by Mike Coffey
It’s never truly the off-season in the Irish electronic ether, and the off-season edition of the Irish Blogger Gathering is upon us. This time around, I got to ask the five … er, three questions to the grand poobah himself, Josh over at Subway Domer, whose answers appear below. My queries came courtesy of Bayou Irish over at Her Loyal Sons, so be sure to go over there and check out my responses. Josh, in turn, answered Andrew Horvath’s questions. You can also read the balance of the exchanges over at Strong & True and Inside the Irish.
Me: It seems every year, the time between NLOI Day and the start of summer school sees more stories about guys who feel they didn’t make the right decision for their choice of college and want the ability to change their minds. Some say with the amount of money colleges make off these athletes, they deserve as much flexibility as they want to have. Others believe such
flexibility, while admirable, would introduce an unacceptable level of abuse into the system. Where on that spectrum do you fall, and why?
SD: This topic has me a little torn- not that I don’t have an absolute opinion on the matter, but because over the course of time I have changed my mind. When I was younger, I most definitely was more inclined to think and say that the players had far too many restrictions on them and were in many ways exploited. So, I would have been in favor for much more flexibility.
However… I am well out of my twenties and creeping closer to 40 than I care to admit. I now have the advantage of seeing the whole picture. I had to leave college early because my finances were horrible and my parents had hit some rough times as well. I never returned. The opportunity that these players have to both get an education and an opportunity to turn their passion into a career is something that I never had, and would have killed for way back then. For me, it’s ridiculous to think that I should feel sorry for these guys.
Now, as far as the NLOI situation goes, I am even more unsympathetic. Signing Day is the FIRST day that a player can sign. It’s not a deadline. If they are unsure, they should wait and make the decision when THEY are ready and not when Rivals or ESPN or whoever says that they should be. It’s a contract, and contracts have guidelines and stipulations. If a player changes their mind, that’s fine. They can go somewhere else, but there is a price to pay.
If we want to tie this in with the Vanderdoes situation, as I’m sure that this is where the question has its roots, then let me explain it like this: If Eddie didn’t want to go ND after signing a LOI because of a family situation, and wanted to go elsewhere, than he should have tried to transfer to Cal or Stanford or Fresno State. Somewhere close to home and not 7 hours away. Then, if the situation is legit, he would have most likely had a better case in his appeal to the NCAA to be eligible right away instead of having to sit for a year, as is the case with all transfers.
I’m guessing that the “situation” is a little “odd” and ND wasn’t buying it. Good.
Me: There have been a lot of calls for an early signing period in football like basketball has, with the belief kids who are tired of the recruiting process can make a binding decision and get on with their athletic lives. With the advent of early admits, those calls have gotten louder. Do you believe early signing is the way to go, and why or why not?
SD: I’ll be a little briefer in this answer. Yes, I would like to see an early signing period. Some recruits are dead set on the school they want to go to and this option would allow them to be released from the stressful hunt that is college football recruiting. As with all decisions, the kids will need good supervision and guidance from their parents, teachers, coaches, and all others that have influence in their lives.
Me: Maintaining an electronic community and/or info provider for college football really has become a 12-months-a-year deal. What do you find to be your toughest challenge during the “off times” of the year, and how do you surmount them?
SD: Great question as this is now my 6th year of OFFSEASON (which is really May-July). The toughest part is twofold. 1) Finding something interesting and original to write about. And 2) Actually sitting down and writing the story.
I keep a notebook to help come up with something original (an actual notebook that I write in with a real pen) and during the course of the entire year I write down story ideas, stats, quotes, thoughts, and whatever else comes up. The bad thing is that half of those ideas become obsolete over time.
The real problem is actually finding the time during the summer to sit down and do it. I have a wife and kids and a real job. I put ALL of them through some serious hell from August until February with running a blog, so I try to show them some mercy and prove that I really love them more than ND Football (hahahahahahaha).
So… I don’t stress about it too bad. Subway Domer has quite a few contributors that help chip in, and if I ever feel that I am behind, I record a podcast (an awkward 45-60 minutes of me, a drink, and my thoughts “verbally” expressed). It’s things like this IBG that are really nice to have. It’s kind of like that kick in the ass that you need to do something right.