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Are GMs the wave of the future for college football programs?

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Buffnik, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Interesting post in ESPN Rumors this morning:

    Will GMs be wave of future?
    11:36
    AM ET
    College football general managers Top Email

    Samuel McKeown makes an interesting argument at nebraska.statepaper.com that sometime in the near future, an enterprising athletic director will hire a general manager to to oversee the football program. With the off-the-field problems encountered by Oregon, Michigan and USC, to name three, it seems only natural to take away some of the coach's responsibility and give it to an administrator. The GM, writes McKeown, "doesn't coach one player on the practice field, but manages the team's on-campus recruiting, organizes and spearheads the overall recruiting effort, erects off-the-field conduct standards and handles some media obligations."

    Ultimately, the role breaks down into some combination of director of football operations, recruiting coordinator, compliance officer, disciplinarian and spokesman. McKeown points to Nick Saban as the perfect example of a coach who could easily transition into a GM role, and suggests that it might be the perfect situation for Urban Meyer and his health woes.

    McKeown offers a long list of reasons why such a position makes sense, but acknowledges that current coaches won't take too kindly to suddenly being second on the totem pole. "Slowly, those coaches will opt for a life more ordinary, and a GM position is a perfect way to swallow up their expertise at a discounted price. It's a natural transition for the scions of the sport who hang on too long in order to stay close to the game."

    ******************

    I love this idea. A football program is so big that it needs a CEO so that the head coach can actually be a coach.

    Attention Mike Bohn: Please put Coach Mac in this job for next season. Nothing you can do between now and September would do more to get the fans excited about the program again. After a couple years, he could name Simmons or someone similar as a replacement.
     
  2. Liver

    Liver modded mod Club Member Junta Member

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    would this be impacted by ncaa rules? you are only allowed a certain number of coaches. even if the gm isn't doing gameday coaching and practices and such, i think it still is close to the line...
     
  3. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Sounds to me like the GM role as described is managing all of the non-coaching personnel in the football department. Quote: "doesn't coach one player on the practice field, but manages the team's on-campus recruiting, organizes and spearheads the overall recruiting effort, erects off-the-field conduct standards and handles some media obligations." I'd throw in academic support to that mix if I were creating the position at CU. This doesn't seem to be in conflict at all with NCAA regulations, imo. This position is not coaching and not visiting recruits.
     
  4. SpacemanSpiff

    SpacemanSpiff Club Member Club Member

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    Andre Simmons as a future GM? Not sure about that plan. But maybe that's why he didn't see the field much last year. He was up in the AD box with Bohn, learning the ropes.
     
  5. Darian3Hagan

    Darian3Hagan '89 Player of the Year Club Member

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    That would be awesome.
     
  6. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Bob Simmons :smile2:
     
  7. BlackNGold

    BlackNGold Club Member Club Member

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    It sounds like more bureaucracy to me. Isn't some of this the AD's responsibility already. They already have all those positions - director of football operations with 4 assistants and several interns at CU, an entire compliance department, on-campus recruiting coordinator, etc. You see this type of BS proposal when people are doing their jobs so the solution is to put another layer of bureaucracy on top of it...does not accomplish anything but certainly makes it hard to sort things out.

    Michigan and USC ran into problems because of arrogant people who were not reigned in by their bosses. Oregon off-field problems would not be solved by a GM.
     
  8. ScottyBuff

    ScottyBuff Well-Known Member

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    :yeahthat:

    A GM could just as easily stick his head in the sand as a HC does now and claim ignorance of any problems.
     
  9. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    I don't think it's bureaucratic BS. If this kind of arrangement were put in place, it would clearly differentiate between on-field success and off-field problems and who is responsible for both. What we have at CU right now is a guy who's pretty good at the off-field stuff, but sucks pondwater when it comes to the on-field stuff. Hawkins would be a halfway decent "general manager", but as a coach, gawd, he's awful.
     
  10. El Gringo

    El Gringo Pura Vida Club Member

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    How would a GM be any different than the current position of Director of Operations, and the number of assistant directors, who are responsible for things like, coordinating recruiting - on and off campus, travel, scheduling meals, etc?

    Seem like we already have what amounts to a GM.
     
  11. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    Then why are we bothering to mention what a good job Hawk has done with the off-field stuff, if he's not responsible for it in the first place?
     
  12. ScottyBuff

    ScottyBuff Well-Known Member

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    I guess the only difference would be the chain of command, or org chart.

    I don't know what the formal ties are at CU, but if the Head Coach can hire/fire the recruiting coordinator, Director of Operations, etc, etc then I can see where they should be separated, but doesn't mean it should be a "GM" position in addition.
     
  13. El Gringo

    El Gringo Pura Vida Club Member

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    Cuz the HC is still the top dog. Sounds like the only difference between the DOO and GM is who he reports to. GM to the AD; DOO to the HC. But in the end, the HC is always going to be guy the fans, alumni and media look to when things go right or wrong with the team.
     
  14. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    Which is why, IMO, if you had a "general manager", who's responsibility was to take care of everything that doesn't have to do with actually playing football, i.e. grades, community involvement, off-field behavior, etc., that it would strip away the excuses that are often used to defend incompetent coaches like Hawkins. If Hawks job was to simply get his team prepared to play football, and to install a weekly gameplan, then he couldn't fall back on the "great citizen" bullsh!t that he's been throwing at us for the last four years to cover up his pathetic on-field performance.
     
  15. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    btw, Barnett is the prime example of a guy who would have been an amazingly good coach for us if he'd had a GM. If 90% of what he'd had to do was assemble a staff, develop gameplans and coach up the players (with someone else overseeing recruiting and program administration), I actually think GB would not only still be the coach but that he'd be headed to the college football hall of fame.

    As Sacky said, Hawkins is a prime example of a guy who would be incredibly good in the GM role for a program.

    What I'm starting to think is that college football has gotten so big and the demands on a coach's time so intense, that it may be that it's time to split the job. Kind of like in the NFL where you have a head coach and a GM as separate positions (and the GM has a scouting department plus all the bean counters and administrators reporting to him). Very few guys have been successful in the NFL while trying to do both jobs. And they always have a team president above them who is basically the AD equivalent.

    Once again, looking at Hawkins and Barnett, it's pretty clear to me that this is a huge job and it's almost impossible to find someone who does a great job at every aspect. I really hope that Mike Bohn and company give this idea some serious consideration.
     
  16. El Gringo

    El Gringo Pura Vida Club Member

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    Do you think Hawk, or any other coach at CU could get away with saying "it wasn't my job to make sure these kids don't get in trouble"?" Maybe a coach like Dr. Tom can sell "it wasn't my responsibility to make sure Lawrence Philips was a good citizen" to the lemmings in Lincoln, and we know the SEC teams could get away with it. But that won't fly at CU.

    I'm not opposed to having a GM type position, but don't be fooled - most people will still hold the HC accountable, including the likes of Benson and DiStephano.

    The reality of the situation is that the HC and his assistants hold the most influence over the players. The GM would be just another suit to them.

    I'm really not vested one way or another if the Buffs win, but it seems to me like another way for coaches to pass the buck and turn college athletics into semi-pro leagues.
     
  17. 14er

    14er “Imitation is suicide.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Can you even name the Broncos GM? The coach still gets all the blame at any level. I am not for this, just another way to ruin college football more and at CU we can't afford one anyway.
     
  18. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    I think they could if it was properly communicated to the fans and media. I don't see this as "passing the buck", though. I see it as a way to be more accountable, not less. I keep getting back to the situation here, where we have a flat out awful football coach who does seem to have a pretty good handle on keeping the off-field stuff to a minimum. If you have a different guy handling that, then there are no excuses left for the coach. He can be purely judged on wins and losses. No more of this "well, the team sucks, but they're really good guys with good GPAs" stuff. I like the idea of having one guy who's job it is to win- period - and another guy who's job it is to make sure the athletes conduct themselves with class and integrity. That way, there's no blurring of the lines between the two.

    I understand what you're saying, I just happen to think the idea has some merit. Maybe it's just my way of stripping Hawk of his excuses and diversions.
     
  19. ScottyBuff

    ScottyBuff Well-Known Member

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    If you split the duties, then split the pay, and I would not be opposed.
     
  20. TheEvilBeak

    TheEvilBeak Member

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    I would bet that most of the character issues are noticed and overlooked in the recruiting process in the hope these issues won't bubble to the top. LaMichael James was pretty much a lock for Oregon because other teams dropped him because of issues on his visits. Kids talk, they can't help it. Coaches just choose to ignore sometimes.
     

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