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May 16, 2008
DALLAS, TEXAS: Session Two
CHRIS ROSE: Steve Hatchell, come on up for a couple quick words.
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 see.
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 he died.
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.
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 leaders.
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 and 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 on.
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 rÃ©sumÃ©, 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 works on.
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 pleasant (laughter).
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 an embarrassment?
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 professional sports.
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 this business.
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 institutions.
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 every day.
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 game.
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 teams responsibilities.
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 of it.
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 would be.
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 work.
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 be supported.
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 doing it.
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 it.
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 year.
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 of assistants.
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 of me.
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 not capable.
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 in position.
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 opinion.
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 do that.
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 name.
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, didn't you?
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 unique.
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 forever.
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 to Fox?
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 championship for?
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 athlete.
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 my allies?
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 one.
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 basketball.
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 that.
But when there's only 11 or 12 games, there's an immediacy to college football.
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 it.
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 insure that.
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 right now.
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 discussion.
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 Wendell (laughter).
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 group.
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 money.
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 games.
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 something.
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 admit that.
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 on Fox.
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 this game.
COACH PATTERSON: Well, there was another one that was besides that.
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 line.
COACH PATTERSON: Well, I was talking about the normal guy (laughter).
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 frankly.
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, right?
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 entire university.
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 race?
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-wise.
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 that?
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 White?
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 match it.
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 vote.
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 football.
COACH MANGINO: Kansas football is taking a beating here (laughter).
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 event.
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 Saturday.
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 the season.
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 work.
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 buyout clause.
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 happen.
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 side.
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 anything.
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 are.
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 and energy.
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 somebody.
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 search firms.
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 well.
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 winner.
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 the process.
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 even interview.
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 are.
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 big difference.
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 athlete.
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 out everything.
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 and graduated.
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 some scoring.
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 before them.
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 things.
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 leaders.
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, very much.
Also, there's a lunch sponsored by the Football Writers Association of America in the gateway ballroom.
End of FastScripts