Are Iowa State football coaches in their place? We can only hope

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Just a few thoughts on some random stuff I’ve seen and heard over the past few days, but first this:

Iowa State was a combined 36-5 after Saturday. It’s 16-1 for Bill Fennelly’s women’s basketball team, 14-3 for TJ Otzelberger’s men’s team and 6-1 for Kevin Dresser’s wrestlers.

I can’t imagine these three sports ever having such a stellar record.

* * *

Another round of “Where’s He Going?” seems to be over.

Matt Campbell is still the football coach at Iowa State. Jon Heacock is still the defensive coordinator of the program. All-American Will McDonald is still the best defensive end on the team, Xavier Hutchinson the best receiver and Anthony Johnson the best cornerback on campus.

Together they will soon begin spring training. Together they will understand why last season was only 7-6. Together they will be part of Cyclones Football 2022.

The most recent red flag for Iowa State fans was the “source” internet report that Heacock was new Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman’s first choice to replace him as defensive coordinator.

Freeman calling Heacock seems plausible. They have a relationship that dates back to when they were both Kent State assistant coaches in 2011 and 2012. They have stayed in touch. Freeman suggesting that they put possible sounds together, given that Heacock is among the best in the country.

If, in fact, this conversation actually took place.

Dot connection can be dangerous. Sometimes they connect in a neat picture. Sometimes they don’t.

Following: Iowa State assistant football coaches receive pay raises and contract extensions

All I know is that Heacock is still Iowa State’s defensive coordinator. I also know that Heacock and offensive coordinator Tom Manning will hit the $1 million per year mark if they’re still on staff on July 1, 2023. It’s in his contract. It’s also in Manning’s contract.

On July 1, 2022, the contracts state that their base salaries are $950,000. On July 1, 2023, their base salaries jump to $1 million.

When announcing Campbell’s new contract in February 2021, the school said it would phase in an additional $3 million over the next three years “for staff salary enhancements.” This may likely include additional funds for field staff and support staff.

“Coach Campbell has always invested in his student-athletes and football staff before his own personal gains,” Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard said in a statement released by the school during of Campbell’s contract announcement for 2021. “That’s the essence of servant leadership and that’s what makes Coach Campbell successful.”

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I agree with Nick Saban. I also agree with Kirby Smart.

Name, image and likeness should be regulated.

We want college athletes to finally have the opportunity to make money from their fame. If they want to promote a great local grocery chain, go for it. If they want to do promotions for car dealerships, that’s great.

If someone is offered $1 million to transfer from one school to another in this world of immediate eligibility transfer portal, then it is wrong.

That red flag was raised recently when former Detroit Lions quarterback Charlie Batch wrote that an investment firm he works with would pay the former Detroit Lions quarterback $1 million. ‘Oklahoma, Caleb Williams, to play at Eastern Michigan, whose football program is led by former Drake coach Chris Creighton.

Following: Name, image, lookalike compensation: It’s a revolution, but the NCAA, Congress and the Iowa Legislature leave coaches and athletes in limbo

We have seen other offers:

  • A Miami businessman has offered Hurricanes football players $500 a month to advertise a chain of mixed martial arts facilities.
  • An Austin, Texas company has promised a $50,000 scholarship to Longhorns offensive linemen.

These very public offers were aimed at future college football stars who spend a lot of time on social media. The word can spread about many things, including NIL opportunities.

Schools with financially able and willing fans to replace financial “gifts” with endowment and help build new facilities for athletes will become more common.

“I think what’s a bit concerning is how it’s used to get players to decide where they go to school because I don’t think that was the intention,” said Saban to reporters on the eve of the College Football Playoff Championship game. “I don’t think that would be the intention of the NCAA.

“I think we probably need some kind of national legislation to control that to some extent because I think there will be an imbalance in who can dominate college football if it’s not regulated properly. ‘one way or another.”

Saban is all about money-making athletes.

Just like Georgia’s Smart, but up to a point.

“You’re going to have the haves and the have-nots, and the separation that already exists is going to widen,” Smart said at the press conference. “Schools that have the ability and capability and are more competitive in the NIL market will be schools that outrank other schools.

“I don’t want (recruiting) decisions to be based on that, but ultimately a lot of young men want to make their decision based on that.”

So far, it hasn’t been a recruiting problem for new Iowa State men’s basketball coach TJ Otzelberger.

“We didn’t bring him in,” Otzelberger said, “but if he does, we’ll try to be very specific, that the reason they want to be at Iowa State is to play at the Hilton Coliseum, they want to be part of something bigger than themselves, and have that opportunity with a big fan base.

Iowa State columnist Randy Peterson entered his 50th year of sportswriting for the Des Moines Register in December 2021. Contact him at [email protected], 515-284-8132, and on Twitter at @RandyPete.

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