Most days it is our goal at College Sports Matchups to stay as objective as possible when reporting on the world of college sports. Today, there is a desire to rant just a bit, but knowing you want more than just to hear complaints there are possible solutions provided in the discussion of our irritation.
Our subject is the situations like Notre Dame, Cincinnati, and Brian Kelly are in. None of these are individually the target today, but collectively represent the issue that is a burr under the saddle.
Kelly is a good football coach, and his future is bright. He did not achieve success in a vacuum but rode to fame by saddling up on the back of the University of Cincinnati.
How long is the list of people he rode? Start with players that bought in when he said it was about being a team. Consider the people who came to the table financially to fund his vision of Bearcat football.
Think about students, cheerleaders, and the band members who have stood in miserable weather at times to support the team and create a dynamic home field. Then think that just before Cincinnati is to play the biggest game in the history of its program, Kelly is off to a new position, leaving everyone else to sort through the pieces.
Kelly taking a new job is not the problem. The problem is leaving before the door is closed on the current season.
Don’t feel for Cincinnati. It will go and grab a coach from some other school and bring him on board.
Charlie Strong is the head man at Louisville right now. He will also coach Florida’s defense in the Sugar Bowl.
Ever heard the one that no man can serve two masters? Do you think he is going to short his recruiting efforts for his future to make sure the Gators are ready? He might have good intentions, but he is human. The problem is not the leaving. The problem is leaving before the games are finished.
Want a solution? The NCAA should require member schools to include standard language that does not allow coaches and schools to enter discussions about openings until after the last bowl game is played. This includes head coaching jobs and assistants.
Part two of this problem is the players who have earned the coach his new paycheck, or watched one lose his. They are left behind with no thought given to them and their situation.
Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett is a great example of this happening. Mallett goes to Michigan, where he believes he will fit well into their pro style offense. The head coach is fired, a new one comes in, and—presto—he will be asked to run an offense that does not fit his style of play.
Mallett is not a spread option, running kind of guy. Say what you want, but his major is football. His potential NFL payday will raise the starting average salary of his classmates considerably. If things had remained as planned, Mallett would be a junior at Michigan, but he just finished his redshirt sophomore year for Arkansas.
You see, he had to sit out for a year when he made the jump from one school to another. Coaches don’t. If he had the “flexibility” coaches have he might be ready to make the leap to the NFL right now. Instead he is hearing a chorus of experts talk about how another year of seasoning would be good before making the leap to Sunday football. His payday is delayed. Coaches get their money when they jump.
Looking for a solution? Here are some options. First, when a coach leaves, all the players are free to go with immediate eligibility. The limitation is they can’t follow their former head man or an assistant coach from their current school.
Don’t like this one? How about a rule that sidelines head coaches for one year after they are hired: No recruiting, no working on the sidelines, no time with their players, no new staff.
The school has to us an interim staff for a season basically. It would give pause when making those pesky hiring and firing decisions. Want a few others? When a coach makes the jump reduce the number of players he can sign during his first two seasons, while giving his old school additional ones.
Here is the real kicker. Funding for the additional scholarships at the jilted school are to be paid for by the coach’s new one. These are just a few ideas, and you may think they are all bad. Sure would like to know how you would handle these situations.
Why do schools move so fast to make these new hires? One word: Recruiting. That will be the focus when this rant is continued.