Dear Football Mom,
How many millions does it take to hire a good head coach? You know, one that isn’t full of donkey poo, puts together a college football program without empty promises, and maybe promotes honesty. Any trustworthy coaches out there? As a mother of a high school player, I’m over these college football coaches and their ridiculously high-paying salaries with over-inflated egos. None of them have offered my son a thing, not even from the smaller schools. I’m not so sure any of these coaches could identify talent if it hit them head-on. Time is short, what do we do to get our son signed?
The first thing you don’t do is let the college coaches see you sweat. I see your frustration from here. Trust me though, college coaches are excellent at finding talent and, yes, sometimes it hits them square in the face. That is, if they aren’t tripping over themselves.
If your question really hinges on the amount of money college coaches make—and a programs budget—then you’ll be in for sticker shock. No price tag for a product can compare to football on college campuses. I’m afraid that cost information could send you hurling smack-dab through the likes of a Texas Longhorn. I could never add that to my already clogged-up conscience if you happened to end up hooked on a horn. I would not pass the sniff test to even speculate the expense of running college football programs. If numbers aren’t on jerseys or on scoreboards, I’m purty useless.
Things like, is it a start-up program in which said university never offered the sport of football before and they are starting from scratch? Or, smaller school looking to build on accomplishments jumping to D-IA? Those are questions for the folks who get paid bigger bucks than me. Ones who have experience in football finance, economics, and television deals. Those who have keys to the safety deposit boxes in banks owned by wealthy alum, willing to fork out the bucks. Those are the folks to answer your question.
The powerhouses of the college game are money machines that never sleep. They churn out the change twenty-four-seven. If boosters and fans of super-conferences are willing to spend x amount of dollars to get on waiting lists just for season tickets, or up to $100,000-plus for a cushy spot on the fifty-yard line to seat their blessed assurance, then creating a football program should be a walk in the park. I suspect it’s not that simple.
My suggestion—if you really want to know—is read Billion Dollar Ball by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Gilbert M. Gaul. This is a book loaded with eye-opening information and all the stats your little pea-pickin’ heart desires. Plus, Gaul scrutinizes the pay scales of football’s fancy coaches. It’s a few years old, and some stats may have changed a little, like Nick Saban’s puny salary. What won’t change is Saban’s smart-aleck sass. Then again, Alabama lost to LSU on Saturday. No offense to Tide fans, but I noticed Saban was absent for any post-game remarks. What a shame. He loves the media … like he loves a snake bite.
So, back to your son. You’re telling me coaches have shown interest but haven’t come through with a solid offer. What they are really saying is, “we’ve got to see if the kid we really want will sign with us and if he doesn’t, then we’ve got room for you.” I could almost promise you that is the ruse on the part of the coaches. And, it is a little early. Y’all do have some time.
Nothing wrong with pinning the coaches down, yourself. If they are still calling your home or your son’s phone, then speak with coach ask him point blank. If they aren’t calling or keeping in touch, do a little digging. Begin with talking to your high school coach. Get as much information from him as you can such as, are recruiters calling you about our son?
Then here it can get tricky but be brave, write down what you’d like to say and go for it. Call the football office of the college showing the most interest and ask to speak with the recruiter who has been in contact with y’all. Be upfront and ask him something like, if your son fits their program, whether he’s still in the running, and when might they make a decision and offer him a scholarship. If they hem and haw, then there’s your answer. Thank him for his time and of course never burn a bridge, always leave it, if something changes, I trust you’ll be in touch. Then go to the next college on the radar. Then the next, and on down the line.
By the way, when talking to these coaches, remember they owe you nothing. Keep the frustrated attitude locked up. Humble is always the way to approach most anything in life.