Willie Taggart pouncing on the Florida State job just 12 months after he was introduced as the University of Oregon’s head football coach has the sports world outside of college football brimming with spicy hot takes and hashtags.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, anAll-Pac-12 hoops honoree in 2017, joined the chorus of observers irked by Taggart using Oregon as a pit stop, and asserted his opinion on Twitter. However, Kuzma’s beef isn’t so much with Taggart as an individual, as it is with the idea that athletes don’t possess that same freedom of movement.
This the problem with college sports. Wanna bash players for leaving schools but the same coaches go into living rooms and tell parents how they are going to take care of their kids for 4 years. Why doesn’t he have to sit out for a full year? https://t.co/dKcJT1s6ua
— kuz (@kylekuzma) December 5, 2017
In Taggert’s case, the Florida State job is a perfect storm of events for the Florida native. Prior to being zapped to the West Coast by the Ducks, Taggart was building a Group of 5 powerhouse South Florida. Job-hopping is also the new reality for this post-Baby Boomer generation of graduates and scholarship athletes. Coaches leaving for new jobs is preparation for the real world. However, it’s also bad form to leave a position before you’ve completed a full recruiting cycle.
What’s even more difficult to justify is why student-athletes are the only penalized if they pursue a better situation. This is especially personal to Kuzma, who considered transferring from Utah during his freshman season. A rumored vote to grant undergraduate transfers, with a minimum GPA, the ability to play immediately and end the era of coaches blocking transfers, never came to fruition and the earliest is could even be enacted is in 2020.
Instead, this debate will wage on, coaches will look out for themselves and the athletes will be left flailing in the wind.