“We’re gonna win this ballgame.”
As soon as the words flew out of his mouth and traveled to twitter I shook my head when I heard what Southern Cal quarterback Max Wittek said on the Los Angles airwaves. Here is a freshman, one who is trying to replace a player many consider will be a top 10 pick in next years draft against the best team in the country, and he gives a guarantee?
As if he did not have enough on his plate. Now he has created a target on his back, ensuring that there is no way Notre Dame would be caught sleeping.
Earlier this season, Nick Saban was asked why he does not allow his freshman to speak to the media. He recalled his days at Michigan State in which one Plaxico Burress said beating arch rival Michigan would be like “taking candy from a baby.” Unfortunately for Burress, it did not go down quite as he expected.
“He just got about got killed. They tried to kill him for 60 minutes in the game. We didn’t win the game.”
A college freshman, redshirt or true, has a lot to worry about. From campus life, classroom and the football field, the stresses of young student athletes are more than enough. Throw in the fact that public speaking is one of the biggest fears in the world, and those stresses are amplified by media obligations.
A year or two away from the media would allow these athletes to focus on academics and athletics, then when the time is right, a chance to speak from their sophomore season on. Player’s fears of misrepresenting themselves and/or the university would be eased, allowing them to be shown in the best possible light after learning the ins and outs from their respective media relations staff.
Some coaches have already mandated freshmen can not speak not the media. Now it is time for the NCAA to do the same.