80 Comments
Apr 26, 2023Liked by John Canzano

Can you imagine refusing a $200 million contract, because someone else is getting paid a little more. Talk about delusional. Maybe the players should take a trip back to they grew up and take a look at the folks trying to get by on minimum wage, housing subsidies and food stamps. How much is enough?

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by John Canzano

From 2015:

NCAA Football Participants: 73,712

Draft Eligible: 16,380

Players drafted: 254

Really simple, actually. It's pure delusion on the part of players. Often, desperation. Hell, today CJ Stroud said, "I'm not a test taker. I play football" The majority of these kids aren't in college to take tests. They are assuming it's a step to the NFL. With the odds above......pure delusion.

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by John Canzano

My first reaction is to come down on the players, blame NLI for all the transfers, chastise the agents, etc. Then I look back on myself at 20 and realize I would have done the same! Luckily with my “athletic ability “ that was never a problem

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by John Canzano

Great column, Mr. Canzano. And if these young men are listening to exploiters, I hope they read your column for a second opinion and some brain fodder.

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by John Canzano

I thought Verdell if he had stayed injury-free the last year could have been in the running for the Heisman. He was good. I think he made a lasting impression in Columbus, Ohio, too.

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The relationship between agents and players has always been slimy at the margins. For every Jerry McGuire I reckon there are 3 Drew Rosenhaus's.

Bo & Izzy babysitting the Coach's kids? I love it.

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by John Canzano

John you talked about a lot of ifs and what's but you didn't mention the term student atheletes which is what these players are suppose to be. Perhaps another year in school another year in school and they would have spotted the line of shinola the agents were feeding them. the extra education might help them when they find out pro sports careers don't last forever, Pardon my spelling I could have benifitted from education.

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Very timely John. The bottom line falls on the backs of those in the player's family, inner circle, school coaching staff, advisors and unfortunately..the hanger on er's. There young men or worshipped, subjected to a ton of hype and BS, and rarely live up to their high school paper clippings. I believe the kids should focus on that degree, and not just any degree but one that is marketable, and then football. The kids can now jump from school to school joining coaches that do the same. Player development is questionable when a staff turns over like Oregon's has. It's a mess and won't get any better in my opinion. Again, focus on the education. Off my soap box.

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Apr 26, 2023·edited Apr 26, 2023Liked by John Canzano

Continuity of good coaching bears fruit for a program well beyond the average star ratings of the players it recruits. We see this currently at Utah and saw it at WSU during the Mike Leach era & at Oregon in the Bellotti era. Logically, program stability is a selling point in convincing athletes to come to that program, remain there and develop there.

The inverse is also true: the instability wrought by coaching turnover erodes the trust between players & the program and opens the door to player exodus [regardless of whether it's driven by outside influences or a vacuum of internal support].

A 4/23 Athletic article entitled "3-Star U recruiting mailbag: Which program should be crowned 'Kings of Wasting Talent'?" identified the Ducks as being second only to the Tennessee Volunteers for that dubious title. The reason given by David Ubben: "In both cases, I blame a total lack of continuity in administration and coaching staffs throughout the nightmarish decade we studied."

How did the Ducks get there? Chip Kelly leaves under a looming NCAA "Show Cause" [Willy Lyles]. Then two bad Head-Coaching hires [Mark Helfrich: good coordinator/bad H.C. & recruiter; Slick Willie Taggart: excellent recruiter but horrific H.C.], followed by Mario Cristobal [superb recruiter, but C- coaching/decision-making, along with perennial staff turnover & a scorched-earth exit vis-a-vis recruting] set the table for the situation that Dan Lanning inherited.

Is Lanning a good coach? While Year-1 demonstrated some poor "growing pain" decisions, it's probably too early to tell. It's obvious that he is an excellent recruiter and that he seems to genuinely care for his players. His "Get Real" Wednesday talks are starting to resonate outside of the Ducks' locker room.

But program stability extends beyond keeping a good Head Coach. It also involves finding & retaining top-tier coordinators, position coaches & support staff. The Huskies just gave their O.C. [Ryan Grubb] two raises last year to make him one of the high-paid coordinators in the Pac-12. This kept him from leaving for Bama and ensured the continuity of their top-10 offense.

Maybe the Division Street money needs to be spread among both players & the coaching/support staff to help re-discover sustainable program equilibrium...

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by John Canzano

John, excellent and timely take. Thank you.

I wonder how many agents out there are offering objective advice instead of advice in their interests?

I am so happy that we will be able to watch football played at Autzen Saturday and turn our attention away from all the junk that is going on in the Pac-10.

Your friend John Wilner has a great article posted on Mercury News regarding the B1G poaching Pac-10 refs and questioning what value Coleman and Hanks bring to the table, if any.

Larry committed the 'sins of commission.' Is Kliavkoff following with 'sins of omission?'

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by John Canzano

I want to make a joke about the Ducks head coach coming home to find his star quarterback in his house with his wife and kids, but I won't.

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But, then, again, you can’t blame the players for seeking their dream

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by John Canzano

Great insight and information about the draft. Thanks John, I appreciate your writing every day! Always learning something new. Around draft time I always think of that NCAA commercial that speaks to how many of the student/athletes achieve the next level of their sport....shame on the agent that projects a “reality” that isn’t realistic.

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by John Canzano

Welcome to life.

Some people think players are selfish because of NIL and the portal. No doubt both of these developments - and more - have benefitted individual players...overall positive, but sometimes to the detriment of the university, coaches and even their teammates. However, along with individual opportunities comes much more exposure to selfish agents, hangers-on, well-intentioned but mixed family advice, the false allure of big money, poor financial investments and generally just bad advice. That's life. It can be a lot for 19-, 20- and 21-year-old kids to grasp and make thoughtful, discerning and correct decisions.

I'm a huge Lanning fan - I think he's going to be a special head coach. I was, however, surprised Mullens and Lanning left such a massive timeframe from the time Lanning was announced to the time his feet hit Eugene as the big man. Almost six weeks of finishing his work at Georgia in mid-January. It was a huge vacuum that not only caused doubt in players' minds - costing Oregon a couple of big-time recruits and portal announcements - but hurt the program, including a disservice to the players mentioned in this column. Hopefully, lesson learned. Not just on the part of players - and they do need to learn some lessons - but also a big lesson learned by Oregon's staff, starting with the AD.

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by John Canzano

I can imagine how tempting it is, in a shark infested business, to overpromise to players. But you know, you just don’t do it. If you have even a shred of decency. Because it’s professional malpractice. And it’s a huge disservice to players who need a dose of reality more than ever as they enter the professional world they have been dreaming of all their lives.

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Apr 26, 2023Liked by John Canzano

The right and honest counsel is vital for these young men that are so impressionable. Some years ago I had a desire to be a sports agent so I took a course with Dr. Lynn Lashbrook. I learned yearly what type of personality is required. Yes, it is cutthroat world indeed.

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