So I am sitting back and I am taking it all in. Teams firing their head coaches. New coaches coming in. Rumors flying. This guy leaving this school for that school. This guy turning that school down to stay where he is. It is a dizzying time to follow the bouncing pigskin.
Loyalty. That is one of the biggest problems with all of this. Money talks. Bigger conferences talk. College coaches taking NFL jobs.
You have heard the stories. The head coach visits the high school senior’s home, breaks bread with the family, says grace and promises that kid he will be there when that blue chipper graduates or gets drafted.
Now here is the problem. Coaches can do anything they wish. They can recruit their brains out. Get the best class in the land. Make the alumni salivate and then turn around and leave. They can leave for another school, they can leave for the pros, they can leave to create a ponzi scheme you can read about on any internet news service. Once that student is signed, sealed and delivered to the school of their first choice, they are stuck. Unless of course, they want to transfer and sit out a year. Oh the hypocrisy.
Coach A gets into hot water for NCAA violations. The administration is not happy, the alumni is not happy. What does Coach A do, he changes jobs. Goes to the NFL ala Pete Carroll.
Or he goes to another school ala John Calipari. That is the one that really amazes me. How one college will take a guy that is under investigation at another institution and accept him as their next lord and savior.
Student-athletes don’t have the freedom to come and go at will. They can’t change schools like their coaches can. Their school loses the right to play in a bowl next season, sorry kid.
Here is my proposal to the NCAA; eliminate this garbage. If a head coach violates NCAA rules, he or she suffers the penalty. The penalty follows them wherever they go. Get two years probation and lose 10 scholarships. Guess what, your new school is now the receipiant of the deal, not the old school. If the original school is ruled to have been in the know of the infractions and the NCAA imposes sanctions, the kids get to leave and go wherever they want, no sitting out, no waiting around. If the coach want to go to the pros, the leagues say sorry, you are not eligible for this job until your NCAA violation has been lived out. I give Roger Goddell credit for banning Jim Tressel from joining the Indianapolis Colts until weeks into the season for what he did or didn’t do at Ohio State.
So in the shadow of the Super Bowl, Chip Kelly stayed at Oregon while Greg Schiano took the job at Tampa Bay. Mario Cristobal stayed at Florida International rather than replacing Schiano at Rutgers. Kelly and Cristobal get my admiration for their loyalty to their programs and for the boys they recruited to play for the Ducks and Golden Panthers. I wish all coaches had their integrity while playing the ‘real’ big game.
Forget Saving SILVERMAN, save the integrity of college athletics.
Happy national signing day y’all!
Originally written and published for BeyondUSports.com by Bruce Silverman