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  • #TakeASide: Barry Alvarez believes coaches should play a role in the admissions process. Is he right?


    If you’ve coached college football, chances are really good that you’ve spent hours and hours on the phone getting to know a kid and his family only to be informed that he didn’t get into school based on a series of numbers and figures that the admissions department looks at.

    And if you’ve been in those shoes, you can understand how frustrating it can be to see a player that you felt was such a good fit – for both your football program and university – land somewhere else.

    This past off season, Wisconsin has lost a small few rather high-profile recruits to other schools because they weren’t granted admission into UW. According to athletic director Barry Alvarez, coaches used to be able to appeal those decisions to the individual college that the student was applying to, but since the hiring of a new undergraduate admissions director in 2010, that process has changed and now all appeals are seen by the UW Admission Department with no input from the coaching staff.

    “You had coaches who knew student-athletes and recruited them and had been through the screening process,” Alvarez told the Journal Sentinel. “They’ve done the screening. That is what we try to emphasize. Our coaches understand the profile of our incoming student-athletes, and they feel that certain people will have success or have a chance for success and they can present that case because they know they have researched these individuals.”

    “Now, when it goes to Admissions they don’t talk to the coaches. They look at scores. They look at numbers. They look at whatever they see. We’re discussing with our administration going back to the way we did it, where we take our appeals to the individual colleges rather than through Admissions first.” Alvarez added that they hope to have a new system in place, where the input of coaches is taken into account, by next season.

    Is this just the byproduct of the recent frustration that the Badgers were unable to get a few student-athletes they had targeted as the right fit for the program into school? Or does Alvarez bring a valid argument to the table here?

    Regardless of where you stand on the issue, Alvarez does have a very good point because the fact remains that coaches get to know the student-athletes better than anyone in the admissions department, and the decision from admissions is based on numbers, not the person involved.

    “I think it is only fair to our coaches and some student-athletes and our coaches that their stories should be heard,” Alvarez shared.

    I’d enjoy hearing from programs on both sides of the fence on this issue. If you’re at a program where you get input with your admissions department, or your admissions department makes the decision 100% on their own with no input from your staff, let me know how things are going and what you’d like to see change at or on Twitter at @CoachSamz.

    Read the full piece from the Journal Sentinel here.


  • Jim Harbaugh gave the most Jim Harbaugh answer ever at B1G media days



    Without a doubt the most anticipated arrival at Big Ten media days — heck, any media days — was new Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. Not only does Harbaugh have a resume that dwarfs most of his competition, he has a reputation for giving zany quotes.

    Like this one.

    Well, there you go. Here’s hoping this becomes the new “Tim Beckman wishing his mother happy birthday” of annual Big Ten media days memes.

    Other highlights from Harbaugh’s 15 minutes at the podium:

  • Video: The Boise State coaching staff goes through a “confidence course” with local firefighters

    Bryan Harsin and his coaching staff visited with the Boise State fire department for a firefighting crash course built to test them mentally and physically.

    Harsin and his staff were equipped with all the customary firefighter gear and went into a simulated house fire where they had to put out the fire, perform a search and rescue of a “person” trapped inside the building, and then get that person out after a simulated roof collapse that forced them to change course.

    “Everything that we do, when we roll up to a fire, based on that first company officer’s initial report, it sets the play that we use in motion” one firefighter explained to the Boise State coaching staff before they geared up.

    It looked to be an eye opening experience for the staff, and while football and firefighting may have a few similarities, Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan helps to keep it all in perspective at the end of the clip.

    “Just like football, our firefighters are training each and every day so that they can just react, and they have a slight deck of things in their mind and they know what to do. In football, if you miss a block, or you make a bad play, or you don’t do your job, someone scores a touchdown and you may lose the game.”

    “As firefighters, if they make a mistake, if they don’t sweep the building, they might not find a person. It’s literally life and death at stake for them. So while there are some similarities, there are also some differences. The stakes are really, really high for the firefighters.”

  • Friday’s One Minute Warm Up

    To get your blood moving:

    – Media days, everyone.

    – Things aren’t looking good for the Olympics in 2016 or 2022. Yeesh, IOC.

    – One thousand people play the Foo Fighters’ “Learn to Fly” at once.

    – If you ever read “Friday Night Lights,” you owe it to yourself to read this piece revisiting the six Panthers that defined the book 25 years later written by author Buzz Bissinger.

    – Watching two little girls perform a judo fight reminds me of my offensive line days.

    In Case You Missed It:

    – Urban Meyer detailed the when, how and why he’ll choose a starting quarterback.

    – Todd Graham says after three years at Arizona State he no longer gets asked by recruits if he’s sticking around in Tempe.

    – Speaking of Arizona State, their new Adidas unis aren’t bad.

    – The Tennessee-Vanderbilt rivalry needs your help choosing a nickname.

    – Art Briles appeared on Dan Le Batard’s TV show and was obsessed with his father Papi.

    Up Today:

    Big Ten and Pac-12 media days continue in Chicago and LA.


  • Video of the Day – Mississippi State gets ready for fall camp

    Video of the Day

    Monday July 31, 2015

    Mississippi State gets ready for fall camp