Category Archives: Life After Football

“Almost all of our clients are acutely aware that they don’t want to end up a greeter outside a Las Vegas casino.”

Here’s a really good piece on the financial decisions kids who are fortunate enough to sign pro contracts face.  Many listen to good advice, but many don’t.

It’s something that schools ought to spend more time on with their student-athletes than they do.

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Filed under Life After Football

“I didn’t have that wisdom, man. I blew some cash.”

As cautionary tales go, the story of former Michigan State great Charles Rogers is epic.

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Filed under Life After Football

“Dedicated to the mission”

Mark Richt may be gone, but the Paul Oliver Network lives on.  And that’s a good thing.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Life After Football

“We don’t want to talk them out of their dreams; we just want to give them some reality, too.”

You know, there’s much to criticize about how schools blow smoke about how college athletics is merely an extension of their academic mission, so pointing out the hypocrisies embedded in the current arrangement is justified.  But it seems to me some of the anger coming out of this study is misplaced.

Young black men playing basketball and football for the country’s top college teams are graduating at lower rates than black male students at the same schools — despite having financial and academic support that removes common hurdles preventing many undergraduates from earning degrees, a new report has found.

While 58 percent of black male undergraduates at the 65 schools in the Power 5 conferences got degrees within six years, 54 percent of black male student-athletes at the same schools graduated, according to an analysis of the 2014-15 academic year by University of Pennsylvania researcher Shaun Harper.

Harper said the graduation gap represents a wide and systemic issue worse than isolated scandals seen on individual campuses.

“It happens just about everywhere,” said Harper, director of Penn’s Center for Race and Equity in Education. “Generations of young black men and their parents and families are repeatedly duped by a system that lies to them about what their life chances are and what their athletic outcomes are likely to be.”

You’re starting with the wrong system, man.  Start with high schools that are woefully resourced for the purpose of preparing these kids for college.  And as far as their parents and families go, well, they don’t have the excuse of youthful inexperience to fall back on.  So why aren’t they doing more proactively before their children are misled?

That being said, I don’t disagree with this:

“When coaches are looking for the best athletic talent, that’s what they’re looking for,” Harper said. “They’re not really concerned with academic talent.”

And why should they be, when the system doesn’t incentivize them to do so?  But if that’s not where their focus lies, who’s there to see to it that the schools’ proclaimed devotion to the academic life aren’t just empty words?

One thing I do give the NCAA credit for was its decision to stiffen core eligibility standards in high school curriculum.  But those are new and we won’t see their effect for a few years.  In the meantime, more finger pointing is in order, I suppose.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., Life After Football

“Football’s done. Now I gotta go get a job …”

This is just a great story.  And that many schools aren’t making the effort to drill the lessons that Ryan Broyles has learned into the heads of their student-athletes borders on negligence.

If Broyles’ NFL career is over, I sure hope he can figure out a way to spread this message in the right places.  Lord knows, there are plenty who need to hear it.

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“There is a tragedy here, but no villain.”

As Bud Elliott points out, that’s part of the process.

Greg McElroy is praising Da’Shawn Hand, the No. 1 player from the class of 2014, who was a third stringer in Alabama’a amazing front seven that contained 22 four- and five-star prospects — more than Michigan State’s entire roster. Bielema makes the off-hand comment that his staff lets players know that if they choose Alabama, they will be a third stringer because everyone on the roster is just as talented as they are.

And yet kids still do it. At some positions, Alabama actually does a good job of getting many players in. For instance, despite being in nickel for almost the entire game, 13 Crimson Tide defensive linemen and linebackers played double-digit snaps, though none were freshmen…

I’m reminded of an old Steve Spurrier quote from 20 years ago that I can’t seem to find. The gist was him wondering aloud how Bobby Bowden convinced the No. 1, 2, and 3 players at one position to sign in the same class.

Amazing facilities that look like they belong in Dubai are nice, but once a roster fills up, the results had better follow or the recruiting will fall off. That means wins, and it means NFL dollars. Prospects are more willing to come and sit the bench for a year or two if they are convinced a school will develop them and put them in the league. At Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Florida State and a few other pro factories, that’s been the case this decade. Schools have to convince recruits their development is so good that the chance they make the NFL at one of the powers is considerably better than at a non-power in order to overcome the lack of playing time.

The downside is what happens when the dream dies for some of those recruits. That’s not Saban’s fault.  It’s simply the collateral damage of a system that tries to marry wins and losses to some amorphous goal of academic support.

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“When your football career ends you lose your identity, you don’t know who you are.”

With Mark Richt off to Miami, I hope the Paul Oliver Network doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Life After Football