Players come and go every year because that is the nature of college and by regulation a (healthy) student-athlete has 4 years of eligibility to play the sport they have devoted 15 years of their lives to perform at. So, why do we (as fans) get so bent out of shape about coaches? The players play the game and are responsible for executing, but when they don't we refuse to hold them accountable. Steve Spurrier, who recruited his tail off, left the game that he loved because college athletics is a business of win now or get out. BUT, WHY?
Revenue! One of the great American pastimes is about nothing more than money. This is an amateur sport, is it not? Well, that question is a lot harder to answer. College athletics and college football specifically accounted for well over 3 Billion dollars in 2014 alone (2.8 Billion from the ~60 "Power 5 League teams). That is a lot of zeros and the exact reason why Spurrier stepped down, why Charlie Strong is on the hot-seat, why the active winning coach Frank Beamer has pitch-forks marching to his door and to be honest why USC absolved themselves from Steve Sarkisian. Before you tear me apart about Sarkisian let me explain. USC had no choice and did the right thing, in my opinion, but the problem was no secret and instead of being proactive they had to be reactive. The reaction was not about doing what was right, which they could've done in August, but because USC was about to lose brand equity (Did Pete Carroll and Reggie Bush not already ruin that?)
Virginia Tech Looking Into Fining Its Football Players Money As Discipline Measure http://t.co/IRiN48VoaS— Dan Lyons (@Dan_Lyons76) August 26, 2015
Remember this? The world ended for several hours because an idea was mentioned whereas hundreds of "scholarship" athletes not only go to school for free, but get free meals, housing, drugs, sex and luxury goods + MONEY. SMU got caught, UNC sort of got caught, but it still goes on. Every program is trying to gain a competitive advantage by lying, stealing, paying, which are all cheating because this is not an amateur game anymore. College football (and basketball) are about winning because winning = money and nothing more. However, I would argue that Frank Beamer and Spurrier saw things just a bit differently.
Are they perfect? No.
Have they cheated (Book definition)? Probably.
Have they won? Yes, a lot.
Are the programs that coach/coached losing money today? Yes.
Guess which one of those things matter? It is all about generating revenue, today. It is not about the education, mentorship and coaching of STUDENT-athletes, but about selling tickets and shaking donors' hands, which is why Spurrier stepped down and why Beamer will be following him shortly. Main-stream media perpetuate this growing trend because it is their jobs ($$$), but are not thinking of the image that this is building culturally.
So my questions to the Virginia Tech fan base, Whit Babcock, Frank Beamer, College Sports Fans and YOU is: Are we okay with calling college sports amateur (meaning no monetary reward) and if so, why are we forgetting the point of college athletics? (Hint: For kids to continue to play a sport they love against other kids who are good at it)
Please let me know you thoughts, opinions and questions because I am generally interested in what others are thinking.