New NCAA Player Eligibility: Is this FAIR to the Pac-12?

Jon Joseph Editorials 32 Comments

The NCAA has announced that the 2020 season will not count against any student-athlete’s four years to play five, eligibility. Let’s think about the consequences for the B1G and the Pac-12?

Student-athletes, no matter their current season of eligibility, will be allowed to play in every game without burning a red-shirt year. Seniors and red-shirt seniors will get to play another year if they so desire.

So, a 5-Star player like Justin Flowe, could play for Bama this season and it would not count against his eligibility. Coach Lane Kiffin has already suggested that B1G and Pac-12 players might enjoy the environs of Oxford, Mississippi.

YouTube Video

Lane Kiffin would welcome players that “Flowe” to the SEC…

Every single commissioner and the Notre Dame AD agreed to the following: No students on campus = No fall sports.

In the time since these gentlemen so agreed, COVID cases have increased coast to coast. In the majority of the United States, non-essential business continue to be shut down. This is also the case with the majority of the country’s public schools. North Carolina sent its student body home; “not you student-athletes, you stay on campus.” This is also the case at LSU. Notre Dame sent its student’s home for two weeks, yet the football team remains on campus and continues to practice?

So, these commissioners lied to the VP and fellow commissioners, play on and get rewarded by the NCAA? How afraid is the NCAA of losing more money and having to tighten the belt, if the college basketball tournament is called off two years in a row?

My dear Duck friends, this Emperor not only has no clothes, it has no shame. The next time I hear anyone from the NCAA talk about student-athletes, I’m going to barf.

The NCAA’s relief for schools that have postponed the 2020 season? 

“Your student-athletes are allowed to practice 12 hours a week.”

Seem fair to you? Perhaps I should I have asked: seem fair to y’all?

Jon Joseph
Aiken, South Carolina
Top Photo by Tom Corno

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Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Announcement: FishDuck is back to SEVEN DAYS a WEEK!

My friends, with the upcoming Oregon Sports Desert, (because I do not think we are having any sports until fall of 2021) the logical move was to reduce our articles down to the previously announced plan of four a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

But I just could not handle having nothing on those three days when there are topics to discuss with the good people of this community.

So I went to the writers and asked if each of them could contribute their share to “Ponder-Point” articles on those previously mentioned three days a week, and ALL AGREED!

That is why we have a regular article yesterday by Jon Joseph, and a shorter “Ponder-Point” also from him today. I am grateful to Jon and all the writers of FishDuck, as we will have items to ponder and discuss every single day now.

And I love our photographers; that photo of Jaylon Redd at the top a moment before he scored on the Huskies is incredible….

(Some have asked why I have so many top featured photos of the game in Seattle, and I answer, “Beating the Huskies NEVER gets old!”)


Not good for the Big 10 and Pac 12 if players transfer out like Colin Schooler at Arizona. It’s good for the players. This benefits a guy like Tyler Shough immensely.


Safe and prudent are eye of the beholder words. Yet in many of these FishDuck comment sections they are used regularly to imply they are Generally Recognized, Common Sense, or meet some other quantifiable or legal test, other than being simply supportive of the author’s opinion.

There’s plenty of global data on Covid19 morbidity and mortality that could be used to make a case that the conferences that go ahead with sports may do just fine, and more is coming out every day. DenverDuck07 started out with that, and has been countered by concerns of ‘student safety’ or the ability of college age kids to make appropriate decisions about their own health.

I think that the kids are just as smart, informed, and willful as my peers were at that age. Many are aware that for them, there is statistically minimal risk of a negative health event, and just wish the stupid adults would get out of their way. Others feel that anything greater that zero risk is intolerable, while accepting far greater risks for innumerable other aspects of their lives. Plenty are just riding it out.

Administrative actions are the products of the cultural echo chambers in which they operate. While more complex that a simple Blue/Red split, we all have some sense of those differences. After the fact accountability will be assigned or rationalized in the usual manner.

Will it be an extinction event for all college athletics, Cro-Magnons taking out the Neanderthals, or over-rated Weather Channel squall? My money is on Door number 2.


There’s a total different mindset in SEC country. Just look at what states are trying to resume business the fastest. The west coast is still playing the safe card while most of the south and north are trying to get back to normal. It’s Blue states vs Red states IMO. The same ideology doesn’t exist in the two regions. Football is king in the SEC, B10, B12. Out here it’s hit or miss. How many P12 stadiums don’t sell out every game?

I think the P12 is going to look foolish come December. Were they right to halt the season? I don’t think so. The NCAA says no students on campus = no athletes on campus. To me that’s outdated in today’s money grab world. Schools need funding to be competitive and the South see’s that. Once again the P12 will be left behind and the South will still be looked upon as even more superior. I think the P12 should’ve tried for a season and if they failed then so be it. Better to have tried and failed than to not have tried at all.

When was the NCAA rule put in place? My guess is long before we had PC where off campus learning could be achieved. Time to separate the student athlete from the non student athlete and allow them to be their own entity. Student athletes bring in the money that allows the non student athlete to have the opportunities they have.


One of the arguments against playing fall football was the liability and the fear of being sued out of existence by players getting the virus. I’m not sure if the South has fewer lawyers than the West but I wonder if the same lawsuits could be filed if someone claims to have gotten the virus going into a Walmart, or maybe from their place of work. I have read articles of workers at the Tesla factory in Calif getting the virus but I haven’t heard of any lawsuits yet from anyone getting the virus claiming it was received from a specific place.

I think your right about the Blue States vs Red States

Another argument against playing fall football is, “whats best for the students” and this is the one that I subscribe to.

Don’t forget that the decision, by the Pac-12 to not play came during a time of significantly rising case levels and we as a country had to do something to get it under control. The West schools took the stand to “stay home” and the South schools took the stand to “let someone else do something about it”.


The “Pac-12 Hotline” by Jon Wilner:

So we wonder: Did the presidents move too soon?
Absolutely not, and quite possibly yes.


Navigating the COVID waters without a compass. The decision to postpone/cancel sports this fall was predictable. With that decision made, I wonder what has to happen to resume sports/work? The virus is here to stay. A vaccine may, or may not work.

There are varying opinions on this pandemic. Mine is my own, but I think letting “big brother” cancel sports/work beyond this fall will not be accepted by the masses.


Jon, that’s just the thing, they ARE student-athletes…or are supposed to be (refer back to my athlete-students comment several articles ago). I know, I know, the argument can be made that the schools/conferences are making bank off of these students, but it’s not like the students don’t know that going in and sign anyway.

Here’s another way to look at it, in the whole world of is it fair or not; firefighters. Yes, everyone’s favorite public servants, but how many of you know that roughly 80% of all fire departments across this country are volunteer? Yes, that means that for a vast majority of people, likely a lot on this site, when they call 911 the people who show up aren’t making a dime, but they’re literally putting their lives at risk.

So what’s the relation you ask? They both knew it going in that all they’re going to get out of it is free training and/or education, but run the risk of a lifetime of injuries, or worse. Sure, I have no doubt that most would like to see a paycheck out of it, but they don’t stop, because they love doing what they do, paycheck be damned.


Jon, as I see it, your case for the NCAA being hypocritical is exactly how I see the COVID argument at large being waged. Those that, on balance, weigh physical health as the most important factor want to close everything down. Those that see the emotional health and financial stability as most important to us want to open it all up. Virologists want to close it all down. Psychologists want it open.

A physician once told me that they (the profession in general) see the world and make decisions based upon their specific, professional POV. When I had cancer, the oncologist wanted to treat with powerful drugs. The surgeon wanted to physically remove the tumor. The oncology radiologist wanted to use radiation to zap the thing. (The physician called it “poison, slash, and burn”. It would have been humorous if my situation wasn’t so dire.) Decision making usually is that easy. POV=decision.

Personally, I don’t want others making more decisions for my actions…for my life. Give me the information, I’ll choose. Can 18-22 year olds choose wisely? You make the case that no, they can’t. Okay. Maybe. But should the medical staff make the sports choices for them? Or should their parents? Or the NCAA? Or the government?

Jon Sousa

“What I do not understand is how the leaders of certain institutions that welcomed students back on campus and then sent them home due to the number of students testing positive, can justify keeping their student-athletes on campus?”

Jon, you have stated this several times in a few different ways. Being on campus is not what is dangerous. Being in massive crowds of people with no distancing and no protection is what is dangerous.

A small group of athletes, practicing social distancing, being guided by coaches, therapists, and doctors on campus is probably safer for that same group of athletes disbursed in the general population with no overseeing guidance at all.

To me, it made sense when the NCAA said a few months ago that athletes would be safer working out on campus than staying at home working out in public gyms. It still makes sense to me.

It makes sense to me that the student athletes can be safer on campus without the crowds of students that they would have a very hard time not mingling with. With students sent home and athletes staying, classes will be held on line. The students at home can attend such classes, and so can the athletes staying.


Speaking towards the firefighters that are paid, along with teachers; sure in a meritocracy they would be the ones getting millions of dollars for their contributions to society, not professional athletes. But unlike Pat Mahomes and Mike Trout, their employers aren’t making billions of dollars, a portion of which goes to pay their salaries.

 I agree that the players know fully well what the situation is regarding the “bank being made” off their efforts. The difference now is that they have realized finally that they can do something to change the situation.


Tell that to the people who do those jobs but receive a fraction of what city administrators, district superintendents, and quite honestly every job in existence. Someone heads whatever organization it is, and that someone gets paid way more than everyone else.

Think about this one, one of the largest “non-profit” organizations in the world, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, pays their VP/CIO over $1-million a year. That same Mahomes deal…why is Andy Reid making less than the players? He’s their direct boss, right?

My point is that life isn’t fair…it never has been and never will be. Utopia doesn’t exist (in the context most people think of it) and Marxism/communism has never succeeded because there are always going to be those that take advantage of others.

It’s been going on for centuries, no, millennia, from present day to predating the gladiatorial times. Think about that for a minute…some of the most famous and sought after individuals for well over a thousand years were gladiators, who were by and large slaves. College athletes are paid, and they’re paid way better than any non-athlete student who didn’t come to campus with a silver spoon in their mouth.

You’re right though, they’re attempting to “do something to change their situation,” but what they don’t realize is that their situation will disappear with what they’re asking for, along with numerous other sports, and numerous other departments within the institution that depends on that money.

Here are a couple of interesting reads regarding the University’s budget, and how what appears to be a huge income doesn’t actually pay the bills. Now imagine if the football players took half of what the sport brings in. Guess who sports that bill now…the regular students who are going to see a drastic increase in an already pricey tuition.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

DF…my apologies for taking so long to “approve” this comment to be posted. I was detained away from the site, and do not know why it placed this comment in the moderating que, but I suspect it was because of two links. (of which is not only fine with me, but encouraged) Bottom line is that as soon as I came back to the site–I approved it, and I’m sorry for the delay.


No biggie. Now, lets see who follows the links…hmmm


Read them both and must say it was enlightening to say the least. For example the Nike $88 million “multi-sport apparel agreement has the following in it:

Nike holds with the University of Oregon entitles the Beaverton manufacturer to free full-page ads in game-day publications, “prominent” signage, use of athletic facilities for company events, and three full days of the head football and basketball coaches’ time for Nike publicity events.
The college has to ask Nike if it wants to jump in on any advertising opportunities in any media, and make its best effort to get Nike products in campus stores. But the most important provision stipulates that the university must ensure coaches, players and staff use Nike products with clearly displayed logos in all practices, games, photo sessions and interviews. A player can only wear another brand if they get hurt in Nike shoes, and they must cover the competitor’s logo.

Interesting what $88 million can buy you. However the point being the student athlete gets $0.00 in their pocket for their efforts. I’m not saying the student athletes need to get 50% but surly changes, to the way it is now, have to be made. Even the pro teams have limits on how much they can pay the players, maybe schools need to adopt something like that for top levels and coaches etc. Especially Larry Scott, who is paid far more than anyone else in his job description.

One has to realize that most of the football players in college don’t go there to get a good education, otherwise basketweaving 101 wouldn’t be the most popular class.

Jon Sousa

I read them both.


It’s a double edged sword.

Young people don’t really seem to care if they get infected – a worldwide thing, so those that believe everything is bologna, then those will be the types that jump ship and run to the promise land of the SEC.

Those that want to play for the Ducks, or Ohio State for that matter, won’t go anywhere. Especially if the pac12 and big10 play in the spring and have a “rose bowl” mini after for a title game. I think that would be awesome.

One curious thing about the number of infections, is that even though they are still happening, the number of hospital admissions have dropped. Maybe many of the most vulnerable have already gone through the ringers? A curious thing indeed….



In other news, the B’s look good!


The pandemic – natures way of holding down the population.


I really like your idea of a “Rose Bowl Mini” after the spring games.


Wow, interesting information Jon. How did we ever get into this mess ?? Lying commissioners and its “Every man for themselves”.

Now I have to ask:

Who’s really running the NCAA ?? The same people that run ESPN maybe ??

Do you really think that these schools that are going to play fall football are that worried over being sued if a player gets the virus ??

Was the Pac-12 a little to fast in making its decision not to play fall football ??

How much is the Pac-12 decision not to play fall football going to affect recruiting in the coming years ??

Although I feel the decision not to play was the right one there are consequences, like “your on your own buddy”. Have you ever had that feeling that you’re isolated, floating on an iceberg in a vast sea with no one in sight. Thank you NCAA.


Nailed it, BDF. The last time the NCAA was a progressive, helpful, heck, even useful, entity was….? not Its insistence to clinging to the antiquated model of, Student-Athlete, is not only its driving force, it’s all it is capable of doing.

I was going to say that yes, ESPN has usurped the power. But the NCAA has never really had it to lose. The power has always been in the conferences themselves, and they found willing partners in ESPN, CBS and Fox Sports. The games have entered the entertainment realm with movies and rock concerts, generating millions of dollars, of which the players don’t have any access to. So yes, Jevon, you are here to entertain us.


Very enlightening: “Yet a vote for a D3 schools holds as much weight as does the vote of Alabama. And the NCAA placed D3 representatives on the committee studying NIL.


The more I think about this, the more I respectfully disagree.

I don’t see the SEC (or the other conferences moving forward) plan as some great gamble. More than a few pro sports have been able to find a way to resume operations. For the most part, it has been successful with only a few bumps. I think these conferences will likely be successful with their testing regimen and safety procedures.

Keep in mind that NO athlete is required to participate. The SEC has guaranteed scholarships of any athlete that opts out. The players and coaches want to be on the field, and they probably know that young players will be set back if they sit off the field for more than a year.

How long will PAC-12 players and recruits be content to sit? It is hard to say, but it could be like a dam breaking.

Mike West

I’m way late to the plate on this issue. But I have a ponder point. What if the conference sees the exact same conditions the next three years?

What then?