I don't know if I remember a more turbulent offseason when it comes to big name coaches. In the matter of a few weeks the college football world has been rocked as names like Brian Kelly, Urban Meyer, Pete Carroll and Lane Kiffin have shaken things up with their comings and goings. While the news has been exciting and surprising, it goes to show how much college football has become centered around the head coach rather than the players. Even worse, these men have become CEOs, many times leaving their players in the dust. Forget their promises or even their talk about the importance of education, these guys are out for number one.
At what point will fans and players finally have enough?
I personally feel for the players and families that bought into the promises from these egotistical guys. Cincinnati players had to watch a dream get flushed down the toilet as Brian Kelly decided to head to Notre Dame. He didn't even have the dignity to finish out the season and coach them in the bowl game. I wonder how many times he told his players they needed to buy into the team and give 100 percent? I think he needed to listen to his own advice.
Maybe the biggest smack in the face to the Bearcat players was the words Kelly left them with. He thanked them for how they had put him in a position to go to Notre Dame. Sounds great huh? I am sure every college football player wants to be used as a pawn so their coach can get a promotion.
Carroll on the other hand, left USC right as things started to get tough. Coming off of a mediocre season with speculation of violations swirling around, he is trying to save his reputation and has gotton out now. Forget the family fun approach he has tried to convince the media with over the last few years, Petey was still all about himself. His last second decision right before signing day has left Trojan recruits scrambling to figure out what to do. These young men had bought into Carroll's belief in them, some were even ready to enroll for the spring semester, yet he didn't even let them know he was abandoning them. Instead, recruits like Dillon Baxter and Kyle Prater had to find out from reporters at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Finally, we the got news that Lane Kiffin was leaving Tennessee after one season to follow Carroll at USC. Kiffin has been full promises since taking over the job (go watch his first presser), and obviously he has very little concern for following through. Like Carroll (his mentor), Kiffin has shown how great he is at looking out for himself. Some of his recruits had already arrived on campus for spring semester, only to find out they had lost their ball coach. Kiffin isn't abandoning all of them though, no instead he's calling them up and telling them not to attend class. Apparently, once they go to class the have officially enrolled according to the NCAA. Now he is pushing them to pack once again and head to Los Angeles with him. Talk about a overload for the recruits and their families.
Sorry if I sound cynical, but this stuff is becoming all too common in college football. I am not saying a guy can never get a promotion or head elsewhere, but what happened to looking out for the players? I promise none of the families signed up for this when the coaches' were sitting in their living room. At some point these guys have to look out for someone else besides themselves. Success has to be viewed from a larger scope than just wins and losses. Most of these guys will never make it to the NFL, and molding them into fine young men with an education should be a priority too.
So all in all, I am pretty thankful to have Tressel. People complain about his style of football and now about how he can't close a recruiting class, but I wouldn't trade him for the world. He doesn't feed recruits a bunch of garbage, and he has stayed around to fulfill the promises he makes to parents. I will take stability in this tumultuous time, even if it means we have lost a few big games and big names along the way. I'm proud the Buckeyes have a coach that has embraced the tradition, and one who doesn't make it just about himself.