December 20, 2007
Behind The Scoreboard
Big money coaching changes
Is there any doubt left that big business has taken over collegiate sports?
It is all too obvious in the football arena. Just take a quick look at all the shipping out of head coaches at this season’s end. There was a dizzying frenzy which seemed to have started with the Arkansas Razorbacks’ coach voicing unhappiness with Hog calling and then bolting across the river. Will this work out for Ole Miss? The vast majority of the fans seem to think so.
It isn’t quite clear (and probably never will be), just who made the first overture in the rapid replacement for Houston Nutt. The travelling mentor, better known as Bobby Petrino, hastily had T-shirts made up and handed them out to the players on the Atlanta Falcons. The departure was so sudden that some of the players got it second hand. There are few amicable feelings left in ‘Hotlanta’ for anyone named Petrino.
Bobby is no slouch. Remember how he made the Louisville (Kentucky) franchise into a four-star contender? But like in the old spaghetti westerns, for a few dollars more, he brushed off a new contract extension and ran to the NFL. Now after one failing year in the big leagues, he picked up another lucrative paper (almost three million annually) with the Razorbacks.
We won’t go into all the details about the other hires and fires. But be assured they entailed big money.
And we have to applaud David Cutcliffe, a humble and patient man who bumped around the SEC in lesser roles, and now has been ensconced as the new head Blue Devil. He will need all of that patience because Duke has won a paltry number of games in the last 20 years.
If one wants to know just where the “big money” comes from, one only has to look at the payouts for the bowl games. They range from $350,000 to $17 million. And look at the SEC. There are nine teams (count them) going treasure hunting. They are chief players in some of the “biggest” money games.
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