Do college programs need additional staff members?


How many coaches does a college football team really need to be successful?

Well, it depends on what you measure success.

The NCAA is one rubber stamp away from adding a 10th assistant coach for all Division I programs. That move has been widely applauded.

But Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, the man in charge of overseeing these rules changes, sees the addition as just the first step in overhauling the size of college staffs. Bowlsby believes the number of support personnel employed by some colleges is way out of hand, pointing to one unnamed school that has 97 people on its football staff.

By comparison, an NFL team employs about 30 total staffers, including the general manager and president but not the various scouts.

Clearly, college programs can get by without 97 people on staff — or even 10 on-field coaches.

But Alabama coach Nick Saban made an interesting point in his rant on the subject. According the Saban, many of these low-paid analyst and graduate assistant positions are a way for coaches to be developed and nurtured in a big-time system. The same goes for high school coaches who are employed to work college camps, another practice that is under scrutiny.

I can buy the argument about professional development. I can’t get behind the idea that the world needs one more coach on every sideline every week. I don’t see how the game is going to be improved by that rule.

For Threaded Fasteners, I’m Randy Kennedy with Nuts and Bolts of the Game.

Stephen Root