Management & Direction (or lack of) in College Football

This site is called The Football Educator for a number of reasons, but not singularly for the notion that I’m here to pass on an education to the readers.  Today’s football fan is as knowledgeable and sophisticated as at any time in the history of our sport.  In fact it’s amazing at the number of Twitter, Facebook, and TFE followers that I exchange thoughts with on a regular basis that appear to understand the game even better than those directly involved with it.

The gift of perspective

Perspective is a gift that is sometimes not necessarily asked for.  My own perspective on how the game is managed and run at a school or professional club, along with oversight from an administrative or professional level has changed drastically having had the opportunity to view it from the outside looking in.  “Water cooler” discussions aren’t something I’m entirely used to, nor overly comfortable with.  Nothing would drive me more crazy than to be questioned or critiqued from a viewpoint that I felt was conjugated from the upper decks.

But the beauty of seeing things from Section 516, Row ZZ, Seat 13, is that you’re afforded a vantage point that allows you to see the “entire game”.  Sometimes a 50 yard line seat, 10 rows back doesn’t give you a true picture of what’s actually being orchestrated on the field.  Sure you’re closer to the action, but most of it’s blocked by the backs of the players.

Texting and the Water Cooler

And so I had a “water cooler” moment with a friend of mine via text this week;

December 4, 3:44 pm

If Strong leaves Louisville for Tennessee it will mark the third team in a BCS game this year to lose their HC.  They would join N.Illinois and Wisconsin.  Assuming all 3 don’t coach the bowl game how is that putting the student athlete first? I would say the NCAA has a problem they don’t know how to fix. They certainly talk out of both sides of their mouth.

December 4, 4:04 pm

Would make a good post. Shoot me over your 3 or 4 points and I’ll put something together.

December 4, 4:10 pm

Will do when I get some time.

Passion overtook my friend and the following 10 texts came flying forward 15 minutes later.

December 4, 4:25 pm

  • Point 1 – NCAA mission from the office of the President; “Our mission is to be an integral part of higher education and to focus on the development of our student-athletes”.
  • Point 2 – Why is it necessary for December to be such a prime recruiting time?  Can’t signing day be pushed back and have a moratorium on recruiting during bowl season?
  • Point 3 – If the student athlete is supposed to be first, then why do we let other NCAA institutions raid good coaches and screw the student athlete who may be playing his biggest game of his career?
  • Seniors aren’t going to get another crack at it.  N. Illinois is playing in the freaking Orange Bowl!!!  Great for them but shouldn’t they be doing it with the coach that guided them there?  Where is the common sense?
  • How sacred is the Rose Bowl really?  If the Wisconsin coach doesn’t even care to coach his team in the “Granddaddy” of them all?
  • And Louisville gets in the Sugar Bowl by default (Big East), but the coach doesn’t mind moving onto greener pastures and leaving his troops to fight a battle without its commander.
  • That should sum up my thoughts as I ride the bike.
  • My point is how sacred is the Bull Cr#p Series anyways, and does the NCAA really put the student athlete first?
  • It’s the freakin’ money and it goes right in line with conference realignment.  It is disgusting.
  • One more point; They say TV made the NFL.  It also may be killing college football.

How to fix the problem

Passion, anger, and outrage from the upper decks.  But who can blame his perspective?

The NCAA does have “a problem they don’t know how to fix.”  College Football; the institutions that oversee it, the Athletic Directors that run it, the Head Coaches that coach it, the alumni/fans that cheer for it, and the players & parents it serves, wants to be like its big brother the NFL.

The hypocrisy of it all is enough to make you sick to your stomach from just about any seat looking down.

A well rounded education has to include its own version of theoretical and philosophical thought.  Up next I’ll present my own side of this “water cooler” topic with not necessarily any answers to my friend’s texting tirade, but rather some thought provoking questions of my own.

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