The NCAA voted on the decision to create a player compensation model, but this decision doesn’t mean as much for Iowa football as it does other programs.
Yesterday, the NCAA reached a landmark decision to begin updating its current rules for player compensation, which understandably, will have a profound impact on college athletic programs everywhere. For football, it could be another different maker in deciding upon a particular school during the recruiting process, but unlike other schools, this won’t have as much of an impact on the Iowa football program.
Over the past two decades (and some change) Kirk Ferentz has perfected his idea of what an Iowa football player is. Earlier in his career, Iowa did a wonderful job of recruiting top-100 talent but failed to see consistent results. In the 2005 class alone, the Hawks reeled in three five-star recruits. In the years since that class, Iowa has managed to bring in just one five-star recruit, and he was a legacy kid who knew what it meant to be an Iowa football player.
To be fair, it’s not that the Hawks are not trying for some of these five-star recruits, they just offer a pitch that is straightforward and to the point versus fluffing up someone’s ego. Throughout the entire process, they are honest and transparent with each recruit. Simply put, Kirk Ferentz has integrity when dealing with high school football players looking to pursue a collegiate career.
While this is just the status quo for the Iowa football program, this oddly enough sets them up quite well as we likely head into a new era of college football with an actual player compensation model.
Whereas some schools with a large following (and therefore, big-time sponsorship opportunities) such as USC, Miami, and Texas could use this ruling in their favor during their recruiting process to reel in top recruits by telling them what type of money-making opportunities they have, this simply isn’t the Iowa way.
Kirk Ferentz would rather tell a player about what they can improve on on the football field and how they can make them a better person and player than talk to them about possible sponsorship opportunities with Sports Column or The Vine.
Just like now, the guys that want to be Iowa football players will still be Iowa football players because Iowa doesn’t want kids who are more concerned about sponsorship opportunities.
Now, this isn’t to say these kids won’t be able to get sponsorship opportunities, just that it won’t be the primary recruiting pitch that gets them on campus as a student-athlete, which is exactly why this ruling has less of an impact on the Iowa football program than most.