* Editors’ Note:

The Moorad Sports Law Journal Blog is proud to introduce the first installment of Former Villanova University Athletic Director Vince Nicastro’s “Starting 5.”  In his new column, Vince will provide brief assessments of five current and developing issues in NCAA athletics.

By Vince Nicastro*

  1. The narrative that everyone involved in college athletics is getting wealthy on the backs of college athletes has taken hold – and may never be overcome. However, it strikes me that the vast majority of schools and the students who participate in college sports (particularly those on scholarship) view their experience as quite the opposite.  The opportunity to access a great education, pursue something they love, work with outstanding coaches, and have world-class medical care and training facilities available to them can be transformational.  And, for the small number of individuals with pro sports potential, they often have a tremendous platform on which to expose their talents.  Should we continue to provide more resources that benefit the students directly?  Of course.  Unfortunately, from a perception standpoint, all of these positives are generally negated by the fact that some coaches make $5 million+ a year.
  1. As the Power 5 continue to separate themselves from the other conferences (particularly in football), it is quite interesting to observe how some schools from the Group of 5 are dealing with their P5 aspirations. Is it really worth the quixotic journey?  And at what cost?  Time will tell.
  1. As we see the end of another football coach hiring cycle, I’m always amused by the introductory press conference. Is every job really that coach’s “dream job”?  Just once I’d love to hear someone say “I was about to be run out of my old gig and this is the best job I could find” or “this is just a stepping stone to my real objective – if I have some success here you bet that I’ll use that as a springboard.”
  1. As romantic as it may seem, schools should proceed with caution when hiring alums as head coaches in the high profile sports of football and basketball. Granted, it feels really good at the outset and often helps win the press conference.  But in today’s world, the inevitable parting will only lead to bitter feelings when the coach is fired – or labeled disloyal when he departs for another job.
  2. I saw a recent article which discussed coaches having vocal cord problems due to yelling – apparently an occupational hazard.  One coach even noted that it wasn’t just the games, but practice, film sessions, etc. that were putting undue pressure on their throats.  I have a suggestion.  Maybe coaches should stop yelling so much.  One of the greatest coaches of all time, Bill Walsh, once said, “Stop screaming and start teaching.”  Seems to have worked out okay for him.


* Vince Nicastro is the former Athletic Director for Villanova University, and currently serves as Associate Director for the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law.


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