Coaching Carousel an Easy Fix

Every year at this time another problem the NCAA allows perpetrates throughout college football.   This is the time when teams begin firing their coaches.  This week alone 10 coaches have lost their jobs.  Five at least have the possibility of going to a bowl game, which means they at least have 6 wins.

This is just a list of the coaches who have been fired.  Mike Sherman of Texas A and M Thursday night, Dennis Erickson, Paul Wulff, Ron Zook, Neil Calloway, Rob Ianello, Luke Fickell, Bob Toledo, Larry Porter, Turner Gill and Rick Neuheisel.  All are out of work either now, or after their Bowl Game.  Fickell is really an exception.  He was the interim coach at Ohio State and will stay on as a defensive coach under Urban Meyer.

This week brings a particular problem to light every year.  It’s something the NCAA refuses to address and a remedy is so easily at hand.  Some of these programs have qualified for a bowl game and now they have the honor of letting a lame duck be in control of their program.

This is only pointing out the schools that have fired their coaches.  Other teams soon will be without coaches because they are jumping to another job.  For example we have seen Brian Kelley leave an unbeaten Cincinnati team in 2009 to take the job at Notre Dame, leaving the Bearcats in a lurch for a coach in the biggest game of their history.

This was a slap in the face to the school.  The ultimate show of disrespect.  Notre Dame, a university that proclaims ethics and honesty, were complicit in this disappointing ending.  Yet they have no apologies.  The Irish spent big money to grab the coach they wanted and let Cincinnati float in the wind.  It’s not just Notre Dame, they are just a prime example.

Coaches leave for another position and the school is left in a lurch.  Desperately trying to find not only a coach to lead the team through the final month of practices, but the new coach for the next season.   This season we have Arizona State, UCLA, Ohio State and Illinois being led by fired coaches into a bowl game.  What about coaches hired away from other schools?

For example, what if Chris Petersen leaves Boise State to take the UCLA job.  Is that fair to the Broncos?  And should Petersen coach them in their bowl game if he is the new coach of UCLA?  And if not, who coaches them and how is that fair to the players?

As usual, most major problems have a solution.  Problems grow when solutions become larger than the original problem.  An easily stated solution is coaches would not be allowed to switch jobs prior to the end of the BCS Championship game.  No coaches can be hired, or fired, before the end of the Title game.

This is so simple it will never be implemented.  It makes too much sense.  Actually University Presidents could make this a rule without the NCAA.  Just tell their athletic directors to abide by this rule.  Again, it’s too simple.

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