Mack Brown Talks Athletics Past, Future

Texas coach Mack Brown has seen quite a bit in his time as a college football coach. And that makes him as good as anybody to gauge the future of the sport.

Friday, Brown talked about how college football has changed in the past, and what to expect from the future.

I think the biggest change in the last 10 or 20 [years] would be the Internet changed a lot," Brown said. "I think it's helped protect against cheating because people have to be more careful now because kids are talking more and there's the danger that the kids aren't telling the truth all the time when they're talking. So there's stuff not out there that's not really accurate, more rumors. But we also have access to things that can counteract that if it's not true and stop it."

Brown said another big change was the boom in coaching salaries.

"I don't know that that ever goes back [to the way it was]," Brown said. "But coaches' salaries now … in 1975 I was the receiver coach, recruiting coordinator at Southern Miss, [and] made $13,500. When I left North Carolina 14 years ago I made $275,000. So things are just ... they're so different in 10 to 15 years."

Brown said he thought the NCAA was going to start taking a look at simplifying some of the complex rules that didn't make sense. And he said that people needed to keep a handle on 7-on-7 and all-star games, which could bring some of the basketball AAU elements into football.

"In my estimation, I don't see that changing," Brown said. "I see everybody still having to produce money. I do see coaches being fired faster. I see assistant coaches being fired faster, because if they're not filling the stands you gotta have money. So it's going to be tougher for the athletic directors to keep the money up with what we're paying the ladies now, too."

Brown cited the example of former Kansas coach Turner Gill, fired after two seasons at the helm, as an example of the accelerating timetable.

Yet, even with college athletics becoming big(ger) business, Brown said he couldn't see athletics being privatized.

"We've had it 100 something years; I think in 100 something years we'll still have it," Brown said. "It's too important to people. You think about the influence the Final Four is going to have on Saturday night and Monday. I mean, it's huge. Women's sports, the Final Four in the women's, it's going to have a huge turnout. It's going to be packed and everybody's watching.

"And now they know the women's coaches' names and players by first names and that wouldn't have happened 10 years ago," Brown said. "So I think that college sports is at a better place publicly than it's been."

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