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BSD Mailbag (5.18.22)

Mailbag is back!

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

“What do you see as the most important priority for the new AD?

I feel that it is locking Cael Sanderson up to a very long-term contract, but I admit I am a long time wrestling fan who is happier than a pig in shit right now about our wrestling program. The problem is I am a retiring teacher and not able to donate a lot of money.” --wvlion

I wouldn’t disagree that locking up Cael isn’t too far down the list. It is nice that every March I am able to look forward to a weekend where Penn State just flat out dominates.

Really, though, every single “priority” that one could argue (Beaver Stadium, increased football staff/facilities, NIL, etc.) all comes back to fundraising so it’s really about getting buy-in from the alumni. That includes some of the notable cash cows (Hi, Terry Pegula) but also figuring out how to take advantage of one of the largest alumni groups in the world. Penn State’s booster base might not be stocked with T. Boone Pickens, but if you met us Penn Staters, you realize how much the university and athletic programs mean to us. No reason there should be a major struggle when it comes to fundraising.

“It is an interesting time for PSU—new president and new AD. Where do you see the athletic department going with renovations to the stadium in the next 10 years?” --LarzLion

I have been of the opinion that Beaver Stadium should basically stay the same other than the normal upkeep (bathrooms, media box, etc.) The metal benches are fine, and I think the steel-frame-showing exterior is unique. It’s a football stadium, we don’t need exposed brick like it’s an apartment in the DUMBO. But that isn’t the way sports is going. I would expect the next stadium to have an “improved” fan experience — nicer general seating, increased luxury boxes/seating, and the capacity downsized to the 90k area.

“Also, which would be the worse result of NIL:

All the best players going to a few select “elite” teams (you know, like exactly how it works now...) or a couple weird “also rans” offering outlandish perks and suddenly becoming contenders?” --LocalYocal

I mean, I think NIL has largely been an unmitigated disaster. The NCAA kicked the can down the road when they knew this day would eventually come. Well, now it’s here and their response is a big fat shrug.

I don’t know if there is any way to properly know how NIL will impact the sport in the next 5-10 years, but it seems like it is opening things up a little bit for the “elite-of-the-elite” class at the top of the sport. Like you mentioned, for so long there hasn’t been much parity; it’s Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, and Clemson with another school or two breaking into the group (LSU) every so often. With NIL, it seems like the larger city schools — USC, Miami, Texas — have the upperhand and will break into that class shortly enough.

So to answer your question: NIL probably helps the ~top 20-25 schools become a little more competitive, but if you aren’t in that echelon, it is probably only making things worst.

“#TB12 gets $375/M for 10 yr deal with Fox after he’s done playing.

Anyone else find that insane or is it just me?” --mbailey71

Nope, that’s an outrageous number, though I actually do think he’ll be pretty good. I know it might be sacrilege, but I actually like Brady now that he left New England.

Big picture though, it’s really crazy to see what has happened with these networks and their NFL crews since Tony Romo got his payday. I do agree with the notion that commentators have the most impact on a football game compared to other sports, but I find it hilarious that these networks are turning over mountains to make sure they have a good broadcast crew, meanwhile for NBA we get Mark Jackson on ABC and Reggie Miller on TNT.

I’m not a business guy so what do I know, but it would take a lot for me to not watch a game because someone is or isn’t commentating it. But I’m just a schmuck blogger.