There are plenty of double-standards that make college football less appealing to the average fan, but none more unfair than the double-standard involving players and coaches and that is why the case of Temple’s Adonis Jennings is particularly interesting.
Jennings officially committed to Temple on Monday with this tweet:
— Adonis Jennings (@ADED_2) March 9, 2015
A coach can sign a contract with one FBS school and then “transfer” by taking a job at another without sitting out a year, while in most cases, a player trying to transfer and, in effect, take a job playing football at another FBS school has to sit out a year.
Jennings should be able to do the same thing head coach Paul Chryst did when he jumped from Pittsburgh to Wisconsin for the same job. Jennings was recruited to Pitt by Chryst in good faith and was one of the main reasons why he accepted a scholarship offer there. Chryst, in turn, burned Jennings’ red-shirt in a few late November games. Now that Chryst had a change of heart with Pitt, the NCAA should give player Jennings the same opportunity it did with coach Chryst. Jennings signed to play both at Pitt and for Jennings; now that those circumstances have changed, Jennings should be allowed to move just as freely.
A player like Jennings, a four-star wide receiver recruit who initially committed to Rutgers and then changed his commitment to Pittsburgh, should not have to go through the red tape he is now by reversing field and coming home to Temple. Philadelphia is just 15 minutes across the river from Jennings’ home in Timber Creek, NJ, and that will be the crux of his hardship waiver appeal, saying he wanted to be closer to his family. Temple is the closest FBS program to Timber Creek and that could be enough for his waiver appeal to be approved.
Still, if Chryst doesn’t have to sit out a year before taking over at Wisconsin neither should Jennings nor any other player caught up in those kind of coaching staff changes. If the NCAA balks, Jennings has what appears to be a great case for a class-action suit.