Ed Orgeron is not working in college football in an official capacity, but one of the game’s most recognizable voices is rarely too far away from the sport.
Orgeron was helping coach at Miami’s “Legends” camp recently, and caught up with Sports Illustrated‘s John Garcia Jr. to discuss the current state of the sport—namely, the impact that name, image and likeness have had in recruiting, an area that Orgeron routinely thrived in during his coaching career.
“First of all the game is changing. And if you want to have success, you better change,” Orgeron said. “Number one, you’ve got to find a way to compete at the highest level. And now it’s different, it’s a different lay of the land. But, my own personal opinion, they don’t care about it but I will say it anyway: They have to govern it. There’s got to be something, and I think the players would appreciate it.
“The players that get way too much money in the beginning may not be as hungry, and maybe not in the end get all that he needs to get. So, I think the players will learn to appreciate it, that you’ve got to earn things. I’m not against them getting money, but I think there needs to be some kind of governing.”
Orgeron went 6-6 in his final season with LSU in 2021, two years removed from a national championship. That team was anchored by Joe Burrow, who transferred to LSU after graduating from Ohio State and spent two seasons with the Tigers. Orgeron said that he’s always been in favor of graduate transfers, but expressed hesitation about the effects the transfer portal and immediate eligibility have had on the sport.
“It’s like free agency—it’s moving too fast,” Orgeron said. “For me, I was all for the graduate transfer portal. I think once you’ve graduated, hey, you’ve got a shot, go take another shot. It was good for Joe, thank God we had him for two years. But I think this transferring, hopping from school to school, especially within the conference and within your division is a little tough. You wear one uniform, the next day you’re wearing your rival’s.”
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