College football: A great story for 60 Minutes

Found a gem on one of the message boards the other day.

Guy talked about the schism between the haves and the have-nots and said what a wonderful story the current college football saga would make for a 60 minutes segment.

Last week, I watched a story about a guy who some feel “instigated” the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol.

Nice story but nowhere near as compelling as what is ripping apart college football at the seems and no one seems to care about it.

To me, the “big story” on Action News (err, national news) is not the unfairness of the current system for at least half the FBS schools or how the field is tilted toward the schools who already have the most at the expense of the schools who have the least.

It’s about how the PLAYERS themselves are getting screwed the most in a system that ostensibly is designed to benefit them.

Nobody talks about that side of the story.

It’s an important side. The nation needs to know. In the 2021 transfer portal, 1,074 student-athletes entered the football end of it. Only 299 received scholarships. The other 72 percent DID NOT HAVE A HOME. Those percentages have not changed much after the 2022 season.

That’s important because a lot of these kids who enter have stars in their eyes and most of them end up holding an empty bag.

It’s a message Temple head football coach Stan Drayton should be drilling into his Owls at every team meeting.

“You might think you are great but the facts are that if 10 of you enter the portal tomorrow, seven of you will be giving up a full-time scholarship and getting nothing in return. That’s not me saying it. Those are the hard, real, numbers.”

Hopefully, Drayton has already hammered that message home. The signs are there. He’s done a great job keeping this team together.

That’s a local audience.

This message really needs a national one.

To me, a Sunday night segment on 60 Minutes might reach more college athletes than any other vehicle.

The madness has to stop and there is no sign that the greedy Power 5 is going to stop it.

Maybe convincing the players themselves that they are on the short end of this Ponzi scheme will be an unexpected way to restore some sanity to the game.

Monday: Scheduling Patterns


College football has a communications problem

Most of us now know why the transfer portal and the Name Likeness and Image models were created.

The first reason was that since coaches could move anywhere anytime they wanted, the players should, too. The second was that if the colleges could earn money off the players, the players should be able to earn money off the colleges.

Sounds reasonable but what has been the end result?

The rich (big-time powers) become richer and the poor (Group of Five) poorer.

It’s not a sustainable model.

A little socialism could probably kill all the current ills of college football

What college football has now is a failure to communicate, as they said in the movie Cool Hand Luke.

There is no “trickle-down economics” in what is happening now. The top one percent take the top players and coaches from the bottom 99 percent and screw the 99 percent.

If it sounds to you like a business where 99 percent don’t succeed and only one percent do can continue like this forever, you failed Sam Wilson’s Economic 101 class at Temple.

Somewhere only the line somebody (maybe Congress) is going to have to address the needs of the bottom 99 percent of this business model and provide some guardrails or this whole sport drives right off the ravine and the entire vehicle explodes.

Already, we’ve seen top coaches leave places like Temple for Baylor or Memphis for FSU.

Now the players are doing the same.

Who is next to leave?

The fans.

It won’t be the fans of the rich schools. It will be the fans of the poorer ones.

Fans at places like Temple and Memphis are sick to death of this cycle and cannot be expected to do things like renew season tickets. Players all over college football look around the locker room and see that some of them are making money, while others are not. If the fans of the 99 percent slowly trickle away, the one percent will also have nothing worth playing for.

We’re not just talking about the Group of Five. We’re also talking about P5 schools who have been negatively impacted and will continue to be. Pitt, for example, recruited and developed the Fred Biletnikoff award-winner as the best receiver in the nation only to see him leave for USC (where he did not become a repeat winner). Other lesser examples are out there. They will continue to multiply unless sanity is restored.

What’s the solution?

While Venezuela-style socialism doesn’t work for the economy there, it certainly would work for college football here.

Pool all of the P5 and G5 college football TV money into one pile, and give an equal 50/50 split to the schools and also to every single scholarship player. Nobody at a P5 school makes more than a G5 school and there is no jealousy in any locker room among the players.

That’s a King Solomon-style solution. Split the baby. Make everyone happy.

It would cut down on movement between the schools, and jealousy in the locker room, and give the 131st-ranked team a chance to compete with the No. 1 team.

If that’s too fair for the haves and they continue to screw the have-nots, say goodbye to the sport as we know it.

The big-time schools don’t seem to see that the light at the end of that tunnel is an oncoming train that will run over them eventually. Somebody needs to communicate to the Presidents and BOTs everywhere that is the reality.

Friday: A 42-year-run ends

Portal: Improvise and Adjust

Probably the best recruiting video Temple has in the archives ….

The new reality in college football is that the transfer portal is here to stay.

The other reality is that, in the Group of Five especially, the coaching staff that assigns a guy who is on top of it and constantly remains in touch with the best available players, will probably be poised to succeed.

Whether or not Rod Carey is the right CEO for such a system remains to be seen but a Temple player personnel guy on the order of an NFL general manager is a necessity now and the sharper the mind the better. The guy who identifies his teams needs and plugs those holes with players will be invaluable.

The goal is to get college gameday back to Philly.

The portal is not designed to pick the “best available player” but the best available who plugs an area of need.

To me, the Owls are set at WR, OL and QB and, to a lesser extent, the cornerbacks and safeties.

Winning in football, though, boils down to putting the other quarterback on his ass and protecting your own.

The Owls need more guys who can put quarterbacks on there ass and the good news is that these five guys fill a need in that area that the Owls do not have right now.

As of Sunday, the following five are still in the portal and running out of time to find a landing spot:

EMMIT GOODEN, DT, Tennessee _ The four-star recruit is 6-3, 290.

LAMONTE MCDOUGLE, DT, Washington State _ The Owls got Will Rodgers III from Washington State and he might be a bridge to McDougle, a 6-1, 240-pound DT who can also get after the passer. He was originally a West Virginia four-star recruit so he also mig5ht know Temple DB Kwentel Raines.

CURTIS FANN, DE, Florida State _ He’s 6-2, 251 and a four-star who had eight sacks at a high P5 level.

DAVID ADAMS, LB, Notre Dame _ He’s 6-0, 234 and is from Pittsburgh Central Catholic, an area where Temple’s Adam DiMichele was a WPIAL legend at Sto-Rox.

TRENEL TROUTMAN, S, Louisville _ The four-star prospect from Miami chose Louisville over Baylor, Michigan State and Pitt.

Showing these guys some consistent love in terms of text messages and old-time phone calls could pay dividends for the Owls in the coming months. Mailing them the above game day tape also probably could not hurt.

Friday: Five Guys Who Can Make Some Noise

Other side of the portal: FCS

Screenshot 2020-01-09 at 4.45.17 PM

Josh Pederson would represent a huge upgrade at TE from Kenny Yeboah and add a large family to the Temple fan base

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Nobody is calling Temple football a female goose, but it’s hard to interpret Quincy Roche’s leaving the program as anything other than him screwing his teammates and alma mater.

There has been a lot of talk lately that the Owls should follow the SMU model of poaching disgruntled Power 5 players who have been second-teamers at that level and advancement blocked by more talented players. Quarterback Shane Buechele, like Anthony Russo a former Elite 11 quarterback, immediately comes to mind.

That’s just one way and, sure, the Owls should pursue players in that part of the portal who represent upgrades and fill areas of need. (We’re thinking mostly of center and defensive ends in that second group.)

There is a problem with FBS portal players. If they are not good enough to start with Power 5 teams, how is Temple supposed to beat these Power 5 teams in bowl games with substandard talent?

The remedy could rest with FCS players and other outstanding players who compete in lesser-profile FBS leagues. Last year, 19 players were drafted out of FCS schools by the NFL and those types are the players Temple should be targeting.

Look at last year’s drafted NFL players out of the FCS. One of them was Nasir Adderley, the grandson of former Northeast High great Herb (a former Temple football radio analyst).

Screenshot 2020-01-09 at 4.26.58 PM

Last year’s early-round NFL draft choices out of the FCS

Temple was lucky when it got Rock Ya-Sin to come for his final season after Presybertian went from a scholarship FCS school (like Villanova) to a non-scholarship one, like Georgetown.

Temple was instrumental in raising Ya-Sin’s stock from a UFA to a second-round pick. The Owls probably should go after those types over disgruntled FBS players because the Owls can show them what they did for Ya-Sin and these are players not only good enough to get on the field but good enough to help beat Power 5 programs, which should always be the Temple goal beyond winning the AAC title.

If the Owls are still looking for an upgrade over Kenny Yeboah (19 catches, 248 yards, 5 touchdowns in 2019), they should look at Louisiana-Monroe’s Josh Pederson (43 catches, 467 yards, 9 touchdowns), who happens to be in the portal and also happens to be Doug Pederson’s son. Doug could attend all of his son’s games easily if Rod Carey and staff are able to recruit Josh. The appeal of playing in his dad’s team’s stadium could be too good to pass up.

There’s another side of the portal and Temple should use every advantage it has. Grabbing “gruntled” FCS players should be easier than luring disgruntled FBS ones.

Monday: Tough Loss