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We have all heard the old guys say that the younger guys have it much better than they did. This has held true since the beginning of sports, regardless of which sport. The advancement of society has impacted everything that we have become, and football is no different.
If you look at the latest issues impacting college football (Transfer portal and NIL - Name Image Likeness), have been long-standing issues. As with anything in society, that advancement takes time and will continue to improve in the years to come. And I can't wait.
I played D3 college ball in the mid-nineties. I started my college career at Rowan College of New Jersey (now Rowan University) in the fall of 1992. My coach was John Bunting, who played on the Philadelphia Eagles' 1980 Super Bowl team.
After my first year, Coach Bunting took an opportunity to become an assistant for Dick Vermeil and the St. Louis Rams. It was much easier to transfer for D3, but I had experienced what so many big-time recruits had faced over the years; a significant draw to the school you attend is your relationship with your coach, and now they are gone. There are always some differences when a new regime comes in, which may or may not be the best fit for you. The transfer portal now gives these guys a chance to explore other opportunities. There are differing opinions on reasons for entering the portal, but having the flexibility when an enormous shift in management occurs, is a great thing.
I was fortunate enough to have an outstanding high school coach, Bill Shirk, which got me recruited twice. He did this when it was very different than recruiting in today's world. In my day, we had to send our VHS highlight tape by mail to the schools we were interested in playing for and follow it up with a phone call. Yes, schools would reach out to you expressing interest in you, but it was a manual process that was difficult to navigate. Even with all the advancements, it is still difficult for guys to get the proper exposure to continue playing.
Compensation for players' time and efforts has been an ongoing controversy. The issue of adequately compensating athletes continues to be a topic of indifference. The waiving of whether or not a free college education is a fair market value should be undertaken at a different time and place. With that said, we finally have some cards on the table now with NIL and have figured out a way to get athletes additional compensation for the value and exposure they bring to their schools.
Again I know D3 rules are different, and you can have a job in the off-season, etc., but guys were always trying to figure out a way to make a few extra bucks. The probability of a college athlete getting compensated professionally for that sport is extremely rare. Now, there is an opportunity to cash in on that notoriety and use their platform.
I fear that we haven't given these young athletes the background and education they need to navigate these uncharted waters. Now is the time to put the building blocks of a successful future. We have seen the advancements to this point, and they continue to trend in the right direction. I am very excited and optimistic about where this can go. We can give the youth a foundation that we wish we had had.
Ultimately, advancement helps future generations try to make the game that we love better. We are fortunate enough to live in the technology generation and have access to so many data points that we will continue to hone in on what makes this game better for the next group of players. I am confident that we will harness the power of the data and technology to take this sport to heights we can only dream of, and you can start now with Athlogic.