Florida State privatizes its Athletic Department

Florida State Is Privatizing Its Athletic Department To Shield Itself From Scrutiny

The move will privatize FSU's athletics department—essentially giving it all the benefits of being both a private corporation, including shielding it from public scrutiny—while still operating on behalf of a taxpayer-funded institution. Florida State is expecting the changes to take effect by the fall.

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Florida State gets these new privileges without one big drawback that usually goes with them—the athletic department still will be subject to an immunity clause that limits any jury judgements or settlements to just $200,000. Anything higher would have to be approved by the state legislature, because it'd be paid by the taxpayers.

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Under this arrangement, not only would Florida State's athletic leadership not have to be transparent in the event of a scandal or tragedy—similar to the way Maryland was held accountable after the death of Jordan McNair—but there also would be an artificial cap on the judicial consequences for their actions.

The article notes that other schools, UF, UCF, Georgia, and Penn St have similar arrangements that make oversight increasingly more difficult as time passes. But nonetheless....

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Yep because Florida has some great "sunshine" laws (state level FOIA) very kind of agency at all levels works really hard at finding ways around them.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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The article notes that other schools, UF, UCF, Georgia, and Penn St have similar arrangements that make oversight increasingly more difficult as time passes.

Penn State has an arrangement to make oversight more difficult given their history?!?!?!

Privatized in more ways than one!

Stop kidding around and acting like a child

Recruit Prosim

Penn State had it long before their was an inkling of a problem.

Didn't help figure out there was a problem who who was involved.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

That makes the argument even stronger for why privatization of athletic departments is a horrible idea.

Not disagreeing with that in the least. Open books for a public organizations is normal for a reason.

Yeah this has come up a lot in discussions about the athletic department. Weird arrangement, I don't think it should be allowed at a public school

Private except for the day when students open up their bill and still see a mandatory athletics fee there. Just a guess.

That's different. Those fees are paid to the school. How the school then allocates it's money is on them.

so....why wouldn't we want VT to do this?

See FernleyHokie's post below. Sounds like a horrible idea.

Someone explain the benefits/drawbacks of doing this.

I mean the article kinda does that.

(add if applicable) /s

Benefits:
Keeps budgets, salaries, communications, punishments, etc (basically anything that would be under public disclosure laws) from being disclosed to public. They have control.

Drawbacks:
Not a lot honestly. The one big thing that a privitized athletic department could have larger liability issues with is what the Northwestern players tried to do becoming unionized and recognized as a labor force. Would be easier to prove as they are now essentially operating under a private company. But these structures are maintained as an umbrella management co. Essentially "hired" by the university to "manage" their Athletics, much like an EPC. Conceivably that would mean that a competitor could try to put in a bid to the State to take over that contract, but I think their would likely be protections written in at State level to prevent that.

Could they be sued for being a monopoly?

Recruit Prosim

No. I don't think so. They would have to control the majority of all Athletics departments in Florida at least to be in danger of that. But another group could certainly make a case against unfair business practices but they would have steep mountain to climb to prove they have skills and resources to do it. It would be hilarious to see like a UCF Athletics department try to take it over. Haha.. But even though it is an issue it's highly unlikely ever to happen.

From what I can tell, its probably in VT's best interests to go down this path as well. It protects and shields them if the NCAA comes crawling around, and if they are found to be in violation legally, it puts a low cap on the penalties that can be levied.

I mean, morally its sleezy as hell, but....

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

If it is even a little bit sleezy, I don't want any part of it and will stop Hokie Club donations if we go this route. For the most part, VT has a track record of high morals and I don't want that to end anytime soon.

"Pay no attention to man behind the curtain!"

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

Florida State gets these new privileges without one big drawback that usually goes with them—the athletic department still will be subject to an immunity clause that limits any jury judgements or settlements to just $200,000. Anything higher would have to be approved by the state legislature, because it'd be paid by the taxpayers. Obviously, that's not a perk a private corporation normally enjoys.

That minuscule limit came into play earlier this decade, to the benefit of UCF's athletic association, after Ereck Plancher collapsed and died during a football practice in 2008. In 2011, a jury awarded Plancher's family $10 million, but after the organization appealed all the way to the Florida Supreme Court, they didn't have to pay more than $200,000.

This is terrible that they are allowed to do this. From a pure business standpoint it makes sense, from a moral and ethical side this is very bad. Pretty much they only have to release what a court orders them to and then they can do anything they want because the fine is $200k in damages.

The NCAA should be looking at this but they are busy approving playing time waivers

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

What is a reasonable response for the NCAA? Not include private athletic departments. OK, if that happens, the ACC now has 7 public athletic departments Clemson, UofL, NCSU, GT, UNC, UVA, VT. (Not sure about Pitt, they could be set up like PSU or could move to that setup).

If you want something to happen, email your state legislature to get the same advantage.

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Let's be honest - the crab legs memes got to them, so this was their answer.

Why doesn't every school do this?
Why does the NCAA allow this?

I don't think every state will allow this

Recruit Prosim

Why does the NCAA allow this?

The NCAA can't tell you how to structure your athletic department, donor club, etc. That's way out of their jurisdiction.

Twitter me

Since when has the NCAA cared about their jurisdiction?

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Since they totally fucked up their handling of the Penn State/Sandusky fiasco.

Twitter me

They still managed to sit one of our basketball players for test scores they have no jurisdiction over.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

All entering freshman must go thru the clearing house, which is run by the NCAA. He wasn't cleared. They do have jurisdiction over that. They don't have jurisdiction over a lot of things, but that definitely is one of them.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Then there should be universal minimum admission standards that they use instead of trying to contrive if they should be accepted into the school or not.

Recruit Prosim

So basically they are going to subcontract out the football and basketball programs .
I don't think as time goes by this will be good although it is happening now just not officially
It will become apparent that they the subcontractors and their employees don't care about
the school . This is about lets go hire a contractor to give us a winning team but we the school
will not be liable for how they get it done other than to protect them from disclosure as much
as possible .

Coastal 1

Anyone here work for Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grunman, Booz Allen Hamilton? If you do, are you an employee that doesn't care about your work or your role to promote the federal government?

Trying to see if this comment has the legs to support this suggestion.

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This change moves college athletics another step closer to pro sports. There is already a great delusion among college fans that we have anything to do with the teams we root for. The players do not come to Virginia Tech for the same reasons that students do. Their experience at Virginia Tech is nothing like the experience of regular students. Player loyalty to the school will flip on a dime if a better business opportunity arises at another school. We have little in common, but we still love our sports teams as if we are intimately connected by our school. That connection is dashed every time it becomes obvious that I love Virginia Tech, much, much more than the coaches and players do. Now schools will contract out their sports management enterprise, including player recruitment. And even that contractor will occasionally be fired and replaced. Sure, it's all just a technicality to limit liability, but it further exposes the delusion of loyalty between student-athletes, the fans, and their schools. It's a lot more like rooting for the Redskins (also delusional).

That connection is dashed every time it becomes obvious that I love Virginia Tech, much, much more than the coaches and players do.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

It's a lot more like rooting for the Redskins (also delusional).

Truer words may never have been spoken.

All joking aside, you make some good points in this post.

Excellent post and I might add as more and more alumni , fans start to realize that these teams or contractors really don't Identify with the school and have little loyalty to the institutions it will turn off more and more of the support they seek for more money ect . I think people are starting to realize the reality of this . Buzz was a great example he came here bought his guys players coaches then left and took what he wanted with him . He had no
loyalty to VT he was running the Buzz basketball show and when he got a better offer he took his business to
another institution willing to pay more for the Buzz Williams basketball group . I think this is the way it is and don't think the fans support will stay there during the tough times like in the past . The reallity the Schools are paying for the NFL farm system and a bunch of people are making lots of money off of it . Players get a free education and the training to possibly get them to the next level where they can get a lot of money playing . The ugly truth is that I think the talent pool is or will start to shrink because of the injury cost ect .

Coastal 1

If it's privatized do they have an exclusivity clause or could other schools hire them? Are they a service provider? If they are private and under contract were there bids from multiple providers? Maybe we could take over their program. File a protest with the state.

#Let's Go - Hokies