Kirk Ferentz is heading into his 24th season leading the Hawkeyes this fall, and shared at Big Ten Media Days that he plans to keep coaching as long as the good days outweigh the bad and as long as he enjoys being around his players.
After sharing some of his frustrations with the current state of college football, Ferentz was asked if he's starting to feel like the bad is starting to outweigh the good, he simply responded,
"Yes and no. I mean, there are moments where it's like, 'What the hell?'"
One of the areas that Ferentz, who is 67 and just signed a contract extension this past off season that will pay him about $7 million annually, struggles with is the gray area currently enveloping college athletics when it comes to things like NIL.
While he's all for players being able to earn from NIL, he believes college football is on really shaky ground and is in need of an intervention.
"I think we're in a really precarious place," he shared.
"There's just a lot of vagueness, a lot of uncertainty. We really don't have a firm structure. We don't have a basic set of operating rules. I don't think anybody right now can really explain NIL in detail - What you can and what you can't do. I know you can't entice recruits, but it sure seems like maybe that's going on a little bit. There's just a lack of overall clarity."
"We need some intervention, and then my bigger concern is: Who's going to do it, right? Where's it going to come from? Where's that leadership going to come from, because we're all busy?"
An intervention? That brings to mind iconic TV moments like Christopher Moltisanti's intervention in The Sopranos, or more lighthearted interventions like these in How I Met Your Mother.
Except in this college football intervention, it's coaching leaders like Nick Saban, Ferentz, Jimbo Fisher, Lane Kiffin, Ryan Day, Jim Harbaugh and a host of other high profile coaches sitting around on couches telling college football how much they care about it and open up their scripted talk, read from a piece of folded up paper, on how their feelings come from a place of love.
[The good folks over at SEC Shorts...you reading this? Great content idea for your next video.]
But back to what Ferentz was suggesting. Who's leading the college football intervention? Recently retired Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez has some time on his hands and was one name Ferentz threw out there as a possible fit.
Pretty much everyone agrees that there needs to be some clarity on a number of things in college football right now starting with NIL, and while nearly everyone can agree players deserve a slice of the pie, the guardrails that need to be in place have a long way to go.
Maybe Ferentz's idea of an old fashioned intervention is exactly what's needed.