BILAS, BEASLEY SAY AMATEURISM RULES TO BLAME FOR CORRUPTION IN NCAA BASKETBALL

The FBI investigation that lead to the arrest of 10 people for bribery and corruption within NCAA basketball, has lead Jay Bilas, Michael Beasley and others to argue that the issues at the root of the problem are the NCAA amateurism rules that prevent college athletes from being paid. Bilas points out that coaches are not bribed to accept jobs, because a free market ensures they’re paid what they’re worth. Beasley notes that while he helped to put Kansas State on the map, watching the school increase enrollment following his time in Manhattan; he isn’t compensated for driving that growth. Those that argue in favor of the current amateur system believe full scholarships that include; a free education, medical care and stipends constitute payment.

Howie Long-Short: There is certainly an argument for repurposing the fiscal resources dedicated to keeping up in the facilities arms race (“lazy river” at UCF, flat screen locker displays at Texas, imported foosball tables at Oregon) as compensation for revenue generating athletes; but I tend to believe that a $200,000 scholarship and the opportunity to graduate without carrying student loan debt, is fair compensation for all but a handful college athletes. 

Fan Marino: Beasley makes the strongest case on behalf of college athletes. Those that sell jerseys and drive enrollment/endowment growth, should be monetarily compensated. Unfortunately, the thought process behind the balance of his comments is so flawed that it undermines the logical part of his argument. Beasley added that because the majority of college players fail to play professionally, they should be paid while in college. I fail to see how ones’ future earnings are relevant to the current exploitation they may be suffering from.      

The basketball world is convinced that the bribery scandal engulfing college basketball comes down to paying players

MLB OWNERS APPROVE SALE OF MARLINS TO SHERMAN/JETER GROUP

MLB owners unanimously approved sale of the Miami Marlins franchise, from Jeffrey Loria to an investment group led by Bruce Sherman (46%) and Derek Jeter (4%), for $1.2 billion ($800 million in cash, $400 million in debt). Sherman, a venture capitalist, will act as the controlling owner; Jeter will oversee baseball and business operations. The sale is expected to close within the next week.

Howie Long-Short: The Sherman/Jeter group plans on slashing payroll (from $115 million to as low as $55 million), lacks the liquid capital necessary to carry a large payroll in the future and has no front office experience. This deal was approved because there simply were no other viable ownership options for the Miami franchise. The only other bidder Jorge Mas, balked at paying $1.2 billion for a business that is losing $70 million this season.

Fan Marino: Jeter & Co. have already started with some high-profile payroll cuts. Last week the group fired special assistants Jeff Conine (Mr. Marlin), Jack McKeon (who lead team to 2003 World Series Championship), Andre Dawson and Tony Perez. Giancarlo Stanton, who leads MLB in Home Runs and slugging, is 2nd in RBIs, 3rd in WAR (wins above replacement) and 4th in OPS (on base + slugging) is going to be the next to go; if the team can find someone to take the 10 years and $295 million remaining on contract. Christian Yelich and Dee Gordon are also likely to be traded. Marlins fans have seen this story before, it will be their 4th fire sale in the franchises’ 25-year history.

Baseball owners approve sale of Marlins to Derek Jeter group

NIKE, HYUNDAI & BOSE BECOME FIRST NFL SPONSORS TO PUBLICLY SUPPORT THE PLAYERS’ RIGHT TO PROTEST

President Trump’s call for NFL owners to fire or suspend players that fail to stand for the national anthem, was met with a series of player statements on Sunday. Players across the league protesting racial injustice and police brutality; locked arms, took a knee or failed to come out entirely, for the singing of the national anthem. On Monday, Nike (NKE) became the first NFL sponsors to publicly side with the players, saying “Nike supports athletes and their right to freedom of expression on issues that are of great importance to our society.” Hyundai (HYMTF) followed that statement with one of their own saying “we stand for and respect individuals’ freedoms to express their First Amendment rights in any peaceful manner in which they choose. We also stand for inclusion, freedom and all that represents those values”. Bose wrapped up the day saying “we respect that freedom (to express your views), whether we agree with those views or not. The balance of the league’s sponsors have either remained quiet or taken a more “patriotic” position.

Howie Long-Short: The pro-Trump crowd is looking to force the league’s hand, calling for a boycott of the league’s sponsors. You can find the hashtags #BoycottNFLSponsors and #PunchThemInTheWallet on various social media platforms. Don’t expect the campaign to work. There has already been (and will continue to be) an outpouring of support for the players and their 1st amendment rights.

Fan Marino: Within the last week we’ve seen a devastating hurricane in PR, a deadly earthquake in Mexico, North Korea accuse the U.S. of waging war, the unveiling of new travel restrictions and leaked details of a tax reform package; but 45 is focused on the NFL. Frankly, the lack of compassion is offensive and his inability to focus on what’s important is detrimental to the American people. The leader of the free world should be paying attention to the big picture. The decision to stand (or not to) for a national anthem is simply irrelevant in the grand scheme.

NFL’s Sponsors Tiptoe Around Trump’s Latest Twitter Fight

OSU IS THE MOST VALUABLE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PROGRAM; SEC HAS 5 OF TOP 10 MOST VALUABLE TEAMS

The Ohio State University is the most valuable college football program, valued at $1.5 billion (up 59.6% YOY); according to a study by Ryan Brewer, an associate professor of finance at IU-PUC. Brewer analyzed teams as if they would be sold on the open market, as a professional franchise; using 2016 revenues and expenses, making cash-flow adjustments, risk assessments and growth projections. The Football Bowl Subdivision saw teams increase in value by an average of 26% (YOY), the result of increasing revenues (+19% YOY) and cash flow (+26% YOY). The SEC had 5 of the Top 10 most valuable teams and the highest average team value ($523 million).

Howie Long-Short: T-Boone Pickens has donated (i.e. given away) $500 million to Oklahoma State University. I know Oklahoma State’s program is worth more than $285 million on an open market. In fact, every single program on the list is; and I would think by at least 100%.

Fan Marino: OSU back-up QB Joe Burrow astutely pointed out that his team is worth $1.5 billion, yet he’s not being paid. He fails to mention his scholarship is worth at least $200,000, he’ll graduate with no debt and he’s been given the opportunity to receive an education from a school he may, or many cases may not, be otherwise qualified to attend. He’s welcome to go play professionally (and get paid) in Canada (CFL); but he won’t, because he’s got a better deal at Ohio State.

How Much Is Your College Football Team Worth?

FORBES: COWBOYS MOST VALUABLE NFL TEAM FOR 11TH STRAIGHT YEAR; JETS ONLY TEAM NOT TO SEE GROWTH

Forbes released its annual list of NFL team valuations and for the 11th straight year the Dallas Cowboys are on top, up 14% YOY ($4.8 billion). The Patriots, Giants, Redskins, 49ers and Rams also scored valuations north of $3 billion. On average, team values increased by 8% YOY (up to $2.5 billion), with the NYJ being the only team that did not see growth YOY. Valuations have skyrocketed over the last 5 years. In 2012, the Cowboys were the only team worth $2 billion; now all but 5 teams are, with the lowest valued team at $1.6 billion (Buffalo).

Howie Long-Short: Operating profits were on average a record $101 million/team last year, with every single team making at least $40 million; but somehow Forbes doesn’t think the Jets increased in value. It’s laughable to peg the team at just $2.75 million. NBA teams are now going for $2 billion+. The Jets/Giants each own 50% of a $1.2 billion stadium. If a NY based NFL team ever hit the market, the number would be closer to $4 billion than $3 billion.

Fan Marino: The Raiders are up 14% YOY (behind only ATL, DAL and N.O.), so from a fiscal perspective, the decision to announce the move to Las Vegas was the correct one. Then you see this, this, and this, and know the league should have done more to keep the team in Oakland.

The Dallas Cowboys Head The NFL’s Most Valuable Teams At $4.8 Billion

HOUSTON ROCKETS ARE UP FOR SALE; PRICE TAG COULD PUSH $2 BILLION

Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander has announced he intends on selling the franchise and it would not be a surprise to see the purchase price push $2 billion. There should be no shortage of interested bidders as NBA teams are cashing in. Forbes’ 2017 valuations project a median operating profit of $23 million/team. On the court, the team is set-up for a short-term run, having signed superstar James Harden to an extension and trading for all-star Chris Paul. Off the court, the Rockets are among the most popular NBA teams in Asia, making them attractive to potential buyers both domestically and abroad.

Why The Houston Rockets Will Become The NBA’s Next $2 Billion Franchise

Howie Long-Short: Alexander purchased the team in 1993 for $85 million. Forbes values it at $1.65 billion today. A return of 18x your initial investment, in 25 years, isn’t bad.

Fan Marino: I keep hearing the Harden extension sold as a reason to buy the franchise. Are the Harden lead Rockets, as currently constructed, beating Golden State? If the answer is no, why do you want to pay him $228 million over the next 6 years?

PROKHOROV NEGOTIATING ISLANDERS RETURN TO NASSAU COLISEUM FOR ’18-’19 SEASON

Barclays Center owner Mikhail Prokhorov is pressuring the Islanders to play a significant portion of their games during the 2018-2019 season at the Nassau Coliseum. Prokhorov, who also owns the Coliseum, is working to avoid defaulting on a contract signed by former owner Bruce Ratner, that guaranteed a professional hockey team would play at the recently renovated arena, in exchange for a contract to manage the facility. Negotiations are ongoing as the Barclays Center, which currently hosts the Islanders, is eager to get out the back-breaking deal that costs $55 million/year in guaranteed payments to the team, while the Islanders are looking for increased flexibility in the lease. The NHL has not announced if they would allow regular season games to be played at the Nassau Coliseum.

Prokhorov pressuring Islanders to play at Nassau Coliseum

Howie Long Short: When stadiums/arenas sit vacant, they lose money. It’s unfathomable to think that the Barclays Center is actually better off without the Islanders playing games there.

Fan Marino: The site lines at the Nassau Coliseum were among the best in the NHL. Fully supportive of this move.

HOW MUCH ARE CORPORATE BRANDS PAYING TO PLACE LOGO ON NBA JERSEYS? WHAT IS THE ROI?

Beginning next season, NBA teams will have the option to sell advertising space on their uniform. At least 12 teams have announced 3-year jersey sponsorship deals, ranging in value from $4 million to $8 million per year. While previously difficult to measure branding ROI, companies like IdenTV now enable brands to track their sponsorship efforts using facial and object recognition technology within live video. Logos on NBA jerseys are expected receive at least 2 billion+ impressions, across various media platforms, over the course of a season.

What Is The Value Of Jersey Sponsorship?

Howie Long-Short: This is still a rounding error for corporate sponsors’ ad budgets, but as a fan, I wonder how many years until these turn into soccer jerseys?

Fan Marino: How do you slap a corporate logo on the Celtics or Lakers jersey? Is there no sanctity left in sports?!?

LOI IN PLACE FOR THE SALE OF THE CAROLINA HURRICANES

An investment group lead by lawyer Chuck Greenberg has submitted a letter of intent to purchase the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. The group will keep the team in Raleigh. While the LOI is non-binding, negotiations are far enough along that attorneys for both sides are reviewing the terms. There is currently no timetable for the sale, but a deal could potentially be finalized prior to the October start of the season. Current owner Peter Karmanos has stated he believes he can sell the team for $450 to $500 million.

Hurricanes sales draft agreement goes to lawyers; Greenberg meets with Centennial Authority chairman

Howie Long-Short: As of November ’16, Forbes had the team’s enterprise value at $230 million. It is known that Greenberg’s group has struggled to raise money. I can’t see this deal closing anywhere near the $450 million Karmanos wants.

Fan Marino: Carolina is the least valuable NHL franchise. Uphill battle selling hockey in North Carolina, when UNC, Duke and N.C. State are playing hoops at the same time.

D.C. UNITED MAY BE FOR SALE; ENTERPRISE VALUE PUSHING $500 MILLION

The Washington, D.C. based United soccer club may be up for sale and if a deal goes through, it will be the most anyone has ever paid for an MLS franchise. With the new stadium and team debt included, the franchise has an enterprise value pushing $500 million. It’s been reported the team has reached out to several prominent D.C. based investors including, Redskins owner Dan Snyder and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, to gauge their interest. It is worth noting that league expansion fees continue to rise (currently at $150 million, expected to reach $200 million) and Forbes estimated last fall that the average MLS franchise value was up 18% from 2015.

Owners of D.C. United Soccer Team Are Said to Consider Selling

Howie Long-Short: $500 Million for an MLS franchise sounds like a lot, but it sounded like a lot when Joe Lacob & Peter Guber paid an NBA record $450 million for the Warriors, back in 2010. The franchise is worth $2.6 billion today.

Fan Marino: D.C. United is the Green Bay Packers of MLS. Early domination (4 championships in 10 years) and then nothing for what seems like an eternity.