Coaching Carousel

Penn State fans don’t understand these coaching changes. For Nittany Lion fans 44 years old or younger, they only know of one coach ever at PSU. For those as old as 60, there have been only two coaches at Penn State. Notre Dame had three in one year, if you count O’Leary!

We have been immune to these upheavals, spared the gut wrenching emotions and pure anger that fanbases across the nation are dealing with.

22 schools will change coaches (maybe more before all is said and done.) For 120 FCS schools, that’s 18% of the representation.

Jay Paterno reflects on the situation:

As a professional lifer in college coaching I am unhappy about the current state of my profession. The big money and media attention has altered the pressures and the dynamics of the job.

The word “coach” has been a title of respect. A college or high school coach has a great responsibility; he or she needs to remember that the sport is a part of a larger academic life for the student-athlete. The word “coach” should encompass the roles of educator, mentor, guidance counselor and manager of on-field duties.

The past few days have seen seismic movements in the world of college football coaching where vacancies have occurred at two of the more notable programs in the country.

This profession has lost touch with the reality of the world around us, and some coaches have lost touch with what the mission of our profession should be.

The astronomical explosion in coaching salaries continues at a time of 10 percent unemployment in America and exploding tuition costs burdening working class families.

I am not saying that every coach should take a vow of poverty or stay at his school for three decades, but we must remember what has made ours a noble profession. It is the mission of our profession: the use of sport to help young men transition from high school and prepare them for the world that awaits them after college.

To be fair, you can not solely blame the coaches. On the flipside, we have seen coaches fired after just two or three years — not even enough time to recruit a class that reaches its senior year.

The freedom to move around and the big paydays all come with a cost — you never get anything for free. What we’ve lost is the stability of our profession. In the end, the student-athletes are the ones left holding the bill.

I don’t know that there is any easy answer to this. Legally, you have to respect the coach and the University to sign whatever agreement they see fit. Any kind of global cap on salaries might be in violation of Anti-Trust Laws. Remember, the NFL cap is a mutually agreed upon limit set on teams–not on individual player salaries. Are Universities going to agree to caps on their employees–ie if they pay their head coach more, they have to pay other personnel, such as the University President, less? Should coaches have to sit out a year? Could that even be enforced?

You might feel bad for the student-athlete caught in this transition. The new coach–not the one who recruited you–may have a system that you don’t fit into. But that didn’t stop Mallett from leaving Ann Arbor, and there is little loyalty when players are ready to jump to the NFL, sometimes in their SOPHOMORE year! The system is a viscious cycle feeding on greed.

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Filed under coaching change, football, Jay Paterno, NCAA

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