“I don’t think it will be onerous,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. “We’ll be very sensitive to their schedules. I think they’ll find it’s actually a benefit for them…”
No, Slive’s not talking about football scheduling there. He’s talking about the time the coaches will have to devote to the new network.
Time is a precious commodity for college football coaches.
When they’re not coaching, they’re preparing for the next game, recruiting the next prospect, conducting staff meetings, making public appearances or talking to the press.
There’s little time for much else.
How much time coaches will be required to set aside when the SEC Network launches in August 2014 is not yet completely known, but the hours and hours of original programming — both live and taped — yet to be developed leaves the 14 football coaches ample opportunity showcase their program, whether in interviews or opening their doors for behind-the-scenes programming.
If you view the problem as a zero-sum game (Saban: “I think the time that we have to spend on media-related promotion, whether it’s coaches, student-athletes or whomever it is, it can’t be increased because we have other things that are important to do,”), it’s pretty obvious who’s going to come out on the short end of the stick.
The simple solution? Coaches and athletic departments will restructure and shift their coaches’ free time when the SEC Network requires an appearance. For Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze, that means less interviews with reporters and last-minute radio appearances.
“It’s about managing,” Freeze said.
“We’ll be able to bounce all of that,” said Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, “and it won’t take away from the job that we need to do.”
My bet is the coaches will be quite happy with the trade off. Can’t wait to hear the reaction from the media when it starts sinking in that the SEC Network gets first helpings.