This time of year is always busy with college basketball tournaments starting and baseball spring training, but this year is crazy!
LSU has made things very interesting in Lawrence, Kansas. It is quite ironic how the Jayhawks could get some players out of Louisiana, including Pooka Williams, but now it might be LSU getting the last laugh.
I have released several podcasts recently discussing the news coming out of Lawrence, Kansas, spring training, and so much more. I also have episodes previewing the Big 12 and SEC conference tournaments. If you don’t already listen to the podcasts, go to the website and click on “Account” in the menu at the top to get your podcasts.
1:30pm – CBB – Baylor vs Kansas State (ESPN/2)
5:30pm – CBB – Kansas vs Oklahoma (ESPN/2)
6:00pm – CBB – Missouri vs Georgia (SECN)
Kansas Fires AD Jeff Long
One day after Jeff Long met with the media to explain Les Miles’ firing, Long himself agreed to step down as athletic director. Was that the plan all along? I seriously doubt it. Long’s press conference on Tuesday was pretty uncomfortable, with reporters asking him questions about how he thought he could do better with the next hire than he did with Les Miles and how poorly all of his football hires have done on the field at all of his stops.
Ultimately, it comes down to the money people. If they were fine with Long getting to hire another football coach, Jeff Long would still be the athletic director. After all, Kansas is going to pay Long $125,000 every month through February 2022. But fans, and apparently the big money people, lost confidence in Long, so he had to go.
The last time Kansas had an open athletic director position and an open position in one of the two major revenue sports was when the school hired Bill Self in 2003. After Self was hired, the school hired athletic director Lew Perkins. You see, that’s how big the head basketball coach position is at Kansas. They got the basketball coach before the athletic director. Priorities.
It won’t be that way this time. Chancellor Girod has already said that the school will find the athletic director first this time. He hopes to have that job filled within the next 2-3 weeks. The new athletic director will then hire the football coach. So it could be a while before we know the next coach. Can the school hold on to its football players until then? Believe it or not, the talent level has improved under Les Miles.
Where does Kansas go for an athletic director? I think the idea of hiring somebody who they think can bring in a great football coach is a mistake. Kansas needs to find somebody who will be a great athletic director and then turn them loose on hiring a football coach. Build a strong foundation.
So would Kansas be better off hiring a football coach this spring or going with an interim coach through the next football season before hiring a coach after the 2021 campaign? I have heard people present both ideas today. I don’t think this is much of a decision. If you can get the coach you want, you hire him as soon as you can. Coaches interested in the job will take the job whenever it is offered. And searching for a coach now, while you are the only school with an open position, gives you the choice of any coach willing to leave his current job. If you wait until after the season, you compete with every other school with an opening, and Kansas loses almost every competition for a coach in that scenario.
And where should the Jayhawks look for its next coach? Do they go for a high-profile name, a successful head coach at a lower level, a Power 5 coordinator, or something else? Well, the approach of going for a high-profile name has failed twice recently, so that’s no way to go. Other than that, I say get the best football coach you can. And don’t worry about that person having ties to Kansas or finding someone you think will stick around a long time. Be willing to hire someone who will stay for just 2-3 and build the program to a point where it is easier to hire the next coach. If he stays for a long time, it’s a bonus.
Chiefs Get Compensatory Picks
The NFL released compensatory pick draft positions on Wednesday for teams losing players to free agency last offseason. The Chiefs received fourth-round and fifth-round picks for losing Kendall Fuller and Emmanuel Ogbah. These picks give the Chiefs eight draft picks. They will have two picks in the fourth and fifth rounds and no pick in the seventh round.
MLB Seating Capacities
The Colorado Rockies will be allowed to host fans at 43% of their stadium’s capacity to start the season. Then the Texas Rangers said, hold my beer, and announced that they would have 100% capacity for opening day. They said that they would rely on voluntary compliance with mask-wearing and keep a distance at concession stands. After opening day, the Rangers will reduce capacity somewhat as they plan to offer sections where people can be distanced. They don’t know at this time how many sections will be set up this way.
MLS Home Openers
Major League Soccer announced the home openers for each club for the 2021 season. The season will kick off on Friday, April 16, with Houston at San Jose. But we care about Sporting. Sporting opens its season at home on Saturday, April 17 at 1 pm on ESPN+. Sporting will open up Orlando City’s home schedule on Friday, April 23. That game will be shown on FS1.
NFL Salary Cap
The NFL salary cap is $182.5 million for the 2021 season. This is down from $198.2 million last season, but there were concerns it would be lower. Earlier in the offseason, Chiefs’ GM Brett Veach said that the team would be in good shape if the cap were anywhere between $180-$185 million. A few days ago, we learned that the lowest possible cap value was increased from $175 million to $180 million. The final figure came in just about the $180 million value.
NHL Television Deal
The NHL reached an agreement with ESPN on a seven-year contract that runs through the 2027-28 season. ESPN will show 100 exclusive games per season across its networks. Exclusive national games will be shown on ESPN+ and Hulu. There will be a lot of out-of-market games on ESPN+.
The XFL is Back! Well, Not Yet, But Soon
The XFL and CFL are discussing possibly working together in some manner. The XFL is putting its 2022 season on hold pending the talks. This feels like grade school.
Wilks shakes up roles, philosophy for Mizzou secondary (Dave Matter)
Can we determine which teams are best and worst at developing fastball velocity? (Eno Sarris and Brittany Ghiroli)
Thanks for reading…