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Football coaches who leave college early

Posted by Christopher Shea  January 11, 2010 01:58 PM

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There's a funny little NCAA rule you may have heard about. While coaches are allowed to earn millions per year, the players who win the games on the field aren't allowed to make a dime. That would be a violation of the integrity of amateur sports, naturally!

Last year, the University of Southern California's then-quarterback, Mark Sanchez, decided he wanted to play for more than glory, so he entered the NFL draft, thereby skipping his senior year. His very well-compensated coach, Pete Carroll, loudly opined that this was a very bad idea--ostensibly because Sanchez wasn't ready for the bigs but, just maybe, because Sanchez's self-interest conflicted with his own. Said Carroll:

The facts are so strong against this decision. After analyzing all the information, the truth is there, he should have stayed for another year. He lost out on a chance to fully prepare himself. The facts are there's a 62 percent failure rate for underclassman quarterbacks.

Well, yesterday Sanchez led the New York Jets past the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the playoffs. Coincidentally, Carroll, a former Jets and Patriots head coach, has just announced he's rejoining the pros: He will coach the Seattle Seahawks next season.

Sanchez, now, like Carroll, a multimillionaire, did not miss the opportunity to turn the tables. "I just wanted everybody to know I completely disagree with his decision," Sanchez said. "Statistics show that it's not a good choice."

Sanchez and Carroll are friends, but the exchange highlighted the hypocrisy and paternalism of college "amateurism" where big-time sports are concerned. Now Sanchez, and not just his coaches, gets paid when he wins huge, nationally televised games.

mark-sanchez-jets-quarterback.jpg Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez

(Via Matthew Yglesias)

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