The leaching plan is so crazy it might just work

Mike Leach has a plan to fix college football. At least, the madness that is the marriage of name, image and likeness and the portal of transference.

Have patience and work with it. You might like The Leach Plan.

“I see that look you’re giving me,” Leach told me last week at SEC Media Days, between rotations talking about his sneaky good team at Mississippi State. “I’m telling you, it can work.”

There are no answers here, are there? We all know the rules of NIL – and the only rules are that there are no rules.

No guidelines, no best practices. No chance for a coach from any school to have a firm grip on the paradigm shift that is rushing by.

For a sport that had been so regimented for so long — and arguably, at the expense of the players — the sudden shift to freedom for all has turned college football upside down.

Enter, the distant. The thinker under the eccentric shell.

Sit back and soak up.

“What we have right now is absolute free will and a bidding war,” Leach said.

So how do you stop it? Leach says he divides gamers into two specific groups: student-athletes and professionals. Players choose their group.

The student-athlete track, Leach estimates, involves “about 95% or more” of current college players. They will sign and play under the current exchange format – but with a retro-loaded bonus structure.

“You come to school, get your full scholarship and stipend,” Leach said. “You can’t be cut for your ability to play, but you can be cut for breaking the rules. You cannot be traded, you are not drafted.

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Online sports betting has arrived or is arriving in a number of SEC states in the south. Residents of states where legalized sports betting exists can bet on things like the Heisman race, SEC football games every week and more…all from their mobile device.

Expect, exchanged and written?

Hang in there, it gets better.

“If you complete all of your eligibility requirements at the same school and graduate,” Leach says, then suddenly stops. Because he wants to make something very clear.

“I don’t like taking the degree out of the equation,” he continues. “Degrees help lives, help families, help generations. Then, at the end of your career and your degree – and I don’t know the perfect amount – let’s say you get $150,000.

That’s a $150,000 retention bonus for signing a scholarship, playing 4 years of football, and graduating in 5 years. All at the same school.

“Now if you enter the transfer portal at any time, you are no longer eligible for the $150,000,” Leach said. “If you don’t graduate, you don’t get the $150,000.”

This, says Leach, places the responsibility for player and individual development on both coach and player. Players want the money at the end of the run and are incentivized to stay and grow athletically (for the NFL) and academically (for the $150,000).

Coaches are forced to get the most out of these players because they can’t force them out or eliminate them – and don’t want to deal with a player (or players) skating to reach the $150,000 salary. .

“Most players,” says Leach, “are probably better suited for the student-athlete (track).

Then there’s the professional track, the group of players that Leach says aligns more closely with the current explosion of NIL money and player movement.

You have a certain amount of time during your senior year of high school to declare yourself as a professional. Once this time has passed, there will be a draft.

That’s right, a draft.

“All the other leagues do it that way,” Leach said. “Think about the worst sports league or the best, and they pick up. Heck, Little League has a draft.

For Leach, that’s part of the bet. If you enter as a professional – say there are 200 players entering as professionals at all skill levels – you can be drafted by any team (or teams can pass).

“You declare that you’re taking the professional route, and shortly after that we have the project,” Leach said. “There is no negotiation and extortion of money (NIL) from schools, playing one school against the other. Like hell you will. Not here. We’ll call you when you’re drafted and you’ll know what team you’re playing for.

There is no cap on NIL money. A professional tracker can earn as much as he can, with as many companies as he wants (basically the current setup).

It can be cut at any time for any reason, just like the NFL. It can be traded.

He can move freely between schools each year, but there is a window of movement. Something like 1 week after the season and 1 week after spring training.

“They want to be professionals, well guess what? The NFL doesn’t have free movement,” Leach said. “You don’t get 365, 24/7 access to the portal, that’s madness. Your NFL friends will lose their minds if you tell them players get 365, 24/7 access /7 at the free agency.

“Everyone wants guardrails to this deal; well, here they are.

Now, the problem with The Leach Plan: the current setup gives players the best of both Leach worlds. Without negative side effects (see: guardrails).

In fact, the NCAA is set to make player movement even easier, offering unlimited transfers without skipping a season and losing a year of eligibility.

“We have unprecedented privileges, more than NFL players enjoy,” Leach said. “It is unsustainable as it is. At some point, something has to happen. »

Maybe something is the leaching plan.

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