Archive - November 2017
- Column: The Hidden Finances Of Military Sports ProgramsNovember 30, 2017
If you want to know how much U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis earns, you can look it up ($207,800 annually). However, try to find out how much coaches at U.S. Military Academies make and you run into a steel curtain. Mattis’ salary – like any government expense - is a matter of public record. Athletic department budgets at our military academies are not. At first blush, the distinction seems inexplicable. Service academies are public institutions funded by taxpayers. Yet Army, Navy and Air Force athletic departments refused to divulge basic information - such as coaches’ salaries and contract terms - to USA Today. Why the secrecy? What it boils down to is the military academies don’t believe they are subject to public records law when it comes to athletic department budgets. Not everyone agrees.
- Column: Is Mark Cuban A Prophet?November 23, 2017
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban knows a thing or two about trends and investing, knowledge that made him successful in business. Now you might be able to add NFL prophet to his list of qualifications. Three years ago, Cuban predicted a decline in the NFL’s popularity, due primarily to an oversaturation of the product. NFL games were everywhere, Sunday afternoon on CBS and FOX, Sunday evening on ESPN, Monday night on NBC, and a Thursday night package shared among CBS, NBC and the NFL Network. The League also shows games from London on Sunday morning and will add Saturday night games next month. In addition, 11 of the 14 Thursday games are streamed on Amazon. And those are just the live games.
- Column: Cowboys' Owner Jerry Jones At War With NFLNovember 16, 2017
Forget the Russian probe. Jerry Jones versus the NFL – and Commissioner Roger Goodell – is the most interesting legal matter in the country. If you think the previous statement is a bit facetious, think again. Regardless of the outcome of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, it won’t have as great an impact on the average American as the outcome of the Jones-NFL feud. While Mueller may put a few greedy incompetents behind bars, and precipitate the resignation of a few more, like it or not Donald Trump will be our president until the 2020 election. Goodell only wishes he had Trump’s security.
- Column: Republican Tax Bill Targets SportsNovember 9, 2017
The long-awaited Republican tax plan unveiled last week contained proposals which would benefit some taxpayers and negatively impact others. The sports world is no exception. One provision specifically targets professional sports and another is aimed at college sports. A proposal to eliminate tax-exempt financing for sports facilities takes direct aim at the professional ranks. Even if it’s adopted, governmental entities could still pay for new sports facilities but they’re likely to cost more. Cities may be forced to seek alternative sources of revenue or reduce the size of facilities. Major League sports, considering their substantial resources, will be less affected than Minor League sports.
- Column: Baseball Managers Have Never Been More DisposableNovember 2, 2017
Baseball managers have never had much security, with the exception of Connie Mack who remained in the dugout for 53 years. Of course, Mack owned the team so he never had to worry about a pink slip from his boss. Managers are hired to be fired and they have never been more undervalued than they are today. The end of the 2017 season is a stark reminder of that. Examples of managers who were relieved of their duties include John Farrell, who was discarded by Boston after leading the Red Sox to three American League East titles and one World Series flag in five years. The Nationals decided to move on from Dusty Baker who led the team to back-to-back National League East titles. Farrell and Baker committed the same sin: Losing in the Division Series in successive years. Perhaps the best example of the lack of respect accorded a manager occurred in the Bronx, where the Yankees elected to replace Joe Girardi.