It’s always great to hear Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz on any national radio show. One of the best in the country is “The Rich Eisen Show” on SiriusXM.
With football camp officially underway, Ferentz joined Eisen to discuss a number of topics last Thursday.
Additions from USC and UCLA
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Eisen began by asking Ferentz about the recent additions of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten starting in 2024.
“You know, quite honestly, two takeaways for me were, first of all, I was surprised at the secrecy. I don’t know how big the circle was. It must have been, there must have been more two people involved. So the fact that they kept quiet no matter who was involved, I thought that was really impressive. And then my second thought, I’m really glad I’m not one Olympic athletic coaches from either of those two schools because they’re going to have tough trips It’s hard to imagine playing in Iowa or Nebraska would feel like a home game if you’re a coach on the west coast, but that’s kind of what they’re looking at right now,” Ferentz said.
If Ferentz likes expansion
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File
“Well, as my age suggests, I’m kind of old school, but I really, you know, you’re just part of it all. I spent a few years in the NFL and every year was a new year and a different year Certainly the last 23, 24 years or even longer than college football is really interesting I will be back My first head coaching job was at the University of Maine, early 90s and Kevin White who left Maine, went to Tulane, Arizona State, Notre Dame and just retired to Duke I remember Kevin talking about the impact of televisions and the realignment of conferences and of all that.
“I had no idea what he was talking about. Zero. The things he was aware of 30 years ago, I guess, kind of came to fruition. Starting with Penn State joining the Big Ten and then, yeah, you go from there. Times are very different and then I think, you know, if anything the last five, 10 years has taught us is when it comes to college geography and tradition is really secondary to television opportunities . I think when the Big Ten Network started, for me it was really the start of a major shift in terms of college football,” Ferentz said.
Approach to nothingness
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
“First of all, I really didn’t pay attention to it the first ‘X’ months. Really, start focusing on it in February after you finish recruiting. You know, a couple of things. I think there’s probably a lot of exaggeration about some of the things that are going on in terms of character prominence or precision in some of these contracts. I think it will be interesting over time. One thing we haven’t experienced yet is guys getting big contracts in college and maybe not producing at the level the people paying those contracts expect. We’ve seen this happen in professional baseball. I guess professional baseball was really the first sport with real free agency, at least that I can remember as a kid. So that’s going to be something. The other thing that really jumped out at me, when it comes to all the guys playing college football, how many really enjoy it that much? I think anything guys can get is great, but as far as the ones you hear about, it’s a very small percentage of guys who actually play the game.
“You know, only time will tell what its real impact will be on us, but it’s definitely given us one more thing to navigate. On a humorous note, you know, our guys are now exposed to the world of taxes, something that they really haven’t understood and we want to make sure that they understand so they don’t get surprised. So that’s kind of interesting. The other part that’s true for all of us, and I tell our guys all the time, we all have so much time, so much energy, so you just have to be very careful where you spend it and where you dedicate it,” Ferentz said.
If a player requested a specific NIL number to come to Iowa
Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen/USA TODAY NETWORK
To understand Ferentz’s answer, it’s probably best to share verbatim how Eisen posed his question.
“Have you, Kirk Ferentz, identified a player you would like on Iowa Hawkeye football and on your program who turned to you and said, ‘I would if you matched a number, I get a deal. NIL “as an incitement. Has this happened to you?” asked Eisen.
Here’s how Ferentz responded.
“It’s really interesting. I think last Sunday was the first time a rookie talked about it. Now I’m not saying maybe they didn’t talk to our assistants. I imagine that’s a possibility, but, you know, we haven’t really experienced that. Our players in our program, Tyler Linderbaum was probably our most well-known guy last year. Almost inadvertently, he raised 36,000 dollars and he gave it to the children’s hospital just to give you an indication.We are lucky guys we work with and I would have had no problem with him putting this in his pocket.
“But, you know, no, that hasn’t been a big factor yet. I’m sure it will become more one. If we could write the script, our approach, I think, would be to, I’d rather see players who are actually in college who have done something, see them receive rewards commensurate with what they’ve accomplished. It would be nice if there was an academic component. It’s probably not the real world, but I think we all function better when production is rewarded as opposed to potential or projection,” Ferentz said.
Eisen went on to ask if this rookie requested a specific Ferentz-faced figure.
“He was talking, you know, just about the world of NIL, and, if you understood his background, you would. I think you would have at least. I felt like I did. It was totally innocent. No, he wasn’t trying to make a deal. I’m sure that day will come, but I haven’t had that experience yet,” Ferentz said.
The quarterback competition, his son in New England
Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen/USA TODAY NETWORK
Hawkeyes Wire covered what Ferentz had to say about quarterbacking competition and seeing his son, James Ferentz, in training camp in New England.
Naturally, the quarterback’s comments were noteworthy at the start of fall camp. Most fans remember or probably know this, but Ferentz coached under Bill Belichick as the offensive line coach at Cleveland during the 1993-95 NFL seasons, so the connection between Ferentz and Belichick is historically interesting.
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