FNF Coaches Talk

1. This is all the stuff that’s actually in your college football team’s playbook (SB Nation)

The structure of a playbook tells the story of how a team builds a scheme from the ground up. This writer got his hands on several playbooks from high-profile coaches — including a playbook from Les Miles’ 1996 Oklahoma State team. Miles’ playbook is deep at 480 pages, despite what you might think about the simplicity of his scheme during the LSU years. You go 50 pages in before you get to anything related to actual football strategy.

There are pages upon pages with descriptions of roles on the team (captain, etc.) and team policies. Most playbooks include descriptions of positions and terminology — all stuff that you might take for granted.

Here’s a video with an explanation for how to articulate a simple play call.

It’s an interesting read if you have the time. The playbooks vary from many of the high-profile coaches on the college level, from Nick Saban to Urban Meyer to Gus Malzahn.

But the playbook is the foundation. For a player to be able to look at a coach signaling or a diagram featuring Tupac and know his exact responsibility in a stadium with 80,000 people screaming on national television, it all got back to what’s in the playbook.
From the diagrams, to the formation, to the team’s ethos laid out across hundreds of pages, every bit of the playbook matters.

How much time will you spend tweaking your playbook this offseason?

2. New $400,000 scoreboard will light up high school football games in Millard (Omaha World-Herald)

Normally a school getting a $400,000 scoreboard wouldn’t be all that noteworthy on a national level, but this story caught our eye because of the way the football coaches justified the expense to the school board by citing the educational opportunities the scoreboard would provide.

Beyond the fan and athlete experience, the upgrade in technology offers educational opportunities for Millard students. “Students can design videos and graphics and show them on the video boards,” Kleeman said. Passarelli called those “marketable skills.” He said students are already applying them in Millard.

It’s certainly something to consider for coaches looking to upgrade facilities. Can the upgrade benefit other sports teams? And can it provide additional educational opportunities to students?

The Planning Board voted 6-0 Wednesday to approve a waiver of the height restriction. Mike Pate abstained because he’s on the Millard school board.

Have you been able to share the cost of any of your facilities upgrades with other sports teams or clubs? If so, how?

3. Coaches, CEOs Among 50 People Charged In College Admissions, Recruiting Bribery Scheme (Sports Illustrated)

This is likely the biggest story in all of sports today — college admissions scandal that was uncovered by the FBI and federal prosecutors. According to the indictment, the scheme worked to help potential students cheat on college entrance exams or pose as recruited athletes to get admitted to high-profile universities with bribes of up to $6 million. The scheme allegedly facilitated admittance for some students as athletes regardless of their athletic abilities.

Parents allegedly paid a California man a predetermined amount which he would then steer to either an SAT or ACT administrator, or a college athletic coach. Coaches would help non-recruits get into school by saying they were recruits. Most of the students allegedly admitted under these false pretenses that they did not know their admission was contingent on a bribe.

The sport of football was not mentioned often in the indictments, other than at least one case of a student hoping for admission to USC exaggerating his football ability.

Another prospective student was “made a long snapper,” despite weighing just 145 pounds. Other students athletic histories were similarly falsely described for the purposes of admission.

Per court documents, there is no indication that the schools were directly involved in wrong-doing. So, the lesson for high school coaches might be to make sure to keep a close eye on those closest to the potential recruits to make sure they are being honest about the student-athlete’s profile.

How do you think the recruiting process could become more personal for high school recruits?

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!

About the author

Dan Guttenplan