Hey, Kids! Guess what? Your coach is definitely leaving, and you have to play one more game for him! Make it a good one, and, oh yeah, leave everything out there on the field.
The ugly underside of the big business of college football was front and center on Friday in what was unofficially, but totally officially, Tom Herman’s last game with Houston. The Cougar student athletes were forced to participate in this painful endeavor, losing the goodbye game to Memphis, 48-44.
The members of the Houston team are the latest victims of a ridiculous coach hiring process that leaves student athletes stranded at their school without any recourse to transfer, while their head coach seamlessly transitions into his next job at Texas without having to wait.
They’ll end up with “the next guy”, who inevitably won’t be as good as the previous. Just how they draw it up in the recruiting pitch. Make the best of it, it’s just your life.
By abandoning ship, Herman fulfills the age old prophecy of coaches breaking promises made, or partially kept, in favor of climbing the college coaching ladder. It was all a big lie. It always is.
Before the game, he was confronted with the Category 5 rumor mill that he was headed elsewhere as soon as the final whistle sounded. Herman engaged in the timeless media tapdance of, “I haven’t talked to anyone, and I’m just focused on this game.” Always such an awkward exercise.
Awkward Tom Herman interview is awkward. pic.twitter.com/0KYyrcpdZW
— FATTLDI (@TerrellDidThis) November 25, 2016
Houston’s players actually performed admirably under the difficult circumstances. They rallied from a 17-point halftime deficit to take a 44-41 lead with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter. Memphis managed to march 72 yards in 1:10 for the game winning score.
— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) November 25, 2016
These painful “final” games for departing coaches are the seedy underbelly of college football, and a disservice to all the student athletes of whom so much is demanded.
They are a celebration of the absolute freedom of movement that coaches enjoy, while players are left stranded and unable to transfer to improve their own situation.
It’s the unsightly byproduct of a billion dollar business. A Thanksgiving parade of hypocrisy.