OPINION: Mel Tucker, An Example Of Why to Commit To the School Not the Coach
"I guess I have to say it, I'm not going to be the Alabama coach." That was Nick Saban at a Miami Dolphins press conference just before actually taking the Alabama head coaching job.
Scott Frost, two and done at UCF. Tom Herman, two and done at Houston. James Franklin, three and done at Vanderbilt. And the list goes on.
As the Mel Tucker news was dropped at just past midnight on the 12th of February, unlike some, I wasn't shocked. Tucker, now infamously, sent out a tweet just 72 hours before news broke that he was going to Michigan State. That tweet was a statement acknowledging interest from the Spartans, but at the same time publicly stating his commitment to the job at hand in Colorado. Even still, when you go beyond the surface and look at the details of Michigan State's pursuit of the 48-year-old, it's a no brainer.
Mel Tucker leaving Colorado after just one season isn't a black mark on his resume in my opinion. After all, Michigan State is more than doubling his salary and doubling his salary pool for his staff as well.
Could it have been handled better? Should he have "been a man of his word"? Sure. That's the easy take, but let's be honest here, we are talking about generational wealth and an opportunity to level up in major program ranks.
If I learned anything from this, and the saga that it has waged on social media since Tucker's decision to leave Colorado for Michigan State, it's that more than ever before it is vital that top recruits nowadays commit to the school, not the coach.
Though there are programs like Alabama, Clemson, LSU, and Georgia that seemingly have their coaches on lifetime contracts from here on out, that hasn't stopped Saban from flirting with Texas or rumors flying about Dabo taking the job at his alma mater when Saban ultimately retires.
4-star running back, Ashaad Clayton alluded to this on social media as well.
Outside of those three or four schools, one thing I know about the lifespan of a coach, is that a high school recruit's three to five-year collegiate career will more than likely outlast the lifespan of the coach's tenure at that school.
I know that building a relationship with the coaching staff is paramount when choosing where you will play your college ball, trust me. But, I also know that more than likely, the school is what's gonna be left - not the coach - by the time comes you're ready to leave that program.
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