The Men In The High Castle Of College Football – Covid, Control And Controversy.


The Fiefdom of College Coaches

The Red River Shootout two weeks ago, by most observers, was incredible football which drew in the best drama available this side of the Netflix television show Bridgerton. Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Caleb Williams entered the game in relief of Heisman Trophy candidate Spencer Rattler and led a comeback for the ages against the Texas Longhorns in a 55-48 victory. 

Unfortunately, we couldn’t hear from the late-arriving hero because Oklahoma Head Coach Lincoln Riley didn’t allow for Williams to be interviewed by ABC after the game. If the reason was to protect Williams from the media’s questions then Riley needs to not only reevaluate his methods of cooking brisket, but also reexamine his trust of his players. 

Sorry, Caleb. You were trusted to lead your team in an epic comeback victory against your biggest rival, but ESPN Sports Reporter Holly Rowe might be too much for you according to Oklahoma coaches. Perhaps Riley wanted to protect Rattler because he was replaced in a game and didn’t want his feelings hurt. 

I’m not buying it. 

This is just more of an underlying issue with College Football and the coaches and administrators who run these programs. Not allowing player access to the press and even going a step further and banning press from availability for the program is problematic. 

The Fiefdoms built by these universities and their athletic programs breed resentment from media and also from the fanbase. There’s a larger issue with publicly funded universities barring legitimate media from covering a press conference or media availability. In Texas it’s been deemed as an unethical practice for this to happen with taxpayer funded entities, like college athletic departments, to ban the media from covering the press availability. 

Now enter the dreadful events on the Palouse from the past 72 hours. 

If you look at Washington State Football in the last 72 hours you see a school administration and state government that is petulant at best and autocratic at worst in its mandated Covid-19 vaccines for all public staff. We’ll focus now former Cougar Head Coach Nick Rolovich and his three assistants who were fired for not getting the vaccine as mandated by WSU and the State of Washington. The school administration fired Rolovich and some assistants for not getting the vaccine, but we don’t have an answer why this was the case and Rolovich was publicly less than forthcoming on his reasons for not getting the poke. 

The world has lost it’s mind in regards to the Covid-19 vaccine mandates and while I do support anyone who consults with their physician if they should get the vaccine or not, I do not support medical mandates that don’t take into account personal medical history or religious conviction. The administration at WSU might have torpedoed their season and may well scare off potential coaches because of their actions toward Rolovich. 

The circus and bread of college athletics has always had this undercurrent government funded oligarchs, but one of the silver linings of the hell scape called social media is that its more in the light than ever before. Will we start paying attention to it and acting or do we just care what the next gladiator does in the arena?

  • Allen Corbin, Special to The Raiderland.

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