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Thread: The lack of fairness in job-jumping

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    The lack of fairness in job-jumping

    It is grossly unfair that (Rich) Rodriguez can jump from one school to another without missing so much as a snap, that West Virginia will get a few million dollars in return for his departure, while (Ryan) Mallett gets nothing but a year of inactivity. Forget the money that will change hands between the coach and the university, the one who is paying most dearly in this scenario is a player who had nothing to do with it all. But that's the way it is in Division I college sports -- teenage players are held to a higher standard of commitment than the adults who coach their teams.

    - Phil Taylor of SI.com

    This is an extremely good point. It is unfortunate that the NCAA (and for that matter, virtually all sports organizations) allows coaches to turn their back on their contracts without penalty. Rich Rodriguez owes West Virginia $4 million but is only going to give $1.5 million (37.5% of the owed payment). If I decided that I was going to leave AT&T and go to Verizon before my two-year contract had ended, I would be hit with a $180 fine. If I contacted AT&T and told them that I would pay $67.50 (37.5%), they would contact the authorities and I would be sued. Why is this the required action in life, but not in sports? It's unfair to the general public that people like Rich Rodriguez and Rick Pitino can ignored their obligations and get away scotch-free. This must change.
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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: The lack of fairness in job-jumping

    I read Taylor's article earlier this evening, and I fully agreed with it. There is a real inconsistency in how coaches are treated as compared to athletes in college sports.
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    Re: The lack of fairness in job-jumping

    Quote Originally Posted by BoCcc2832 View Post
    It is grossly unfair that (Rich) Rodriguez can jump from one school to another without missing so much as a snap, that West Virginia will get a few million dollars in return for his departure, while (Ryan) Mallett gets nothing but a year of inactivity. Forget the money that will change hands between the coach and the university, the one who is paying most dearly in this scenario is a player who had nothing to do with it all. But that's the way it is in Division I college sports -- teenage players are held to a higher standard of commitment than the adults who coach their teams.

    - Phil Taylor of SI.com

    This is an extremely good point. It is unfortunate that the NCAA (and for that matter, virtually all sports organizations) allows coaches to turn their back on their contracts without penalty. Rich Rodriguez owes West Virginia $4 million but is only going to give $1.5 million (37.5% of the owed payment). If I decided that I was going to leave AT&T and go to Verizon before my two-year contract had ended, I would be hit with a $180 fine. If I contacted AT&T and told them that I would pay $67.50 (37.5%), they would contact the authorities and I would be sued. Why is this the required action in life, but not in sports? It's unfair to the general public that people like Rich Rodriguez and Rick Pitino can ignored their obligations and get away scotch-free. This must change.
    Rich Rodriguez you could do something about. Pitino jumped from UK to the NBA though, so that is a little bit of a difference.
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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: The lack of fairness in job-jumping

    Here's a news flash: Both pro and college athletics operate different than the real world does.
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    Re: The lack of fairness in job-jumping

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    Here's a news flash: Both pro and college athletics operate different than the real world does.
    True.

    I'd just like some internal consistency. If a coach can jump from Program A to Program B without any NCAA penalty players should be free to do so as well.
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    Re: The lack of fairness in job-jumping

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    Here's a news flash: Both pro and college athletics operate different than the real world does.
    Right... I haven't TP'd or egged my bosses house.

    Yet.

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    Re: The lack of fairness in job-jumping

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    True.

    I'd just like some internal consistency. If a coach can jump from Program A to Program B without any NCAA penalty players should be free to do so as well.
    I agree. It should be a rule that players should be able to freely transfer to another school with no penalty if certain events occur, one of them being if the coach who recruited you leaves.

    I'd also like to see the system compensate the schools that lose their coach better. I'm thinking something like the transfer system in International Football. Say Coach Upandcomer has just signed a big multiyear extension with Midmajor University. After one good season, Football Factory University comes along and wants to hire Coach U. I think that in order for Coach U to leave, Football Factory University should have to pay Midmajor University a transfer fee. Once FFU pays the transfer fee, then they assume Coach U's contract and can then negotiate for an extension. You could even make the transfer contingent on the ability for FFU to get the extension/new contract. Then, MU can use that transfer fee money to attract a new coach, upgrade facilities and/or make other improvements to benefit the school and the student athletes recruited by Coach U.
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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: The lack of fairness in job-jumping

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    True.

    I'd just like some internal consistency. If a coach can jump from Program A to Program B without any NCAA penalty players should be free to do so as well.
    They should but it could open up a whole can of worms. Do we limit it to head coaches or are we going to include assistant coaches? Strength coaches? Cheerleaders? I think the NCAA feels if they do this those letters of intent aren't going to be worth the paper they are printed on. I think they fear players jumping from school to school for little or no reasons. It really isn't fair but players having to stay in school for X number if years isn't either and that rule seems to have universal support.
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    Re: The lack of fairness in job-jumping

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    They should but it could open up a whole can of worms. Do we limit it to head coaches or are we going to include assistant coaches? Strength coaches? Cheerleaders? I think the NCAA feels if they do this those letters of intent aren't going to be worth the paper they are printed on. I think they fear players jumping from school to school for little or no reasons. It really isn't fair but players having to stay in school for X number if years isn't either and that rule seems to have universal support.
    I think if it's limited to the head coach leaving, that's fair. I haven't heard many kids cite a school's strength coach as the reason for choosing that school, but a lot of student athletes do choose a school based on the head coach. I think what bothers people, me included, is that these head coaches make all kinds of promises to kids to get them to go to their school. The kids then make a decision based on those promises, thinking that this it's the best decision, when all the sudden the coach who made those promises has high-tailed it out of town. Is that fair to the kid? What I'd like to see is some kind of system that cuts down on big time coaches making promises they don't intend to keep or else allowing students to freely transfer when the head coach leaves so that they aren't penalized.

    Think of it from a parent's perspective. Say you and your son are being recruited by a number of schools offering a full-ride basketball scholarship. Bobby Knight comes by, but you and your son decide you don't like the way he treats his players. Also, your son has a history of not doing well with authoritarian figures, so you accept the scholarship from another school. You choose the school because Coach B has been by a number of times, has assured you that he will take your son under his wing, and will make sure he excels both athletically and academically. Coach B has a great reputation for getting the best out of his players using an approach that just fits better with your son's personality. So what happens if Coach B leaves after one year and the next thing you know, the school hires Bobby Knight away from Texas Tech. Now the very person you decided you didn't want coaching your son is now running the basketball program at your school. What do you do? If he transfers, your son now has to sit out a year through no fault of his own. I just dont' think that's fair.

    I generally agree with the rule where kids have to sit out a year when they transfer. No one wants a system where kids just jump from school to school year to year. But unless you can find a way to keep coaches from jumping from school to school, it's difficult to justify a system that penalizes kids for the decisions of the coaches.
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    Re: The lack of fairness in job-jumping

    So let me get this straight.

    Ryan Mallett will now (a) have the option (b) to spend a 5th year in college (c) on someone else's dime (d) as QB on the football team (e) at a big state school.

    What an awful, abominal, egregiously unjust sentence to force upon a young man between the ages of 18-22.

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    Re: The lack of fairness in job-jumping

    College Baseball had this rule for years and it essentially turned every off season into a free agent market for college athletes.

    Lists of coaches scoured other teams to cherry pick players at will with tantelizing offers of better opportunities and more playing time. It got quite shady and underhanded.

    Micah Owings - best player on Georgia Tech by a long shot, left his last season for Tulane because Tulane had a better shot at Omaha.

    Just last year they brought baseball around to the rest of the NCAA's rules. And baseball is stronger for it.

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    Re: The lack of fairness in job-jumping

    Quote Originally Posted by 15fan View Post
    So let me get this straight.

    Ryan Mallett will now (a) have the option (b) to spend a 5th year in college (c) on someone else's dime (d) as QB on the football team (e) at a big state school.

    What an awful, abominal, egregiously unjust sentence to force upon a young man between the ages of 18-22.
    I went to the University of Toledo's Law School on a full ride (aka someone else's dime). At any point, I was free to leave and pursue my studies at a different school. If I'd have decided I wanted to leave, I don't think Dean Closius would've gone to the mat to keep me enrolled at UT Law.

    I don't see a single legitimate why athletes should be treated any differently than regular students in that regard. The only reason is to perpetuate this myth that the NCAA wants people to buy into that football factory schools are about "education first" and athletics second.

    Which makes perfect sense, considering ESPN always puts up the graduation rate of a coach next to his career winning percentage on the graphic at the start of the game.

    So, let's be honest for a brief second: football is going to be Ryan Mallett's livelihood. The choice of where he plays football (and what coach he plays football for) can have a direct impact on his ability to pursue that at a later date. It will almost certainly have an impact on his national exposure, draft status, and future earnings. I guess he should just take it on the chin and lose a year of his life because a new coach comes in decides to install the Power-I and de-emphasize the passing game. But, it's cool -- he's BMOC, going for free, and gets a 5th year on your dime.

    Big time college athletics are businesses. Pure and simple. The sooner we all just agree on that, agree that we enjoy the product they present, and agree that it isn't worth trying to kid ourselves, the better off we'll all be. Hopefully, once we come to this grand epiphany, we can lop off some of the stupid rules that seem designed to disguise that reality. And, hopefully, we allow the workers in said business (the players) to start realizing some of, or at least having some control over, the vast wealth they provide for others.

    If that bothers people, then maybe it's time public university sports programs were re-evaluated at a national level to ensure that they're still compatible with the goals of higher education that the taxpayers are paying. Maybe it's not OK to let coaches under contract to the government breach those contracts for no good reason other than his ambition or boredom. Maybe it's not OK to let state institutions hoard athletic profits for themselves while other state institutions struggle to make budget. Maybe it's not OK to tolerate futility in the classroom or grant academic waivers to kids just because they're good at hitting a blocking sled.

    Money talks, so I'm not going to hold my breath on the latter scenario.
    Last edited by Caveat Emperor; 02-01-2008 at 01:27 AM.
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