CHRIS ROSE: Steve Hatchell, come on up for a couple quick
STEVE HATCHELL: Good morning. Nice to see you all. Happy
Friday. Welcome back to Dallas. I had never seen all of those runways
until I looked out the window today, and now I realize why nothing
is ever on time when you come in here. It's as far as your eye can
I'm going to take just a couple of minutes to do one thing. We
gave you a book in your materials that we've never had before. It's
a small book, and we call it the National Football Foundation Blue
Book. We've been meeting with all of the conferences, the athletic
directors and the coaches and going through, frankly, what it is
the Foundation does.
So I'd like to wander through this, and I know for all of our
friends here in the metroplex, when we moved here, the one area
of the country that we didn't have any traction in our 61 year history
is in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. You say, go figure, because football
is 13 months out of the year in the state of Texas, and why haven't
we done more in this area.
I'd like you to take a little time to look at the book because
for a long time we were known simply as the dinner in New York,
first Tuesday in December, but we've expanded. We have a lot of
really cool board members, many who are here, that were architects
for this, Grant and Chuck and George, just to say the least.
We put in there our mission. We started in 1947. General Douglas
McArthur, the legendary Army coach Red Blake, and Grantland Rice,
sportswriter, put the Football Foundation together, and when Douglas
McArthur quit being the general of the Army, he moved into the Waldorf
Astoria, and he had a very large suite there until the day that
Our logo, if you look at it real carefully, the ivy leaves, is
actually the logo of the Waldorf Astoria. If you take out the football
player and put in the WA, it's the Waldorf Astoria. The beginning
of his being there was to start this dinner.
The dinner has grown. Last year we had over 1,700 people. We
had people in the east foyer. Keep in mind, the ballroom is set
for maybe 1,000, so when you get up over 1,700, you're showing the
dinner on big screens. It's going to be huge again this year.
But you can see our mission and the whole goal for 61 years is
to do all that we can to build leaders through football. You can
see some of the initiatives that we have for amateur and intercollegiate
football. I'd like you to take a little time on the board of directors
and officers because we've made a lot of changes on that, and I
touched briefly on who's on the board, but many of these people
played football and went on to be great leaders.
|Kansas' Mark Mangino, Ohio State's
Jim Tressel, TCU's Gary Patterson and Washington's Tyrone
Willingham were among the panelists at the 2008 Football
Forum. (Photo: Ian Halperin)
The history of the Football Foundation also includes leaders
such as not only Douglas McArthur, but Dwight Eisenhower, John Wayne,
Jimmy Stewart, Bull Halsey, the great Naval Admiral, to great business
people such as Juan Trippe, who owned Pan Am Airlines, and it goes
on and on and on.
The reason that we always embarrass him, but the reason we like
to point out George Weiss that was here, that he was asked to be
counsel to the foundation as a very young lawyer, and he's now been
involved almost 40 years. So when you see the growth and the development
of the Foundation and the whole idea of having big time leaders
on the Football Foundation board, a lot of this comes with that
push from George.
We're getting back to where we can now demonstrate and say that
the people on the board wore helmets and have gone on to be great
We put a piece in there about key staff members, and I got to
the Football Foundation. We had a lot of people who had never played
football, and in fact most had gone to colleges or universities
that didn't even have football. So in our offices in Morristown,
New Jersey, we talked a lot of Yankee baseball, which doesn't do
much for football.
So with the move we were able to bring people on board such as
Matthew Sign, who was All Southwest Conference nose tackle at Rice,
Ron Dilatush, who heads up our membership area. Ron has been with
Pop Warner football, he was a high school All American football
player, played at Delaware, football and baseball, and it goes on
So if you know football and you're a part of it, it really makes
a big, big difference.
We put in an action calendar, and then there's a calendar that
we'd like you to take a look at. If you just get a chance when you're
leaving today, this is a calendar of things that we do, and a lot
of it didn't exist before.
We had a press conference in New York to announce our Hall of
Fame class two weeks ago. We had 75 people there, and it was the
who's who of media in New York. Try going to New York and try to
get space in the New York Times. Well, they now staff our announcement.
It was on TV, it was live on ESPN News and ESPN U, so the evolution
of where we're going and what we're doing we believe is really catching
And the significance of this event, and then the big event June
5 that we're having with Eli and Archie Manning in New York continues
on with this. Mitch Dorger being here from the Rose Bowl is opening
doors on the West Coast that frankly we haven't been before.
As I move on, you can see under the programs that we have, events,
Hall of Fame, multimedia, one big program that we started in 1998,
and it's called Play It Smart. The feeling by the board members,
and keep in mind, this is a powerful group of guys, and the feeling
was we needed to do more to give back. So they started a program
called Play It Smart.
It works this way: We identify and train and put academic coaches
in the nastiest, toughest high schools in the country. Obviously
they're all minorities, and it's to work with the football team
to help these kids do three things. They have to perform academically,
they have to learn what it is to get prepared for college, what
it's like to study for tests, how to get ready for the SATs and
the ACTs, how to do everything that you need to do academically
to prepare yourself to get to college.
The second part is they have to go through all kinds of training
relative to life skills; how do you dress for an interview, how
do you fill out a résumé, how do you shake somebody's hand and look
them in the eye. Keep in mind, this is just with the football team.
The third part is they have to do community service. These are
kids that have nothing. Most of them don't have none of them have
two parents and many of them don't have any parents at all, so they
come from one different living environment to another to go to school.
So the stability in that school is the academic coach that we put
in there. An academic coach has to be there 20 hours a week, which
means every day all year round. This isn't a deal where you bring
in Emmitt Smith and he says, stay in school, don't use drugs, and
then he goes away the rest of the year. This academic coach is there
every day year round.
The statistics are that the graduation rates for a Play It Smart
schools is 96 percent. We're in 85 cities in 35 states. 81 percent
go on to college. And we've had some spectacular representatives
at Play It Smart. Dwayne Jarrett who went to Southern Cal is from
New Brunswick in New Jersey, and he'll tell you, it's drugs and
jail for him until he gets hooked back into Play It Smart.
Not to put them on the spot, but the reason that these four coaches
are here is that these are four coaches that when you call and say
we need some help on something, they don't say I'll rearrange my
schedule or I'll check it out; they say we're going to be there
and count on me.
Coach Tressel believes in Play It Smart so much that whenever
we have an issue, and we have a lot of penetration on Play It Smart
in Ohio, Coach Tressel literally drops everything he does to make
Play It Smart work, even to the point where his daughter Carlee
is an academic coach in Minneapolis. That's how much he believes
in the program.
We've got over 25,000 kids who have participated in this program.
There's about 12,000 kids in it at all times.
I'll give you a real life example of how it works. We went into
a school in Irvington, New Jersey, Irvington High School, that had
had 23 murders in and around that school prior to us putting an
academic coach in Irvington. We put an academic coach in who was
a tough little guy, and within a three year span of time, not only
did the murder rate drop and keep in mind to get into Irvington
you've got to go through two sets of metal detectors to get into
Irvington High School. They had 26 kids out for football at a school
with about 2,000 kids in its enrollment, so participation rate was
way down. Most of those are juniors and seniors because a lot of
kids just dropped out after their sophomore year.
Within a three year span of time, the squad rate was up to 76
kids, they played for the New Jersey state championship, and we
married up the Heisman Trust with them. Rob and Tim from the Heisman
Trust have been here, big sponsors.
When the Heisman guys went into Irvington High School and sat
down with these guys, and they lost on the last play of the game
for the state championship, they asked these kids, what do you need.
And I've got to tell you, there's holes in the walls, kids have
to sit in the rain if they want to go to class, everything.
They thought they would get responses that we needed a new weight
room, et cetera, et cetera. The football team was in a room, and
the Heisman guy said what do you need. The one kid, he waits; their
leader is a fullback, I think he's at Bowling Green; I'd have to
look it up. The kid raises his hand, and he said, we have a real
problem here that our computers don't work and they're not fast
enough, and for us to compete we need better computers. So the Heisman
guy said, okay, we'll help you with that. What else do you need?
So there's long pause, and finally another kid raises his hand,
and he said, the suburban schools have great math skills, and we
don't have math skills, and we need some help in math, and we need
somebody to come in and help teach math.
Now the Heisman guys, the guys that Rob and Tim have to work
with, which is not easy, they were totally confused. They said,
well, don't you need a new weight room? One of the other kids said,
that takes care of itself. We'll get that one worked out.
So we know that this really works. It's our give back to the
country in terms of football, and it's a big program that the Foundation
The other one that I mentioned is the Chapter System. The Chapter
System is 60 some odd years old. There's 20,000 members in the Chapter
System in 47 states. Chapter System gives out $1.1 million in scholarships
to high school kids who are great football players but not necessarily
good enough to go on and play at this level, just to go on to college.
We now have kids that were recognized as great scholar athletes
coming back into the Chapter System to help it go and grow well
into the future.
We represent 4,800 high schools, and that's a little over 400,000
football players around the country through the Chapter System.
I had several questions last night about the Hall of Fame. The
hall is fame is in South Bend, Indiana. It's 60,000 square feet.
I have a whole separate staff there of 12 people who do Hall of
Fame. It's really exciting.
We have a really fun edge with that. Because we're so close to
Notre Dame, it makes it tough, especially when Jimmy Clausen announces
that he's going to go to Notre Dame and he does it at the Hall of
Fame. The phone call from Pete Carroll and some others was not real
But I would say this, and not just because Kevin is here: Kevin
and Notre Dame are unbelievably supportive of the Foundation. He
advertises for the Hall on his NBC telecasts and at Notre Dame games,
and it frankly puts a lot of life into what we do, and it's exciting.
We have a great speakers' bureau there of coaches who come in
and talk all of the time. It's a great structure. Our problem is
we just don't get enough people, but it is a wonderful structure.
We have two programs that all four of these coaches help us a
lot on. We have a National Scholar Athlete Program that is for the
top college football players in the country. Every year we get at
least 200 nominees for the scholar athlete programs, and what we
do is we give $15,000 postgraduate scholarships, and then we give
a $25,000 scholarship to the Draddy Trophy winner, which a lot of
people call the academic Heisman.
We say it's a 3.2 or better, but the truth of the matter is you
have to have at least a 3.6. You have to be a real player; you can't
be a guy that rides on the bench. The past winners of this are who's
who of gone on to do great things in the country.
We started a Hampshire Honor Society, and just under the category
of jumping right in the middle of it, Dr. Wetherell said he'd be
delighted to chair our effort into an honor society.
What we learned, and this is the great thing about the business
that we're in, that all of these coaches and you asked them questions
yesterday about character and conduct and other things, all of these
coaches and so many coaches in the country are doing marvelous things
academically for their players. And what we learned was there might
be 200 guys that have a 3.7 or better that are eligible for these
scholarships, but there's also a lot of kids out there that have
3.2s or better that aren't going to get a scholarship.
We learned because we fell into this, I'd like to say that we
have a great study on this, but we learned that if we publicized
all of the names of all of the kids that have a 3.2 or better that
are seniors and are graduating and they are on the honor society
or they were scholar athlete finalists for the Football Foundation,
that I then get 200 to 300 letters or phone calls in our office
that say, you need to know I'm graduating from Ohio State, Kansas;
I was recognized by you guys as a scholar athlete, or I'm in the
honor society. And the group that does the honor society is chaired
by Dr. Wetherell, who wasn't just a player, he was a really good
player at Florida State. These kids will write and say, I got into
law school, I got into medical school, I'm in the NBA program because
I was recognized as being a step above just being a football player.
I'm now on the honor society. I was a Draddy Scholar finalist. We
just decided to publicize all the names, and it made us look good.
We put in here a lot of things that we're doing on action initiatives
that we do through the Hall of Fame. We had a big salute this year
with the black college football exhibit that went around the country
and is still up at the Hall of Fame. Looking back and keep in mind
of all it is is leadership through football, and that's what we're
doing with the National Football Foundation. But we put a lot of
things in here so that you know what it is that we're doing and
the directions that we're going.
With that I'll conclude, but I just wanted to give you a little
bit of a brief picture of the Football Foundation. To us these aren't
coaches, this isn't Dr. Wetherell and the two ADs; these are friends,
and we've decided that through our board and the directions that
we're going on the Football Foundation that we're not going to be
dictated to by the bad behavior of a few guys in the pros. There's
so many wonderful things going on in the sport of football that
it's up to us to expand it.
So we just wanted to go through that. Thank you all for all that
you do because these are marvelous friends. Now you know what we
do and why we keep so busy. So thanks, Chris.
CHRIS ROSE: And I think on behalf of all the media here,
we definitely want to thank Steve and Matthew and George and the
rest of the great group at the National Football Foundation for
putting this together in such a quick manner. I'm sure by next year
it's going to be even bigger. Thanks for giving us the opportunity.
We want to thank our esteemed panelists once again.
As we get going this morning, I know people have planes to catch;
everybody is going to make them, but we have some interesting topics
still on the table.
This morning we are going to start with minority coaching opportunities.
By the list we've put here, I still call it Division I, as well,
guys, so I guess that's what we're going to stick with today, I've
got six African American head coaches, one on the way to Kentucky
and two Hispanic coaches, so that would be nine if you're going
to include the one at Kentucky. Tyrone Willingham, is that number
COACH WILLINGHAM: When you base it on the fact that we
have roughly 117, 119 and maybe even 120 different universities,
I would say, yes, it is. It is a shame that at this day and age
that we have that number, and why does it exist in college football
is the explanation that everyone is seeking. Why?
CHRIS ROSE: Why do you think?
COACH WILLINGHAM: I think there are many reasons. I think,
one, there is a problem with different coaches that we still struggle
with at all levels of our society. I don't think that's any new
revelation to anyone out here. We're still battling those things.
One I think has to do with just control and power; some label
it the good ol' boy network. But I just think we're just not as
open and forthright as we should be.
CHRIS ROSE: Do you feel there's still a good ol' boy network?
COACH WILLINGHAM: No question. You've got to explain the
numbers. There's more than one answer, but it's alive and well in
certain places, yes.
CHRIS ROSE: Kevin White and Kevin Anderson, how do we
explain the numbers from an administrative standpoint?
KEVIN WHITE: Well, I think Ty said it pretty well. I don't
know that they can be explained. I know there's a lot of work to
do. There's a lot of groups right now that are spending an awful
lot of time and energy on this particular subject. I had the opportunity
most recently to attend a bit of a summit with the Black Coaches
Association in Indianapolis where Floyd Keith brought together a
number of the ethnic minority NFL and college coaches, and Tyrone
was there, as well, to talk about initiatives, what might we do,
what can we do as a community of interested parties in college and
But particularly at that point, college athletics. I think the
NFL has really gotten some traction with the Rooney Rule. That's
been pretty darn positive.
But anyway, back to college, I think the group we call NACDA,
the Collegiate Directors of Athletics Association, the 1A Athletic
Directors Association, and Dutch Baughman was here yesterday, as
well as assorted others throughout higher education have really
started to kind of think about this thing a little bit more seriously.
And I think the NFL gave us a push frankly. I think with the
Rooney Rule they put some pressure on us. But it's unconscionable
that we have those kind of numbers when you think about 119 schools
in 1A. There is no defense point.
CHRIS ROSE: I think it's probably equally important to
have something in the NFL, but even more important in college where
we're talking about everybody getting an opportunity to get an education.
I mean, there should be more advancement, correct?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Well, last year 12 of my colleagues who
were either African American or Hispanic that are athletic directors
got together, and one thing we focused on is if we don't lead the
way and we don't help, then we can't expect anybody else to help
us help ourselves. I think that one of the things that we have to
do and we have to do better is develop a pipeline, and we have to
assist people that want to aspire to be head football coaches, athletic
directors. We've got to help mentor them. We've got to see these
young people, choose them or have somebody tell us about them so
they can help develop them and put them in a light where people
can work with them and give them the opportunity to progress in
I think one thing that has happened is that we've become isolated
in many aspects and that we hire people that we're comfortable with,
and so one thing that we really need to do is we need to put people
in arenas where they can get to know one another and network, because
many of my colleagues, I know that they've gotten into a network
and they've been very successful in this line of business and other
lines of business, and I think that's what we need to do. We're
working on those kinds of things.
But there's one thing that we talked a little bit about yesterday
that I think that there's a lot of African American coaches that
are concerned about, and it came up in this meeting that Kevin and
I were at in Indianapolis, that when you ask some of the NFL coaches
why they won't come and be college coaches, because of what we talked
about yesterday, all of the many things that you have to do and
all the political things you have to do, and they said they weren't
interested in that. They were interested in coaching football and
not having to play the politics that they felt happened at this
level and what we talked about a little bit yesterday.
So those are some of the issues that we have to fight, as well.
CHRIS ROSE: So there isn't an initiative on the table
from what I understand from when there is a coaching vacancy at
this level in college football, that it's not like the Rooney Rule
where you might interview a minority coaching candidate, but you're
encouraged to; is that the initiative, Kevin White?
KEVIN WHITE: Let me speak to that. The 1A Athletic Directors
Association, and that was really Dutch has been the author, has
put together a principle and/or professional standards, acceptable
standards I think is the term he uses, and it identifies exactly
what institutions should do so that there are fair and meaningful
opportunities for people to seek employment when there are vacancies.
And not only seek employment but also to go out and recruit representation,
ethnic minority and otherwise, and I think that has some traction
when I talk to my colleagues across the athletic director community,
across 1A. There appears to be an awful lot of support for that.
There's actually, and I won't get into it here, but there's actually
some conversation about taking that initiative, Dutch's piece, and
taking it to the next level and kind of getting it approved by perhaps
governing bodies at institutions as well as a university administration,
not only the athletics principals.
CHRIS ROSE: Dr. Wetherell, we need legislation here is
what it sounds like in order to really make it happen and go to
the next step, don't we?
DR. WETHERELL: I'm not sure I agree you need legislation.
I'm not sure you can mandate morality, and every time we've tried
to do that in my judgment, and maybe this is a political statement,
we've made a mistake. College presidents look at hiring coaches
maybe a little bit different than athletic directors, and as we
all know in this room, we've been involved in that process, and
there's no one hiring process that comes down the same way. It happens
for different reasons, for different circumstances for different
But I think you see presidents not just with the racial issue
but the gender issue being more aware. The idea that you're just
going to interview somebody because they're an African American
or because they're female is kind of offensive, I think. If you're
really serious about it, get you a list and interview people that
you're serious about, but don't put them through something that
there's no real intent there.
I think more and more of us are trying to look at I think Kevin
or somebody mentioned, a farm system, a leader system. The difference
in hiring a head coach, and I'm not a coach, but an offensive coordinator,
to be a head coach, you've just got to make a transition for a different
set of skill sets and you've got to do things that these folks do
So we need that pipeline not to just be a coach, an X and O,
but start raising money and representing the universities and doing
the things you've got to do. Those are the skills that you start
looking at when you hire a head coach.
I think coaches are most coaches want African Americans in terms
of football and others on their staff. It's a great way to relate
to students, to get rid of the problems that we've talked about
here, and you need that diversity.
CHRIS ROSE: I want to hear from the four coaches on this
one. Do you guys have have had over the years minority coaches on
your staff where you maybe say, okay, these are guys that have the
ability to be head coaches, I'm going to take a little extra interest
in these guys and show them the ropes of maybe some of the things
that we do maybe beyond the practice field, handling the kids away
from the field, as well? Coach Tressel?
COACH TRESSEL: I think as some of the people have mentioned,
there have been some good initiatives. I remember one of the guys,
Donny Treadwell, who worked for Ty at a couple different places,
is now on the Michigan State staff, as far back as the mid '80s,
he went out on a minority coaching experience with the '49ers and
we encouraged our guys to do that. Paul Haynes on our staff was
just at the group out in Phoenix that had an initiative to start
nurturing and so forth.
Ours a little bit is a race against time as we've talked about
in those other things. We don't have a whole bunch of down time
that we can grab a staff member and say, okay, let me take you over
to this booster and show you how we try to help build our new facility
because every bit of time we have for our coaches is scheduled to
be with your players and those kinds of things.
But I think we've really made a concerted effort to try to give
young people experiences. I see one of the tough things when I look
at my staff, whether it's African American or otherwise, is right
now, I don't think any of them would be interested in a job that
I was interested in when I was an assistant at Ohio State because
the difference in pay now, quite honestly, with what they're making
at the 1A level as assistants and what is being paid at the what's
it called now, the Football Championship Division and below, you
know, I'm not sure that there's as much interest, that they want
to go back into to learn how to do some of the things a head coach
has to do at maybe a little bit lesser level.
To me the bottom line in the whole thing is there's probably
more sportswriters in Dallas than there are head coaches in the
nation. It's competitive. And if you're a president, you're an AD,
you want the best person. As Dr. Wetherell said, you're not just
going to interview people. We've got to work hard with our coaches
and our players that have a background, that have a passion to be
a coach, and hopefully we can get those numbers turned and changed.
But it's highly competitive. But I applaud the NFL and the BCA and
all the groups that are working hard to prepare someone for a very
competitive chance to be a Division I head coach. It's tough. But
I think they're working on it.
COACH WILLINGHAM: The thing I would add is that we need
programs of all natures to develop a coaching pool. We need programs
that teach the skill sets that are needed. But you also we must
have legislation. I think it's clear. We're not changing the numbers
based on how we've done it in the past. So therefore it's necessary
to have something not to mandate that a president or an athletic
director hire an African American or a minority, but at least they
have an opportunity to sit down and then you expand the pool and
can determine what young men are capable, and maybe they create
another opportunity through that interview in itself.
We've gone too long with the numbers the way they are, and to
sit around and explain them and rationalize them, and we could be
coming up with all the different programs, they're good, they're
necessary, but we have to change the face of what we're doing, and
the only way to do that is legislation.
I happened to get up this morning and watch a little bit of the
news, and they were awarding a lady I think from Chile, one of the
TV networks did with awarding heroes of the week or something of
that nature, and they gave her this award because she was teaching
children to clean up in her area. But what she said was the quality
of their work. What would be the quality of our work if we didn't
have some type of administration and legislative body to look over
that work? The world of football needs some legislation to make
sure it's right.
KEVIN WHITE: I just want to underscore something that
T.K. said just one more time. I don't think our problem, at least
this is at least from my perspective, is not just a ethnic minority
problem; I think it's a pluralism problem. As I look at this thing,
maybe it's too simplistically, about 50 percent of the young men
that play this game that we're here to talk about, college football,
are ethnic minority. I think that's close to the numbers. So you
would think that we would have at some point in time, we would have
some representation in coaching that would be commensurate with
the population, okay?
And when you think about pluralism, you think about an intercollegiate
athletic department, 50 percent of the participants just happen
to be female. And the absence of female athletic directors is not
unlike the absence of minority head football coaches, and I think
it's kind of a similar problem, and I think initiatives need to
be put in play to get people ready.
We're not talking about having token interviews and putting people
in positions to fail, but we really need to start thinking about
getting representatives of both of those classes. We need to get
them ready to be successful. We need to think about how do we put
initiatives in play so that people can kind of move forward, because
you've got a lot of high quality people in college athletics. You've
got a lot of high quality ethnic minorities that are in the queue
already; they just need opportunity. And the same with females as
it relates on the administrative side.
I actually see them very similarly, and I don't know if you see
it like I see it, but the numbers are surprisingly similar.
CHRIS ROSE: Coach Willingham, just out of curiosity, was
Stanford the first head coaching interview you had?
COACH WILLINGHAM: No, the first coaching interview I had
was Wake Forest.
CHRIS ROSE: Did it feel like a token interview?
COACH WILLINGHAM: No, I didn't think it was.
CHRIS ROSE: So you felt like they were serious?
COACH WILLINGHAM: Yes, because I thought I did my research
on the athletic director and those people that would be involved
in it and felt like it was worth my time to go.
CHRIS ROSE: Do you have a lot of assistant coaches, minority
assistant coaches, that are outside of your program that call you,
ask you for advice, and say how do I get through this invisible
wall, if there is one?
COACH WILLINGHAM: Usually the calls that I get are the
ones that are getting ready to go into an interview, and they want
to make sure that they're prepared and ready to go for that interview.
So I don't usually get that random call just to kind of talk about
weeding through the process.
I've spoken before enough in front of the programs that are trying
to develop these guys that we get those questions in that format.
CHRIS ROSE: Before we go to questions, Coach Patterson,
Coach Mangino, do you guys have minority assistants on your staff
that talk to you about maybe some of the frustrations they've had
in not being able to break through?
COACH MANGINO: No, I haven't. We've tried to be helpful
in any way that we can with them, talking about the symposium that
they have in Phoenix for minority coaches, and we had one of our
coaches attend, and he said he thought it was very worthwhile. He
met a lot of people, he learned a lot of things, and he's a quality
coach. He's a young guy but very, very capable.
You know, talking about having more minority head coaches, there
is a real problem with that. I mean, it's an embarrassment to the
But I think that there are things that we could do to improve
it for the long term. Several years back there was talk about adding
a third graduate assistant, and out of your three graduate assistants,
one of them had to be a minority position, would be mandated. It
really never got any legs; it died on the vine. Why, I don't know.
It certainly could be cost cutting measures, but graduate assistants
at our place are making $9,700 a year, and we spend that on mouthpieces
(laughter). So I don't think that's the issue.
I've always been a proponent, to be quite honest with you, of
adding a tenth full time coach. Everybody structures their staff
differently. Some have a special teams coordinator and then four
on offense and four coaches on defense. I think it just makes you
thin on both sides. Most people do it where they have five on one
side of the ball, four coaches on the other side of the ball and
one of them is the coordinator, but the entire staff absorbs special
I think for the sake of supervising kids, you want us to win,
you want us to graduate kids, we have to keep up with APR, but we
don't want to add anything in terms of supervision of the athletes.
And I think one more coach would help in supervision, a full time
coach and a third graduate assistant position. That would help supervise
the kids, and I think it would create more opportunities to get
minority coaches at the ground level, breaking in young kids that
can work their way up to be young head coaches, and I think you
can utilize I'm not saying you have to mandate that position, the
full time position to be a minority position, but obviously it's
going to help in that area, as well. That would be a thought.
I think we have an opportunity to do those things, but I know
that there's been some talk about the position through the AFCA
a little bit about creating the position. We can't seem to move
it. There's barriers.
CHRIS ROSE: Coach Patterson?
COACH PATTERSON: Well, I would agree with all of the above,
but I'd probably take a little bit of approach to all of it. Coach
Taft, the academy with the National Football Coaches Association,
I go to it every year, always have, try to tutor one of those young
guys. You know, from my standpoint is this: The way we treat graduate
assistants is we're going to treat them like full time coaches.
They're going to be in trouble if they screw up, we're going to
try to teach them, every graduate assistant that's graduated out
of our place has got a full time position. I hire guys, not only
graduate assistants but full time guys if they're good people and
they work hard.
I think two of the problems that we have that goes on that kind
of we butt heads with, we're now making good enough money that we
have pro players plus some pro assistants that come back to the
college ranks, which not necessarily just because they come from
that level are they qualified to be great college assistants, and
there's a little bit of a difference.
It was said here before from Kevin, that not necessarily do coaches
want to come back to the college ranks. One of those is the work
ethic because you're just not a full time coach; you've got to go
on the road for three or four months and recruit, and you're not
going to be around your family. You deal with the politics, you've
got rules, you've got to take a test to pass it.
The last thing that I have is kids come up in a work ethic, and
I think it's not just a football problem. And I'm not talking about
any race, I'm just talking about the younger generation. You've
got to work what some of us grew up doing, I came from Sonoma State.
You washed the clothes, you cooked three meals during two a days.
You did all those things that a lot of kids in this day and age
don't want to do.
They don't want to get paid $9,000 for the year. They want to
make more money. I slept out of the back of my car for about 30
days at Tennessee Tech when I was at a 1AA school. We're fighting
more than just the one problem. There's a lot of things that go
into it with just the generational growing up. They want instant
gratification. I want the $70,000 full time position, not just with
African Americans, but with Caucasians and anybody else. They want
that full time position. I want to go on the road recruiting, I
don't want to break down the film, I don't want to do that part
You know, so for me, when I go in to look for it, it wouldn't
matter to me if all my staff was all Caucasian or all African American.
If they were good football coaches and good recruiters and I thought
they represented me on a great level, then that's the way my staff
But I do think because of the amount of money that we get paid
that we do, as was said before, we do hire people that we trust
because we know our job is in jeopardy. If one of those guys doesn't
represent me in the right manner, then I'm going to get fired if
they screw up. Because in my contract it says, institutional control
of one of your members of your staff or one of your student athletes
doesn't act the right way, then this is going to happen.
So I think there's a lot of problems out there, there's a lot
of walls that we have to break through, and we have to have a little
patience. I agree with Tyrone. I think we have a problem, and I
think it's more than just that problem. I think we have a problem
with our professionals.
We have 119 schools. I've got probably out of nine full time
assistants, seven of them that want to be the head coach at TCU
if they could be and then a couple graduate assistants. You have
to have a little luck with all of that, also. It's just not one
of those situations where you sit and you have it.
You know, I think there definitely is a problem, but I think
the problem stems from both sides. The money is good enough that
the pros now a lot of the pros, some of them do want to come back
because of it, but also you have those, they see it but they don't
really want to pay the price like a lot of us sitting at the table.
How many years were you at Youngstown State, Coach?
COACH TRESSEL: 15.
COACH PATTERSON: You don't have all the bells and whistles
at a 1AA school and you pay the price and you work hard, and hopefully
you get a chance.
I think the biggest thing I hear from across the table is we
just need to find more opportunities on how to give these kids a
chance. But it's not an easy road for any of us, I don't think.
I feel very fortunate to have been I thought I was just lucky. It
happened to be at a time when we were No. 1 in the nation, head
coach takes a job and TCU gave me an opportunity. It wasn't one
of those things where I think a lot of people thought that I was
the best candidate. I just happened to be in the right place at
the right time and then you've got to prove that you can make it
That's the problem you have in any profession, there's a little
bit of all of that.
CHRIS ROSE: We're going to take some questions.
Q. This is for Kevin White and Dr. Wetherell. Why do you guys
feel like we've had so much success and seen so much more success
at the NFL level than we have at the collegiate level? And also,
I know there's some situation, it also seems like you're seeing
this wave where coaches are basically getting anointed or being
appointed by a former coach, and that seems to kind of smack in
the face of perversity and fair opportunity.
KEVIN WHITE: Let me start with the anointment of coaches
by the succession coaches, that kind of business we're starting
to see. I'm not sure that that helps when you think in terms of
providing opportunity, but it may be just the right move for that
particular situation or that particular given institution at that
particular time. So it's really hard for me to speak to that one.
I haven't had that opportunity, I haven't been in that position.
But I may find myself in that position, and that may be what makes
some sense at Notre Dame at some point.
You ask even, I think, a better question. You ask about why NFL
and why not college, I think, is basically what I took away from
your question. I find myself thinking a lot about that. The NFL,
the parent organization, the NFL, is a lot different than 1A or
what we're calling now the FBS, I guess. It goes back to what I
tried to say yesterday, that bad analogy I used, the barroom scene
from Star Wars, different sizes, shapes and colors. We're not connected
to public, private. We're connected to state statutes; some are
not. We have lots of different ways that we operate.
So there isn't from franchise to franchise, across all the collegiate
franchises, far different than across those NFL franchises which
are very corporate and a tightly held group and operating under
a pretty defined set of rules and regs. At least that's how I look
at it as a pedestrian. And they were able to put in place that Rooney
Rule, and they felt that when I talk to Tony Dungy and others, they
feel that it's Lovie Smith and whoever else was in our meeting,
they feel it's had a significant impact on the NFL.
You couldn't put in a Rooney Rule in college athletics, again,
because of what I just said, the lack of homogeneity across the
119 institutions and all the different rules and regs and private,
public, and the rest of it, I just don't believe that that could
ever happen. And if it could happen, I don't think that it would
So I see a major difference in a professional franchise, in the
collection of professional franchises, as opposed to the collection
of collegiate franchises. I think it's two different silos, it's
two different subsectors, and I think it's vastly different.
But again, the succession thing, Dr. Wetherell just went through
that and he could probably speak to it better than I could, but
for some institutions I'm sure it makes sense or they wouldn't be
DR. WETHERELL: I think as Kevin said, college athletics,
colleges are tough. There aren't many African American or even female
presidents of 1AA institutions of higher education if you look at
The NFL to me, and it's a great game and I watch it every now
and then, but it's a business. You go, you do the job, you don't
make the catch, you don't do whatever, you don't have a job next
College, there are just a bunch of different mindsets that a
college coach in my judgment has to exercise. You're dealing with
younger kids, you're dealing with people who just have different
value systems, and it's just tough.
So to try and say, well, you were a great college coach or NFL
coach, you can come in here and be a good college coach, I don't
think that's necessarily true. In fact, I don't know if you've looked
at the numbers, but if you look at it, there's probably more college
coaches that go to the pros and don't do so well and try and come
back or vice versa. They don't move between those two systems; they're
just totally different.
So the idea that you can go and win a Super Bowl and turn around
and come into college coaching and be automatically successful,
there's not many people coaching at the college level, at this level,
that aren't great Xs and Os people. Everybody understands how to
lead a defense or run a pathway or do whatever. But the margin of
difference is how you relate to those kids and are you really willing
to spend 18 hours a day, are you willing to take your wife on her
birthday and go recruit a kid and are you willing to have them into
your house and those kind of things are what make college special,
and you've got to want to do that.
That's not what makes it work in the pros in my mind, so I don't
know. I just don't see the relationship there. I think there are
opportunities out there, and I wouldn't mind seeing more graduate
assistants, more college coaches, not just for on the field, but
to bring we've got a kid that played for us, Terrell Buckley, went
off and played for I think the Packers, had a pretty good career,
came back, did a graduate assistantship, we brought him into the
weight room. We're trying to find a place to hire him, and we would
love to hire him, but we can't get there.
Somebody is going to get one whale of a defensive back coach.
If you give that kid about five years, he'll be a candidate for
a head coaching job. He's just got the personality, he's got the
mindset, you can see it and just feel it in the kid. That's the
way I look at it. If you're going to hire a coach, we all know you
hire Neinas and then get a coach (laughter).
KEVIN ANDERSON: What the president just said, he though,
and I think what Rooney is all about, it's about opportunity. A
lot of those guys now that are head coaches in the NFL got the opportunity
to present themselves in front of people and they made an impression
that they wouldn't if they didn't get the opportunity, nobody would
have ever known who they were. They made a great impression and
got hired and they've done a great job.
I think if you look at all the people who have jobs now in the
NFL that are head coaches did a great job, so had they not gotten
the opportunity to be exposed, they might not be head coaches now.
COACH PATTERSON: I agree with him. If you look on an NFL
staff, you'll see about 20 coaches. I think when it comes down to
budget, I think maybe not at some institutions but maybe at the
ones that don't have the budget to do it, but I think it really
it just comes down to financially you can only have two on the field
coaches, but one of the things we do at our place is we have video
GAs that learn how to do it, then once the on the field GAs move,
if we had more of a budget to have more of those guys where we could
actually train them ourselves, do it. But financially that's probably
one of the bigger differences between maybe some Division I schools
and the NFL is that they have the budget to have they have a lot
That's where you get your opportunity. You get a chance to hire
guys so you can see them and get a chance to know them and see what
they're like before they do that. So probably financially it's one
of the keys that we could do to help us get that opportunity.
Q. Coach Willingham, do you think that this issue has been
around for a while obviously. Is there just continued talk and not
just action? And the second part, do you think a Rooney Rule would
work at the college level given what everybody said about the diversity
and 119 different schools, that legislation might be difficult to
work at all the different schools?
COACH WILLINGHAM: The fact that this issue has been around
for a long time, we continue to talk, we develop programs which
are good programs, I don't want anyone to think that from my perspective
the programs that we're developing are not good, because one of
the things you want to give any individual is as much on the field
training or opportunity to learn and grow as you possibly can.
But we cannot stop with just the training of the individuals,
okay? I listened slightly to our comparison with the NFL to a degree,
and there's no question, NFL in many cases is one single owner or
one owner that represents many owners, but he has one voice and
you can do things a lot different at that landscape.
Our collegiate environment is different. The diversity of the
universities is different. But regardless of all of that, somehow
we need to find a way to get individuals in front of these committees
and/or presidents and/or athletic directors that are making the
hires. It's not about hiring; it's about creating an opportunity.
And right now what we're not doing, in many cases we're not creating
the opportunity for that individual to show his skill sets, because
I don't think you have to be an NFL coach to have the skill sets
necessary to coach in college, and I think President Wetherell said
that in the sense that they may be totally opposite.
But we do have individuals now in the system that have the skill
sets that are available. I've always described it this way because
obviously I get asked about this issue quite a bit. I've always
said when it came down to teaching my son, would I really care who
taught him as long as I learned the information they were teaching.
I wouldn't care. Right now for some reason we do care who's teaching
the individual, and we're not getting the opportunity for the minority
coach to sit in front of these committees and have an opportunity
to show their skill sets.
Q. In my job as a broadcaster I get to interact with a good
number of coaches, and I've had the pleasure of interacting with
all four coaches up here and they've been great in everything that
they've done with us, but when you also talk with their assistants
and people who are trying to get jobs, one of the impressions they
have, and this is more for President Wetherell and Kevin and Kevin,
one of the impressions they have is that one of the stumbling blocks
is it's very difficult for you at your position to sell a minority
coach to your alumni, to your boosters, to the people who have the
money. It's almost like Deep Throat, follow the money. And it's
very difficult at closing time to make that sale, is the impression
that is out there. Kevin, we know that you hired Coach Willingham,
but that was after you had hired someone else and that didn't go
the right way. You had a couple of African American basketball coaches
in succession, President Wetherell, so this is not an indictment,
this is just as people who are in that position. Do you hear that?
Do you understand where that's coming from? And is it real or is
it imagined, because a lot of them say I get to the interview, I
talk, it seems like it goes well, and then someone will outside
of that meeting say, well, I just couldn't close the deal with the
people who sign the checks.
DR. WETHERELL: I'll try and speak to it from a president's
perspective. I think that's totally inaccurate, and it's just the
opposite, quite frankly. Florida State is in the south and probably
pretty much closer to Georgia than it is Florida, whatever that
means (laughter). And we have hired African American coaches and
been successful and had some other changes.
Our boosters, our donors I don't think will blink one iota if
we bring an African American name forward that is capable, that
has the skill set that we're looking for at that moment in time.
I think that era is behind us, and if it's behind us in Tallahassee,
Florida, in the south, I'm assuming the rest of the country is somewhere
else above us.
I'm not black, I'm not female, so I can't necessarily walk in
those shoes. I can understand intellectually when I look at the
numbers and things like that how people might come to that conclusion.
But I'm a college president that hasn't written a book. I didn't
come up through the academic ranks, I came up through the political
ranks and athletic ranks, and in my own way, I think I felt prejudiced
in certain other regards.
So I can understand how you feel that, but from a president's
perspective, I would love to have some African American candidates
that I could put forward. It wouldn't affect the boosters at Florida
State University one bit, and I don't believe quite frankly if you
look at the colleges in the state of Florida, and some of them I've
dealt with, I think that prejudice is behind us, I really do.
Q. I live in Florida, also. Respectfully I would disagree
with you. I don't think that those days are totally behind us. But
from your perspective, I understand. I hope you understand where
I'm coming from. I don't think that that is totally behind us at
this point, otherwise we wouldn't have the same I don't think we'd
sit here and have to talk about these numbers. I'm asking just as
a broad thing, and I fully appreciate your answer.
KEVIN ANDERSON: I think you're a prime example. You were
an outstanding administrator, and you should have been an athletic
director. Now, I don't want to speak for you, but I think you became
somewhat frustrated because of being passed over once or twice,
and now you have a career in broadcasting and do an excellent job.
But working with you and being part of that, I think you understand
better than most that the opportunities for African Americans is
not as great as the opportunity for other folks, unless you get
into a network, unless you work hard at what you do and you're recognized.
And I think that's the biggest key now is getting people opportunities
and recognition and having them have the opportunity to get in front
And that's what we have to develop, because I think if we develop
those avenues, I think people can sell themselves. Ron Prince is
a prime example of that. No one knew of Ron Prince. Ron Prince went
down to Kansas State, did an excellent job at interviewing and he
got hired. But had Ron Prince not gotten the opportunity to get
into that interview, Ron prince would still be at Virginia.
I mean, it's breaking down those barriers, and I think we do
have to do something to remove the bushes, and once we remove the
bushes people will either have clothes on or they'll be naked, and
that's when we'll move forward.
KEVIN WHITE: That was an analogy I wasn't going to steal
(laughter). But if I might remember yesterday, I think the quote
I took away from yesterday was from Coach Tressel when his dad told
him you've got 1,000 opportunities to keep your mouth shut, I may
take one of those opportunities at this point, but I won't; I'm
I would just say, Charles, it's a work in progress. I've been
doing this a couple decades, pushing three, and I know I've got
a hell of a lot to learn. But it's gotten a whole lot better. There's
a lot more acceptance than there ever has been for the whole pluralism
scene. I think we're close to really cracking it open. I think there's
a lot of people seriously talking in earnest about these issues.
We talked about that just a few minutes ago. I think what there
is is an absence of people that are at the ready. You can take NFL
coordinators and bring them back. And somebody made a great case.
There is some data, I've read some data, where these are silos,
and the way this profession works now, it used to be in my day way
back, it was a horizontal profession. If you did really well at
a smaller level, you'd go to the next level; if you did really well
there you had an opportunity to kind of be upwardly mobile.
Now it's a vertical profession, and people tend to kind of get
ready within a specific silo, and within college athletics, within
1A, we've got to get more people ready.
You know, ethnic minorities need to be head coaches at 1AA institutions
or smaller 1A institutions. We've got to get more ethnic minorities
in the coordinator positions. We've just got to get more people
ready. That's what I think.
And that same analogy I would say for the women in the athletic
administration realm. We've got to get women, deputy athletic directors
and senior associates and get them ready. We just have not done
that. I don't think we've done a good job of getting people ready
so that there's a high quality pool at the ready, as I guess I've
struggled to say here. But there are really high quality people,
but I don't think we've done a great job mentoring and putting them
And I think Kevin made a great point because we heard that from
the NFL coaches. There's three or four coaches in the league right
now that were fourth or fifth in terms of selection options, but
when they got in front of the owners, they did a great job presenting
themselves and they call the call, they got the opportunity.
So unfortunately we kind of need to find a way to get people
in front of people. And all the different mentoring institutes that
have been created and the rest of it, they'll all be helpful. I
think we're very close to cracking this thing open. That's my personal
KEVIN ANDERSON: Kevin talked about this earlier on. This
is the first time that everybody has sat down at the table and talked.
Dutch Baughman has been a great leader in this, NACDA, the McClinton
Minority Scholarship, the BCA, everybody this year has started to
sit down at the table and talk about this.
And I think the most difficult thing in this country is to talk
about race. The most difficult thing is to talk about race. And
now I can see open and honest dialogue, and people are uncomfortable.
But you know, until we talk about this, and it's going to be uncomfortable,
we won't be able to move forward.
So I think the dialogue is starting to open up now and people
really want to deal with this at a level in which we see progress
and we see people getting hired and getting jobs.
CHRIS ROSE: We do have to move on, but I do have a quick
question for Kevin Anderson, and I don't mean to put you on the
spot here, but you were talking about you're now in a position to
make a difference perhaps. Somewhere down the line you're going
to have to hire a new football coach. If there's two candidates
that are very similar and one is a minority candidate, do you feel
the inward pressure to hire that person?
KEVIN ANDERSON: My job is to hire the best person for
my athletes. If it's the minority candidate, then I'm going to hire
him. If it's the white applicant, I'm going to hire him. I'm going
to hire the best person for my program and for my athletes because
it's my job to make sure that they graduate, that they play and
they compete on the field at the highest level.
But the more important thing is I want somebody who's going to
develop these young people to be leaders in this country and do
the right thing for this country and for their communities.
So it depends. It's going to be the best person who's going to
COACH WILLINGHAM: I'm hopeful that we won't leave this
issue and look at it simply as a racial issue. I say that because
if you look at the collegiate landscape, we have a fair number of
African American or minority basketball coaches, and yet these are
the same committees, administrators that have opportunities to hire
both football and basketball coaches, so there's got to be more
to it than just a racial factor, and we need to identify what that
is and get it out of your systems so we can get the right people.
And Kevin said it very well; it's about hiring the right people.
I don't think there's an African American that wants to be hired
just because they're an African American. We have great skill sets
and we want the right persons that are seeking the right opportunity.
DR. WETHERELL: Coach Willingham made a good point. The
prejudice out there is not racial or gender. When you're Florida
State or Ohio State or any of these, people think, well, you've
got to go hire the Michigan coach or the Arkansas coach or the whatever
coach. There's a lot of great coaches sitting down there at I don't
know, Coach Tressel, but I'm sure when Ohio State started looking,
no offense, they might have been looking over at some other place,
Bobby Bowden. Better not (laughter).
But anyway, the idea that you're going to reach down from Florida
State and hire somebody from this other institution or hire an offensive
coordinator or assistant AD as opposed to some seated AD, that prejudice
is harder to overcome with boards of trustees and athletic boards
than a racial or gender prejudice, to reach down and say, man, this
is a hotshot. This is one that's on the way up, this guy can do
the job, or this lady can do the job.
At Florida State, we sometimes think, well, we've got to go get
somebody that Florida was going to hire or Miami or whatever, I
don't know. So to me the prejudice is the explanation to your board
of trustees, or in my case athletic board. I don't need a seated
athletic coach or a seated AD to do the job under certain circumstances,
and then you can reach down and pick up who you want, which may
or may not be a minority at that point.
I'm more concerned with that, with looking where is this guy
going to be five years, ten years down the road, or did I hire the
COACH WILLINGHAM: But those are some of the very things
that keeps the African American out of the pool, when you talk about
the commercialism of what we do. Okay, can I sell this guy, how
will it represented to our board, how will it be represented to
our public. That's part of the issue, that somehow we need to break
that so we can get those candidates in front of the groups and let
them present their wares.
CHRIS ROSE: Guys, we have to move on. Recently we found
out there's no plus one playoff system in the near future, so I
want to start with the coaches on this one. To play off or not to
play off? I know you guys say, well, it's a system we're dealing
with. I just want to know what's in your heart these days, Coach
Tressel? If I remember you won some championships through a playoff,
COACH TRESSEL: I did, and we felt that prejudice that
they didn't want to interview us 1AA coaches for years. We're fighting
for each other, the Frank Beamers of the world.
It's a little bit different world in the 1AA. In fact, we talked
about this just sitting around with a couple of the guys. When you
add more games in a playoff system for a 1AA guy, it's probably
one more game that he gets to play in his life, because his career,
percentage wise, is probably going to end after college. And there
wasn't a Bowl system in 1AA, so we didn't have X number of guys
going to get to play a postseason game. So you cherished every game
you could play.
Now, fast forward it to a 1A situation, where there are so many
opportunities for postseason play. After we played Miami in 2002,
and I looked at the two teams limping off the field after an overtime
or two or whatever it was, I thought to myself, wow, could you pick
up and go play another game next week, with the reality that a lot
of those guys on that field were going to have a chance to have
a short professional career, maybe even some have a long professional
career; what's in the best interest of the student athletes?
I think there will be a day where we move into something beyond
what we're doing. I can't tell you that I have a great idea right
now as to what it ought to be, plus one or this or that. But the
Bowl experience is wonderful. The reality of our guys is that we
played on January 7th and they had to decide by the 15th whether
or not they were going out early in the NFL, and some of them left
the game and went to an All Star Game.
The time crunch calendar wise of moving further into January
and so forth I think affects some kids who are getting ready to
go on to the next short moment in their life if they have that chance.
So I'm not for a full blown playoff system if it affects the Bowls,
if it pushes the calendar deeper into their postgraduate world.
And I worry sometimes that because we are interested in finding
out who's first, it's like these guys are worried about is their
story first is is it right, we want to make sure we get it right,
as opposed to just figuring out who was first. One time in the 1AA
playoffs we ended up ranked 17th and didn't get in, and we thought
we were the best team in the country. We screamed and yelled and
had won six in a row at the end or whatever. So you're never going
to please everybody as to saying who's the best team. So somehow,
some way, I think we'll inch toward improving. We've got a pretty
good product right now.
CHRIS ROSE: Coach Mangino, I've got to imagine, I was
with your kids after you won the FedEx Orange Bowl. I wasn't in
the locker room afterward. I've got to imagine after a 12 win season
and taking care of a pretty physical Virginia Tech team, you had
some kids that were like, "I'll take on the winner of Ohio State
and LSU. I'm ready." I've got to imagine that.
COACH MANGINO: Well, you've got to be careful what college
kids say sometimes (laughter). At 12 and 1 you won the Orange Bowl;
don't look a gift horse in the mouth (laughter).
I see it the way Jim sees it. I like the Bowl system. I know
eventually because of public pressure and economics that we probably
at some point in time are going to go to some kind of playoff system.
But I hope it doesn't affect the Bowls. I think the Bowls are unique
to college football, and everybody that's a college football fan
just loves that period of time where the Bowls start in mid December
and go through the 1st of January. It's what makes college football
I wouldn't want to take those Bowl experiences away from the
players because they really and truly enjoy it, and it's something
that they I don't care how many Bowl games you play or are coaching,
they're all special. Those are memories that the players will have
I have a feeling eventually, based on economics, probably more
than anything, that we will eventually have some type of playoff,
but I hope it doesn't destroy the Bowl structure as we know it today.
CHRIS ROSE: Here I am figuring out a little system here
to keep the Bowl system in place. Work with me, people. I've got
the winner of the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl taking on the winner
of the Sugar and the Fiesta. They can meet in the Rose in the semifinals,
and then another
COACH TRESSEL: When is this, February?
CHRIS ROSE: I've got some time in March (laughter). I
mean, is that really the biggest problem? Is it the time? Couldn't
we move back to an 11 game regular season and start the playoffs
in December or something? Am I just out there, and Chris, go back
KEVIN ANDERSON: I think the beauty of the Bowls is three
years ago you have Auburn disputing that they should have been national
champions. My good friend Damon Evans tells me that he was a national
champion last year. And I think that it creates this conversation
that we have throughout the year, and so it keeps that excitement,
helps me sell tickets, and if we go into if we go to this championship
that's why they play on Sunday. I think that it gives our fans something
to hope for, to live with throughout the year, and then if you go
to a championship, it's first and second and that's it.
COACH WILLINGHAM: Let me ask this question: Who is the
CHRIS ROSE: Listen, the fans how many millions of fans
went to games last year, almost 50 million, I think? We buy jerseys,
we buy the product. We want to feel a part of what you guys are
doing. I guess the games are played, but you don't play in empty
stadiums. If it was strictly just for the kids on the field, then
you'd play with nobody watching I assume.
COACH WILLINGHAM: Don't shoot the messenger now. I just
asked the question.
COACH PATTERSON: A couple things you have to ask yourself,
number one, let's go back to how we started this whole conference
with the APR. You want to go have a playoff so you keep kids all
the way through December. You have it so now you're not going to
be there in finals and do things again. I go back to the student
But the second thing I would stick up for the Bowl progress is
now we have we had 64 Bowls, so last year we had at least 32 winners.
Once you go to a playoff system, now one thing, I love the basketball
tournament because of the excitement. In fact, that's about the
time I get a chance to watch basketball.
But you end up except for one team, you end up losing your final
game. One thing about the Bowl system is there's 32 teams that end
up winning the final game. You end up with a positive, you end up
with something. I believe in the experience.
You know, the one thing about playing in a playoff is I don't
know how it would be anywhere else, but there would only be about
three hours of excitement. That would be if we won after the game
on the ride home because the rest of the six days we're going to
be working 24 hours a day getting ready for a ballgame. It's not
going to be any fun for the kids.
If you think the playoff system is going to be fun for the kids
except for the team that wins the final game, we'd all be kidding
ourselves because you put the amount of every ballgame is a National
Championship game, every game is going to be like the BCS final
game. It's going to be because to get to the next round, so you're
talking about six hard days of work, we let them take one day off,
somewhere we'll work finals in between all of it, and then yeah,
we'll end up as the National Championship winner, but there's not
going to be anybody else happy.
COACH TRESSEL: And we're going to have an early signing
day, so we've got to get those guys signed (laughter).
COACH MANGINO: One of the problems I see with it, also,
and I tip my cap to the 1AA coaches, and probably nobody has done
it better here than Jim when he was at Youngstown State. But I can't
imagine December where you're recruiting, trying to get ready for
a game each week, and then your kids have finals. And I just know
that when we're in spring ball and our kids are having midterms
or midterms in the fall, that week we have to really make sure that
our kids are sharp and focused on the practice field.
I couldn't imagine finals week when we have some outstanding
students on our team that are academic all conference and academic
all American guys, their brain would fry. They would just short
circuit having to worry about a game plan, practicing and taking
a calculus final or economics final. I know that that's overlooked
by a lot of people, especially fans who really don't care about
that aspect. But I think it's a factor, a big factor.
CHRIS ROSE: Coach Willingham, did I shoot down one of
COACH WILLINGHAM: You were working yesterday. We're still
working today (laughter).
COACH TRESSEL: I think there's one other issue we found
in the 1AA playoffs, it's a little bit of a financial strain on
the parents. For instance, we played at Eastern Washington one week
and then the next week we played Villanova and then we played down
at Chattanooga for the National Championship. Now, that's tough
on a family to try to get to those places, and we got to the point
where some of our home game playoffs even, our fans would say, you
know what, I'm not going to buy a ticket for this home game, I'm
going to save my money when you go to the finals. I'd say, when
we go to the finals? We've got three more games to win. So we'd
sit there with half empty stadiums in the early rounds.
So I think there's a financial issue, especially on the parents.
If you have the ability to travel to two Bowl games, it would be
hard on them.
KEVIN WHITE: You know, a lot has been said, and I agree
with all of it, but let me put my bean counter hat on for just a
second. I would be less than honest if I didn't say that a lot of
the decision making that occurs in south Florida recently, Mitch
was there and others in the room were there, as well, a lot of it
had to do with protecting the regular season.
And just in rough terms, as I think about it, and Grant, you
may have data to support this, I suspect the regular season college
football season in 1A represents, on average, and I'm making it
up, 85 percent of the revenue that we generate to support all of
these athletics programs that we all have.
And the majority of it, 85 percent, almost all of it, comes from
the regular season. So protecting the regular season is really important.
If I think in these terms simplistically, the regular season represents
this much resource, and the postseason, regardless of what we have
or what we don't have, might represent this much resource.
So for me as an operator of an athletics program, that has to
generate $70 million in revenue. Or Jim's program generates $100
million in revenue, so you have to protect the regular season. That's
Secondly, we have a playoff, we have a tournament. It starts
the first week in September. I know that sounds trite, but that's
what we have. Every game is important, and it ties into protecting
the regular season. The Bowls are Americana; nobody wants to negatively
impact the Bowls. And if you talk to the student athletes myopically,
when I talk to the kids on our campus, they love the Bowls. They're
not interested in a playoff.
Ty asked a great question, who is the championship for. First
and foremost, it better be for the kids.
CHRIS ROSE: When you're talking about the revenue stream
and protecting the regular season, I understand that, but I don't
think let's say one day a billion years down the road we have an
eight team playoff. Why would that make the regular season less
interesting to people?
KEVIN WHITE: The economics have been impacted by the NCAA
basketball tournament as it relates to the regular season in college
CHRIS ROSE: I would agree with that, but when there's
35 games, I barely watch any regular season college basketball.
Maybe it would have helped me in my office pool if I had. I get
But when there's only 11 or 12 games, there's an immediacy to
KEVIN WHITE: All respect to Mr. Stern, I don't even follow
the NBA until we get to the playoffs. I don't know how everybody
else is in this room. You guys do it for a living.
But I think the regular season is as strong in college football
as any sport we've got in this country. I think we need to protect
COACH WILLINGHAM: There's another question that I think
needs to be asked because right now, Kevin pointed out, 85 percent
of the revenues that we generate in some cases go to all the athletic
programs. I played basketball along with football at Michigan State.
We couldn't raise enough money at Michigan State to pay for our
own baseballs. It was football that supported us, so you need to
But the question will come, with the increased revenues and what
you believe will be a playoff system, where does the money go? Who's
taking care of the athlete? There's some issues there that we've
got to deal with, that we have to deal with now, but will be enhanced
with anything else that we do.
Q. As Kevin mentioned, I believe it was '97, I'm driving down
the road and I get a call from Roy Kramer, and Roy asked if the
American Football Coaches Association would consider being involved
in something that would change names later, eventually the BCS,
in terms of the selection process, and I told him that we definitely
would. Our coaches have supported this concept of the trophy and
our poll being a part of the selection process by unanimous throughout
all of these years. But the other thing you said to me that relates
to what Kevin has verified today is he said the purpose for this
is to make the individual season the focal point for college football,
and it relates back to what Kevin said, because that's where the
financial revenue comes in over a period of time. Mission accomplished.
You can look, and you have those statistics, too, but the game has
never been more viewed nor more attended than it is right now. I'm
a basketball fan, but the regular season in basketball, in college
basketball, means really very little. And also one of the things
we keep hearing about, well, a playoff will solve everybody's problem.
I believe this year there were 65 teams selected for basketball,
and I heard more people griping this year because their team didn't
get in. So there's never a situation that's going to solve all of
the concerns and the problems. What we do know is that we have a
system right now that our coaches can relate to because we all believe
in and want the Bowl system, and secondly, it is doing what it needed
to be do in terms of revenue and making every game played important.
From the start of the season, every game that's played is important.
So that's quite an accomplishment for those guys that started this.
CHRIS ROSE: We do have some questions out here.
Q. For the coaches, do your kids enjoy playing the Emporia
States, the Eastern Washingtons, the MAC schools, the Texas States,
or do they want to test themselves and play Jim, you're going to
play USC this year; Ty, you played Ohio State last year. Are those
not the games that in addition to your conference games that your
kids really want to play and really want to be able to test themselves
just for the whole college experience? And I think the fact that
we have the system we have now, that just takes away that opportunity
because everybody is trying it's a zero sum game. You lose your
chances you're not maybe totally eliminated, but it's a pretty good
chance that you are.
COACH TRESSEL: I think in our case it's very important
for us to have a significant number of home games. That's big. We
have 36 sports, as we mentioned, a $110 budget that football raises
a considerable amount of. We need home games, so we're not going
to get marquee games where they only come to Ohio State.
So our philosophy is to have a marquee out of the area great
experience for our players and fans like USC, Texas we just finished
with and so forth, have one of those always on the books, and then
try to have a lot of home games because we need that to run the
comprehensive program that we choose to raise.
So do our players like that? I think they would like playing
anyone rather than an open week because open weeks aren't fun. They
came to play football, and they know on an open week they're going
to practice, and they've had enough practice.
So going to the 12th game I think was a little bit of a burden
for the student athlete just from a safety standpoint. How many
times can those big bodies run into each other, and we can't prove
how that's going to shorten their future careers, but you can only
take so many bangs. So it's a little bit of a burden.
But I think our kids are proud of the fact that we needed to
do that to run a great Ohio State athletics program, so we need
to have that extra revenue, so I think our guys are okay with it.
Q. Kevin, since you're the only reigning member of the BCS
Commission that's up there, I'll ask you this question. Are you
familiar with the term bracket creep?
KEVIN WHITE: I am.
Q. We kept hearing that in Florida, that beer leads to heroin,
four goes to eight goes to sixteen. Because you guys control this,
unlike 1AA, 2 and 3 that have committees, can't you just stop? Just
philosophically, I'm not particularly for a plus one, but couldn't
you just stop it and say, yeah, we're going to do it, and that's
all we're going to do?
KEVIN WHITE: Yeah, I guess we could, but I have to tell
you, it's funny, the whole BCS has taken on its own language, double
hosting, bracket creep. I mean, I sit in that room and hear expressions
I've never heard before. But they've kind of become expressions.
And what we're talking about here is if you had a plus one and
you had four teams, does that become eight teams, does that morph
into 16 teams, and there's been some folks that have kind of expressed
that as a pretty significant concern.
I would say and again, the Notre Dame perspective, that's not
a concern. If we all agreed to something, we would expect that that's
what we had agreed to and everything is subject to review and to
be modified at that point. Nothing stays the same. I guess I would
address it that way.
But the thing that I'm concerned about, protecting the Bowls,
A; and B, is protecting the regular season, as we've already said.
I think those are the big two keys for me.
Q. I don't know if this is a question. It's just some comments.
I think the problem the BCS has in college football is that it's
becoming a public relations problem. We started out, Chris asked
the question about a plus one, and everybody starts talking about
a playoff, 16 teams. I don't think any of us believe that a 1A 16
team playoff is ever going to happen in our lifetimes. But the problem
is that the answers against a plus one that get thrown out there,
I don't think it would affect the regular season. When you guys
play USC this year, one of the biggest non conference games of the
year, whoever wins will be the team that's supposed to win the National
Championship. The team that loses can still win the National Championship,
but they've got to win the rest of their games. I don't see where
that affects that doesn't affect the regular season, so that argument
flies out the window. And then the BCS got started by college football
because the way the season was ending wasn't what y'all wanted,
and now there's this Rube Goldberg way of figuring out who plays
for the National Championship that doesn't satisfy it, either. So
I think the fans are kind of getting duped on this deal, but they
keep coming to y'all's games so there's nothing that can be done.
It's like the only way that I think anything would happen is if
you guys started having empty stadiums, and that's not going to
happen. Coach Willingham, you mentioned what's in it for the players.
Well, what's in it for the players is a 12th game because everybody
has got to make more money. Nobody asked the players about playing
a 12th game, but everybody needs to make more money.
COACH TRESSEL: If you went with a plus one, when would
you have the game?
Q. Well, it was set up to have as soon as the presidents decided
that, gee, we don't have school a week after January 1st, when that
door got opened, nobody walked through it. That was when the plus
one could have been set up. That's when you figure out a way to
play that game when we're playing the National Championship game
COACH TRESSEL: We were in school January 3rd, so two years
in a row our guys have missed the first week of class, which has
been an issue.
Q. Well, the two 1AA schools have both had their finals the
week of the National Championship game. Both of their graduate success
rates are above the national average. They had their finals on site.
To me it's a little bit of an insult to 1AA that you guys say that
it can't be done when they get it done every year?
COACH TRESSEL: Well, academically we had our best years
when we were kept playing because that was at the end of things
and you had the discipline. I get a little bit nervous about a bad
start. We haven't even been to class yet.
You can do something at the end, take a test early, do those
kinds of things; you're well along the path. The thing that has
hurt us a little bit, and not that we're going to turn down a chance
to play January 8th or whatever, but having that so let's pretend
it was the 12th because it got pushed back. Now there's probably
more effect. And I think you run into the other end of their calendar,
East West game, the Hula Bowl, the Senior Bowl, the combine, the
decision do I go to the NFL. The guys playing in that game, there's
probably going to be a significant number of them that have that
KEVIN WHITE: Could I say one thing? I see Bill Hancock
in the back, and not to put Bill on the spot, but Bill, do you have
any observation for this group? Bill is the BCS administrator as
everybody in the room I think knows, but I think he should have
a word on this.
BILL HANCOCK: I just wonder if anybody has any questions for
KEVIN WHITE: Thanks for those thoughts, Bill.
Q. For the coaches, I wonder if you guys think your fan bases,
if people in the fan base, maybe there were a lot of playoff proponents
in those groups until your teams had magical runs. Coach, the buildup
to the Missouri game was incredible and the Ohio State Michigan
game a couple years ago got built up to be this Super Bowl with
the winner going on to the championship game. I wonder, do you think
the fans, if they get to experience that, because the regular season
is so important, looking back, has y'all's opinion changed on it,
to say that was a pretty good time, we won or lost the game or whatever,
but that was pretty cool and let's keep that? As opposed to let's
have a 12th game, and if we win or lose, well, we're still in the
top eight and we go?
COACH MANGINO: Well, I can't speak for our fans. What
I would say is the way it looks at Kansas is they like the Bowl
system because they're going to go to a tournament in the spring
(laughter). The fans only have so many dollars to spend at Kansas.
They'd like to go to one Bowl game and the Final Four (laughter).
Q. But anyone else? Do you think the excitement gets muted
for a playoff? Like Coach Patterson, the year that y'all challenged
the BCS, that was a huge year for TCU. Do you think, well, it's
like, just getting close and didn't make it, just the downfall of
the loss that year, was that still pretty good?
COACH PATTERSON: We're talking about a different subject
if you want to talk about the non qualifying schools and not having
an opportunity to be in one of the ten games unless you play into
it. You can get me started for another 20 minutes, especially if
you want to talk about financially, 55 schools that don't have an
opportunity to start now. Two out of the three times those teams
have gotten an opportunity to play in a BCS game, they've won.
For me, short in a short version, I think one of those ten shots
should be one of the 55 schools out of 119, whether we have the
top two schools of those non qualifying schools, play for that position.
But I just think if you're talking about fairness, whether you're
talking about having an opportunity or you're talking about financially,
I think my biggest thing, and if you've listened to me here in the
last two days, whether it's about the student athlete or it's about
the game, at some point in time if we don't find a way to make sure
that we even out financially how we get paid back everything, pretty
soon we're going to look up and there's only going to be 50 schools
playing Division I football because the other group is not going
to be able to handle it and to be able to move on.
I think that's why we have you have the BCS system, at least
from my term, you kind of have a corner on the market of how that
goes, and at some point in time we're going to have to change.
If you look in the room, not all of us, at least, all came from
a MAC school or you came from somewhere I made a lot of my mistakes
at Sonoma State being the first coordinator. I mean, coaches have
to have a place that they grow up. There's no doubt there's a big
difference between the Southeast Conference or some of the conferences
and a lot of the teams in I have a problem with let's just say let's
pick any conference, but a team from any of the four conferences
that are part of being automatic BCS qualifiers, and they've never
been to a Bowl game but they receive revenue from teams going to
it and they don't do anything to help be part of it. And you have
teams that are in the top 25 that are in the non automatic qualifying
that don't receive anything.
I mean, I'd like to go back through our records and find out
where we made any money in the nine out of ten Bowl games that we've
gone to at TCU, besides when we went to the Sun Bowl and we played
USC and beat them back in 1998, our first Bowl game in the whole
So for me, I just you opened up another can of worms for me,
and that's not our topic. But as far as those things are concerned,
I think there's a lot of things out there that I just always, when
you talk to me, I'm going to talk about equality when it comes to
those things, and I think there are some things that aren't straight.
Q. For those that saw the Fiesta Bowl or were part of it,
like Charles and I were talking, Boise State wanted that game over
with. There's no way Boise State I can tell you wanted to go play
another game after that, so for the whole concept that there's another
game out there for everybody that they want, I can tell you from
my perspective, they have no interest in playing any more. They'll
take that victory and do videos on it. But my question is for the
president on the panel. I hear so often that it's the presidents
that say academically it's too much of a strain, we'll never support
it, a playoff system. Is that true? And is there a number that somebody
is going to bring the presidents one day that will make it possible?
DR. WETHERELL: Well, as much as Coach Willingham is a
minority, I'm a minority on this issue with my colleagues. In the
ACC there are probably two schools, Florida State and Boston College,
that are interested in a playoff system, whatever that happens to
be. In my judgment, if you take every argument that's been made
here today and apply it to any other sport on the college campus,
then you'd have to cancel the World Series, the Final Four, the
soccer tournament or whatever it happens to be.
So if you want to do it, it can be done. But what I think all
of us are concerned about is the image of commercialization and
that you're using these athletes in some way or these programs to
make an ungodly amount of money, because it will produce, just like
the NCAA Final Four or whatever tournament, an ungodly amount of
The reality is we will have a playoff at some point in time in
some way. It will protect the Bowl system. The Bowl system is going
to have problems. Boise is going to have a problem. If gas goes
to five bucks a gallon, we can't afford to come play in Boise and
we've got a deal. I'd like to play in Boise because I spend Christmas
at my ranch in Montana, I can drive over there. I keep telling Coach
Bowden, let's go to Boise. He says, boy, they don't play football
on blue rugs.
The amount of money unfortunately is going to drive the train.
The 12th game right now is solving the problem, and the reason there's
a 12th game in football is the money. People may not want to admit
that, but that's the facts of the matter. Talk to Kevin or any of
these ADs. Take the 12th game away and then ask them to balance
the budget. We're not playing the 12th game because the fans get
to come and tailgate in FSU stadium or they enjoy driving up there
to watch us whip up on Chattanooga, Tennessee, or somebody, I don't
know who they are or where they are. That's being played strictly
so we can make money, and if you look at what we're having to pay
Chattanooga to drive there, it's kind of outrageous to look at it.
What'll happen is we'll spend all that money. We're not going
to bank it. And coaches and athletic departments, they love to spend
money. If you look at how much it's costing me to run my athletic
department versus percentage increase versus the university, we're
going to start at Florida State University with $50 million less
this August than we started last August. Now, I'm not starting my
athletic department with less money in August than I started last
August. They did pretty good, and we only won seven or eight ball
So what will happen is they'll spend all the money, and then
the options will be, where do I get me some more money. You TV guys
are about tapped out. You can't do much more. Some of those smaller
Bowls are about tapped out. Most of us can't afford at the big schools
to go to a small Bowl.
Somebody has got to make that up, usually from the BCS Bowl and
the redistribution in the conference, so it's going to run out of
money. And everybody is going to be sitting here, probably not in
my lifetime at Florida State, saying, you know, we really could
move this back, and by the way, well, we do play 63 baseball games
and we play baseball through two final exam periods, not one, and
somehow they all seem to graduate and do pretty good. Or them basketball
players, they've got a real problem with academics in basketball,
but we seem to play right on through the tournament, and everybody
is pretty happy.
It will get figured out. My guess is that the small Bowls will
be a part of that system, and somehow that will be worked into it
and it'll work itself out. It'll start off with a plus one, then
we'll go to four or eight or sixteen at some point in time, just
like the NCAA tournament started off at 16 or 32, I think
DR. WETHERELL: Okay, then it went to 16 and 32 and 64
and now somehow we bought the NIT (laughter), and I've got a sneaking
hunch somewhere along the line it's going to go to 84 or 124 or
So it's not a question of if there's going to be a playoff, it's
a question of when. And it's not a question of what's going to drive
it; it's going to be driven by the money, but none of us sitting
at this table, and particularly my colleagues, are ever going to
But they'll have to come running up here saying, Mr. President,
I've got to have some money. And that's what got you the 11th game
and that's what will get you a playoff in my judgment. Now, I don't
think it's going to be this year or next year or whenever, but it
is going to happen, no doubt about it.
CHRIS ROSE: Unfortunately that's going to have to be the
final word of this session. I know there's other questions, but
as long as we don't have a playoff for the time being, just as a
reminder you can watch the FedEx BCS National Championship game
With that said, we want to say goodbye to Jim Tressel. He's got
a plane to catch, and the world is safe now that you're wearing
a sweater vest, so we appreciate that. Thank you for coming, and
we'll see you out west at some point this year.
We have a quick break hosted by the AT & T Cotton Bowl.
(A short break was taken.)
CHRIS ROSE: We're going to wrap up at noontime. Also,
there are transcripts available on collegepressbox.com, and we'd
like to thank Ted Gangi for hooking us up with that, and also it's
available for the first session as of right now. That includes yesterday's
yelling with lots of exclamation points. We also want to thank ASAP
FastScripts for their help, as well.
We're going to begin the final session I guess kind of where
we left off. Dr. Wetherell was talking about the economics of the
sport and kind of where we're headed. I guess we'll start with Coach
Patterson since he said he could talk for about 20 minutes on this
topic. Do you kind of feel like you're going into a gunfight with
a knife sometimes?
COACH PATTERSON: It's not with a vengeance. My thing is
that how do you know in a 64 team tournament in basketball who the
team is that's going to have an opportunity to be Cinderella? You
keep talking about the fans and media and everyone else, but also,
people want to know about the unknowns I think is what stirs everybody's
excitement a lot of times. I'd be interested to look at the ratings
when Boise played Oklahoma and when Utah played Pittsburgh and see
how those games and Georgia playing Hawaii as far as that's concerned.
But for me, I look at just the economy of the self preservation
of the game. We keep talking about we have to play 12 games to make
more revenue, and that's what the BCS is all about. It's about finding
a winner, but also, there's a lot more revenue, that's part of it.
I just think there needs to be a little bit more access.
I'm not going to mention names, but there was a coach that was
from a non BCS conference that had strong views when he sat on that
side of the table and then he moved to a BCS conference school and
then he had strong views the opposite way. Then he said, no, they
don't ever belong.
I think hopefully I'd be one way or the other, that I felt for
the betterment of the game that you did all
CHRIS ROSE: Do you want to whisper in my ear who it was?
COACH PATTERSON: You can go back and go through the blogs
(laughter). It was a couple years ago.
Q. It was for the BCS National Championship game.
CHRIS ROSE: Do you want to give me a year? I'm good at
COACH PATTERSON: Well, there was another one that was
But I'm just saying to you, you know, there's a lot of good coaches,
and I'd hate to see in the Big Ten, at least the way it used to
be, if you wouldn't have had the MAC Conference is where a lot of
those guys started and sowed their oats, and then they became now,
not necessarily does a Big Ten coach just come from the MAC, but
if you didn't have the lack or some schools from the Pac 10, I think
there's we were talking earlier about qualifications to be a head
coach or an assistant or anything else. I think one of the things
you have to have is I think you have to have things in place we
were talking, the officials, out at the Fiesta frolics, where a
lot of people have their conference meetings the last week, and
one of the reasons why they feel like there's a lot of California
officials that have gone on to be part of this new coalition that
they're going to do is that they have a bigger junior college system
out there and they train them better. They work up through the ranks,
they have a system on how they do it and they go about their business.
I think all of us, we learned that you're just trying to find
a system where you can sow your oats so when you get there to your
opportunity, you can be successful.
I think one of the reasons I've had an opportunity to be successful
is because Dennis Franchione trained me to do the way I needed to
do to be a CEO before I got a chance to be a CEO. But a little bit
of the that had to do with the fact that I wanted to.
As far as the BCS and that part of it, I think you have to go
back and say that all we're looking for is equality. We're just
looking for an opportunity.
I mean, it's kind of like you want to date a girl. I mean, you've
got to wait for ten guys to get a chance to date her, whether she
likes you or not.
CHRIS ROSE: Or maybe you just jump to the front of the
COACH PATTERSON: Well, I was talking about the normal
CHRIS ROSE: I'm curious, and I apologize for not knowing
this stat off the top of my head, but how many of the 119 Division
I programs make money in college football? Do we know what the exact
number is, or roughly where we're at?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Kevin and I were talking about this, and
Kevin thinks the number is six.
KEVIN WHITE: Well, that's not college football. Let me
be more precise than that. We had Myles Brand do kind of a town
meeting at our institution, let's make sure I get this accurate,
it would have been last September. And the NCAA had spent a year
or two collecting data from all 119 institutions, and you know,
within college athletics. I'm going to say this and people aren't
going to like this expression, there's a lot of gimmetry forms of
financing, so it's hard to really get an apples to apples comparison.
Well, the NCAA research after they really dug down deep, Myles
came in front of our audience and suggested that there were six
institutions that were actually cash flowing in terms of intercollegiate
athletics, which is pretty sobering, which speaks actually to T.K.'s
point from the last session. We've all harvested the low hanging
fruit and we've got the seat licenses and we've done all the marketing,
promotions, corporate partners, we've done all that, and there's
only six of us that are really cash flowing.
I think when Myles was speaking, and I don't have this verified,
but as I sat in the audience and listened, I suspect when he was
talking about when you kind of pull out the large institutional
fees that could obviously be expended in other parts of the academy,
when you pull away all of the state appropriations. I had been at
Arizona State; at one point we had a pretty hefty state appropriations
for women's athletics. When you pull all of that out and you cost
account it out, Myles very clearly said he thought six institutions
were cash flowing. Out of 119 institutions, that is sobering.
KEVIN ANDERSON: I think we had a president that called
that voodoo economics. I will tell you this, with my experience,
just with football scheduling and trying to balance the budget,
you have to determine now what do you want to do. Do you want to
give your football players the best chance to compete and to win,
or do you take a game where you get paid a million dollars and help
balance your budget?
And I think there's a lot of programs out there that fight that
dilemma because your fan base wants you to win. But if you have
to play two or three of those games in your lower Division 1A football
program and you have to go into Ohio State and then go to Michigan
and then go to Washington and then play conference games, I mean,
it puts you in a pretty difficult situation, and we have to determine
what's the balance.
So what we've determined at Army is that we want to put our young
men in a position to win, and we'll find another way to balance
our budget. But winning is more important and sacrificing what we
can do to accomplish what we feel is a good season by going in and
getting paid to play.
CHRIS ROSE: What are the other revenue streams we're looking
at? All the Bowls have been sold out for years as far as that sort
of stuff goes. I mean, are we going to have regular season games
where there's big logos on the field? I mean, we do it on our TV
screens. We'll pimp just about anything at Fox (laughter).
KEVIN WHITE: I kind of didn't go this far, but let me
just say one other thing and then I'll answer your question very
briefly, because I don't know the answer to that. But at the end
of the day I think I'm going to answer your question first.
We're going to do what we have to do because schools are going
to find a way to finance intercollegiate athletics and try not no
do it institutions don't want the academy to shoulder any more of
the expense than they currently are shouldering. I mean, there's
some pretty interesting or pretty substantial subsidies that are
already in place, particularly at some of the private institutions.
You know, a grant made at Notre Dame is $50,000 a year. That's
what it costs for room, board, tuition and fees, and that's not
unusual for the Northwesterns, the Dukes, the Stanfords, and those
schools. So there's a lot of private institutions that are seriously
financially subsidizing intercollegiate athletics, and that's not
going to change any time soon.
The thing I didn't mention, there's a great book, it's called
"Economics of Big Time Sport, Keeping Score." And it was written
by Richard Sheehan, who's actually a faculty member at our place.
He wrote it about 11 or 12 years ago, and at that point he collected
the data not unlike Myles' crowd did here most recently, and at
that point he felt 15 institutions were cash flowing in 1A.
So now we've gone if that's accurate, and Myles' most recent
analysis is accurate, we've gone from 15 to 6, so the trending is
not very positive.
So to your point again, Chris, what will we do? About whatever
we have to do, unfortunately, to try to find a way to cash flow
and try to make these programs continue to pay for themselves. That's
typically the mandate, or live within a certain subsidy base or
whatever. That's typically the mandate on a college campus.
DR. WETHERELL: A lot of times you'll find new numbers
but you'll save dollars. If you're looking, and I don't know what
everybody's schedule is, but all of a sudden you won't be flying
the women's basketball team out to play Stanford for volleyball
or something like that. So you'll go to a more regional schedule.
You'll have a Christmas tournament, but each Christmas week we go
for instance, in women's basketball, not to pick on anybody, you
take the team someplace to get them a difference experience and
that kind of thing, and all of a sudden you just won't be doing
that. You'll kill most schools in their minor sports or Olympic
sports try and throw in a game, an interesting type game. So all
of a sudden you won't do it.
Now, you think about that and you look at it in terms of volleyball
or golf or some of those budgets, and you talk about putting 15
kids on an airplane, whether it's a commercial deal or not, and
hotel room and all that, and you save 50 grand. That's a lot of
money to that sport. So you'll see a more regional schedule, and
I'm not sure that's all that great. But it just changes. So part
of it you'll find new money.
The thing that you're doing today that you would think, well,
I don't really want to not do, you'll be forced not to do, quite
KEVIN WHITE: I don't want to over speak on the subject,
but you not only will modify your behavior only because you have
to, as T.K. certainly suggested, and I think he's absolutely right,
but you're also going to be in a position where you're going to
have to drop sports. That's going on everywhere. As a recovering
Olympic sport coach, I find that pretty unsettling, but that's the
reality of the day. That absolutely is the reality.
CHRIS ROSE: What sort of changes have we seen, Coach Willingham,
over the last several years in college football, for instance? Coach
Mangino, you guys just said you're opening a new football facility,
as well. Salaries for coaches and athletic directors, they seem
to be escalating, as well. Somewhere I guess somebody is getting
crunched. I don't know what it is in the college football world.
Do you feel like there's restraints on you economically at all?
I guess that's for all the coaches.
COACH WILLINGHAM: Well, I think there's always trying
to balance that budget, that line, okay, because it's not about
just the football coach when you talk about the revenues generated
from football. So you're always trying to find where can you spend,
where can't you spend.
And obviously when you talk about new facilities, someone has
to go out and raise the money for it. Many times that's not a state
done item. You've got to get private financing for that. So there
is a crunch somewhere.
CHRIS ROSE: Coach Mangino, don't you think that at the
time of recession, you're going to be opening up this beautiful
new facility, and there's probably people in Kansas that are saying,
you know, our kids don't need a new football facility, they need
something else that's going to help more of the populus there academically,
COACH MANGINO: Well, the thing that you have to understand
is these new facilities by the way, we did need new facilities.
I understand your point. But what we're dealing with is the monies
that are raised are private funds. There are people that can afford
to donate X amount of money for projects that they're interested
in on campus. Several of the donors that have put their money forward
for a new football facility have also given large sums to the business
school, a new multicultural center on campus. It's not just football.
But they have an interest in football, but it's not a burden to
the taxpayers; it's all private money.
You have to look ahead and say, well, what are the benefits of
building these new facilities for the university as a whole, and
is it something that the university needs. Long term, sports is
the front porch of every university. We couldn't hire a firm on
Madison Avenue to give us the kind of publicity that our football
and basketball teams gave the university this year at Kansas. So
it's an investment by private money for the long term goals of the
CHRIS ROSE: We have some questions on the economic side
of where we are.
Q. Talk about new revenue streams and trying to find them,
and I think the point has been well made that you're going to end
up cutting back maybe before you try to increase or there might
not be any. So this time of year, the question about spring games
in football tends to come up, will there ever be a time that there
will be spring games where there will actually be university versus
university in the spring, and is it even a possibility? And if so,
is there any revenue that really can be made from doing it in that
time frame, because it always comes up every year, why are we playing
intersquads, why don't we play someone else, and that can generate?
Can it? And if so, is it a good idea anyway?
DR. WETHERELL: That's a tricky way to say the 13th game
(laughter). That will put off a playoff another ten years.
Q. We're talking about practice.
DR. WETHERELL: To be honest with you, I think everything
will be on the table. I'm not sure of that one, I don't know. But
I know one thing, Coach Mangino was talking about, we don't apologize
at FSU for using athletics to raise money. And a number of the facilities,
including the football stadium itself, is built around an academic
or a multi use issue. We're going through an issue of an indoor
practice facility in the south. That's kind of a monkey see monkey
do deal. Everybody has got to have one now. I'm not sure why.
I was talking to Coach Bowden the other day and reminded him
when I was a player, we practiced in rain, hail, sleet, snow, thunder
and lightning, and his whole solution then was don't stand under
a tree because you might get hit. Now he has to have a big building
and everything else to be in.
But at Notre Dame you've got to have it because it snows and
all that kind of stuff. But we'll build one when it's all said and
done, but it will put recreation sports in there and they'll have
intramural games in there and we'll do stuff from 8:00 o'clock in
the morning until 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon when they're not
practicing football. And I don't think that's a bad thing; I think
that's a good thing.
So I think you'll see people get more creative in how they use
facilities and dollars and donors and that, and from a donor standpoint,
they kind of like that, because they get the benefit of an academic
piece, if you want to call it that, as well as an athletic piece.
I think that's probably more likely to occur than a 13th game. I
mean, God almighty.
Q. You talked about just the fairness issue, Gary, just making
sure that there's access for all. Do you worry as a coach of, for
lack of a better phrase, a non BCS school, that the way the finances
are going and the need to for the BCS conferences to keep the money
amongst themselves, do you worry at some point that they might split
away and that you would be then at a competitive disadvantage by
maybe being at a different level of football, even though you guys
at TCU have done what you've done to try to keep up in the arms
COACH PATTERSON: Well, kind of like the other issue, I
don't worry about things I don't have any control over. You get
in a forum where you can actually you have a problem and you don't
say anything about it, then it's your own fault.
So my point is that I can't worry about that right now. All I
can do is try to make TCU the best it can be, whether it's facility
wise, player wise or coaching wise, and graduate kids. I think that's
all coaches can do.
And then you try to a little bit, whether it's talking about
an early signing day or playing in a BCS game or anything else,
you just try to take your piece and try to make people understand
and tell somebody that thinks it's as important as what you do,
unless you just want to get up and stand on a hill by yourself.
I don't need any facts to find out what that's lacking percentage
CHRIS ROSE: But you did mention earlier that you said
if things don't change quickly that there could be 55 or 60 programs
playing college football and that would be it. Do you honestly believe
COACH PATTERSON: I do. I think we're in a worse situation
than we were ten years ago as far as the whole, the whole system.
I'm not sure all of us, but if you just look at it as a whole, I
don't think we're as well off as we were just because of the way
costs and everything are and the money that's coming in for some.
I understand the question it comes down to, well, only six are
having a cash flow, but in the loss department, do you go to a Bowl
game like I said, I'm not sure that, except one time, we've ever
made money going to a Bowl game as a university.
Now, unless you look at it, like Mark talked about, the advertising
that you get we went from ten years ago at TCU from 4,000 applications
for 1,500 students to now we're close to 15,000 applications for
1,800 students. I think there's a significance that there's only
one thing that's really changed as far as we've always been a good
academic institution. What's changed, and then you have a LaDainian
Tomlinson. We used to have about ten applications from the West
Coast as far as Californians for TCU. You go out, where's TCU, what
is that, and now it's our number one application state outside the
state of Texas.
You can't say be it the advertising you have from your athletes
and what people say is not a positive, but when you just look at
it, maybe we won't ever see it in our lifetime, but at some point
in time I'm not one of those guys I want to win a National Championship,
but I'm not one of those guys that feels like you have to do it
at all costs. I think there's a lot of things, quality of life,
your kids, yourself that you're taking into place at your university.
Like I told you yesterday, I think you've got to find the right
fit. I think if we all find the right fit of where we're at, everybody
would be a hot happier, and the instant gratitude we talked about
earlier in hiring possibly an African American or any minority coach
getting an opportunity to be coaches, it's just finding the right
fit. And I think that goes along with what's going to be the right
fit to get an extra team into the league. And I think that's all
everybody wants in America; that's all everybody wants is an opportunity.
CHRIS ROSE: Kevin Anderson, do you share some of the same
concerns that Coach Patterson does about the economics of the game?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I think if you look at what we're looking
at now is that you have areas in which you have to have so many
fans, average so many fans, so we're talking about 15,000 fans.
A lot of schools struggle with that. You're looking at generating
so many dollars; a lot of schools struggle with that. So you look
at where the health of football is, because yeah, there's many programs
that are doing well, but there's some programs that really struggle,
so now how do you help them and how do you bring them up.
Then we go back to the APR. You have to bring players in to help
you win. Well, you have this APR and you don't have the financial
wherewithal to bring in enough people to help you with your student
athletes to be good students. So now you're losing scholarships
because your APR numbers are low.
I mean, it's a very difficult situation we're in. With the economy
the way it is now and with oil prices going and that, every one
of us, we have to travel, not only the football team but all our
other teams, so that's an added cost. No one really projected and
saw that it's going to be as much as it is. So now what do you do?
You've got to balance the budget.
So now other programs suffer, and then you look back and you're
looking at some teams have to travel more than others, football
teams, and you're traveling 65 players and coaches and everything
else. So I mean, it becomes a struggle on how do you do all this.
Again, I'm going to go back to do I play those three games and
have to play each game for a million dollars and go play Ohio State,
Michigan, and get my team where competitively it's not balanced?
I get injuries, and so now I'm going to the League and I'm injured
going into the League, and so that even suffers more. There's a
big dynamic here that sometimes it's hard to manage.
CHRIS ROSE: Kevin, you just mentioned the health of the
game. It sounds like it's better than it's ever been. I mean, yeah,
there's problems, and we've discussed that over the last one and
a half days. But as I keep telling you, there's almost 50 million
people that went to games last year, almost 2 million that went
to Bowl games, TV ratings, there's a reason why companies are paying
gobs of money to broadcast. Has the game ever been healthier, Kevin
KEVIN WHITE: I would think by all indicators, and I'm
not going to drone on, I don't think it ever has been more healthy
than it is at this point. I think it looks pretty strong.
Again, attendance is up, ratings are up, interest level is up.
The Harris poll most recently had it third, ESPN poll had college
football second. Our position in college football continues to seem
like it's an emerging entity. It's always been strong, it's never
been stronger, and at the same time, we're not in a static position;
it seems to be emerging.
CHRIS ROSE: Coach Willingham, do you kind of feel the
same way? Have you seen a difference in the last 10 to 15 years?
Do you feel a difference in the health of the game?
COACH WILLINGHAM: Well, I would say from a coach's perspective,
it's the most exciting that football has ever been. I think it's
more challenging for us from the standpoint that you now play the
entire field. I mean, you have to play all 100 yards of it and you
have to play all 51 and a portion of 53 yards length across, and
that has to be exciting.
I guess the concern that I have about its overall health in terms
of playing the game is that we maintain college football as college
football and not being able to package it as professional football,
because I think one of the joys of the game of football in college
is mistakes. Every coach harps on them, we don't want them, but
that's the college athlete. He's going to make some mistakes, and
his mistakes create excitement, and that excitement creates plays
and things that you thought you'd never see at another level of
football, and that makes the game so special that you just can't
So I think right now and I don't know what will happen in the
future; there will always be something that will come along from
a coach's perspective and heighten the excitement, but boy, it's
pretty good right now.
CHRIS ROSE: I thought it was pretty fun last year that
13 non ranked teams beat teams in the top five. That's like a good
decade a few years ago. I mean, to have Kansas and Missouri playing
for something other than maybe basketball bragging rights, I thought
that was kind of neat.
COACH PATTERSON: It was tough to be a voter in the top
25 every Sunday.
CHRIS ROSE: So you do vote? You vote? I know you get a
COACH PATTERSON: I can vote.
CHRIS ROSE: That's good.
COACH PATTERSON: In fact, that's the only problem I had
with Hawaii this year was staying up to watch it. I have sympathy
for you guys, staying up late so I can see them play and so I can
go to bed.
CHRIS ROSE: Do you see a difference in the enthusiasm
of the kids? I mean, I know they're still always playing a game,
but maybe because so many more teams are have the ability, Kansas,
to play in a BCS game now, where ten years ago I forgot Kansas played
COACH MANGINO: Kansas football is taking a beating here
CHRIS ROSE: C'mon, you understand where I'm coming from.
COACH MANGINO: No, you're right, there is a great deal
of enthusiasm for the game. You know, I'm biased obviously because
I'm a college football coach, but what better sporting venue is
there than a Saturday afternoon on a college campus for a college
football game? It's fun, the energy from the students, you have
the bands, the cheerleaders, all those things that are connected
to college football. It's just a tremendous atmosphere for a sporting
I think the game you have to say that the media has played a
role in that, as well. There's more coverage. People know the players
better now than they ever have. Gee, when I was a kid, what, I think
there was two college football games on Saturday, one at noon, one
at 3:00 o'clock or 3:30, and the rest of the college football you
watched you either went to the stadium to see it yourself or you
watched the highlights on the news.
Now you have all the networks have some type of package, Fox,
ESPN. You can watch football how many nights a week now, five, about
five nights a week, four nights a week? So there's a lot more exposure,
people, teams that maybe 10 years ago, 15 years ago didn't get a
lot of exposure are now getting that opportunity. And it helps us
because any time you can be on television, it helps recruiting.
It just does. Television is very powerful.
COACH PATTERSON: Notre Dame football I watched on Sunday.
Two on Saturday, and then I watched Notre Dame football on Sunday.
They always had the rerun of the game.
CHRIS ROSE: Is there a danger of getting too big, too
much? I just assume that's probably the pressure that you guys face.
Hey, look, everybody can get into a BCS game, why aren't you there?
I suppose that's a downfall. Or maybe not.
COACH WILLINGHAM: I don't think so.
CHRIS ROSE: You don't feel it?
COACH WILLINGHAM: No.
COACH PATTERSON: I want the opportunity.
COACH MANGINO: I don't think so.
CHRIS ROSE: So Chris, that was a dumb question is what
it basically amounted to (laughter). That's okay.
COACH MANGINO: You can't hit a home run every time, Chris.
CHRIS ROSE: I barely get in the batter's box most days.
Maybe these guys have some better questions about the health of
the game. I think we do feel like it's pretty darned good.
Q. For the coaches, just with the addition of the 12th game
and the reduction in the off weeks, just how concerned are you you
talk about general health, but just individual health of your team
and just your teams and just as a result the quality of the game
that you wind up playing?
COACH WILLINGHAM: That's one of the places that we on
occasion, we had one season that we didn't have a break in there,
and that was a pretty tough grind for the team to go week after
week after week doing that. This week we'll have three breaks in
our season. Some might say that might be a little excessive, but
you need, I think, for your young people, someplace for them to
catch their breath and an opportunity for them to kind of get their
feet back under them.
So it is a concern, because the one thing you know about football
is usually the healthiest team has the best chance to win.
COACH PATTERSON: Having played on every day of the week
(laughter), three years ago we played and we were done on November
12th, didn't have any off weeks. I think it really depends, as Tyrone
said, whether you stay healthy or not. And I think it's how you
approach the off weeks.
If you have that off week, and that's when you try to get better,
then I would say that you run a percentage of having an opportunity
to get more people hurt because we probably have hurt more people
in those first three days, especially early in the season where
you try later in the season you know you just have to keep them.
We're not playing well, you've got to grow some guys up so we're
getting after ones versus ones in the off week and then you lose
an ACL or you lose a shoulder because it still comes down to winning,
and as coaches that's just what you do.
I think one of the things that happens in our league is it's
a 16 day. If you play on a Thursday, you may have an off week after
it. We've had two 16 days, so you're sitting there going, well,
how do you do this and how do you organize it.
I think that's one of the things as coaches we've gotten a little
smarter about that, that as you get later in the season you're not
still banging around, what you have is what you have. You spend
more time preparing for the next opponent instead of physically
trying to get because there is the X amount of body banging around,
and for us here, we're going to start on August 30th and we're going
to sometimes we've ended I think my first year as a head coach we
played against Nebraska in the kickoff classic on August 25th and
we played our last ballgame on December 7th. I had like five or
six that was 9/11, so we didn't play that week. We had five or six
off chances where you had Thursday, then you didn't play, or you
just had an off week or whatever happened.
So that became very long, I can tell you that. That was very
long. I would say no more than having done it all the other ways,
I would only want one. Because after one, the kids, they get tired
of the practicing part. They lose their focus.
COACH MANGINO: Because of our TV package, we don't play
a lot of games other than Saturday. I think we have a Friday night
game down in Tampa against South Florida, but all of our games are
So Gary really has to deal with managing a lot of different scenarios,
where I don't. Our concern is we never want to play 12 in a row.
We did that my first year at Kansas, and it was a disaster with
injuries and trying to really get good tempo at practices late in
I think Gary mentioned something I think is very important. Teams
that tend to have success at a high level usually are fortunate
enough not to have a lot of key injuries, and in the 12 game season,
you need to have at least one week that's off in there, one weekend
where you just don't have a game on Saturday but you have a few
practices during that off week, mostly mental work and fundamental
But it's a challenge, 12 games, but it's really, I think, an
issue if you have 12 consecutive games without a break. I think
you're putting the kids in danger.
CHRIS ROSE: I didn't have a chance to check during the
break my computer, but I think Bobby Petrino is still coaching at
Arkansas; however, we have seen coaches jump around. I know it's
more prevalent in college basketball, but it happens. I'm curious
from an athletic director's standpoint, Kevin Anderson, about guys
fulfilling their contractual commitments. I mean, in my business
for the most part we design a contract, and we're not going to different
networks until our contract is up or until they fire us, which is
usually what happens first.
KEVIN ANDERSON: When somebody sits down with you and you
agree upon something, I personally think you should fulfill it unless
that person says, okay, you can go. But then again, if you have
somebody working for you and they feel they need to go elsewhere,
not a good situation most of the time to keep them and have them
obligated because it's not a good experience for the young people
that have to deal with that person.
You know, I'm all for somebody pursuing a livelihood and doing
the best for their families, so it's a hard road to hoe, but it's
the world that we live in now. The money is great and the stakes
are high, and it's hard to control. You just manage the best way
that you can and you hope that you get the right person that will
come in there and say, you know, I've signed up for five years or
whatever, and we're going to go and see it through.
On the other hand, too, there's a lot at risk because three years
in a deal, I get to sit down and talk to somebody and say this isn't
working out, and you have to go.
CHRIS ROSE: But you have to compensate, though.
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, that's true. I guess now you have
to have an ironclad contract that if you're obligated to it and
there's a buyout clause that people are going to be held to the
CHRIS ROSE: I don't mean to pick on Bobby Petrino or anything,
but he's the guy that's been jumping ship lately, three jobs in
12 days or whatever it is, and here I see him doing pig suey, and
I can only think to myself, well, the kids that he's going to recruit,
they look at his name, oh, he's here at Arkansas. What if in two
years he leaves for a better job? As coaches can you live with yourselves,
having sat in the kids' family rooms and looked their parents in
the eye saying, I'm going to do the best to take care of your kid,
I'm going to be there, and then you're not there? I'm not saying
you three in particular, but how does the profession handle that
in terms of morally?
COACH WILLINGHAM: I think that the answer would be that
for some coaches it's yes, for some coaches it's no. Above everything
else, I think our association would frown on it and say that we
want our coaches as much as possible to honor their contracts and
live up to what we are expecting and asking of our young men that
are under us. So that's the perfect world, what we'd like to have
CHRIS ROSE: Are you personally disappointed in other coaches
that might do that?
COACH WILLINGHAM: I try not to be critical along that
line unless I've walked in that coach's shoes. I think one of the
easiest things to do in life is to throw stones, and so I try not
to do it. I prefer not to do that, unless I know exactly what that
coach went through and what were the circumstances. I try not to
get into that.
CHRIS ROSE: I'm curious about the other coaches' points
of view on that.
COACH MANGINO: Well, every profession has people that
move around a lot. You know, the corporate world, I know personally,
I have some friends every two or three years are with a different
company, and they think the grass is greener on the other side.
I don't think it's just football coaches or coaches in general that
experience that. I think all professions do.
I think there are more coaches that are loyal to the programs
than job seekers. My experience has been most coaches that I know,
they go in and they treat that job like it's going to be their last
job and they're going to retire there. Sometimes opportunities come
that you didn't expect, but the grass is not greener on the other
There's a lot of things that have to be taken into consideration.
Family; my wife and I, our children live near us, we have a granddaughter.
For me to leave it, it would have to be awful, awful something special
because we've made our home there. My family is more important than
But to say that the coaching profession has too many people that
move around, probably when you look at all other occupations, we
may do it less.
And then the extreme case is you have two veteran coaches right
now in Coach Paterno and Coach Bowden who are great for college
football, and you read about they should be retiring. They're loyal
to their university and their people, and you read about, well,
maybe they should retire, or their time has come.
I think that both coaches should be able to coach until 100 if
they want to. They've been loyal, they've been great for their universities,
they've been great for our sport. They've been great ambassadors
for college football.
So you have extremes on both ends.
CHRIS ROSE: I guess I would say the one point is that
in the corporate world you don't walk into somebody's house normally
and take responsibility for their kids to a degree. I think that's
probably the difference between your profession and some other jobs
out there. So there's that relationship that you have to take into
account whenever you do whenever a coach does take a new job.
COACH PATTERSON: Well, I think you hit it. How did you
approach it when you walked in the house? Did you say that you were
never going to leave? Did you say that that's not being very realistic
and I have X amount of years on my contract?
CHRIS ROSE: Do you let people know your contractual status?
COACH PATTERSON: If I have kids ask me. I think it's very
important for them to understand how you feel about it. Myself personally,
I've been at TCU for 11 years, but I thought it was important for
me to have it. I thought both ways were important. I think the university
needed to have security. But the question I ask sometimes on the
buyout stuff, is it because you want to keep me from leaving or
do you just want to be financially paid back? After staying somewhere
11 years, which is it now, because I've shown my loyalty to TCU
from that standpoint.
But I do believe as far as your question about kids, I don't
feel if I would ever leave TCU I don't feel like I would have let
my kids down because I feel like I've always been honest with them
about how that always is, and I'd never put myself in a situation
where I've paid gold to a kid just to get him to come to school
there because I don't think a kid would be successful at that university
anyway to do that. I think he has to come and he has to like it
for the right reasons, not just for football, because he'll have
a better chance of flourishing. I think that's one of the reasons
we've had a chance to be successful is because we get kids to come
to our place for the right reasons, not just because of football.
If they do that, and they like the university itself if they
got hurt in one play and couldn't play again, would this be the
place that you chose? If they can answer that, you've probably got
the right guy and he's got a chance to be successful.
COACH MANGINO: I think we don't give kids enough credit.
You know, they're resilient. There's very few cases where a new
coach comes into a program and the kid absolutely says he wants
to transfer, he's going to leave. Kids adjust. You know, there's
anxiety if the coach is fired or moves on to what he perceives to
be a better position. There's some anxiety for a while. But more
often than not they warm up to the new coach, the new staff, and
it's not as stressful that's what it is.
There's a lot more things in being a college athlete that are
stressful than actually who you're playing for. College athletes
face a lot of challenges in a lot of ways, and I think that what
we need to be concerned about is that coaches are going to move
from time to time. It doesn't have as negative of an impact on the
student athletes as a lot of people from the outside. Kids are resilient.
They adjust, they move on.
CHRIS ROSE: But also, some kids pick schools based on
the coaches, because they like you guys. They want to play for Mark
Mangino or Tyrone Willingham or Gary Patterson. They might really
like the university, but they're like, that's the guy I want to
play for, to lead me.
COACH MANGINO: Well, I think all kids understand going
in that anything can happen. You can pick a coach because you really
like him, but we're talking about contracts and things of that sort.
If a guy is on the last couple years or the last year of his contract,
he may not get renewed. He may, as we said, move on to another job.
I think those kids understand that during the recruiting process.
Kids ask all the time about contracts, their parents, how many years
do you have, are you renegotiating or getting an extension or blah,
blah, blah. But they ask those questions because they know there's
a chance you may not be there, or they wouldn't ask those questions.
So I think most perspectives, student athletes at the college
level and their families understand that change is a part of the
landscape in college football.
CHRIS ROSE: Kevin White, how do you see it?
KEVIN WHITE: I think Mark said it well. We said this yesterday.
Young people are pretty sophisticated consumers. They're going to
ask the right questions. They understand the gig.
Institutions there's so many different dimensions to this. Institutions
are going to protect their investment. I think contracts a decade
or two ago were like one pagers. Now they're probably 20, 30 or
40 pages. Schools are going to protect their investment, and quite
frankly, I don't like what it's morphed into, but the result is
that they're largely like prenuptial agreements. That's what they
You kind of negotiate the separation provisions before you even
have the press conference. That's the game we're in here today.
That's not the pleasant side of all of this or something you want
to talk about, but that is, in my view, the reality of it.
CHRIS ROSE: Not real romantic, is it?
KEVIN WHITE: It's not real romantic when you renegotiate
how we're going to separate before we even have the coming out party,
but that's what we do.
CHRIS ROSE: Dr. Wetherell, Coach Mangino brought it up
with Bobby Bowden, listen, there are not whispers around Florida
State's program any longer. You had that great run where you were
in the TOP five for almost two straight decades. Now because you've
slipped a little bit, Bobby Bowden has lost it, he's lost control
of his coaching staff, they're no good. You hear this stuff, so
how do you balance between the man that's been the face of not only
your institution but your football program for two decades, with
at some point Bobby Bowden is not going to be our coach?
DR. WETHERELL: Most of that is the damn bloggers that
we can't find (laughter). I have a couple comments, and I'll try
and get to that one. I don't think college athletics has ever been
stronger than it is right now, and football in particular. It's
really a great part of the university experience, the campus, whether
it's a football weekend with the band and the cheerleaders and all
that and a great game event going on. It could be Florida State
plays Duke in basketball and we pack the arena, or we had baseball
a couple weeks ago played Miami, had a great homestand. That generates
interest on a college campus that's just fantastic.
You bring donors back, you bring students back, you energize
a community. It's just a great time. I don't think it's ever been
better than it is right now.
I think the caution, though, is that anytime you become complacent
and you don't look down the road at where do you want to be, how
do you want to make changes I grew up in Daytona Beach, I'm a big
NASCAR fan, and if you look at the guys that are successful in NASCAR,
it's the guy that's willing to change while he's on top, not waiting
until you get down to the bottom.
I think coaches are the same way. You don't run the same offense
last year that you ran this year if you've got a different quarterback
or receivers or whatever.
I think the challenge to college athletics right now is to look
down the road and evolve to it. Part of that is coaches, to get
to your question. They're clearly some of the most visible ambassadors
that we have. I imagine we've got 350,000 alums at Florida State.
More of them could name who the coaching staff is and who the assistant
coaches are than who's in the biology department. They can probably
name the coaches more than they can name the president, quite frankly.
So they are important elements in the university. The university
makes a huge commitment to those coaches, not just dollars. I mean,
when you sit down and you negotiate, that's part of the whole selection
process. You shake the guy's hand, you look him in the eye, and
you're hiring not just a guy to coach, you're hiring a piece of
your university, a very visible piece.
As Kevin pointed out, I don't know, a few years ago you kind
of the president or the AD said, okay, I'll give you a car, $10,000
for a house and blah, blah, blah, and everybody was happy. Now you've
got agents, you've got lawyers, you've got all kinds of people.
I think the part that's become difficult is it's not unusual
for the coaches to want things. Okay, that's cool. The part that's
coming the other way is the university is saying, okay, but if you
don't do these things, you owe me. That's an unusual predicament
for a lot of coaches to get themselves in, and I would bet half
the coaching contracts don't have they may have buyout clauses if
other things happen, but they don't have the other side of it.
The part if I was a coach, and the part I'm concerned about because
my contract as president has some of that, what happens with an
NCAA violation and what happens with a violation you had no control
over. We talked about some of this stuff earlier, that all of a
sudden somebody does something and you're busted for probation for
three years and can't go to a Bowl game, but you didn't have direct
control over that thing, an academic or something of that nature,
I don't know.
I mean, in terms of Bobby Bowden, what Bobby Bowden has meant
to Florida State, you talk to our faculty, he may be a saint among
the boosters, he's actually a bigger saint amongst our faculty.
If it weren't for Bobby Bowden and that 14 year top five run, I'd
better not say this, I'm not sure we would be where we are as an
institution. There's no doubt in my mind about that.
We have a basketball coach right now, Leonard Hamilton, that
does an excellent job, won 20 basketball games the last three seasons,
but we haven't been to the NCAA tournament. A lot of people are
saying things about Leonard. Every kid that's played for Leonard
Hamilton has graduated.
Now, you win 20 ball games, you graduate every one of your kids,
you do the right things for the university, you present the right
image, and he's very involved in the community, I kind of don't
give a damn if we go to the NCAA tournament. I'd love to go, don't
misunderstand what I'm saying. But what more can you ask?
And quite frankly, when we shook hands and asked him to come
to Florida State, he did what he said and we did what we said, and
so some selection committee didn't do it. That's no reason in my
mind to determine if Bobby's value to Florida State transcends what
happened on Saturday afternoon, and as far as we're concerned at
Florida State, when Bobby decides that he does not want to coach
anymore, whether that's next year or the year after, whether Joe
Paterno is coaching or not, we want a relationship with Bobby Bowden
down the road, playing in the Bobby Bowden golf tournament, talking
to donors, whatever it happens to be.
He and Florida State, in my mind, at least while I'm there, are
forever tied together. You almost can't say Florida State University
without saying Bobby Bowden. And that type of a relationship that
has been built over 30 years, for those people who see it only as
did you beat Florida last year, that's getting kind of serious it
is, but it's just short sighted, and that's just not going to happen.
COACH PATTERSON: I would say, President, I think there
are coaches out there that do believe coaching is important, winning
is important, but we do want to be like Bobby Bowden. I think there
are coaches out there that want to mean more to the university than
just wins and losses and trying to give back to the community. I
think there's a lot of us in the profession that are trying to do
that. It's hard sometimes because of the wins and losses to do it
all, but I do believe there are coaches out there that want to be
exactly I don't know if I can go until I'm about 80, I'll be honest
with you. The internet and everything else is a lot different than
it was 20 years ago when they first started, but what you get put
through in a day's time, but I think there are guys out there that
do want to be like him.
Q. For the athletic directors, the increased use of head hunting
firms, with all due respect to Mr. Neinas, who's pretty good at
it, but why do you feel in so many cases there is a need to have
a head hunting firm when as an athletic director if you feel that
you do need to make a change that you don't already have that short
list that you have in mind and that you know who you want to hire?
As we talk about expenses for universities and things like that,
isn't that just throwing money away?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I think every situation is different.
I went through a situation where there were some questions about
was my coach going to continue to coach. It was during the season,
and so I did use Mr. Neinas and he was able to contact people, let
me know if they had an interest. We were able to really be when
it finally did happen and I had to hire that coach, we were in a
situation where we had and we knew who wanted to be the coach at
Army and who didn't. So it gave me an advantage and it saved time
I think there is a value of broadening my network, because I
could have my short list, but he might know somebody or they might
know somebody that I've never talked to before. A prime example
is my women's basketball coach. I had three weeks to hire a women's
basketball coach. We had some NCAA difficulty with one, we had to
go through a process, and then on the other hand we had to hire
So I had somebody chosen already. I got a phone call from somebody
who has a search firm and recommended a 28 year old coach who had
coached three years, and the first thing I talked to them about
is, are you crazy, I just got here, I want my job. But I went and
talked to this person, we hired her, she won the first and only
Patriot League Championship for the United States Military Academy,
and then suddenly she died. But had I not had contact with that
search firm, had they not pointed me in that direction, Maggie Dixon
would have never been hired. I've seen nothing but value in using
KEVIN WHITE: If I may tag that real quickly, we just talked
about contracts. There are so many contract prohibitions, so much
data, people are movable, not movable, people are tire kicking and
shopping but not sincere.
The search firms, and Chuck is here who represents that community,
small community, by the way, they pretty much have they come to
the process with lots of pretty valuable data and insight, and they
can kind of streamline the process for you.
And in addition to that, there's the ability to kind of speak
through those folks and have some protection in that regard, as
DR. WETHERELL: I think also in Florida, and I think a
lot of states have a very liberal, if you would, open records issue,
and if an athletic director or a president starts emailing people
or calling people, all that stuff is public record and the press
knows how to get it and probably better at it than sometimes we
want to believe, you avoid a lot of embarrassing situations, not
just whether you're going to hire somebody or not, but you don't
just get a list of names, you get background information, you get
just all kinds of stuff that, quite frankly, it's not to anybody's
benefit to have in the press.
In all honesty, you want a situation when you hire a coach or
an athletic director, you want that to be a public, positive event.
You want them to come to the table happy, the university be happy,
et cetera, and I've often believed that you're better off having
one winner than a selection brought to us with four losers and one
To me it's getting a pool of people that you may not even know
exist to be able to talk to people that you do know exist and be
able to say, well, you're really sure you want to come to Florida
State. Here's us; this is what we are. Be sure that's what you want.
It's a two way street.
So I think in today's world, with contracts, as Kevin pointed
out and internets and background checks and all kinds of stuff we've
got to go through, it's a valuable tool.
KEVIN ANDERSON: Chris, the other thing, we'll go back
and talk about this minority hiring. I notice now that the good
search firms will call people like me and people like Gene Smith
and they'll ask who's out there, who's ready to become a head coach,
an athletic director, whatever. So I think there's value to that
because it's adding to the pipeline, it's adding that extra information
that you need, and then using a search firm solidifies that candidate.
So now what we need to do is go a step further and have them
work with the groups that Kevin talked about earlier, adding to
their network and adding to their list so we get more people in
Q. But isn't that your responsibility to the athletic director,
to know who is and who isn't?
KEVIN ANDERSON: To a certain extent, but I mean, this
arena is so vast that there's somebody out in California that I
don't know about, and if I call a Chuck Neinas or I call another
search firm or I call Kevin White, I might not know about that person.
There's so many people out there. I think that's the beauty of all
this, that now I can add to that list.
But I would be very narrow minded and short sighted if I thought
I knew all the best people out there. So that's why we're in this
situation now, or some people in our profession have these short
lists, and there's a lot of good people out there that they've never
come across, never known, never touched or felt, and that's why
there's a lot of frustrated people not getting an opportunity to
KEVIN WHITE: If I may, ultimately, of course, it's our
responsibility, but this is a mechanism to do our job better. I
think that's what Kevin is saying, and I can't agree more.
You know, at the end of the day, two things have changed; contracts,
as we've all said; and secondly, the internet. Those two things
have changed the rules of engagement.
COACH PATTERSON: Just to add to it, even at the high school
level in the state of Texas, groups have gotten together now in
hiring a high school coach. Just to tag on to what the athletic
directors had to say, I think from a coaching standpoint and a university
standpoint, if you have a recruiting class that you've recruited
and you're looking you're being contacted, well, just because you're
contacted, sometimes people think, well, you're interested.
Now all of a sudden the school that you're actually recruiting
against, now they're saying, well, their head coach is leaving.
There's just a lot of things to have in the privacy of being able
to see what Chuck's group or any of those groups out there that
can do that can protect anybody until we really know what the facts
I think because of the internet, that's very true.
CHUCK NEINAS: Since my name was mentioned, I'll protect myself,
since I have clients in the room. I think the one thing that you
have to recognize, because of all the media scrutiny, the one thing
that a search firm can do is help avoid embarrassment, both for
the institution and the individual.
Q. Back to your original comment, I think a dose of reality
needs to be brought forward because this gathering is to try to
have a better understanding. One of the things that's happened in
recent years is that everything has changed, and if you look at
it from 1,000 feet or 10,000 feet you can see how things have changed.
For instance, the coaches moving, as you pointed out; I don't think
any of us are comfortable with what the situation is. It gives you
not a good feeling for a lot of different reasons. But it is the
reality of the time. I had an athletic director call me this year
after the shuffle took place in Division 1A, and by the way, there
are 120 instead of 119 Division 1A schools. But this athletic director
was very upset that one of our coaches from our association had
taken another job. And I said, let me just say this, that no coach
has ever been fired or ever been hired without an athletic director
doing it, so let's not put all the blame on the football coaches
when you have movement. Part of the reason for the movement now
is the rush for recruiting. Everybody knows that recruiting is the
key to success. You can be the greatest coach in the world, but
if you don't have the players, you're not going to win. So the reason
that we're having so many coaches go early now to different schools,
leading good teams that go to Bowl games, and by the way, which
I think seven or at least six of them under interim coaches lost
this year, which is not a good thing for everybody. But what you
have is we have a new time and a different time and things are happening
faster and they're quicker. Nobody really likes it, but it is the
reality that schools now will go after a coach prior to the end
of his responsibility, not just the end of his contract, but his
responsibility, and that decision had to be made earlier. It's not
the coach's fault, it's not the athletic director's fault, it is
the reality of the times.
CHRIS ROSE: I think we'll all agree that it was terrible
for college football what was going on, A, with Les Miles, having
to have an impromptu news conference to say, "This is my team, have
a good day." It was memorable but it wasn't good. And the Rich Rodriguez
stuff, whether we want to put the blame here or there, it was not
good for the sport that we all love, right?
COACH WILLINGHAM: I would by and large agree with that.
But again, it's the state of the game that we're in right now, and
we've got to adjust and adapt and find a good way out of those situations.
CHRIS ROSE: Moving on to the NFL influence, kids come
to school, of course they want to hopefully get an education and
enjoy what a lot of us enjoyed for the six or seven years we went
to undergrad school, but they also want to go to the NFL. How much
do you guys talk about the next level when you're in a recruit's
home or even as they continue to develop?
COACH PATTERSON: I can tell you this much, Mr. Goodell
has helped our game. I don't know about recruiting, but just the
way now that the NFL is being handled as far as the discipline is
already carried down, because how our kids act has changed a lot
just in a year, at least at our place.
If you listen to the scouts, it's important now whether you have
a record or not, how you act, what's going to go on. If you're going
to lose money, this is going to happen, this is going to happen,
because we have a class in the spring that we actually have those
type of people come in and talk to them, and it's already made a
CHRIS ROSE: When you guys are out talking to the youngsters,
do you even bring up the NFL?
COACH WILLINGHAM: I do. I think if you want to have great
programs and you want kids that want to be the very best at what
they do, and it doesn't matter whether it's in the engineering department
or whether it's the football department, you want kids that want
to be the very best they can do. But the key is, the trick is, getting
young people that have what I call two dreams; one dream is to be
in the NFL and then one is to be a doctor or a lawyer or a businessman
or professional that they seek to be and get them to really apply
themselves for both dreams.
So I go about selling both of those. We want the young man that
wants to be an NFL player and be the best, but we also want guys
that realize and I think I read this in Tony Dungy's books, and
I didn't get the NFLPA statistics on this, but it said in three
years after a professional finishes his career, 30 percent of them
will be bankrupt and divorced, okay, and those are figures that
our guys need to be aware of. And you don't hesitate to tell them
that just as you tell them the star struck nature of being a professional
COACH MANGINO: Well, I think the best way for us in our
situation to present it is we tell kids that playing professional
football, having that opportunity, is a byproduct of doing things
well in college.
Every kid has a dream coming out of high school. They want to
be a professional football player, and that's fine; I don't have
a problem with that at all. But you can't just declare yourself
a professional football player. You didn't can't just say I'll do
that. You get those opportunities by performing well at the collegiate
level. That's what NFL teams base their evaluations on. And it's
how you take care of yourself because when NFL teams come in, they
want to know about character, they want to know about academics.
Some teams it bothers them if a young man chronically misses classes
and is a guy that is not responsible, late for things. I tell our
kids all the time, they'll find out, the NFL has a way of finding
You take care of your business in college, go to class, be responsible,
train as hard as you can, play as well as you can, the byproduct
of that is an opportunity perhaps to play professional football.
CHRIS ROSE: Kevin Anderson, I know we spoke this morning
at breakfast about this topic Caleb Campbell, who was recently drafted
by the Detroit Lions and your four year old rule about now being
able to become a professional athlete instead of having to go overseas
immediately and things of that nature. Maybe share with the rest
of the media in the room what the response has been.
KEVIN ANDERSON: The feedback for the most part has been
very positive, and I'll sum it up by the story that I shared with
you this morning.
I got an email from a mother, has two sons, one's in Iraq and
one is in Afghanistan. They attended the United States Military
She emailed both of them and asked them what they thought about
Caleb being able to go play professional football, and they said
that they were very proud that Caleb was able to go and represent
them in the National Football League, and what he has done for morale
over in Afghanistan and Iraq has been tremendous. And so she at
the end of her email said, "If it's good enough for my sons and
they endorse it, it's good enough for me. God bless America."
CHRIS ROSE: Kevin White, what sort of relationship do
you have with the NFL, if anything?
KEVIN WHITE: You know, as Steve Hatchell can tell you,
and I think Steve had everything to do with it, we just had a meeting
with a number of athletics directors, and Roger Goodell in New York,
I think it was December, and really opened up the lines of communication.
My sense is there's always been obviously a relationship, but my
instinct is that it's going to go to another level, and I think
Roger is pretty sincere about plugging into college athletics, college
football, and kind of creating better communication.
CHRIS ROSE: What sort of where are we headed do you think?
KEVIN WHITE: I think there's a lot of common issues. There's
a lot of concern about gambling, about drug use, about a lot of
the social ills that we all deal with on the college campus. They
certainly deal with that at the next level.
I think there's a lot of commonality, and I think the lines of
communication have just been if not opened, have been opened in
a way that I think you'll see lots of give and take here as we look
into the future, as we move into the future. Steve and I talked
about it at breakfast this morning. I don't know when the next summit
will be, but I suspect it will not be among before we'll be back
together and talk about those common issues.
CHRIS ROSE: But there are some things you've got to keep
separate, NFL, college football I would imagine. Are there any things
you want to preserve you're afraid might get morphed?
KEVIN WHITE: If the question is do we want to emulate
the NFL, the answer is no. There's no question, we have our own
endeavor. It's sacred, it's special. A lot of people talked about
it over the last two days. College football is unique, and in its
own way, there is I hate to use this word because I'm probably going
to regret it, but there's a purity in college athletics and an elegance
in college athletics, and a game day celebration on the campus that
takes place that we need to protect. And I think we're all committed
to protecting what we have, what's evolved over a century, and I
don't think we want college football to be anything other than the
very best college football product that it has been.
CHRIS ROSE: If there's anybody that has a question or
anything about the NFL collegiate ties.
COACH WILLINGHAM: While you're waiting for the question,
I would probably agree with Gary. The influences from the NFL has
been very positive. Their stance on sportsmanship has been great.
I think the things that they're doing in and around football are
helping us be a better game for the most part.
Q. For the coaches, just in the administration of the game
and just the fact that this year you guys are going to be working
with a 40/25 clock, if that makes it look like the NFL games, hash
marks are moved in, not necessarily where the NFL's are but closer.
Tyrone, you've been at both levels. Are you happy or do you like
the fact that the game is moving closer to the NFL game in its administration?
COACH WILLINGHAM: I say yes, that it's moving closer to
the NFL, and it's not necessarily moving closer to the NFL. I think
it's moving closer to a more packaged product that you condense
into a certain amount of time is what I see more than anything else.
Not necessarily the NFL, but so that you can get more of them on
a major revenue producer for us, which is television. I see that
trend more than anything else, but I think the game of football,
college football, if we can maintain its integrity and separation
from the NFL from a playing standpoint, I think we have a far more
exciting football game.
Q. Mark, do you think the football game is going to look more
like the NFL game? Will you have to do things differently than you've
done them because of the way.
COACH MANGINO: Well, there have been some trends that
we're following of the NFL. I don't think, like the 40 second clock,
replay, challenging replay, I don't know necessarily that those
decisions were based on trying to emulate the NFL as much as they
are to make the games a little quicker so they fit in a better window
for television. And also, you know, I think that coaches should
have a right to challenge a play if it's not completely if replay
detects that there is a problem.
I don't think college football is trying to emulate it. There's
just some things that we have in common that we share.
Q. Ty, I understand, and Mark, why they're trying to compartmentalize
a game, but isn't college football unique? Why do we need that?
Two years ago the rules committee made those timing changes that
really altered the game and they had to change back.
COACH WILLINGHAM: The reason for those changes are for
dollars, okay, and we deal with television, and we need television.
We should make no mistake about that.
Again, I bring up the fact that I played two sports in college.
One of those sports doesn't exist without football, and football
doesn't exist with some of the revenue that's generated from television.
So we need that partnership.
But the thing that you'd like to be able to do is have college
football maintain the properties that it's had over the years and
yet be able to satisfy the needs of a major revenue stream so that
you can promote not only football but promote the other sports at
the university, also.
Q. Also, the three coaches, I'd like to get your feelings
on the 40/25 rule because I'm hearing things all over the board
as far as extending plays, cutting plays out. I just want to know
what you guys thought.
COACH WILLINGHAM: I think we're probably going to lose
about this is a best guess today. Obviously the season will bear
it out. But I think we're probably going to lose somewhere between
five and maybe ten plays. Some people are speaking more extreme
than that, but I think it's going to be somewhere between five and
ten that we'll probably lose.
COACH MANGINO: I would say that we just talked as a staff
and tried to give it our best guesstimate, but we think pretty much
what Tyrone is saying, eight to ten plays a game. We'll know better
after we play a few.
But I think more than anything, the play callers are the ones
that are really going to be under the gun now, so there can't be
any stuttering or stammering. You'd better get it out. A lot of
teams now are in the spread, no huddle, and we are one of those
teams, so we have talked about the importance on offense of getting
the play out there very quickly because at the line of scrimmage
we like to change plays from the sideline. We've just got to move
fast and understand.
We used it in our spring game, and I got the second half I had
the clock running pretty continuously because we got a lot of plays
in, but the thing that we were concerned about more than anything
was, you know, offenses have been exploding the last couple years,
there's less plays for an offense to score, so it may cut back on
COACH WILLINGHAM: I think another issue that we need to
look at, and that is the consistency of timing the football games,
and hopefully this 40/25 gives us the ability to be more consistent
stadium to stadium to stadium, which could give you a smoother,
better game that's more predictable for coaches to work with.
Some places you go, when they start the 25 second clock, you
know, you're at the discretion of that home official, and at certain
times that can be huge in a football game. Now you've got a pretty
standard method of making sure that things get started, and of course
we've made some changes on a national level with our officiating
bodies to bring more consistency across the country.
So I think all of these things will have more of an impact other
than just the actual patching of a game but really the fundamental
operation of a game that makes a game more equitable.
COACH PATTERSON: It does help us with the white hat, as
far as clocking it quick. When we're at his discretion, it'll definitely
clearly mark how it should be now.
COACH MANGINO: Well, believe it or not, it's part of our
discussions when we're game planning, who the white hat is going
to be and who the umpire is going to be for that week, because some
of them spot the ball really quickly, others take their time. Now
that's been eliminated, so I think that's a positive.
CHRIS ROSE: We're going to hit one last topic, and I guess
it really kind of starts and perhaps ends to a degree with the coaches,
and it's high school football and how much better prepared kids
are for college life and for playing your game. I'm guessing more
so now than ever, right, Gary?
COACH PATTERSON: That are more wanting to play the game?
CHRIS ROSE: I'm just saying prepared. How much has the
high school game changed that you can see over the last ten years?
COACH PATTERSON: Well, number one, because of the academic
standards I think there's less kids in the pool as far as can go
to Division I right now. I think that'll change because I think
the format out there as far as in the high schools catching up with
what they need to do to be successful academically will change so
that they can get more kids. But I think we're at a low number.
But I think kids are a lot stronger. Everybody talks about it
seems like everybody is bigger and faster, and I think they are,
but I think they're at all levels from the 23 year old all the way
down to the 17 year old.
But kids, like I said earlier, are a lot more knowledgeable,
but they're not as mature.
CHRIS ROSE: Not as mature?
COACH PATTERSON: Not as mature mentally in the fact that
again, a lot of kids come from one parent, no parent, not a lot
of time management, guidance. The way we do it at TCU, we actually
don't put or coordinators on the road recruiting. We never have
in the nine years that we've been there. They evaluate and canvass,
but more importantly, they're in our off season program.
I believe strength coaches are great in numbers. If I can in
the off season when I'm not on the road doing home visits, in January
I'm trying to be in the off season three days a week, four, and
sometimes running myself because I believe if you're going to have
to play with 85 scholarships and play 12 ballgames you've got to
grow kids up, not just physically. You've got to push them to limits,
and your strength coaches can't be everywhere and they've got to
get to know you.
So probably not a lot of other places do it but that's the way
we've done it at our place and it's been successful. That allows
me to grow a freshman up quicker than what he comes in because if
you're going to tell me that I have to play with one because of
numbers, then I'd better get him ready to go, and not just physically.
I'd better get him mentally ready to go and play the game.
CHRIS ROSE: Do you agree with Coach Patterson's assessment
that it's a less mature group that's joining your universities?
COACH MANGINO: I agree with Gary, and I'd just like to
take it a step farther if I may. I think the generation that we're
dealing with now is a generation that was born and raised on high
technology, and these young kids are used to doing things by themselves
rather than in groups. And what I mean by that is, they all have
a laptop computer, so rather than go out and play pickup baseball
or a football game after school, if you're not playing a varsity
sport or on the weekends or summertime, they'd rather surf the net.
They have their iPods, they have their video games, all things that
they can do by themselves. And I think the social development of
this generation is lacking more so than some of the generations
The challenge it creates for us is they're not as mature. Their
social skills are not as good as they need to be. But they have
a lot of information because they have access to information. They
somewhat, some of them, live almost in a fantasy world because all
their information that they get in life, all their experiences not
all of them, but many of them, are based on the computer, the television,
the internet, what have you.
The challenge it creates for us, their social skills aren't what
they should be. And also, creating a team environment, working together
with other people, and that's the challenge that I have found personally,
and our coaching staff, we have discussed that several times, that
trying to make this generation unselfish, think about we talk all
the time to our kids about you should care about the guy sitting
next to you, the guy sitting behind you, the guy in front of you.
Your success might be based on how well he does his job on the football
field. You need to be able to work together, come together.
And we're finding that we have to do a lot of work on team building
and things that we do together as a group, rather than individual
things, because they spend a lot of time by themselves doing individual
CHRIS ROSE: Coach Willingham?
COACH WILLINGHAM: I'd probably agree in general with this.
I think it's not just the fact that we've got single parent homes
and kids seem to be raising themselves, but I think even in some
of your two parent homes, okay, when did you let your kid go to
the playground and play? Most of us had a fear about sending our
kid to the playground by himself or her and letting her play. There
had to be some type of supervision there, so we've been overprotective
as parents and putting them in leagues and putting them in things,
and they don't have the real opportunities to socialize and lead
and do the things that we would think.
I think this is something that's everywhere in our society right
now, not just what we face as football coaches.
But the thing that I think that I get concerned about, because
we have started, I think, this conference with the fact that our
National Football Hall of Fame and Foundation are about leadership,
and somewhere during the process we're not doing all the things
that we need to do everywhere in our society to develop good, strong
One of my biggest fears is I have two daughters. I fear the guy
they're going to bring home (laughter). We're going to have a real
problem. You want that guy that's coming home that you know you
can depend on, count on, that's not just about himself. And I think
I made the comment the other day or yesterday that there now is,
even with those parents that do a great job of raising their child,
there's that thought that I need a return on investment. A return
on investment means they're concerned and focused on only one thing,
their child. They don't care about your team necessarily, they're
only interested in what is in the well being of their child, and
we're doing that more often as a society.
I've heard from some corporations now that not only do the kids
come to the corporation for the interview, but the parents come
to the interview, or their parents will be following up with calls
about the contracts and these kind of things about the employee,
and that to me is I have a hard time with that. But that's the kind
of individual across the board that we seem to be having not just
occasional examples of, but it seems to be with more frequency.
KEVIN ANDERSON: To talk about this leadership thing and
take it a step further, and I'm probably dating myself, but my football
coach was either the math teacher or the gym teacher and he was
there and he could monitor my activity. Now you have walk on coaches
that sometimes in some areas aren't even certified, and you question
how could they coach football because the only football they know
is what they watch on Sunday. I think that's a bigger issue that
we face is because there's no vested interest in some of these coaches
who come now, and we have no way to monitor them. It reflects on
the kind of kids we're getting now.
CHRIS ROSE: We do have a high school football coach on
hand here. Real quickly, do you agree with the assessment, that
basically you're dealing with a more immature kid?
SPEAKER: Without a doubt. I think now you spend half your time
to be a successful coach, you have to spend more time, you're their
parent, you're their best friend, you're their brother, and that's
the only way you can be successful nowadays. I've coached in two
states, I coached in Utah where we had three full time coaches and
we had bakers, auto mechanics and builders, and those kids couldn't
develop relationships, where here in Texas I've got 15 full time
coaches, and those guys to be successful, you take a hand in those
kids. But the same problems that these guys are dealing with up
here, we deal with on a day to day basis.
In the Dallas/Fort Worth area, in the suburbs, we've got four
minority coaches out of 120 schools. We've got no child left behind.
Kids can transfer, parents know that if it's a low performance school,
these kids will pick up and transfer. I call it the "now generation;"
these kids expect to go on to college, they expect you as the head
coach at that high school to get them a scholarship, they expect
to go to a college where they're going to start, and then they expect
to leave that college and go to the NFL. That's highly unlikely.
So I think our job as a coach when they come here, if it takes
me four years to break those kids down to get them to be unselfish,
to get them to go to college for the right reason, to get an education
and to get them to go out and be positive role models and fathers
and have two parent families, we talk to kids about that. We've
got to talk to them about drugs, alcohol, pregnancy, gangs on a
daily basis. If we don't do that, we're not successful.
Nowadays, you talk about the state of the game, five years ago
you couldn't have thought about going and playing on television.
We're getting to play two games on national television. Fox is going
from six to 21, and that's just one TV station. So the state of
the game is improving, but there's also a lot of problems that come
with it that you have to handle, and that's these guys are dealing
with 18, 19, 20 we're dealing with that with 15 and 16 year olds.
That's a different deal.
But if you want to stay on top, you've got to be willing to take
that step as a coach to put your kids out there on a national stage
because somebody else is going to do that.
CHRIS ROSE: Because people have planes to catch, we're
going to wrap up just a touch early. But I do want to thank everybody
for participating, in particular our panel. Guys, thank you very,
Also, there's a lunch sponsored by the Football Writers Association
of America in the gateway ballroom.