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Schwartz: 10 Sentences – Low Drama Edition

August 18, 2019

Written by David Schwartz

Hawkeye Nation

A football coach’s serious lapse in judgment is the subject of this weekend’s Ten Sentences. Don’t forget to make your $50 donation on the way out:

1. Thank you, Kirk Ferentz, for not being Louisiana head coach Billy Napier, who last week hilariously declared that all players on scholarship – none of whom may earn money off their name and likeness unless they want an NCAA ban or suspension – must donate $50 to the university’s athletic fund, only for that declaration to later be walked back by the university, which corrected Napier and let it be known that the donation was just a recommendation and not a mandate.

2. The university defended Napier by saying he didn’t mean anything devious by his demand, which is probably true, but rather than it came from his desire to teach his players the value of being appreciative and giving back.

3. Here’s an idea I’m not sure I agree with: Let athletes earn money off their own name and likeness and require them to donate 10 percent of that income to the school’s scholarship fund for future athletes – or better yet, to the academic fund.

4. Thank you, Kirk Ferentz, for not saying he runs a “life program” instead of a “football program,” like Minnesota head coach PJ Fleck did.

5. There are two types of people in this world (author’s note: there are hundreds of kinds of people, but that doesn’t sound as good) – anyway, there are two types of people in this world: people who say what they are and people who show you what they are, and telling everyone you run a life program slots you in the former group.

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6. I mean, gross … lame … eyeroll.

7. Coaches might think they run life programs, but what they actually run are multimillion dollar operations that hinge, first and foremost, upon winning football games, and ideally the university that does the hiring brings in a coach (like Ferentz) who lays a solid ethical foundation and doesn’t need to resort to cheesy inspirational posters and catchphrasable soundbites as a means of recruiting players whose parents/guardians are susceptible to said posters and catchphrasable soundbites.

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8. And no, I’m not saying Kirk Ferentz is perfect, just as I’m sure he would never claim to be perfect, and he doesn’t run a perfect program, but there are times – many times during college football season, which is just around the corner – that I’m glad Iowa’s coach maintains just about as low a profile as a Big Ten coach can maintain.

9. “Break the rock” is the closest thing the Hawkeyes have ever come to a cheesy catchphrase, and it’s pretty clear Ferentz wasn’t at the marketing table for that one; Hayden Fry was much more of a branding guy, but he was from a different era.

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10. Still, the last thing a college football program needs this time of year and the last thing college fans want is distracting background noise, like a coach requiring his “amateur” players to donate money, or declaring himself the Zig Ziglar of his profession; we’re ready for kickoffs, and handoffs, and touchdowns (but if the NCAA wanted to let players earn a little cash on the side, that’d be OK, too – just sayin’.).

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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