Asmussen: Fitzgerald in tough spot
Texas athletic director Steve Patterson spent some time last week talking about how playing against Texas A&M isn’t at the top of his priority list. It should be.
Fans of the two schools crave a return of the series, which was wiped out when the Aggies left the Big 12 to join the SEC.
Texas is actually looking into playing games outside the country.
Those matchups won’t likely be against the Aggies.
Whoever is at fault, the bottom line is that college football misses the series.
A lot. Can you imagine a year without Michigan-Ohio State or Alabama-Auburn?
We like our rivalries and we hate when changes in conference alignments mess them up.
But alas, it is part of the new reality in college sports.
The wants of the fans are far down the list for school administrators.
The athletic departments are much more interested in the bottom line.
Tradition loses to cold, hard cash.
What did he expect?
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald is a good guy. And a smart guy.
He should not be surprised that the movement toward a Northwestern football players union is big news. Really big.
It trumps anything happening on the field during the spring.
Fitzgerald is in kind of a tough spot.
He doesn’t want to go against the wishes of his players, who will be trying to get him back to a bowl game in 2014.
But his employer can’t be happy about the union efforts by the players.
The talk is going to get louder the closer we get to the season.
And it is a good bet the union talk will dominate the Big Ten meetings in Chicago later in the summer.
The scary part for the schools is that they don’t really know what it all means.
But if there is a chance that the union move negatively impacts college football, the schools want to get in front of it.
This story is a long way from the last chapter.
Then, there is Alabama coach Nick Saban.
He seems to always have the best players on his team.
And he seems to always say the right things.
Like last week’s comments that he has always been an advocate of players’ rights. Saban wants what is best for the players.
Needless to say, the happier his players, the better his team.
Saban provides a great argument for paying the players.
He has personally gotten rich off college football, where the compensation for the players comes in the form of scholarships.
That’s a great deal for the guys, but not when compared to the millions the coaches are making.
Or the endless amount of money produced for the schools.
Saban realizes the players deserve a bigger reward and he will take every opportunity to let the public know about it.
Future Alabama recruits are listening.