Louisville football coach Scott Satterfield found himself in hot water over the weekend after word got out that he’d talked to South Carolina about their then-vacant job. Cardinals fans have good reason to be a bit jumpy about this sort of thing, since they’ve had just one head coach stay for more than five years since 1968.
The Gamecocks ended up hiring Shane Beamer, leaving Satterfield with no choice but to tuck his tail between his legs and stay. He apologized to Louisville fans, and said he “never wanted to hurt anyone,” which, fine, whatever. This wouldn’t be a story at all had he not gone on to justify the altogether reasonable attempt to get a better job by crapping on the concept of players having the same freedom because they, uh, don’t have families?
“I think as players, it’s a little bit different. I know sometimes we like to lump coaches in with players. As a player, you’re there for three to four years and then you’re done. I think as coaches — and as players, you don’t have a family, it’s just you — as coaches, I’m just thinking in general terms here, coaches have wives and kids. As a job, are they going to be at a job for 40 years? There’s a lot of different things that are involved with coaching.”Lexington Herald-Leader
The most sensible argument against the NCAA’s exploitative labor setup is the exorbitant salaries that coaches earn, and an important aspect of the labor crunch is not only that players don’t get paid, but that they usually can’t switch schools without sitting out a year. Meanwhile, coaches leave recruits and teams in the lurch all the time. Satterfield is being a big asshole here, but what he’s really doing is making explicit the NCAA’s platform: The lives of college athletes don’t matter beyond whether they will play.