. Football is already clearly in it. Madsen is clearly advocating for Cal to be in it.

He can say it isn't "pay-to-play" because the payment technically won't be for play, but for most of the guys getting money from the collective, they are getting payments because they are playing for Cal. As Madsen talks about NIL, clearly he understands this reality, even if he wants to focus on technicalities and rule following that can allow him to say it isn't "pay-to-play."

SebastaBear and BearGreg have indicated that the Collective will be following the "rules," as vague as they might be. I get no sense of trying to "push the envelope" as the rules stand. It is more a matter of doing what the rules seem to allow.

SebastaBear and BearGreg can address this a million times better than I can, but so far, it seems that Knowlton (and Christ) are providing support for NIL within the rules. But while support helps, the money raising and creating what is substantively pay-to-play is technically outside of Knowlton and Christ, they can do nothing to stop it. If Madsen wants to say it isn't "pay-to-play," fine, because technically it isn't even if it really is, so Madsen can go out and use it within the rules. I suspect the Collective board wasn't worried about Madsen's words.

I don't know what Pasternack was advocating, and in the wild west of NIL, I'm not sure it is clear what "pushing the envelope" means. If any candidate was advocating "pushing the envelope" with Knowlton, then he wasn't reading the room very well. I don't think the donors ready to back Pasternack with NIL money were interested in "pushing the envelope" or believed there was any need to in order to get what Cal wants.

I wouldn't worry about Madsen's words, follow the actions, if they're the same as what is going on with football, you don't need to worry about Madsen and Knowlton, worry about how much basketball NIL money gets raised by the Collective.


Madsen is smart enough (even though he went to school on the wrong side of the Bay) to know he cannot go against the wishes of his bosses - at least for now, as they are both practically lame ducks. If he can turn the program around to respectability, he will have bought himself sufficient time to allow him him to be working under a new Chancellor and AD.
From everything I can tell, the wishes of Madsen's bosses do NOT conflict with the wishes of the Collective board, and so long as the Collective gets the needed money. And "pay-to-play" violates the NCAA/NIL rules, after all, so the Collective and Cal and Madsen need to be sure that NIL at Cal is not technically pay-for-play.

Madsen will be doing the same as Wilcox when it comes to NIL, but Madsen just had an introductory press conference and wanted to address NIL. Since he was talking about it, he said, "By the way, we're not violating the rules," because technically at Cal it isn't, even if EVERY SCHOOL involved in NIL is violating the spirit of no pay-to-play. Wilcox might not have yet been in a situation where he feels the need to deny it is pay-for-play, but I guarantee you he won't be saying, "Oh yeah, it might technically not be pay-to-play under the rules, but substantively, everyone knows it is."

A Collective board member perhaps can acknowledge the odd reality of the situation on a premium message board, but administrators and coaches cannot. Meanwhile, nothing posted by those involved with the Collective has indicated the current Chancellor or AD are holding things back. I believe donors and administrators alike want to play by the "rules," and if the rules say that rake is legal, a shovel is not, but what looks to everyone like a shovel is, under the rules, a rake so long as the "shovel" is handled the right way, then I wouldn't worry if a coach says we're not using shovel but a rake.
calumnus
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Cal8285 said:

southseasbear said:

Cal8285 said:

calumnus said:

I think you hit on the biggest issue. There is no real way to distinguish NIL from pay to play, so if Cal is going to be successful in the NIL world, we need to play by the same rules everyone else is playing by. Setting a higher standard for ourselves in academics is one thing, but holding ourselves to a "higher" standard on NIL is just foolishness.

The way I saw it, Pasternack represented a path forward to succeed at a high level by working with certain donors to help push the envelope on NIL as other schools are doing. That path, and Pasternack as the embodiment of it, was flatly rejected by Knowlton.

Knowlton was most comfortable with Madsen's honesty, integrity and pledge to stick to the strictest interpretation of payment for "name, image and likeness." I think the approach is what will be limiting. Madsen will do a great job within the constraints we place upon him and he will not push to remove those constraints. Much like Troy Taylor at Stanford. I think it will limit our upside, but that will be more than good enough for the administration and good enough for most fans.


Madsen's words didn't say to me that SUBSTANTIVELY, Cal won't be in the "pay-to-play" market.

In THEORY, NIL is not pay-to-play. Whether at Cal or anywhere, however, the vast majority of players getting NIL money are, in substance, getting "pay-to-play" money, even if they need to do a "little" extra to get it. There are exceptions where it really isn't pay-to-play, the player is getting money he or she would get regardless of where he/she is going to school (like Mia Mastrov).

On the other hand, "providing opportunities for certain players to play at certain schools," as NIL collectives are doing, is substantively pay-to-play. We have a VERY weird world where in addition to fans buying tickets and watching AD supported TV, some of the fans are paying the "salaries" of players to play. Football is already clearly in it. Madsen is clearly advocating for Cal to be in it.

He can say it isn't "pay-to-play" because the payment technically won't be for play, but for most of the guys getting money from the collective, they are getting payments because they are playing for Cal. As Madsen talks about NIL, clearly he understands this reality, even if he wants to focus on technicalities and rule following that can allow him to say it isn't "pay-to-play."

SebastaBear and BearGreg have indicated that the Collective will be following the "rules," as vague as they might be. I get no sense of trying to "push the envelope" as the rules stand. It is more a matter of doing what the rules seem to allow.

SebastaBear and BearGreg can address this a million times better than I can, but so far, it seems that Knowlton (and Christ) are providing support for NIL within the rules. But while support helps, the money raising and creating what is substantively pay-to-play is technically outside of Knowlton and Christ, they can do nothing to stop it. If Madsen wants to say it isn't "pay-to-play," fine, because technically it isn't even if it really is, so Madsen can go out and use it within the rules. I suspect the Collective board wasn't worried about Madsen's words.

I don't know what Pasternack was advocating, and in the wild west of NIL, I'm not sure it is clear what "pushing the envelope" means. If any candidate was advocating "pushing the envelope" with Knowlton, then he wasn't reading the room very well. I don't think the donors ready to back Pasternack with NIL money were interested in "pushing the envelope" or believed there was any need to in order to get what Cal wants.

I wouldn't worry about Madsen's words, follow the actions, if they're the same as what is going on with football, you don't need to worry about Madsen and Knowlton, worry about how much basketball NIL money gets raised by the Collective.


Madsen is smart enough (even though he went to school on the wrong side of the Bay) to know he cannot go against the wishes of his bosses - at least for now, as they are both practically lame ducks. If he can turn the program around to respectability, he will have bought himself sufficient time to allow him him to be working under a new Chancellor and AD.
From everything I can tell, the wishes of Madsen's bosses do NOT conflict with the wishes of the Collective board, and so long as the Collective gets the needed money. And "pay-to-play" violates the NCAA/NIL rules, after all, so the Collective and Cal and Madsen need to be sure that NIL at Cal is not technically pay-for-play.

Madsen will be doing the same as Wilcox when it comes to NIL, but Madsen just had an introductory press conference and wanted to address NIL. Since he was talking about it, he said, "By the way, we're not violating the rules," because technically at Cal it isn't, even if EVERY SCHOOL involved in NIL is violating the spirit of no pay-to-play. Wilcox might not have yet been in a situation where he feels the need to deny it is pay-for-play, but I guarantee you he won't be saying, "Oh yeah, it might technically not be pay-to-play under the rules, but substantively, everyone knows it is."

A Collective board member perhaps can acknowledge the odd reality of the situation on a premium message board, but administrators and coaches cannot. Meanwhile, nothing posted by those involved with the Collective has indicated the current Chancellor or AD are holding things back. I believe donors and administrators alike want to play by the "rules," and if the rules say that rake is legal, a shovel is not, but what looks to everyone like a shovel is, under the rules, a rake so long as the "shovel" is handled the right way, then I wouldn't worry if a coach says we're not using shovel but a rake.


The California law authorizing payment for "name, image and likeness" was not only upheld by the US Supreme Court, the Court went much further, ruling that the antitrust laws fully apply to college athletics and there can be no restraint of trade. The NCAA only has <some> control over schools. At this point, schools are trying to stay in the "facilitating payment for NIL" arena. They do not want athletes to be employees.

However, there is no one to regulate or enforce booster NIL payments and determine if it is pay to play. Moreover, it could be against the law to do so.

The California Legends Collective was created after the California NIL law was passed and seems pretty determined to stay within the confines of payments for name, image and likeness. It is a good effort, Oski bless them for it.

Meanwhile, a BYU booster is openly paying walk-ons, Jayden Rashada gets promised a $1 million or something to go to Miami, it is basically pay to play all over the country.

The rumors on this board were that there are certain extremely wealthy Cal boosters who were prepared to directly back Pasternack with large amounts of NIL, likely outside of Cal Legends, that would no doubt have been pay to play. It would not be illegal, but it would violate the illusion of amateurism many are still trying to maintain. Knowlton rejected Pasternack and that scenario in favor of a candidate that will work within our self-imposed restraints.
CALiforniALUM
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Most of this reads like semantics. Are some saying that Blue Whale donors were going to take a different path than the NIL collective set up and promoted on this site? And that path was contingent on Pasternack being our coach?

Why aren't the Blue Whale donors not giving directly to the NIL collective at similar levels? Is it simply based on their interest to target the funds for a specific sport, player or something else?

As I wrote on a different thread I'm not likely to give much for NIL unless I can see that there is a critical mass of monies, mostly from Blue Whales. As a small giver my level of giving will never be enough by itself to make a difference, so I want to see that there is enough money on the table to do this right but that it includes multiple Blue Whales who I would hope would not be flimsy about their commitment overtime.

The fact that none of this is particularly clear to a laymen like me, gives me pause on its own.
calumnus
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CALiforniALUM said:

Most of this reads like semantics. Are some saying that Blue Whale donors were going to take a different path than the NIL collective set up and promoted on this site? And that path was contingent on Pasternack being our coach?

Why aren't the Blue Whale donors not giving directly to the NIL collective at similar levels? Is it simply based on their interest to target the funds for a specific sport, player or something else?

As I wrote on a different thread I'm not likely to give much for NIL unless I can see that there is a critical mass of monies, mostly from Blue Whales. As a small giver my level of giving will never be enough by itself to make a difference, so I want to see that there is enough money on the table to do this right but that it includes multiple Blue Whales who I would hope would not be flimsy about their commitment overtime.

The fact that none of this is particularly clear to a laymen like me, gives me pause on its own.


Here is the description of the collective:
https://bearinsider.com/s/3266/california-legends-nil-collective-launched/2

It is great, but note that it's founding principle is that it is done "the Cal way" and "in full compliance with NCAA rules." Mostly it creating a market to compensate players who are already enrolled at Cal and in return for services provided by the player that literally utilize their name, image and likeness, like video chats, autographs, appearances in TV commercials, etc. again, this is great.

However, the huge impact on the college landscape currently is using guaranteed "NIL" payments to recruit and at levels that are clearly "pay to play." While boosters making offers to players to sign with a school violates NCAA rules, the NCAA is not enforcing anything, and given the Supreme Court ruling, they cannot enforce anything, especially if the transaction is just between the boosters and the recruit. However, there has to be SOME coordination between the boosters and the coach so the boosters know which recruits to make offers to. However the coach's involvement has to be somewhat covert to avoid the NCAA's attention (even though they have done nothing in the revenue sports yet). It can easily be signaled through the recruiting services based on reported offers. Wink, wink conversations. Or more, just not publicly.

So the premise is that there were boosters who wanted Pasternack because with his cooperation, they would compete with the other top programs to offer big money to top recruits. This money would be in addition to anything they receive from the California Legends Collective, but it would be separate. Pay to play. It would be BIG payments to elite players instead of $150 million for a dedicated practice facility. And the premise is there were certain (named) extremely wealthy whale boosters with ties to Pasternack who were prepared to make this happen. Similarly, there were reportedly NBA and ex-NBA players prepared to back Amir Abdur-Rahim in a similar way.

So the idea is Knowlton rejected that 21st century strategy by rejecting Pasternack and Abdur-Rahim in favor of a coach that he trusts will play by the unenforced NCAA rules if he tells him to. We will do it "the right way" even if no one else does. We will fight "with honor" even if we lose. Importantly, that means civil engineer Knowlton can now push donors to give money to him for his $150 million practice facility in order for Cal to "be competitive." He can claim credit for those donations and that building, which he couldn't if the money went directly for a purchased 5 star PG. Typical for the US military where he spent his career, we will spend massive amounts of money to buy the weapons used to win the last century's wars.

This is nothing against Madsen who is a good person and a good coach.






stu
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calumnus said:

Typical for the US military where he spent his career, we will spend massive amounts of money to buy the weapons used to win the last century's wars.
Painful but true.
CALiforniALUM
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Thanks Calumnus for the explanation. I still don't understand the "high road" argument. The right way needs to make sure we are and stay relevant.


calumnus said:

CALiforniALUM said:

Most of this reads like semantics. Are some saying that Blue Whale donors were going to take a different path than the NIL collective set up and promoted on this site? And that path was contingent on Pasternack being our coach?

Why aren't the Blue Whale donors not giving directly to the NIL collective at similar levels? Is it simply based on their interest to target the funds for a specific sport, player or something else?

As I wrote on a different thread I'm not likely to give much for NIL unless I can see that there is a critical mass of monies, mostly from Blue Whales. As a small giver my level of giving will never be enough by itself to make a difference, so I want to see that there is enough money on the table to do this right but that it includes multiple Blue Whales who I would hope would not be flimsy about their commitment overtime.

The fact that none of this is particularly clear to a laymen like me, gives me pause on its own.


Here is the description of the collective:
https://bearinsider.com/s/3266/california-legends-nil-collective-launched/2

It is great, but note that it's founding principle is that it is done "the Cal way" and "in full compliance with NCAA rules." Mostly it creating a market to compensate players who are already enrolled at Cal and in return for services provided by the player that literally utilize their name, image and likeness, like video chats, autographs, appearances in TV commercials, etc. again, this is great.

However, the huge impact on the college landscape currently is using guaranteed "NIL" payments to recruit and at levels that are clearly "pay to play." While boosters making offers to players to sign with a school violates NCAA rules, the NCAA is not enforcing anything, and given the Supreme Court ruling, they cannot enforce anything, especially if the transaction is just between the boosters and the recruit. However, there has to be SOME coordination between the boosters and the coach so the boosters know which recruits to make offers to. However the coach's involvement has to be somewhat covert to avoid the NCAA's attention (even though they have done nothing in the revenue sports yet). It can easily be signaled through the recruiting services based on reported offers. Wink, wink conversations. Or more, just not publicly.

So the premise is that there were boosters who wanted Pasternack because with his cooperation, they would compete with the other top programs to offer big money to top recruits. This money would be in addition to anything they receive from the California Legends Collective, but it would be separate. Pay to play. It would be BIG payments to elite players instead of $150 million for a dedicated practice facility. And the premise is there were certain (named) extremely wealthy whale boosters with ties to Pasternack who were prepared to make this happen. Similarly, there were reportedly NBA and ex-NBA players prepared to back Amir Abdur-Rahim in a similar way.

So the idea is Knowlton rejected that 21st century strategy by rejecting Pasternack and Abdur-Rahim in favor of a coach that he trusts will play by the unenforced NCAA rules if he tells him to. We will do it "the right way" even if no one else does. We will fight "with honor" even if we lose. Importantly, that means civil engineer Knowlton can now push donors to give money to him for his $150 million practice facility in order for Cal to "be competitive." He can claim credit for those donations and that building, which he couldn't if the money went directly for a purchased 5 star PG. Typical for the US military where he spent his career, we will spend massive amounts of money to buy the weapons used to win the last century's wars.

This is nothing against Madsen who is a good person and a good coach.







dan1997
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calumnus said:

Cal8285 said:

southseasbear said:

Cal8285 said:

calumnus said:

I think you hit on the biggest issue. There is no real way to distinguish NIL from pay to play, so if Cal is going to be successful in the NIL world, we need to play by the same rules everyone else is playing by. Setting a higher standard for ourselves in academics is one thing, but holding ourselves to a "higher" standard on NIL is just foolishness.

The way I saw it, Pasternack represented a path forward to succeed at a high level by working with certain donors to help push the envelope on NIL as other schools are doing. That path, and Pasternack as the embodiment of it, was flatly rejected by Knowlton.

Knowlton was most comfortable with Madsen's honesty, integrity and pledge to stick to the strictest interpretation of payment for "name, image and likeness." I think the approach is what will be limiting. Madsen will do a great job within the constraints we place upon him and he will not push to remove those constraints. Much like Troy Taylor at Stanford. I think it will limit our upside, but that will be more than good enough for the administration and good enough for most fans.


Madsen's words didn't say to me that SUBSTANTIVELY, Cal won't be in the "pay-to-play" market.

In THEORY, NIL is not pay-to-play. Whether at Cal or anywhere, however, the vast majority of players getting NIL money are, in substance, getting "pay-to-play" money, even if they need to do a "little" extra to get it. There are exceptions where it really isn't pay-to-play, the player is getting money he or she would get regardless of where he/she is going to school (like Mia Mastrov).

On the other hand, "providing opportunities for certain players to play at certain schools," as NIL collectives are doing, is substantively pay-to-play. We have a VERY weird world where in addition to fans buying tickets and watching AD supported TV, some of the fans are paying the "salaries" of players to play. Football is already clearly in it. Madsen is clearly advocating for Cal to be in it.

He can say it isn't "pay-to-play" because the payment technically won't be for play, but for most of the guys getting money from the collective, they are getting payments because they are playing for Cal. As Madsen talks about NIL, clearly he understands this reality, even if he wants to focus on technicalities and rule following that can allow him to say it isn't "pay-to-play."

SebastaBear and BearGreg have indicated that the Collective will be following the "rules," as vague as they might be. I get no sense of trying to "push the envelope" as the rules stand. It is more a matter of doing what the rules seem to allow.

SebastaBear and BearGreg can address this a million times better than I can, but so far, it seems that Knowlton (and Christ) are providing support for NIL within the rules. But while support helps, the money raising and creating what is substantively pay-to-play is technically outside of Knowlton and Christ, they can do nothing to stop it. If Madsen wants to say it isn't "pay-to-play," fine, because technically it isn't even if it really is, so Madsen can go out and use it within the rules. I suspect the Collective board wasn't worried about Madsen's words.

I don't know what Pasternack was advocating, and in the wild west of NIL, I'm not sure it is clear what "pushing the envelope" means. If any candidate was advocating "pushing the envelope" with Knowlton, then he wasn't reading the room very well. I don't think the donors ready to back Pasternack with NIL money were interested in "pushing the envelope" or believed there was any need to in order to get what Cal wants.

I wouldn't worry about Madsen's words, follow the actions, if they're the same as what is going on with football, you don't need to worry about Madsen and Knowlton, worry about how much basketball NIL money gets raised by the Collective.


Madsen is smart enough (even though he went to school on the wrong side of the Bay) to know he cannot go against the wishes of his bosses - at least for now, as they are both practically lame ducks. If he can turn the program around to respectability, he will have bought himself sufficient time to allow him him to be working under a new Chancellor and AD.
From everything I can tell, the wishes of Madsen's bosses do NOT conflict with the wishes of the Collective board, and so long as the Collective gets the needed money. And "pay-to-play" violates the NCAA/NIL rules, after all, so the Collective and Cal and Madsen need to be sure that NIL at Cal is not technically pay-for-play.

Madsen will be doing the same as Wilcox when it comes to NIL, but Madsen just had an introductory press conference and wanted to address NIL. Since he was talking about it, he said, "By the way, we're not violating the rules," because technically at Cal it isn't, even if EVERY SCHOOL involved in NIL is violating the spirit of no pay-to-play. Wilcox might not have yet been in a situation where he feels the need to deny it is pay-for-play, but I guarantee you he won't be saying, "Oh yeah, it might technically not be pay-to-play under the rules, but substantively, everyone knows it is."

A Collective board member perhaps can acknowledge the odd reality of the situation on a premium message board, but administrators and coaches cannot. Meanwhile, nothing posted by those involved with the Collective has indicated the current Chancellor or AD are holding things back. I believe donors and administrators alike want to play by the "rules," and if the rules say that rake is legal, a shovel is not, but what looks to everyone like a shovel is, under the rules, a rake so long as the "shovel" is handled the right way, then I wouldn't worry if a coach says we're not using shovel but a rake.


The California law authorizing payment for "name, image and likeness" was not only upheld by the US Supreme Court, the Court went much further, ruling that the antitrust laws fully apply to college athletics and there can be no restraint of trade. The NCAA only has <some> control over schools. At this point, schools are trying to stay in the "facilitating payment for NIL" arena. They do not want athletes to be employees.

However, there is no one to regulate or enforce booster NIL payments and determine if it is pay to play. Moreover, it could be against the law to do so.

The California Legends Collective was created after the California NIL law was passed and seems pretty determined to stay within the confines of payments for name, image and likeness. It is a good effort, Oski bless them for it.

Meanwhile, a BYU booster is openly paying walk-ons, Jayden Rashada gets promised a $1 million or something to go to Miami, it is basically pay to play all over the country.

The rumors on this board were that there are certain extremely wealthy Cal boosters who were prepared to directly back Pasternack with large amounts of NIL, likely outside of Cal Legends, that would no doubt have been pay to play. It would not be illegal, but it would violate the illusion of amateurism many are still trying to maintain. Knowlton rejected Pasternack and that scenario in favor of a candidate that will work within our self-imposed restraints.
Do you have information regarding Pasternack that no one else does? Where do you come up with the idea that he would have done things against the rules? Your post is laughable.
calumnus
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dan1997 said:

calumnus said:

Cal8285 said:

southseasbear said:

Cal8285 said:

calumnus said:

I think you hit on the biggest issue. There is no real way to distinguish NIL from pay to play, so if Cal is going to be successful in the NIL world, we need to play by the same rules everyone else is playing by. Setting a higher standard for ourselves in academics is one thing, but holding ourselves to a "higher" standard on NIL is just foolishness.

The way I saw it, Pasternack represented a path forward to succeed at a high level by working with certain donors to help push the envelope on NIL as other schools are doing. That path, and Pasternack as the embodiment of it, was flatly rejected by Knowlton.

Knowlton was most comfortable with Madsen's honesty, integrity and pledge to stick to the strictest interpretation of payment for "name, image and likeness." I think the approach is what will be limiting. Madsen will do a great job within the constraints we place upon him and he will not push to remove those constraints. Much like Troy Taylor at Stanford. I think it will limit our upside, but that will be more than good enough for the administration and good enough for most fans.


Madsen's words didn't say to me that SUBSTANTIVELY, Cal won't be in the "pay-to-play" market.

In THEORY, NIL is not pay-to-play. Whether at Cal or anywhere, however, the vast majority of players getting NIL money are, in substance, getting "pay-to-play" money, even if they need to do a "little" extra to get it. There are exceptions where it really isn't pay-to-play, the player is getting money he or she would get regardless of where he/she is going to school (like Mia Mastrov).

On the other hand, "providing opportunities for certain players to play at certain schools," as NIL collectives are doing, is substantively pay-to-play. We have a VERY weird world where in addition to fans buying tickets and watching AD supported TV, some of the fans are paying the "salaries" of players to play. Football is already clearly in it. Madsen is clearly advocating for Cal to be in it.

He can say it isn't "pay-to-play" because the payment technically won't be for play, but for most of the guys getting money from the collective, they are getting payments because they are playing for Cal. As Madsen talks about NIL, clearly he understands this reality, even if he wants to focus on technicalities and rule following that can allow him to say it isn't "pay-to-play."

SebastaBear and BearGreg have indicated that the Collective will be following the "rules," as vague as they might be. I get no sense of trying to "push the envelope" as the rules stand. It is more a matter of doing what the rules seem to allow.

SebastaBear and BearGreg can address this a million times better than I can, but so far, it seems that Knowlton (and Christ) are providing support for NIL within the rules. But while support helps, the money raising and creating what is substantively pay-to-play is technically outside of Knowlton and Christ, they can do nothing to stop it. If Madsen wants to say it isn't "pay-to-play," fine, because technically it isn't even if it really is, so Madsen can go out and use it within the rules. I suspect the Collective board wasn't worried about Madsen's words.

I don't know what Pasternack was advocating, and in the wild west of NIL, I'm not sure it is clear what "pushing the envelope" means. If any candidate was advocating "pushing the envelope" with Knowlton, then he wasn't reading the room very well. I don't think the donors ready to back Pasternack with NIL money were interested in "pushing the envelope" or believed there was any need to in order to get what Cal wants.

I wouldn't worry about Madsen's words, follow the actions, if they're the same as what is going on with football, you don't need to worry about Madsen and Knowlton, worry about how much basketball NIL money gets raised by the Collective.


Madsen is smart enough (even though he went to school on the wrong side of the Bay) to know he cannot go against the wishes of his bosses - at least for now, as they are both practically lame ducks. If he can turn the program around to respectability, he will have bought himself sufficient time to allow him him to be working under a new Chancellor and AD.
From everything I can tell, the wishes of Madsen's bosses do NOT conflict with the wishes of the Collective board, and so long as the Collective gets the needed money. And "pay-to-play" violates the NCAA/NIL rules, after all, so the Collective and Cal and Madsen need to be sure that NIL at Cal is not technically pay-for-play.

Madsen will be doing the same as Wilcox when it comes to NIL, but Madsen just had an introductory press conference and wanted to address NIL. Since he was talking about it, he said, "By the way, we're not violating the rules," because technically at Cal it isn't, even if EVERY SCHOOL involved in NIL is violating the spirit of no pay-to-play. Wilcox might not have yet been in a situation where he feels the need to deny it is pay-for-play, but I guarantee you he won't be saying, "Oh yeah, it might technically not be pay-to-play under the rules, but substantively, everyone knows it is."

A Collective board member perhaps can acknowledge the odd reality of the situation on a premium message board, but administrators and coaches cannot. Meanwhile, nothing posted by those involved with the Collective has indicated the current Chancellor or AD are holding things back. I believe donors and administrators alike want to play by the "rules," and if the rules say that rake is legal, a shovel is not, but what looks to everyone like a shovel is, under the rules, a rake so long as the "shovel" is handled the right way, then I wouldn't worry if a coach says we're not using shovel but a rake.


The California law authorizing payment for "name, image and likeness" was not only upheld by the US Supreme Court, the Court went much further, ruling that the antitrust laws fully apply to college athletics and there can be no restraint of trade. The NCAA only has <some> control over schools. At this point, schools are trying to stay in the "facilitating payment for NIL" arena. They do not want athletes to be employees.

However, there is no one to regulate or enforce booster NIL payments and determine if it is pay to play. Moreover, it could be against the law to do so.

The California Legends Collective was created after the California NIL law was passed and seems pretty determined to stay within the confines of payments for name, image and likeness. It is a good effort, Oski bless them for it.

Meanwhile, a BYU booster is openly paying walk-ons, Jayden Rashada gets promised a $1 million or something to go to Miami, it is basically pay to play all over the country.

The rumors on this board were that there are certain extremely wealthy Cal boosters who were prepared to directly back Pasternack with large amounts of NIL, likely outside of Cal Legends, that would no doubt have been pay to play. It would not be illegal, but it would violate the illusion of amateurism many are still trying to maintain. Knowlton rejected Pasternack and that scenario in favor of a candidate that will work within our self-imposed restraints.
Do you have information regarding Pasternack that no one else does? Where do you come up with the idea that he would have done things against the rules? Your post is laughable.


1. My post clearly says "the rumor on this board." There are posters here who have shared that idea, even the names of the boosters that were allegedly involved and may have been involved themselves.

2. Read the opinions in the UNANIMOUS Supreme Court decision in NCAA v Alston. Kavanaugh especially. "Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate." Amateurism is dead. The Supreme Court is signaling players should share in TV revenues and be paid by the schools. In response the NCAA now allows NIL payments but cannot enforce limits on NIL without violating the antitrust laws. They have no way to prohibit pay to play without risking a more far reaching decision.

3. It is being reported that many players (especially in football) are being offered up to $8 million to attend a particular school. It is clearly pay to play, but the NCAA has no ability to enforce its rules. Coaches all over the country are clearly working with boosters to get recruits and it is backed by The US Supreme Court. Coaches avoid being overt, but the NCAA has not gone after anyone and really can't.

4. Would Pasternack want to do what most other coaches are doing and is protected activity by the highest court in the land? He was implicated by sworn testimony in an FBI investigation of Arizona's program that sent the guy working under him to prison. He and Miller were never charged. Sure, maybe he and Miller knew nothing about it. That was when play to play was against NCAA rules and covert schemes to pay it were illegal. Pay to play is essentially legal now. It is completely plausible that if he came to Cal he wanted to compete with the big boys using the same tools they are using and had the backing to do it.

6. The premise is only that Pasternack would want to do what every top program is legally doing and would not want to compete under a more restrictive adherence to "the spirit" of NCAA rules that still cling to a 19th century view of athletics and now illegal ideal of amateurism. An ideal Christ and Knowlton clearly still espouse.
dan1997
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Pasternack was not implicated of anything. He was never under investigation and in 3 separate reports (FBI, NCAA and Arizona) was not mentioned once.

Just because you want something to be true doesn't mean it is true.

calumnus
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dan1997 said:

Pasternack was not implicated of anything. He was never under investigation and in 3 separate reports (FBI, NCAA and Arizona) was not mentioned once.

Just because you want something to be true doesn't mean it is true.




Why would I "want" it to be true? I am just relaying what was reported:

https://keyt.com/news/2018/10/04/pasternacks-name-comes-up-in-testimony-during-federal-criminal-trial-involving-college-hoops/

I can link more of the same if you want.

Sure, neither head coach Sean Miller or associate head coach Joe Pasternack were ever charged. Joe left and Sean Miller was fired by Arizona. If you want to believe they had no idea what was going on be my guest, it is immaterial to what I wrote. College basketball operates under completely different rules now.

Again, the rumor on this board was that certain specific (named) very wealthy Cal boosters were going to back Pasternack with funds to get a great roster. Which again, is completely legal now. Again, don't attack me, that was the rumor and accepted wisdom, I did not make it up.

And again, what happened or didn't happen at Arizona is immaterial.

As for the plan if Pasternack csme to Cal, I only stated what we were told here. And if you were paying attention, I liked the idea of hiring Pasternack if in fact the rumor that he would receive substantial NIL backing was true. Again, it is a conditional, I never said it was true, I said my support for Joe was conditional upon it being true, which I have no way of knowing. Whether I "want" it to be true or not is immaterial.

I have very clearly indicated that what I shared was rumor. If you know what the facts are, why don't you just tell us what they are and how you know instead of resorting to ad hominem attacks?

I get that you are defending Joe, but I wasn't attacking him, I was attacking Knowlton, and stated the premises. Knowlton has made it clear he wants Cal to adhere to the most narrowly literal and restricted definition of NIL, while everyone else pushes the boundaries as has been made more than legal by the Supreme Court (in fact, it is trying to enforce restrictions on payments to players for their performance on the field that is now illegal).

Even if Joe was willing to live by Knowlton's restrictions (I wouldn't if I were him, maybe he walked and that is why he walked?) and said so, who do you think Knowlton would believe between the two? Madsen is not anything if not earnest and trustworthy. And it doesn't even matter what you or I believe about Pasternack and Madsen, only what Knowlton believes, because he was doing the hiring.
OzoneTheCat
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Man what I wouldn't give to see an auction item for a sit down and have a beer or beverage of choice with Madsen. If they happened to subscribe here 95% of concerns would be quashed.
calumnus
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