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Deion Sanders, Hue Jackson, and HBCU Coaches Could Capitalize From Comments by Herbstreit, Howard, and Leach

The reasons why HBCU head coaches will reap the rewards of recruiting talent coming to their programs is rooted in the recent short-sighted commentary from middle-aged coaches and analysts.

The reasons why HBCU head coaches like Deion Sanders, Hue Jackson, Willie Simmons, Eddie George, and Eric Dooley will reap the rewards of recruiting talent coming to their programs is rooted in the recent short-sighted commentary from middle-aged coaches and analysts.

HERBSTREIT AND HOWARD COMMENTS

We must blow the whistle and throw the penalty flag on college football analysts Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, and Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach. Each expressed strong opinions regarding student-athletes' decisions not to play in bowl games. Leach was very vocal against his senior players not participating in the bow. contest. "I think this era of player just doesn't love football," said Herbstreit. 

Desmond Howard added, "when we were coming up, Herbstreit and myself, to go to a bowl game was a huge reward for a fantastic season...now, kids don't really care about that. They have a sense of entitlement."

Do the players have a sense of entitlement or do the schools and coaches have a sense of entitlement?

Let's point to the case of former Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith. His final game for the Fighting Irish was in the Fiesta Bowl. The matchup was bountiful for Notre Dame but meaningless for Smith. His NFL stock took a nosedive on one play as an opposing player hit him and destroyed his knee. Ole Miss quarterback Corral almost had a similar frightening experience in the Sugar Bowl versus Baylor. Fortunately, he will be fine. However, Smith was drafted lower in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. The linebacker spent 18 months rehabbing his knee and played for the Cowboys until knee and other injuries took a toll, and he was released. A projected No. 1 draft fell to the second round, and the injury affected his career.

Football is a dangerous sport, and injuries are a part of the game. It's not about losing love for football, nor is it entitlement. It's being wise. Insurance is considered a wise decision. Hence, a player's health before, during, and after the NFL Scouting Combine.

Nowhere did I read or hear Mike Leach or any collegiate coach say that he was willing to donate his salary and bowl-appearance bonus if a player becomes injured during a bowl game.

When Herbstreit and Howard played college ball, we didn't have 40 bowl games. It was along the lines of 18 to 20. Also, their teams, Ohio State and Michigan, usually had the pick of the top bowl appearances - Rose, Sugar, or Orange Bowls.

It's not a sense of entitlement if your team is not playing for a national championship. Why should a prospective first- or second-round player take the risk of your career ending his career on one play before becoming a professional.

TRAVIS HUNTER AND MARCUS WILLIAMSON

Hunter and Williamson are taking heat for making decisions well-suited for their lives.  Why are young minority athletes expected to "do as we want you to, and not to think for yourselves."   This is why HBCU schools will capitalize off of the neglect athletes have experienced at Power 5 programs. 

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Danders and Travis Hunter

THE REALITY

In reality, I see the points from both sides.

Today's young student-athletes usually become a family's primary income provider.

In essence, it's a selfless act, not a selfish one, to make the best decisions for the families.

These middle-aged men, who earn significant incomes either as a coach or analyst, has the right to say what's best for these young men and their plight.

Give today's student-athlete credit for making well-educated business decisions.

I believe most love football. What they are entitled to be respected. They belong to no one, and injuries could have irreversible consequences. 

Mr. Howard, Herbstreit, and Leach. It's time to respect the player, not the game.  

Has the advantage gone to the HBCU coaches?

We shall see.


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