Happy hump day!Our friends at Lykeion started a fantastic free weekly newsletter covering financial markets, cryptocurrencies, and impact investing. They write for people who know the importance of understanding the financial world but have little interest in spending all day engaging with the endless, biased, and overly-politicized news cycle.
It's legit and very well written. Click here to sign up.
In today's Sprint:
⚽️ PSG tells Real to up the ante.
🎓 The Alliance’s response to the SEC.
🏒 Hilary Knight makes women’s hockey history.
Trivia:What conference did Rutgers leave in 2014 to join the Big 10?
*Answer at the bottom
WATER COOLER TALK
⛳️ The NCAA approved JR Smith’s request to play college golf at North Carolina A&T. It’s a dream come true for the former sharpshooter after he went straight from high school to the NBA in 2004:
“It was probably one of the most exciting feelings I’ve had in a while,” JR told the Undefeated. “I really didn’t know how it was going to go… but to be able to actually call myself a student-athlete is a great feeling.”
⚽️ Just a week away from the summer transfer deadline, Real Madrid made a $188 million offer for PSG’s Kylian Mbappe. PSG declined immediately. Apparently, Madrid needs to offer $230 million+ for PSG to even consider.
📺 Max Kellerman is out at ESPN’s First Take. Instead, the network plans to use a rotating group of guests to debate Stephen A. Smith.
Looks like Stephen A’s $12 million per year is taking up the entire salary cap.
🏀 NY Knicks center Nerlens Noel is suing agent Rich Paul, claiming a salary loss of $58 million over four years. Paul allegedly advised Noel to turn down a 4-year, $70 million deal in favor of delaying his big contract one year.
Noel ended up with a total of $12.8 million over that span.
Axis & Allies
The ACC, Big 10, and Pac-12 announced their ‘alliance’ in response to Oklahoma and Texas joining the SEC.
The terms were less tactical, and more from a “30,000-foot view.” The message: the SEC expansion will not be a domino causing realignment of the other Power 4 conferences (sorry, Big 12).
Instead, the alliance focuses on:
Increasing matchups between the three conferences, specifically for football and men’s and women’s basketball.
Becoming a united front regarding major college athletic decisions, like a potential CFP expansion and updated NCAA structure.
It also plans to have “Olympic sports programs compete more frequently and forge additional attractive and meaningful rivalries.”
But, one small detail. The major teams have solidified their out-of-conference football schedules through 2027 (at least). To pull out of these games, they’d have to pay the smaller school a lot of money to not play them.
The conferences said:
“The scheduling alliance will begin as soon as practical while honoring current contractual obligations.”
In short, we won’t get to see Clemson versus Ohio State in the college football regular season anytime soon. However, both men’s and women’s basketball offer more flexibility -- it’s quite possible scheduling starts as soon as 2022.
Zoom out: This move is about the balance of power in college football. Next month, these three conferences meet with the SEC to discuss an expanded College Football Playoff.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey proposed the expanded playoff back in June. Since then, the SEC's moves have cooled off the initial optimism for the proposal.
The new alliance bolsters a loosely connected group of 41 schools while the SEC has 16 (including UT and OU) dedicated programs.