Sports Mercenaries

Welcome to the World of Sports Mercenaries! –College Football Head Coaches!
…The Head Football Coaches are barely concerned about graduation rates instead these mercenaries are brought in to win games…period. Signed contracts seem trite to them as mercenaries come & go. They can demand outrageous salaries for winning games. Now, I’m not naïve enough to think “big money” doesn’t have its own special criteria but…it’s spiraling out of control.
……the Most recent examples are Notre Dame & Oklahoma. These are 2 of the most “revered” college football programs over the last many decades. Contracts seem to mean little to these coaches. At Notre Dame, Brian Kelly just jumped ship for LSU. Kelly had just signed a contract extension in 2020. It was believed to be $2.67m/year. He was expected to fulfill the contract that would end in 2024. It would be his 15th season when he would turn 63 years old. Instead, Kelly bolted for LSU as he signed a 10-year deal worth $9.5 million per year, plus incentives. Kelly’s exit was handled in the worst possible way.
….His “going away” talk to his team was typical of his mercenary status. He arranged for a 7am meeting time with his team. Now, which college students are EVER up by 7am? Prior to the morning talk, the news “broke” of his departure. He apologized 1st to the team that they had learned of his leaving via the press. In addition, the length of his speech to the team was a total of 4 min 18 seconds. That sounds really heartfelt, doesn’t it? No claps, no questions, nothing at the end of the speech as he walked out.
…Several of the comments made by him during or outside of the speech are curious. It’s hard for a mercenary to be totally honest. He/she are in it for the money. From all reports, Kelly was earning $2.67m/year but also had other outside income not disclosed. If he had just got up there and said “hey…they’re paying me $100M” then I think the team would be like “well…. Okay”. However, his actual overall income was higher as he was permitted to receive compensation from external sources at Notre Dame with written approval w/o public knowledge of the exact amount. From all reports, ND was not given a chance to match or beat the LSU offer. Does the mercenary ride OOT without even asking for a match to the offer? Guess so!!
….Does this mercenary walk on water @ ND? Kelly compiled a 106-39 record. He is the all-time winningest coach in ND history But…be careful when you read that last sentence. It wasn’t until the 50’s that ND played 10 games a year. Further, ND declined bowl offers until 1970 (albeit 1 appearance in 1925 Rose Bowl under Knute Rockne). Kelly’s teams annually played 12 games + a bowl game in most years(13 games). It’s easy to see he’s playing 30% more games a year than his predecessors. Sooo, more wins WOULD BE EXPECTED. Kelly’s winning percentage of .739 is strong but not the best, by a long shot at ND. Knute Rockne, who put ND on the football map, was 105-12-5, 88%. Frank Leahy was 85-11-1-85%. Ara Parseghian was 95-17-4 84%. There also are a few other coaches higher than Kelly in win %.
…Kelly apparently thinks he has a better opportunity @ LSU for the national crown. He did reach the College Football Playoff twice and the 2013 BCS Championship game while @ ND. Each time his team was manhandled. In those 3 games he was outscored 103-31 by Alabama 2x & Clemson.
…Meanwhile another, much younger, mercenary is high-tailing it out of Oklahoma. Lincoln Riley, highly touted, as the next ”superstar” mercenary…oops…coach… leaves for U of So. California. At USC, Riley replaces former Trojans coach Clay Helton, who was fired in September after posting a 46-24 record in seven seasons. Fired with a 65% win rate! Some think, I’m one of them, that Riley leaves OU as the Sooners enter the SEC conference. That isn’t by coincidence. It’d be much harder for him to win 65% of your games in the SEC than in the Big 12. Mercenaries can’t afford to have their image tarnished or ruined.
…the coaching carousel continues as Clemson’s D-Coordinator, Brent Venables returns to Oklahoma to take the place of Lincoln Riley. Venables had, at 1 time, been a D-Coach @ OU. Promotions are an accepted practice for mercenaries as the climb up the ranks.
…..Sooo….what do you do …..I believe Coaches should never be signed for more than a 3-4 year contract. The Good coaches would welcome it because they’d be getting a raise every 3-4 years. But, I would hold the Coach responsible to buying himself/herself out if he wants to leave early. These 6,8, 10 year contracts don’t protect the school at all. When the coach breaks the contract and leaves, he should be made to “buy out” of the contract. When Schools fire coaches early, they negotiate a “buy out”. It has to be a 2 way street.
…Sports Mercenaries aren’t limited to individuals. Teams/Leagues also wear that mantra. We’ve hit on the MLB-MLBPA mercenary fight over money already. But here’s a few others…
….in a true mercenary mode…the NCAA recently added another bowl game to this year’s schedule. Reason? High demand—no way! With this additional bowl, now every .500 team may attend a bowl. Nothing like selling mediocrity to grow your product. Beat 3 cupcakes then go 3-6 in conference & you’re in a bowl…ugh!! But, it will generate money for the mercenaries from Video presentations online or on television. I’ve heard that the sponsor for this newest “big” bowl might be Charmin! 😊
….the NCAA college Bowl Series Mercenaries were probably smiling as Alabama beat Georgia handily. Bama utilized a short passing, roll out game with great success that kept their offense rolling. On defense, Bama blitzed to stop the run forcing Georgia into passing downs. Bama often sent more than 4 rushers, using LB frequently, while playing m/m coverage on the Bulldog receivers. Other than a strong spurt late in the 2nd quarter, this game belonged to Alabama. Look for a rematch in the BCS Championship game.
…in anticipation of the lockout, the MLB mercenaries were “cashing in” early & often in the Free market. Just a peek at some of the real big winners–Max Scherzer hit the jackpot $130m/3 years. SS Corey Seager signed 10 year deal for $325m with Texas. Javy Baez went with Detroit for 6 years, $140m. Texas has signed a ½ Billion dollar middle infield with the signings of Corey Seager & Marcus Semien. It’s hard to swallow the owners or the players claiming money issues in the negotiations!
… I’m anxious to read YOUR thoughts—put them on Facebook. While there you may check out the comments from readers on the same page. They are terrific. If you want to peruse through some older blogs, your ticket is Well, this mercenary is departing. All of you will receive the bill for my usual fee. Thanks for the read!

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