As I embark on my first article for 12oz Sports, I will try not to ruffle too many feathers right off the bat. But look, Eddie George has recently been....well....acting. Oh, and participating in some business ventures. Coaching? Uh, not so much. Did not seem to faze Tennessee State, at all.
TSU Athletics on Twitter: "TSU Names NFL great and Heisman Trophy Winner Eddie George Head Football Coach #RoarCity pic.twitter.com/DwUxa5j8xd / Twitter"
TSU Names NFL great and Heisman Trophy Winner Eddie George Head Football Coach #RoarCity pic.twitter.com/DwUxa5j8xd
I guess Tennessee State figured Jackson State pulled the same move with Deion Sanders so why not? Well, let's first look at the possibilities. Sanders was 3-3 in his first year before the pandemic hit. So not a bust at all. Plus, Eddie George lives near campus, so no relocation fees or even any travel at all. Most importantly, and probably the biggest reason this happened, publicity for a fledging program. What better way to get people paying attention to your program than hiring a big name?
Ok cool, so this is about notoriety for the University, but is it good for minority coaches? Not even close.
Football Scoop lists their "Minority Coaches 2020-21 Watch List" on their website, and Eddie George jumped in front of all of them. Why? We know why, his name. The problem lies with this, George (like any other coach, of any race) could easily fail. He has no experience with recruiting, game planning, managing a team, keeping players in class, keeping players motivated, keeping players out of trouble, and keeping players in compliance with the antiquated NCAA rules. He has experience playing at Ohio State and in the NFL, that does not and should not be an automatically qualifying attribute. I urge you to look up and down Football Scoop's list at all the very talented coaches and tell me why they don't deserve a shot more?
I honestly wish Eddie all the best and hope he succeeds. I just feel these glamour hires will hurt the efforts of minority coaches in the long run. Legit coaches, with tons of experience who have fought their way up the ladder, only to lose to celebrity football guys. And if Eddie fails, it sets them back yet again. In my humble opinion, hiring a top minority assistant as your head coach and Eddie George as the head assistant would have been a way better move, and just as effective marketing-wise.
~Michael Patrick Day, writer, 12oz Sports
Brice, J (2020). FootballScoop’s 2020-21 Minority Coaches Watch List. Football Scoop. Retrieved from https://footballscoop.com/news/footballscoops-2020-21-minority-coaches-watch-list/
Tennesse State Twitter. (2021). Retrieved from https://twitter.com/TSU_Tigers
Wikipedia (2021). Deion Sanders Coaching Record. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deion_Sanders#Head_coaching_record