by Pat Dooley
I hate to rant, but …
When it comes to the hypocrisy of college football, I can’t help myself.
Coaches can leave when they want. Oh, some of them have buyouts in their contracts but those never hinder a coach from taking a job that pays them more money.
Players have no rights. They are on one-year contracts with the school and cannot pick up leave whenever they want. The NCAA talks about the care of the student-athletes, but in reality the players are simply pawns.
Recently, I was talking to a head coach who has a young player who has made noises about transferring.
“I won’t release him,” he said.
And then we have the case of Tennessee wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett, as reported by the Knoxville News Sentinel.
Arnett is a freshman who played in all 12 games for the Vols. He is from Saginaw, Mich., and his father is suffering from lung disease. He recently posted a picture of his dad with his shirt open showing tubes sticking out of his chest to prove that he’s not exaggerating things.
He wants to transfer. Tennessee coach Derek Dooley will release him but not to Michigan or Michigan State. He has told Arnett if he wants to leave, he can go play in the Mid-American Conference.
In an e-mail to the media, Arnett wrote, “Therefore as a student athlete I feel coach dooley is trying to hinder my success by not allowing me to compete at a bcs level! And he’s neglecting the fact that my father is severely ill.”
If he were a coach, Arnett could have transferred without sitting out a year and texted Dooley that he was leaving like Todd Graham did at Pittsburgh. But as a player, he must play by the archaic and unfair rules of college football.
It’s time the NCAA put an end to this and passed legislation that would allow players to transfer wherever they want without having to get a permission slip from their coach.
But that might give the impression the organization, its presidents and its members give a hoot about the players they use to climb ladders and make millions.