SEC coaches are starting to worry about unanswered questions

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – During the SEC’s annual excuse for a paid vacation in Destin, Florida, for spring meetings, an issue arose that particularly affects college football coaches. They have the largest number of players and while an NIL settlement resolves some lawsuits, no one knows if it will affect who gets paid.

This has yet to be determined, especially for players who continue without a scholarship. Dozens of college football coaches like Dabo Swinney and Will Muschamp played college football without getting a free ride. No one has decided whether these players who run and sweat a lot are going to get a nickel.

Can the number of players be reduced at all? The football coaches started responding to this in a similar voice.

“It’s absolutely against college football, what it stands for and what it’s about,” new Texas A&M coach Mike Elko told ESPN’s Pete Thamel. “That would be a big problem. That is really bad for the sport.”

Everyone wanted the players to be paid based on what is likely an often exaggerated idea of ​​how much money is available to each school. There will never be a mandatory payment. Fixing a certain amount for a certain period is the only thing schools can do. Each school has a different amount of money to work with and now we have private ‘collectives’ that are essentially bringing to light everything that has been done under the table in the past.

Georgia’s Kirby Smart sees roster cuts that eliminate walk-on players who are hurting high school football. That could also hurt Arkansas football. Brandon Burlsworth became a third-round NFL draft pick after leaving Harrison. He always wanted to be a Razorback. There is a long history of players who spent their high school careers dreaming of playing for the Hogs.

Clark Lea at Vanderbilt was a walk-on player. Steve Sarkisian from Texas has a son who currently works in Texas. You can almost assume that schools are guaranteed to oppose reducing the number of walk-ons. Some schools in the SEC have tried to limit the number of walk-ons for football in the past and head coaches have made a huge fuss about it.

Alabama coach Kelen DeBoer told ESPN he had rosters as low as 105 players and as many as 135. They cap scholarships at 85 (and many people want to increase that), but athletic directors have a bigger problem. How do they take into account paying walk-ons? Zero may not be an answer that will last until the first fully-fed summer training, when they get beaten by guys making hundreds of thousands of dollars. The August heat in Arkansas won’t help.

It’s a dilemma that Hunter Yurachek can add to the list, one that is becoming a multi-page collection at this point. It probably won’t shrink much anytime soon. Multiply that by 15 and it’s Greg Sankey’s problem.


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