College football has long had its themes entering various seasons.
Super-teams. High-profile quarterbacks. Coaching carousels.
South Carolina's Shane Beamer's got his first head coaching job as the United States, and the rest of the world, continues to confront the global COVID-19 pandemic.
That's certainly one element of the upcoming season, but Beamer thinks the changes in the world of collegiate athletics are going to define this summer for years into the future.
“I think the impact of everything that's gone on this summer, I'm assuming you're referring to a combination of the (NCAA) Transfer Portal, Name, Image and Likeness, all that stuff,” Beamer said Wednesday on the Southeastern Conference coaches' teleconference. “We'll feel the impact of that probably more as it goes forward.
“I think initially it wasn't just the initial,'Oh my god!' impact that probably a lot of people thought when it went into effect. It's something that here a few years down the road we will look back. I think there's no question college athletics certainly changed this summer. There's no denying that. I think regardless of what the impact is, no matter how big or small, the summer of 2021 we'll look back at as being the point where things did change.”
Beamer recalls Oklahoma players discussing the impending changes, particularly pertaining to their ability to earn marketing revenue, two years ago during Beamer's days as a Sooners' assistant.
“It wasn't like everything just went into effect and we had no idea it was coming,” Beamer said. “It was something I can remember being at Oklahoma two years ago and hearing players talking about Name, Image and Likeness and when it went into affect.
“Talking about something that was going to happen two years later. It's certainly something we prepared for with that and the Transfer Portal and everything. One thing I've learned in this chair, always expect the unexpected. Coach (Steve) Spurrier used to tell me, 'Be flexible as an assistant coach because things are going to happen that you couldn't prepare for.' This is certainly something we prepared for and knew was coming.”
Both the one-time immediate transfer waiver and ability of student-athletes to profit from their personal brands' and likenesses as of July 1 are new elements that Beamer believes changed even time away from football this summer.
“Last year if I was a head coach last year, I probably wouldn't have gotten phone calls from my players about different things in regards to Name, Image and Likeness when I'm on vacation during the summer,” Beamer said. “That was something we all dealt with this summer, the questions they had about that.”