DESTIN, Fla. -- Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said one of the smartest things college football could do to help lessen off-the-field issues would be to add staff positions.
Currently, schools are allowed to have nine full-time position coaches, and Dooley said that’s not enough to manage the number of players coaches are responsible for in football.
“I think we’re really missing the boat,” Dooley said. “Everybody is talking about staff reductions. When you look at the data and look at player-coach ratios in the NCAA, if you look at scholarships, we’re 8.5 to 1. If you look at full squads, it’s 10.5 to 1. There’s not one sport in the country that has a higher ratio than football. Now add to that that football players are under a much greater scrutiny level and coaches are under more accountability than every other sport for their players’ action, maybe except basketball.
“The point I raise is: Who said nine is the right number? We don’t have enough coaches to manage this many players and be accountable for all of their actions.”
Dooley plans to make his proposal to fellow coaches and athletic directors this week at the SEC spring meetings. He brought data with him to support his argument.
“Explain to me why we have a higher player-to-coach ratio than any other sport out there when we’re bringing in 85 percent of the revenue and our players are more scrutinized than any other sport out there,” Dooley said. “Our coaches are more accountable for what our players do in academics and off the field. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”
For starters, Dooley would like to be able to hire a special teams coordinator that doesn't also coach another position. He also pointed out that it’s hard to hire just a quarterbacks coach that doesn't double as an offensive coordinator.
“The ideal situation is to have your coordinators where they’re not responsible for a position so they can constantly get involved with the key players on offense or defense,” Dooley said. “If you increased the coaching staff, it would eliminate some of the perceived abuse of the support staff.
"Part of the reason there’s been this proliferation of the support staff is because we don’t feel like we have the staff to manage the players we have. That’s a fact.”