I have heard all the objections (a.k.a. whining). Free agency isn’t good for college sports!
Really? Coaches have been free agents forever.
Oh yeah, well, coaches will leave scholarships open for transfers, and there will be fewer for high school seniors.
And coaches will have to recruit their players each and every year.
My reaction to that one is simple. It is about time players have some leverage in determining their college futures.
This week, I spoke to a former celebrated recruit who shall remain nameless. This recruit went to a school, after being told by the coach he had just signed a contract extension and he would be there to coach the player.
What happened next?
That coach’s team had a very successful season, and he was gone to a bigger school and a lucrative contract. The coach knew that America is the land of opportunity. Now the player knows it, too.
Once, as an undergraduate, a student-athlete is now eligible to transfer and be eligible immediately.
The rule makes perfect sense.
A player can’t do it every year and make a mockery of the system. But they can do it once.
For those who are against the rule, here are some football numbers to ponder.
Mississippi State is on its third coach since 2017.
Arkansas has had three coaches since 2017.
Southern Mississippi is on its fifth coach since 2011.
Ole Miss is on its third coach since 2016.
The Rebels current coach, Lane Kiffin, is the poster child for tumbleweed. The 46-year old has already been the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Volunteers, USC Trojans and the Florida Atlantic Owls. In-between the USC and FAU gigs, he ran the offense for Nick Saban at Alabama.
Is there another stop in between that I missed?
I would love to be a fly on the wall when Kiffin tells a recruit he will be his coach for four years. If that happens, that will truly be breaking news.
Since Phil Fulmer left the field at Tennessee at the end of the 2008 season, the Volunteers have had five different head coaches.
Yet folks in Knoxville wonder why they get drilled by Alabama every year?
Tulane head coach Willie Fritz is beginning his sixth season as the head coach of the Green Wave. He has signed a lucrative extension.
But if Kansas, which is home, had called, my guess is Fritz would have listened?
Why not? It’s just business.
D-I college football is big business.
A high school told me this recently.
“It isn’t about running through those gold posts, and wearing that uniform anymore.”
No, it isn’t. We are a transient society and it’s about time college athletes were allowed to be a part of it, without sitting out a season in the NCAA’s version of purgatory.