I may make this the official logo of the Playpen:
Anyway, let’s get to it.
In one corner, Clay Travis.
In the other, Andy Staples.
But there’s something unique about the power dynamics in college football. I spoke with Andy Staples, a college football writer at the Athletic, who told me that football players at big-time programs have realized something very important: “Without them, there is no athletic department.” As many universities make deep cuts to athletic programs in a fiscal response to the coronavirus pandemic, Staples said that athletic directors are well aware that college football, a multibillion-dollar industry attracting hundreds of thousands to stadiums and tens of millions of viewers every year, is the golden goose they need to survive.
“[Programs] have to have a football season or basically everybody loses their jobs because there’s no money,” he said. “So the football players are looking at this and going, ‘Wait a second, they need us at this point even more than we need them.’”
… Staples noted during our conversation that many coaches are trying to educate themselves during this moment. “Most coaches really do care about their players. They want them to succeed. They want them to be happy. And I think there’s a lot of coaches that are looking and saying, how can I help understand better so that I can do the job better?” (And it doesn’t hurt, from their perspective, that speaking out in favor of racial equality could also help recruit and retain future players.) [Emphasis added.]
So, who you got? More to the point, who you got, personally speaking, as a college football fan, versus who you got, if you were a head football coach?
Have at it in the comments. (Don’t make me send you to time out, you scamps.)