Coaches Skirt Rules Players Must Follow

By Knott, Tom | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 23, 1999 | Go to article overview

Coaches Skirt Rules Players Must Follow


Knott, Tom, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Jim Harrick does not have to sit out a year after changing schools earlier this month.

Instead, the 60-year-old basketball coach will be on the bench at Georgia next season, looking to resurrect the program there.

Harrick is permitted a freedom by the NCAA that is not granted to the moneymaking indentured servants. The NCAA's indentured servants have to sit out a year if they transfer from one Division I school to another.

The indentured servants often change schools for the same reasons that coaches change schools. They want to improve their position in life. They want to fulfill a dream.

Unlike the coaches, the indentured servants are not seeking an increase in salary. Often, they only are seeking an increase in playing time.

The indentured servant, in effect, is held to a higher standard than the coaches. This is a twisted circumstance, considering the age difference between the indentured servants and coaches. The indentured servants are in their late teens and early 20s, the coaches in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s.

Somehow, the indentured servant who seeks a transfer is cast in a negative light by the NCAA, the media and the school.

Meanwhile, the coaches who change schools are celebrated as noble saviors, although many wouldn't know the truth if it bit them in their fat rumps.

Coaches tell recruits whatever they think the recruit wants to hear to close the deal. They sign a multiyear contract with an institution and then break it the moment a better offer comes along. It is just business, of course, and what a rotten, dishonest, exploitative business it is.

Coaches inevitably hide behind the cloak of a free education. The indentured servants get a free education out of signing their lives over to the morally corrupt.

The dollar value of that free education varies, depending on the institution. The cost of college can run as high as $30,000 a year at an elite institution.

This winds up being an incredible bargain for an institution. No employer in the 9 to 5 world gets to own someone for $30,000 a year. …

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