“It’s all about the kids.”
I love it when college football and basketball coaches say that right after they make a move that’s all about themselves. That’s what Paul Chryst did when he officially became Pitt’s most recent former football coach Wednesday night.
(He’s Pitt’s third coach, not counting interim coaches, since 2010.)
At the press conference to introduce him as Wisconsin’s new coach, Chryst talked about how hard it was to leave Pitt after only three years as head coach: “It was also hard because of the players at the University of Pittsburgh, and that’s why we do this.”
Why “we” do what?
Sign meaningless contracts and make meaningless promises to young men, who make potentially life changing decisions based on your promises?
Paul Chryst, who grew up in Wisconsin, played and coached for the University of Wisconsin, took his dream job and the prevailing notion is that nobody should blame him.
Many of his Pitt players supported him on Twitter immediately after the move became official.
Okay, let’s give him that. You can always be forgiven for taking your dream job when it’s offered to you, but could we be spared the “It’s about the kids,” or the “We’re in this for the players” routine?
Paul Chryst is in it for himself. If it really were all about the players, he would still be Pitt’s coach.
It’s about Paul Chryst taking his dream job.
If the players feel abandoned or cheated, or if the athletic director, who gave you your first head coaching job, is fired because of your decision to leave, too bad.
Pitt fired Athletic Director Steve Pederson about 40 seconds after Chryst was introduced in Madison.
Chryst isn’t the first college head football coach to walk away from his players or his commitments to better himself.
It’s done so often that a coach is rarely criticized for it if the job is seen as a step up for him — or, of course a dream job.
How much criticism do you think he received from the Wisconsin media?
College football coaches, many of whom are guilty of exploiting kids, who have no chance of succeeding academically, as they squeeze as many eligible seasons as they can get out of them (See the University of North Carolina.), are in it for themselves.
If they cared about the kids and living up to their commitments, they might be willing to sign contracts that actually mean something. You know, the way the national letter of intent players are required to sign, means something.
Big time college football has been a cesspool for a long time and there is no reason to believe it’s not getting worse every year.
The University of Michigan has reportedly offered San Francisco 49ers head coach and former Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh $48 million for six years. That would make him the highest paid coach in college football — a million more per year than Nick Saban at Alabama.
There’s a lot of stupidity going around in college football but it’s hard to believe the people in charge at Michigan would be offering a football coach $8 million a year if they didn’t think it would be profitable for them.
Harbaugh is said to be torn between going back to his alma mater, where he can get back to having it be about the kids and listening to what’s being offered by other NFL teams after his inevitable split with the 49ers.
If he would take Michigan’s $48 million offer, Harbaugh would be getting a $3 million raise from his salary with the 49ers and he would be making as much as the two highest paid coaches in the NFL, Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints and Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks.
But, as we all know, it’s not about the money in college football.
It’s all about the kids.