FNF Coaches Talk — Esports in HS, Pat Fitzgerald on Smart Phones, A Team’s Equipment Burns

Welcome back, Coaches. We’re excited to have you back after a week away. Here’s a collection of stories for today.

1. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald thinks smart phones are what’s wrong with modern society (Big 10 Conference Media Day)

Pat Fitzgerald thinks kids today spend too much time looking at their phones and not enough time going to college football games.

How do you think the rise of smart phones has affected the way players learn?

2. Esports could be coming to Nevada (Reno Gazette Journal)

Here’s an interesting one for football coaches. We all know our players love playing video games. But what if we made playing video games a high school sport? How would it affect football?

The Nevada Interscholastic Athletic Association board approved having its staff move forward on bringing esports to Nevada high schools.
NIAA executive director Bart Thompson said he has been approached by a couple different technology companies interested in bringing esports (video games) to Nevada.

Thompson said the companies would be in charge of most facets of esports. He said students would pay a fee, likely around $50, to be on their high school team. A portion of that fee would go to the NIAA with the technology company getting the rest.
He said esports do not require travel and they could bring a lot of revenue to the NIAA. A state championship would be held in a central location.

Thompson said the technology companies have said they would build computer labs for the participating high schools.

He said one of his main goals when becoming the executive director of the NIAA in 2015 was to get more students involved in high school activities and that esports are a good way to help achieve that.

It was not clear if esports would fall under the athletics or activities label of the NIAA.

The NIAA staff will research esports further with the possibility they could be sanctioned in about a year.

How would bringing esports to high school athletics affect participation numbers in football?

3. Fire Rips Through Shed at High School in California, Destroys Football Team’s Equipment (KTLA 5)

A fire ripped through a shed at Magnolia High (Anaheim, Calif.) and destroyed the football team’s equipment after practice Wednesday night.

Firefighters responded to 2450 W. Ball Rd. at about 9:30 p.m. to find the flames fully engulfing the shed.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The equipment destroyed included the football team’s sleds, jerseys and footballs.

On Friday, the team’s head coach Desmond Hernandez said he ran over to the campus after getting several calls from players and found the shed still ablaze.

“That’s all our stuff — all our hard work, everything — and the season’s a month away,” the coach told KTLA.
The setback won’t necessarily mean opponents can catch the team off-guard. Hernandez said the team still had practice the next day after the fire and are making do with what little equipment they have.
The coach says players were upset but have handled the loss of the equipment well.
“What was great to see is how mentally tough they’ve been, and they don’t even mention it,” Hernandez said. “We’re just here to practice.”

Hernandez asked those who wish to donate equipment to the team to reach out to him on Twitter.

“We will utilize anything that is donated to us, whether it’s sleds, whether it’s bags, whether it’s even (scrimmage jerseys),” he said. “We will not say no to anything.”

What would you do if you had to generate money quickly through a fundraiser?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk!