Coach knows best.

The Pac-12 announced its concerns about time demands on student-athletes yesterday, and while the cynic in me was ready to brush those aside as same old, same old (and even so, let’s not forget it’s just talk at this point), I was genuinely surprised to see the conference make this admission:

In that same vein, based on the conversations that Scott and his staff had with athletes, the Pac-12 report included a set of “important learnings applicable to future development of rules and policies on time demands.” Some of those are unsparing.

The conference acknowledges: “Academic sacrifices are being made. It is not uncommon for student-athletes to be forced to change their majors due to practice and competition schedules, either because they cannot schedule the classes and other requirements they need, or they cannot keep up with their academic demands due to their sport’s time demands. Student-athletes are also discouraged from taking certain majors from the outset due to their athletic demands. …”

“Many athletes told stories of changing majors, sometimes well into their academic careers, and not being able to graduate on time due to their sport’s time demands.”

Boy, I bet there are some irritated coaches this morning.  Doesn’t Larry Scott understand the way the real world works?


Filed under Academics? Academics., Pac-12 Football

21 responses to “Coach knows best.

  1. Wow, everyone thinks these men are looking out for the young men under their care. All they care about is whether the salary and bonuses keep rolling in. This type of stuff makes it harder and harder to be a college sports fan.

  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    I suspect this issue has always been around.

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      More specifically, coaches making players alter class schedules or avoid certain majors.

      • I don’t doubt that. The administrators and coaches talk about how they want these guys to succeed academically and then steer them into useless majors and classes designed to keep athletes eligible. I love the example of Malcolm Mitchell as a guy who came to UGA with one thing on his mind, the NFL, and transformed himself into an advocate for literacy once he realized where he was academically. That’s what the college athletic experience should be all about. Keith Marshall and Aaron Murray are other great examples of men who were successful academically and used their experience at UGA to push themselves in the classroom beyond what was expected. I’m sure the “championship or bust” crowd would have preferred those guys use that time to study film or get that extra set of reps in the weight room rather than take that class that would push them, but I’m proud of those guys … They proved you can do both – succeed academically and prepare for the NFL.

      • Macallanlover

        At least since the late 60s. Even if a coach didn’t tell you to change majors, you did yourself no favors tackling a goal that required all your spare time away from practice and training. Significant part of the college experience is the social interactions and exposure to new ways of seeing things in the world, playing sports, going to class, and doing the required reading/prep for studies taken doesn’t leave you a lot of life beyond sleeping. Coaches weren’t wrong to warn you off certain majors, it was fair advice, just doesn’t jive with the “education comes first” slogan some want to hear.

      • Ignoring that the money is going to everybody but the players (big assumption to ignore), this is the single biggest reason why I can’t make the leap with the “scholarship is enough” bullshit. Why is it that the players are expected to treat a scholarship as this extremely valuable gift that has been bestowed upon them when it’s clear that the coaches, AD’s, and presidents don’t really give a shit if you get a meaningful degree if it’s going to interfere with you staying eligible?

  3. Puffdawg

    Head Coach to True Freshman: “What do you want to be when you grow up?
    Freshman: “A doctor!”
    Coach: “What else?”

    • dawgtired

      A doctor? Kid, you don’t want to be a DOCTOR! What about a basket-weaver…now THAT’s a respectable job!

  4. ASEF

    Robert Smith famously sat out the 1991 football season at Ohio State after publicly ripping the coaching staff for meddling with his academic aspirations. He wanted to go to med school, but football interfered.

    So in 2016 we get schools finally acknowleding realities which have been obvious for more than 20 years. Nice.

  5. Dawg93

    You know, it’s easy to be outraged over the coaches, but I’ll offer up the easy retort – a lot of these kids wouldn’t even BE in school were it not for the football scholarship that’s paying for their education. So it begs the question – should the head football coach have any say or influence over his players’ majors? Will fans paying thousands of dollars in donations, ticket prices, travel, etc. care if their star QB is struggling some and the coach says “yeah he has a pretty demanding academic load being a pre-med major”?

    Just asking . . . . .

    • I’ll take that bait. Raise admissions standards to those of the general student population. I would also say, “No, the coaching staff shouldn’t have any influence over the student’s program of study.” If they want student-athletes, let them be students first. If not, pay the player as if he is an employee where athletics come first.

      • Dawg93

        I don’t disagree with the paying players aspect, but how does that resolve this particular issue?

        Raise admissions in that manner and the talent pool will flock elsewhere, likely to a new NFL development league of some kind or straight to the NFL for some guys. What we now call college football will be a shell of it’s former self.

        • Excellent point, so I’ll withdraw my comment about raising the admission standard. My real point is that either the student-athlete is student first or athlete first. If we’re going to romance amateurism and call them students first, then the coaches/administration should have zero input on the student’s chosen field of study or major, period. If the starting QB decides to major in pre-med, then that’s the student and his family’s business and no one else’s. If they’re athletes first, then let’s drop all semblance of concern for academics and pay the athlete for his/her services (and call them employees with all that comes from that). At that point, the coaches/administration do get to have input on the field of study and chosen classes. The coach then says to the QB who wants to be pre-med, “I don’t care that you need this lab. Get your @$$ in the film room because that’s what we’re paying you for.”

          Regarding the question about developmental league football, if the NFL wanted to do it and could make money at it, they would have done it years ago.

    • You know, it’s easy to be outraged over the coaches, but I’ll offer up the easy retort – a lot of these kids wouldn’t even BE in school were it not for the football scholarship that’s paying for their education.

      It’s a very symbiotic relationship though. Sure – the players wouldn’t be in school if it weren’t for their athletic abilities, but the TV rights and ticket sales / donations (and resulting skyrocketing coaching salaries) wouldn’t have escalated to where they are now without the top level talent to attract the eyeballs and butts in the seats. They both need each other for this whole thing to work, but only one side is a part of an unrestricted labor market that earns a benefit you can actually spend somewhere.

      We may have already crossed that tipping point, but I suspect the schools and NCAA are going to wish they had settled when it would have been a lot cheaper for them before Kessler got involved.

  6. Mark

    Senator, don’t you think that the real blame lays with the schools and not the coaches? I would think most coaches are OK with the rules being the same for everyone. But they are held to a win/loss standard and not compensated much at all for academic progress.

    The problem for the schools is that winning makes them more money. But if they readily admit that they are in the business of making money, then the athletes become employees and rather than students. Its a hard line for the administrations to walk.

    I don’t think most coaches would complain if the rules of competition were the same for everyone, but maybe the control freak in them would. Still, when it comes to the academic side of things, the president and AD should get a lot more blame than they do for demands on student time. Those guys establish the work environment the coaches are operating in.

  7. Dog in Fla

    @Puffdawg May 25, 2016 at 8:10 AM
    Head Coach to True Freshman: “What do you want to be when you grow up?
    Freshman: “A doctor!”
    Coach: “What else?”

  8. Rosen ought to do some offshore fishing ’cause he’s got world-class trolling skills. I see a future in online media for that young man.

  9. 69Dawg

    Mora’s head is going to explode. If he has any of his dad in him it is only a matter of when not if.