Winning, Recruiting and Street Agents

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Street Agents, those people on the fringes of certain programs that have allegedly offered services ranging from ‘scouting services' to outright guidance of players to sign with one school over another pose grave threats to the Game of College Football.

Big Business

College Football is Big Business. The top college coaches in football today command salaries in the millions and have perks that can and do add several thousands of dollars in additional pay and incentives. We are talking not only about the lifetime country club membership or even hefty retirement annuities that can go with contracts but also performance incentives built into those contracts that establish $100,000, $200,000, you name it sky-high bonuses that are tied to the wins and losses record.

If you think that one win in a college season is meaningless, you would be foolhardy to overlook the significant benefits that one win could bring not only to the coaching staff but also its' University. One win can be the difference between a conference championship or a BCS Bowl invite, which alone brings million dollar payouts. These revenues are cash cows for their respective universities and fund a host of other athletic programs that are not money generators. They also add prestige and credence to the athletic programs which by itself helps fuel future athletic success.

Success Breeds Success

The more successful your football program is the better your opportunities for higher revenue streams, the larger athletic budget you command and the higher the chance for your programs' athletic success in the future. Take a moment to read any recruiting article from around the country and you will quickly notice that elite prospects readily admit they want to go win championships and play with other blue-chip prospects that are part of highly rated recruiting classes. Statements such as: ‘This class is going to win a Big 12 championship and we want to play for a national championship' is commonplace.

College Football Revenues Support Other Athletic Sports

College Football is the Gorilla in the room. If you look around the College Athletic landscape, revenues generated from Football funds and supports smaller, non-revenue generating sports across colleges and universities nationwide. Without the revenues from football, many of the smaller sports that you see at the collegiate level today would not exist. Look no further than our own Big 12 Conference when Iowa State and former Big 12 member Colorado cut their baseball programs due to the costs of funding the sport.

Recruiting is the Lifeblood of Football

Recruiting is the lifeblood of any program and any coach will readily admit it is far easier to win with talent than it is to win without talent.

Recruiting Wars are aptly named because schools put their best foot forward after painstakingly researching players from around the country and then taking exhaustive steps in an attempt to recruit and land that prospects' signature. Often times, it is a war until the bitter end.

Parity in College football has arrived and often the difference between a win and a loss is so minute that any edge a program can get is sought and explored. Which brings is to the unsavory side of College Football, Recruiting and the ‘Street Agent'.

Big 12 Meetings

The issue of ‘street agents' has become serious within the game of College Football. While perhaps there were issues of alleged cheating going back to the very beginning of recruiting and football in general, today's college landscape is far more diverse with issues that are much more difficult to address. This issue is something that has been brought up and recently was discussed at the Big 12 Media events this past week. It is an issue with far reaching dangers not only to the schools that are involved but rather the entire game of College Football.

In Part II of this article, we look at how some schools are looking to combat this issue and how Kansas State and Head Coach Bill Snyder have approached the topic.

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