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Gregggggggggg Doyel: Don’t Feed The Troll

August 28, 2009
Must be a slow news cycle for Gregg Doyel these days despite the impending college football season. He’s up to his rabble-rousing ways, taking universities to task for — GASP! — boarding their football teams in hotels prior to home football games.

First off, I’m not providing a link to the article. If I were to drive you to the CBS site via a link, I’d essentially be endorsing his tripe. So I’ll leave it to you to decide if you want to go there to read it on your own. However, after the jump you’ll find a “sizable excerpt” of the piece to give you an idea of what he’s written:

(Continues)

If it’s Friday night in Gainesville and the Florida Gators are playing a football game the next day at The Swamp, Tim Tebow deserves a hotel room. How could he sleep in his apartment? He could not. He deserves a hotel room, and dammit, the University of Florida will spend the money to get him — and his teammates, at a cost of roughly $40,000 for the season — that room.

And it’s the same thing at Oklahoma with Sam Bradford. And at North Carolina State with, um, whoever plays quarterback for North Carolina State. And at Tennessee and Oregon and Purdue and South Carolina and just about everywhere college football is played at the BCS level.

Players need a hotel room on Friday night.

Even before home games.

And it’s insulting. It’s insulting to you, the reader, knowing that the N.C. State football team paid more to put up the Wolfpack at a hotel before home games — almost $86,000 for a handful of Friday nights — than you’ll earn in six months or a year or maybe two or three years. They’re throwing away money, and while that money wasn’t going to come your way, it’s an insult nonetheless.

It’s insulting to the players themselves, because they’re being told that — even though they’re legally adults and usually 20 years old or older — they cannot be trusted on their own to get enough sleep or even to stay out of jail the Friday night before a football game. After high school graduation they can be trusted by their parents to leave the confines of home, wherever home was, and report to a college campus where they will be on their own for large parts of every day. But they cannot be trusted by their football coach to show some sense on Friday night in their adopted college hometown.

And maybe some college football players can’t be trusted on those six or seven fall Friday nights every year. Maybe lots of them wouldn’t get enough sleep and maybe some of them wouldn’t stay out of jail if they were allowed to take their athletic arrogance and machismo posturing out into the real world so shortly before a football game.

And maybe that last notion, as realistic as it is, is an insult to me.

Because years ago as a teenager I would have loved to be that college kid who was so good at a sport that my tuition and room and board were free. I would have loved to have been 6-feet-3, 225 pounds and strong or fast or skilled or even all three. I would have loved to play six or seven college football games every year in front of my fellow students and 80,000 fans who would adore me simply because of the helmet on my head and the jersey on my back. I would have loved it.

And I wouldn’t have screwed it up by staying out late Friday night. Because I’m that smart? No.

Because I’m not an absolute moron.

That’s all it takes for a college football player to stay out of trouble the Friday night before a home game: Don’t be an absolute moron.

The price tag for saving college football players from their absolute-moron-selves is in the $50,000 range per year, though the fiscal geniuses at N.C. State have found a way to spend close to double that in Raleigh.

It’s financial insanity, but the Pac-10 is here to help. The Pac-10, bless its stingy little heart, has proposed legislation that would stop schools from putting their football team in a hotel the night before a home game. The NCAA’s Division I legislative council will vote on the proposal in January. The proposal is so sensible, so obvious, that it’s brilliant.

And of course other coaches in other conferences are furious.

Purdue’s Danny Hope and Indiana’s Bill Lynch are on record as saying they’re against the Pac-10 proposal. So are most of the coaches in the ACC, although Florida State’s Bobby Bowden is not. And good for him.

In Gainesville, meanwhile, the Gators are so enamored with their Friday night splurge that they’re selling it to boosters. Which makes sense, in a perverted way. What better way to pay for such a ridiculous budget item than to have a ridiculous booster pay the bill? For a mere $5 million, a booster (and a guest!) can eat meals with the team and walk to the stadium with the team and, best of all, spend Friday night at “the team hotel to rest up for game day.”

Sounds distracting to me, honestly. Put up the players in a hotel to get them away from distractions, but then let some jock-sniffing booster hang out with them at the team hotel. But for $5 million, distract away. Right?

Greggggg has the ability to write well reasoned and logical opinion pieces. I’ve read them before. It’s not as if Doyel is incapable of writing them — he simply chooses not to at times.

This, of course, is one of those times.

For one, the heart of his argument is ridiculous. $40K, $50K or even $86K is not that sizable a chunk of a team budget that often runs well into the millions every year. I would guess that the university easily spends that much on marketing materials for the football team (programs, media guides, “Howl Towels,” posters, etc.) every year. Schools spend large amounts of money on their football programs, primarily because they bring in so much money for the rest of the athletic department and sometimes to the school itself.

But ignoring the monetary aspect of Doyel’s argument, he still falls flat on his face asserting there’s no good reason to house players in hotels prior to games. Of course there is! Is the notion that having teams get a good night’s sleep and a solid, scheduled meal prior to bedtime and in the morning before the game that foreign of a concept to Doyel? Why on earth would that be in any way insulting to us, the commoner who does not play sports for an education or a living?

Doyel says he has judgment enough to not get into trouble the night before a game. Based on his System Of A Down goatee and decision to pose with a sledgehammer to look like a badass on a blog, I have serious reservations about his ability to use sound judgment.

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