NFL-Style Scouting Systems Strip Away Facade of College Football Amateurism

By Kris Hughes
Ben Liebenberg – USA TODAY SPORTS

Let’s just stop with the claims that college football is an amateur endeavor.

Are you listening NCAA?

Over the past few days, the talk of college football media has been the addition of quality control coaches, recruiting “analysts” and even Directors of Player Personnel to the staffs of Division I football programs that can afford to bankroll them. While only a full teams are full bore with this so far, in the very near future, plenty more will be following suit.

While we’re technically in the middle of the recruiting “dead” period that surrounds the passing of National Signing Day and precludes Spring Practices across the country, these programs are still lining up individuals with previous ties to the universities or, perhaps more importantly, an NFL talent evaluation background.

After all, it’s time for these major programs to start mirroring their NFL counterparts, isn’t it?

I mean what’s the point in playing pretend like a bunch of fourth graders when the writing is already on the wall.

As programs with larger budgets add these Directors of Player Personnel and recruiting analysts — whose sole responsibility will be to evaluate the best talent the country has to offer and the mountains of data that surround this talent — the rich will get richer (I know, I know, it’s a common theme recently) and the little guy will have absolutely no chance to compete if they can’t step up with the Joneses — or more appropriately, the Sabans.

NFL-style player personnel departments will become the norm and regardless of whether the NCAA does its worst to try and monitor and regulate their activity the Pandora’s Box will have already been opened and there won’t be any going back.

So much for student-athletes maintaining any distance from the process. Not only will they be receiving calls, emails, Facebook messages, tweets and texts from the assistant coach or recruiting coordinator tasked with their recruitment, every aspect of their personal lives (gasp!) will be picked apart by these analysts who have nothing else to do — after all, it’s what they’re getting paid for!

It’s not like the NFL hasn’t already infiltrated the college game as it is — and, don’t get me wrong, I definitely don’t hold out any purist notions of the days of leather helmets and the I formation — but this advancement in staffing will have no positive benefit for the game outside of the pocketbooks it lines at the country’s most profitable programs.

Plain and simple, it’s another step away from any amateur ideal left and toward college football being simply a micro-version of it’s biggest bedfellow.

Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports. You can follow Kris on TwitterGoogle and Facebook

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