I used to sit down with a friend of mine and talk business (pronounced b’ness) all the time. We would talk about coaching, teaching, therapy and the one word that would make us both laugh was “parlay.” Parlay was a word I would constantly use to describe taking the momentum from Job A and using it to land Job B. With B of course being the better job: more cash or more creativity, or if you’re lucky, more of both (it’s always both, right?).
With the coaching carousel never really over until the first game is played (and really, it ain’t over then either as coaches are fired and interim coaches are moved in, back room interviews are taking place long before guys are fired, etc.) fans can’t be surprised when players want to hit the transfer portal or coaches leave to “parlay” into another job.
Auburn ties take Travis Williams from UM to UCF, but at least it wasn’t Rhett Lashlee https://t.co/lvUUG46lZC— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) February 18, 2021
Miami’s Manny Diaz hired Travis Williams as an inside linebacker coach. Mere weeks later Mr. Williams is now headed to UCF to rejoin Gus Malzahn and become his defensive coordinator. He was already involved in recruiting and now he’s left Coral Gables for Orlando, FL. He went from “T-Will” to Travis Williams really quick amongst the fanbase and beat writers. He’s now eaten more moving expenses than beats down in South Florida.
UCF Is hiring Herb Hand as offensive line coach, a source tells @247Sports. He previously coached at Texas, Auburn and Penn State, and is a longtime friend of UCF coach Gus Malzahn. https://t.co/RpFbWXr8z6— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) February 18, 2021
Herb Hand recently took a position at Charlotte, a low level Group of 5 program. I remember thinking, wow, Charlotte, that’s a far fall and obviously a ‘one and done’ situation. Coach Hand needs health insurance, especially during these trying times, I get it. And just like many of the coaches around college football, he’s out before the first game is even played. He’s also going to UCF to team up with Gus Malzahn and Mr. Williams.
Coaches and loyalty, the brotherhood, “I’m here for your future,” is all a work... brother. They’re there for your future for the present. When players want to hit the transfer portal, string out their recruitment forever, or don’t want to ‘retire’ and stick choose to stick it out with the football program, no one should be surprised.
A player’s definition and sense of loyalty (or lack there of) comes from their mentors- the men taught them the game. And I don’t mean the game of football. I mean the game of lobster dinners, promises for starting positions, and the other less affiliated folks who gave them cash and promises of more cash.
Don’t fault a player for wanting to leave and be re-recruited. Loyalty in college football doesn’t exist. Just look above. Guys come in for weeks, not even months, to do a job before taking the parlay. Also don’t fault guys for riding it out and staying around the game long after their spot on the depth chart has seen the eraser. They’ve earned the perks just like coaches have earned the perk of the parlay.
Don’t fault Coaches Williams or Hand for wanting to take a position with Coach Malzahn. Gus is supposed to be a hell of a coach to work under and the Williams family and Hand family are close to the Malzahns on and off the field. Working with your friends, for good money and at UCF isn’t a bad thing.
But in the end- I will always side with the labor, especially the free labor. It’s a shame the players take so much heat for transferring or ‘leaving the crib’ when the coaches are changing jobs within a month of signing their name on the dotted line. That’s why the NCAA being forced to allow immediate transfers is the right thing, and it’s about damn time.
Pay the players, let them transfer like every other student, it’s only right. But hey, when have athletics done the right thing, anyway? But fans, please don’t ride some 17 or 18 year old young man for making a decision on his future, and don’t blow up on assistant coaches trying to set their families up for the future. It’s just a damn game. And in the end, we all should accept it’s part of the parlay.