The irony of coaching college athletics

The Irony Of Coaching College Athletics

Coaches that make millions rely on the decisions of high school seniors.


One of the most interesting things to study in sports is college recruiting.

It determines the makeup of your team, regardless of sport. Recruiting determines the pound-for-pound talent you as a coach will have against your opponent on any given game. We grade, promote and fire coaches constantly because of in large part their ability or inability to recruit. Football and basketball are the two biggest sports on essentially any college campus, no matter how large or small, and they have the most money to offer in scholarships, so let's look closely into the world of recruiting for those two sports, and why it is so ironic.

By most people's grades, the best coaches in college football and basketball are Nick Saban, head coach of Alabama football and Mike Krzyzewski, head coach of Duke basketball. There are many factors that play into what makes them so great, including championships but perhaps the main thing that makes their teams year-in and year-out so successful is their ability to recruit. Alabama football is more talented by pure recruiting rankings than any team they line up against at any point in time, and it typically is not particularly close. Krzyzewski's team and head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats John Calipari's team usually have the two most talented teams in basketball. Other teams such as North Carolina and Kansas will have teams that are close in talent every few years but typically not consistently like Duke and Kentucky.

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Alabama vs Florida

Saban made more than $11 million in 2018, and he makes that yearly based on his contract through 2025. Krzyzewski makes $9 million a year, not surprisingly the second-highest paid college basketball coach was Calipari. These coaches make more money in one year than most of us have ever thought about making in 10. And for most of us, we think that if we ever made money that could even sniff that, it would be way down the road, when we are much older and have developed relationships with wealthy people to move us along in our careers.

That is typically how corporate America works. We have all heard "it's not what you know, it's who you know." We assume the "who you know" is someone already established in your field of choice. It is someone that has some real weight to their name in the industry. When they speak on your behalf, it means something.

Ironically though, for these coaches, the "who you know" is high school kids that have no money to their name at all and have done nothing at all in collegiate athletics yet. The most important relationships for these coaches to make is with kids that are not old enough to drink yet and most likely have their mom do their laundry.

If these high school seniors do not choose to attend your school as a coach, you can very quickly fall behind your competition. Recruiting is often referred to as the backbone of your team since it literally determines who is on your roster. If the athletes going to your school are simply inferior to the ones going to your rivals, scheme and inspiration can only take you so far.

So while you wake up every day and think about what hands you can shake and who you can impress that is already established in your field, think about the fact that college coaches are thinking about what hands they can shake of kids probably younger than you. They are really interested in a guy that just got his license last year.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.


To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.


A third-year nursing student who knows

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Why Fordham Should Have a Safe Space Policy

On a campus committed to it's student's safety, why is emotional safety left out?


Last year college Republicans were asked to leave Rodrigue's coffee house for provoking members by wearing pro-Trump attire within the shop. The reason they were asked to leave was because Rodrigue's upholds a "safe space" policy, which can be boiled down to the simple phrase: "No racism. No sexism. No homophobia." In the eyes of the members and patrons of Rod's, Trump embodied all of these things. Regardless of the politics of this specific incident, the phrase and policy seems redundant because this rhetoric can't possibly be allowed anywhere else on campus. Right?

As this incident made campus as well as national news Father McShane addressed the events in an e-mail to all students in which he made it clear he did not condone the approach of the College Republicans, as well as stated that Fordham has no official Safe Space policy and insinuated if it did this would silence voices on campus.

Let's examine what a safe space policy means and why it's important to so many members of the Fordham community. It simply means homophobic, sexist, and racist imagery and speech are not allowed. On a campus with racial minority, female, and queer students who chose to be members of the Fordham community as well as study here, live here, and pay obscene amounts of money to be a student, it does not make sense for these individuals to be subjected to abuses related to their identity. How can you focus in class when your professor misgenders you, a student makes a disparaging comment about your religion, or you fear for your physical safety due to the way you present yourself? Bigoted rhetoric is oppositional to academia.

Fordham is a private university, not a public one, and could easily legislate a basic safe space guideline on campus. I understand many of us that a safe space policy would protect do not experience outward aggression often, if at all, as the University does take steps to ensure our safety. So why no official policy? The answer is simple to me: money. Fordham receives hefty donations from conservative alumni whose own political ideology is contrary to the safe space policy. The choice to not outwardly support minority students is a decidedly economic and political one, despite Father McShane's plea for political peace on campus.

And what is wrong with silencing hateful voices? Tolerance is an incredibly important value, but should tolerance really extend to the intolerant? I found the logic behind not installing the policy as it would politically oppress individuals, incredibly interesting and telling. This means your politics are fatally bigoted and I would take a critical look at that. It's intrinsic to our perception of our school to remember that colleges are businesses and it is sometimes their prerogative to meet economic needs above the needs of their student body. However, this is hopeful. As patrons of this business, we can demand more of them and the most effective way to do this is economical. Invest money in places such as Rodrigue's to expand their voice, have your parents write letters to the school, tell at-risk individuals to not apply, and encourage alumni to earmark their money for minority student initiatives or withhold it unless the school legislates a safe space policy.

We as a student body should care for one another and above all respect the personhood of everyone on and off campus. Consider honoring the policy in your own lives and social circles, and demand Fordham to officially do the same.

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