NCAA Throwball Championship Game: Clemson v. Alabama

There are a couple of ways to look at this game and if you’re as Throwballed out as I am after Wild Card Weekend (way to go Packers) or your sentimental favorite got blown out in the Semis (sorry State) I can understand why you bring to it the same attitude that I’ll be bringing to the State of the Union and the 2 Debates this week, namely that anything important that happens I can read about tomorrow.

I’m kind of puzzled by the fact that the Tide are 9 point favorites over the Tigers what with them having an undefeated season, but I attribute that to the prejudice of sports writers who think the SEC is all that and a bag of chips. Umm… no. The ACC is no cakewalk and did I mention undefeated?

The great strength of both teams is their defense, the Tide is ranked 4th and the Tigers 6th nationally but while the Tide has a Running Back (Derrick Henry) who, well, runs (2,061 yards in 359 carries for an average of 5.7 and 25 TDs), the Tigers have a dual threat Quarterback (Deshaun Watson) who runs (1,032 yards in 187 carries for an average of 5.5 with 12 TDs) AND PASSES! (303 completions and 12 INTs in 444 attempts for 68.2% and 3,699 yards, an average of 8.3 with 31 TDs).

It hardly seems fair when you consider he’s just a sophomore, but add to that the Tide’s QB Jake Corker has been decidedly vincible all season and the fact that the Tigers also have a Running Back (Wayne Gallman) and a Wide Receiver (Artavis Scott) and it appears rather lopsided, but not in the way most people are predicting.

It’s not that I’m rooting for the Tigers, just that it’s always a pleasure to see the Tide get their asses kicked.

So that’s one way to look at it. Another way is this-

Everyone Is Set To Cash In On The National Championship Game, Except The Athletes Playing In It
by Lindsay Gibbs, Think Progress
Jan 11, 2016 5:07 pm

On Monday night, top-ranked Clemson will take on Alabama in the NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship Game. If history is any indication, the game will attract a sizable audience: Last year’s championship game on ESPN drew 33.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched program in cable history.

As always, the match-up will feature coaches and executives who are rolling in riches alongside athletes, those who are risking their physical and mental well-being on the field, who are paid nothing at all.

It’s nothing new that NCAA amateurism takes advantage of the so-called student-athletes, but the inception of the College Football Playoff (CFP) last year — and the $7.3 billion, 12-year contract ESPN agreed to for the rights to air the games — has made the scheme’s stench worse than ever.

Here are a few of the most notable statistics:

  • Last year, bowl games paid out over $500 million to schools and conferences.
  • Power Five conferences each get paid $51 million in revenue from the CFP, and an additional $6 million if one of their teams makes it to the playoff semifinals.
  • ESPN is charging $1.3 million for 30 seconds of ad space for the championship game on Monday night.
  • The NCAA made nearly $1 billion in 2014, including an $80.5 million surplus.
  • Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban made a $7.1 million base salary this year. He has already earned $425,000 in achievement bonuses this season, and will earn $100,000 more if Alabama wins on Monday night. His assistant coaches made a total of $5.2 million this year, and as of the 2013-14 season, his support staff made $2.66 million.
  • Clemson’s head coach Dabo Swinney made a comparably meager $3.3 million base salary this year, but he has already earned $875,000 in bonus money, with another $100,000 possible if Clemson wins. His assistant coaches made $4.4 million this season, while his support staff made $2.48 million.
  • Only 1.6 percent of college football players make it to the NFL.

But you know, it’s really much worse than that-

College sports exploits unpaid black athletes. But they could force a change.
By Donald H. Yee, Washington Post
January 8

(W)e need to stop ignoring the racial implications of the NCAA’s hypocrisy.

After all, who is actually earning the billions of dollars flooding universities, athletic conferences, TV networks and their sponsors? To a large extent, it’s young black men, who are heavily overrepresented in football and men’s basketball, the two sports that bring in virtually all the revenue in college athletics. A 2013 study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education found that 57 percent of the football players and 64 percent of the men’s basketball players in the six biggest conferences were black; at the same schools, black men made up less than 3 percent of the overall student population. (In recent NFL drafts, five times as many black players were taken in the first two rounds, where the perceived best players are picked, as white players.) Athletics administrators and coaches, meanwhile, are overwhelmingly white.

So by refusing to pay athletes, the NCAA isn’t just perpetuating a financial injustice. It’s also committing a racial one.

The bargain the NCAA makes with football and basketball players is fairly simple: You play games, entertain fans and make us money, and we’ll give you a scholarship, experience, training and exposure you need to make it to the pros.

It’s hard to imagine that football and basketball would be as wildly popular as they are now if they had never integrated. Or, for that matter, as lucrative. The amount of money generated by football and basketball in the “Power Five” conferences (the Pac-12, SEC, ACC, Big Ten and Big 12) has exploded in the past half-dozen years.

This enormous flow of cash is carefully kept away from football and basketball players, but coaches, administrators and other staff members get to bathe in it, even though many big-time athletic departments still lose money overall.

And for the most part, the people getting paid are white. Since 1951, when its first top executive was appointed, the head of the NCAA always has been a white man. Of the Power Five conferences, none — dating back to the 1920s — has ever had a nonwhite commissioner. A 2015 study by the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport found that 86.7 percent of all athletic directors in the NCAA were white.

The demographics of head football and basketball coaches are similar. At the start of this college football season, 87.5 percent of head football coaches in the Football Bowl Subdivision were white. In the 2013-14 season, 76 percent of head basketball coaches in Division I were white.

The money generated by football and men’s basketball also goes to subsidize “non-revenue” sports such as soccer, equestrian, field hockey, rowing, swimming, gymnastics and golf. Virtually all of those programs lose money, and most of the men and women playing those sports are white. But at least the subsidies are allowing other athletes to compete at a high level, not funding lavish salaries for executives.

Why is this business model — unpaid labor, mostly by black athletes, generating riches for white administrators — still tolerated?

Instead, the NCAA’s member schools are moving to distract them. The Post recently reported that Clemson’s new football facility will have a miniature-golf course, a sand volleyball pit and laser tag, as well as a barber shop, a movie theater and bowling lanes. The University of Oregon had so much money to spend on its football facility that it resorted to sourcing exotic building materials from all over the world.

For talented football and basketball players, the NCAA’s bargain is increasingly a bad deal: They are making enormous sums of money for everyone but themselves.

Yes, the scholarships received by football and basketball players provide an economic benefit. However, they come with onerous restrictions and no promise of an education. The 2013 Penn study found that black male student athletes graduated at lower rates than other black men at 72 percent of institutions with big-time football and basketball programs — and lower than other undergraduates overall at 97 percent of them.

At many schools, football and basketball players are forced into contrived majors in which they have no interest. Take a look at the football and basketball rosters of most Power Five schools, and you’ll find two or three majors that seem unusually popular among athletes — often interdisciplinary programs that make it easier for academic advisers to pick classes for athletes that fit the team’s schedule. Players are also often dissuaded from taking classes they’d prefer. One of my former clients, a fine student, once expressed interest in a class that happened to conflict — in an insignificant way — with a football matter. He was strongly discouraged from taking the class, and since coaches control playing time and scholarships, he didn’t want to risk angering them, so he didn’t enroll in it. If athletes want to transfer, NCAA rules often punish them by prohibiting their participation in their chosen sport for one year.

The few players who go on to NFL or NBA careers give up years of potential earnings to play for free in college, risking injury in the process. Most athletes, of course, don’t make it to the pros.

No other large-scale commercial enterprise in the United States treats its performers and labor this way.

Paying players would cost money, of course, but with billions in TV revenue coming in, it shouldn’t be impossible to find a way to spend some of it on labor instead of on exotic woods for new training facilities.

Personally I think Big Time Throwball programs should operate under strict budgetary caps especially for coaches and administrators. Basketball too, though the programs are not nearly as large or expensive. Fifty percent of the excess revenue should be divided into equal stipends for all team members (no stars) and the other 50 invested in less popular programs like, yes, Field Hockey.

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  1. Vent Hole

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Clemson in orange; Alabama in white

  2. Tide ball from their 20

  3. Tide from their 36

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    Alabama: 1st down @ own 44

  4. Tide from their 45

  5. Tigers from their 9

  6. Tigers from the 20

  7. Tigers from the 31

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Clemson: 4th down. punts\\

    Alabama’s ball @ own 29

  8. Tide from their 41

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Alabama: Touch Down

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Alabama7 – Clemson 0

  9. TD. Tide 7 – 0

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Clemson 1 st & 10 @ own 47

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Pass interference automatic 1st down @ Alabama 43

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Clemson 1st & 10 @ Alabama31

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Clemson Touch Down

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Clemson 7 – Alabama 7

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Alabama: 1st & 10 @ own 40

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Alabama: 1st & 10 @ Clemson’s 39

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Alabama: 4th down

    FG is no good

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Kick off to Clemson. 1st & 10 @ own 38

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Clemson: 1st & 10 @ Alabama 30

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Clemson: 1st & 10 @ Alabama 11

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Clemson: Touch Down

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Clemson 14 – Alabama 7

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Kick off to Alabama

    1st & 10 @ own 25

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Alabama: 1st & 10 @ Clemson 46

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Alabama: 4th down.

    Clemson’s ball 1st & 10 @ own 17

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Intercept by Alabama

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Alabama 1st & 10 @ Clemson 42

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Penalty: person foul defense. 1st down Alabama @ 12

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Alabama: !st & goal @ 1

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Alabama: Touch Down

    Celmson 14 – Alabama 24

      • BobbyK on January 11, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      Hold on let’s not get ahead of things.

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Kick off to Clemson touchback

    Clemson 1st & 10 @ own 25

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Clemson: 4th down punts

    Alabama’s ball @ own 10

    • BobbyK on January 11, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    So are we rooting for the underdog or just whom ever has the ball?

    • BobbyK on January 11, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    So we’re not necessarily rooting for the tigers, just against the tide.

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Alabama: 1st & 10 @ own 22

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Alabama 4th down; punts

    Clemson’s ball @ own 18

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Clemson 1st & 10 @ own 29

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Clemson 1st & 10 @ own 43

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Clemson penalized -5 yards.

    Clemson 1st & 15 @ own 38

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    Clemson: 4th down punts

    Alabama’s ball @ own 24

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Clemson: 4th down punts

    Alabama’s 4th down; punts to Clemson nearing the end of the first half

    Clemson’s ball @ own 34

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Clemson: 1st & 10 @ Alabama 40

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Clemson: 1st & 10 @ Alabama 28

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Clemson: FG for the lead no good

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Halftime

    • BobbyK on January 11, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Fitting that I’m having orange jello for my late night snack.

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Clemson ball at the start of the 2nd half

    1st & 10 @ own 25

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Clemson: 4th dwon punts

    Alabama’s ball @ own 36

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Alabama: !st dwin @ 47

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Alabama Touch Down

    Alabama 21 – Clemson 14

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Alabama kicks off to Clemson

    Clemson’s ball @ own 25

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    Clemson: 1st & 10 @ own 38

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Clemson: 1st down @ Alabama 40

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Flag on defense automatic 1st down @ Alabama 21

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Clemson: incomplet pass in the end zone 4th down

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Clemson FG is good

    Alabama 21 – Clemson 17

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Clemson kicks off the Alabama 1at & 10 @ own 26

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Flag holding offense

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Alabama: another flag offense 4th down

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Alabama punts

    Clemson 1st & 10 @ own 27

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Clemson: 1st & 10 @ Alabama 41

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    Clemson: 1st & 10 @ Alabama 29

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    Flag false stgart offense 5 yd penalty

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Clemson: 1st @ 10 @ 18

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    Clemson: 1st & goal @ 6

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    My biggest complaint about the ESPN talking head is that aren’t telling wher the ball is on the field after a play.
    It’s damned annoying

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Clemson: Touch down takes the lead

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Clemson 24 – Alabama 21

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Clemson kicks to Alabama: 1st & 10 @ 17

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Alabama: 1st & 10 @ own 35

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Alabama: 4th down punts to Clemson.

    Clemson: 1st & 10 @ own 42

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    Alabama: 4th down punts to Clemson.

    Clemson: 1st & 10 @ Alabama 47

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Clemson: 4th down 57 yd punt to Alabama

    • BobbyK on January 11, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Good punt.

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Alabama: 1st & 10 @ own 5

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    End of 3rd quarter

    Clemson 24 – Alabama 21

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Alabama: 4th down punts from near their end zone

    Clemson: 1st & 10 @ 50

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    Clemson: 1st & 10 @ AL 49

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Clemson: 4th down on an incomplete pass

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Alabama’s ball from the 0 yd line

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    Alabama: 1st & 10 @ own 45

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Alabama: 1st & 10 @ Clemson 18

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Alabama: 4th down FG attempt is good

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Clemson 24 – Alabama 24

    • BobbyK on January 11, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Ugh.

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Alabama off side kick and Alabama has the ball back

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Alabama 1st & 10 @ 50

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Alabama: Touchdown to reclaim the lead

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Alabama 31 – Clemson 24

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    Alabama again will kick to Clemson. Let’s see if they pull the same stunt

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    Clemson’s ball at their own 25

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Clemson’: !st & 10 @ own 49 yd

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Clemson’: !st & 10 @ Alabama 17

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    Clemson’: 4th down FG attempt is good

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Alabama 31 – Clemson 27

    • BobbyK on January 11, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Tigers keeping it close.

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    Alabama touch down from their own 5 yd line. Under review

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Alabama 38 – Clemson 27

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    Clemson: 1st & 10 at own 25

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    Clemson: 1st & 10 at own 43

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Clemson: 1st & 10 at Alabama 24

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    Clemson: 1st & 10 at Alabama 19

    • BobbyK on January 11, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    If they get a field goal it’s within the spread.

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Clemson: Touch Down !!!

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Two point conversion failed

    Alabama 38 – Clemson 33

    • TMC on January 11, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    Alabama: 1st down at their own 25 after the kick

    • TMC on January 12, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Alabama: 1st & 10 @ Clemson 14

    • TMC on January 12, 2016 at 12:04 am

    Alabama: 1st & goal

    • TMC on January 12, 2016 at 12:10 am

    Alabama touch down

    Alabama 45 – Clemson 33

    • TMC on January 12, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Clemson has the ball at their own 32

    • TMC on January 12, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Clemson: 1st & 10 @ Al 34

    • TMC on January 12, 2016 at 12:15 am

    Clemson Touch Down with 12 sec left in the game

    • TMC on January 12, 2016 at 12:16 am

    Alabama 45 – Clemson 40

    • TMC on January 12, 2016 at 12:18 am

    Final; Alabama 45 – Clemson 40

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