Should the NCAA allow football programs to hire more assistants? Lovie Smith seems to think so. During Big Ten Media Days, the new head coach of the Fighting Illini criticized national restrictions that limit the number of coaches permitted to participate in on-field instruction.
ESPN's Paul Finebaum and Brock Huard discussed Smith's comments on Wednesday, and they completely agreed with his reasoning. Here's the full snippet from College Football Live (this embed code has been giving me issues, so there's a possibility the video may not show up -- but trust me they agreed).
I mean, this potential rule change seems like a no-brainer. OK -- that common sense behind such a policy may actually be the reason why the NCAA hasn't implemented anything. Student-athletes essentially have unlimited resources off the practice field (i.e. tutors, nutritionists, support staff, etc.), and that shouldn't be any different when it comes to athletics.
What's your take on Lovie's comments? Make sure to cast a vote in our poll question, and let us know what you think down in the comments.
Illinois Fighting Illini Links
A very important recruiting week is underway for Lovie Smith and the Fighting Illini. The three-star Texas native was the first of many unofficial visitors expected to check out Champaign in the coming days. Additionally, Illinois will be hosting a few dozen top recruiting targets for a BBQ on Thursday.
At Media Day, the soft-spoken Smith ended his statement by saying "we feel like we're Chicago's team." He knew the implications of his words
"We realize there's two teams in our state and both claim that we're Chicago's team," Smith said. "We have a lot of alumni here in Chicago, quite a few fans here, but Pat Fitzgerald has done a great job with the program and they're a team that we need to beat, it's as simple as that."
"A lot of the older guys are saying to me that it's my time to step up. I'm the only experienced (back) except for Kendrick Foster. I tell the others they'll have to step up, too. Someone will have to carry the load when I get tired."
"I look back on that all the time," Williams said. "What I had to do to get the playing time, I feel like I should do it all the time. If I bring that energy every day to practice or to the game and add on to that, I think I can really help this team."