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Joseph: Revamping recruiting and returning to old traditions (Feb. 6)

Allan Joseph | Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Super Bowl? You want me to write about the Super Bowl?

No, today is my day to hold the vaunted title of Sultan of Sports. I get to fix whatever I want, however I want. Heck, I could legislate the Steelers out of existence, not that it would help my beloved Browns very much.

And no, the Super Bowl doesn’t need fixing.

What does? I’m glad you asked.

Let’s start with football recruiting. As it stands right now, it’s absolutely a preposterous process. These are 17- and 18-year-old boys deciding where to go to college. Let them make the decisions themselves. Create an early signing period so kids who decide before their senior year of high school can relax during their senior year instead of being hounded by coaches and journalists alike — all of whom are doing nothing but making an already tough decision even tougher.

More importantly, let’s change the culture around recruiting. Right now, coaches drive the process, not the student-athletes.

Before a coach can even talk to a player, he should have to seek permission of the athlete himself; if a player doesn’t want to consider a school, he shouldn’t have to. Return some sanity to the lives of the prospective athlete and his family.

I’d ask to restore some sanity to the lives of the fans who obsessively follow recruiting, too, but I’m pretty sure that’s not much less than asking someone to draw me a square circle.

Recruiting isn’t the only thing broken in college football. Let’s play more early-season nonconference games like Ohio State-Texas, Michigan-Notre Dame and LSU-Oregon. Let’s play fewer games like Ohio State-Akron, Michigan-San Diego State and LSU-Northwestern State.

Let’s have a playoff to determine the national champion.

Let’s return to the roots of college football while taking advantage of the opportunities of this century. That means, yes, having a Big Ten championship game — but playing it outdoors in December in Soldier Field. That means letting players celebrate freely again, but mandating the use of so-called “concussion-proof” helmets.

The NBA? Where do I even start? How about this: too many games, too many empty seats. How do we fix it? Fewer teams. That’s right, Charlotte — wave goodbye to the Bobcats, although by the looks of it very few of you will miss them anyway.

Other college sports? Go back to 64 teams in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. 68 is just silly, and the only thing the play-in game did was force all of us to get our brackets submitted before we were ready. Make the Frozen Four rotate between St. Paul, Minn., and Boston every year. No one in Florida cares about it this year.

Let’s pretend Major League Soccer never happened and get the top European teams to play regularly in America instead.

In a completely selfish move, let’s move the NHL’s Blue Jackets to the Eastern Conference.

Let’s get the Tiger Woods of the early 2000s back. I don’t particularly care what we have to do to get it.

Let’s all agree NASCAR isn’t a sport, but an excuse for a bunch of people to have a big party every weekend. There’s no shame in that.

Most of all, let’s make today a holiday. There is no reason we should have to be at work or school today, the day after the Super Bowl.

And I thought I couldn’t find anything to fix about the Super Bowl.

 

 

Contact Allan Joseph at ajoseph2@nd.edu.

The views expressed in this Sports Authority column are those of the author and not necssarily those of The Observer.