Decisions to end a career are complicated, but when Villanova men’s basketball coach Jay Wright retired Wednesday night, I had one idea.
The out of the game gets too complicated for the older keeper.
Fifteen years ago, the one-and-done game began, when the NBA made high school students ineligible to participate in the draft and caused players to attend college for a year to meet their eligibility. Some of the older coaches originally protested, but realized that if they wanted the best players, they had to accept that hiring players for a year was part of the game.
The transfer portal came out three years ago, where players can tell all schools it’s available, recruit them again and play right away.
And finally, last July, we welcomed the name, image, and example (none). Originally intended to allow college athletes to make money off their names, it quickly turned into a way for boosters to fund groups to recruit and retain players.
Instead of companies that go after the athletes and use them in their business, the supporting organizations have raised a huge amount of money for the donation – what the athlete will do for the money, for the most part, is TBA. In fact, most groups, in part to cash out the act, receive athletes’ salaries for charity.
For some coaches, the NIL – or at least what he disguises himself as – will be the last straw. “The players should be paid” and “the coaches should not be the only ones making the money,” supporters will chant.
But as we’ve seen Roy Williams, Mike Krzewski and now Jay Wright call it quits, it’s worth talking about how much the job has changed in the past five years.
Because it’s not hard to see that the game behind the match has changed so much that coaches who have succeeded in the past are not sure they can be successful in the future.
Although school temptations are not allowed in the NIL, they do happen.
Recruitment has changed from the start. Legendary coach, legendary software, but don’t have a fully organized team team ready to deliver? You may not be able to compete in this world.
Whether you will be able to get group support that is right for you depends on how well your reinforcers are regulated and what your state says are allowed. Are reinforcers allowed to talk to the coach? Athletic director?
Then comes the transfer gate.
While the NCAA currently prevents incentive recruitment by the NIL (although the organization apparently was not interested in doing anything), it does not say anything about making a transfer through the transfer portal.
That player your clan paid to show up at your school and play for a year? There can be no trade-offs regarding the money that is attached to the game. So after a great year, the player will go out to take more money from someone else! Or is that player you recruited without paying, developed and now became a star. This player wants money to survive or he will explore the portal.
In the past, great coaches were equal in recruiting kings and decision makers on the field. The New Age coach should be more than a compound. He or she must deal with reinforcements to make deals to score and keep players. The coach should not only make the players happy with their playing time, but also with the money they get. This makes navigating the locker room more difficult.
Sure, there will be some old coaches who stay in the game for as long as possible because they know nothing else. Jim Boeheim comes to mind. But as the transfer portal and NIL continue to evolve toward the student-athlete, expect more of the older guard to retire sooner than ever.
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