The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2019.10.07

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

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Sports Illustrated. Via Deadspin, the people who bought Sports Illustrated are essentially going to turn it into a version of SB Nation, with some national writers, but with lots and lots of team-focused blogs, similar to SB Nation, but in order to work for SI and have one of those team blogs, you’ll have to become an LLC and then you can’t bring a suit for classifying workers for independent contractors or employees:

This isn’t the first time that Levinsohn, now the CEO of Sports Illustrated, has tried to impose this particular terrible and exploitative idea on a newsroom. Back in 2017, as the newly installed publisher of the 138-year-old Los Angeles Times, Levinsohn attempted to turn the paper into a contributor network, but his plan was ultimately nixed after he was placed on administrative leave due to allegations of sexual harassment. Two years later with Sports Illustrated, Levinsohn is getting a second chance at ruining a prestigious publication.

In conversations with Deadspin, several sources who were pitched jobs running Maven team sites under Sports Illustrated branding described a bleak scenario. They said they were told they would earn between $25,000 and $30,000 per year, with vague opportunities to make extra money by hitting “traffic bonuses.” They would be expected to post three “news videos” per day to their site—they were to wear Maven polo shirts in these videos—as well as hundreds of posts per month. The message was clear: Quantity over quality. Prospective Maven “partners” were told by company execs that if they had trouble creating enough content, they should go to the nearest college and find eager young students who would write for free. These Maven partners would also be required to register themselves as an LLC, presumably so TheMaven would avoid any SB Nation–like legal liability for misclassifying workers as independent contractors instead of employees. Multiple sportswriters, all of whom spoke to Deadspin about their experiences with TheMaven on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, compared the company’s executives to “snake oil salesmen.”

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Walter Camp Plaer of the Week.

Helmet Sticker for Duffey.

Game Photos.

Reason to Believe. A-J Media’s Don Williams editorializes that a win over Oklahoma State gives Texas Tech fans a reason to believe:

They kicked off Saturday without preseason all-Big 12 offensive lineman Jack Anderson and 2018 freshman all-America defensive back Adrian Frye, and then lost DBs Desmon Smith and Thomas Leggett to injuries along the way. That meant Wells and Keith Patterson looked out there in the second half and saw true freshman defensive backs Dadrion Taylor and Alex Hogan on the field at the same time … and Hogan for the first time.

But Wells gives off a no-excuses vibe — they’re on scholarship; they’re FBS players.

The veteran guys, Brooks with his million tackles, Doug Coleman with his five interceptions in five games, made it easier for them and for everybody else.

The upperclassmen called a players’ only meeting Monday, two days after a 55-16 loss at Oklahoma fraught with sloppy tackling and whatnot. Their message: Losing to a more talented team is one thing. Stinking up the place shall not be tolerated.

And so on Saturday, they did the opposite.

It couldn’t have come at a better time.

About 250 former players were in town for a game-weekend reunion. Outreach to those former Red Raiders is another thing Wells has made a priority. What better way to get them on board than for the guys who have actually played the game to see the ones in their footsteps deliver one of the most impressive home wins of the decade?

The lettermen have a vested interest.

Les Miles Fires Offensive Coordinator. Via NBCSports, Kansas head coach Les Miles has fired offensive coordinator Les Koenning and promoted offensive analyst Brent Dearmon, who was the head coach at NAIA Bethel and led that team to a 10-0 record.


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