The Micah Mazzccua saga is another headache for Florida football and Billy Napier in a string of ongoing headaches for the program. Since the turn of the calendar to 2023, Napier has had Jaden Rashada not show up, jam-packed weekends wooing guys in the transfer portal, jam-packed weekends wooing high school recruits, and now he has to wonder if one of the guys he got from the transfer portal is going to reenter the portal.
Because the other headache that Napier had to deal with was replacing multiple position coaches that all left for the NFL. But given all the headaches piling up in college football, the NFL looks more appealing daily.
Florida Football: Football Manager 2023
College football, for decades, had advantages over the NFL. Coaches could run their program as they saw fit and got to hand-pick all their players. Job security is also better in college than it is in the NFL. Even the worst college coaches make it to year two before getting fired.
That landscape is ever-shifting, though, and increasingly, college coaches will have to ask themselves if it is worth it. Take the Rashada saga, for instance. Napier and his staff probably poured hours of their lives and days away from home into Rashada to convince him to be a member of Florida football, only for him to not show up because of miscommunication due to NIL.
The transfer portal also creates endless headaches for coaches. Coaches can get a player on campus, develop and mentor them, and push them to succeed, only for the player to leave because of the most minute of disputes. It also makes it impossible to project roster builds from year to year.
Or, in the case of Mazzccua, Napier and crew are having to play mediators to figure out why Mazzccua tweeted out he wants to reenter the transfer portal.
In the NFL, all these headaches are handled by the GM. All the coaches have to worry about is coaching. Yes, in season, their hours are insane and are not recommended for any human, but from February through August, they mostly get to stay home.
More importantly, if a player is under contract, they can count on that player returning the following season. Sure, there are holdouts heading into training camp, but these issues are almost always resolved prior to the first game and, again, are handled by the GM.
Truthfully it makes sense that Dan Mullen always seemed to have his eye on the NFL. Mullen wanted to draw up play schemes, and at his best, he was as good as there was at it. The recruiting and NIL negotiations weren’t really his thing.
There are ultimately limited slots to be in the NFL, as there are only 32 teams. But much like the Titanic had limited lifeboats to salvation, it’s increasingly difficult to criticize those that want to get off the sinking ship that is college football.