There are a few college football programs that the world declares “back” when they have a good season. Miami is one of those programs, and Hurricanes hope new head coach Manny Diaz can get the rest of the football world declaring The U is back.
But Diaz admits it won’t be easy. It’s something coaches new to a program often say, but this is a bit different. In fact, he’s saying some interesting things have made it tougher for his program right out of the gate. Namely, Kevin Durant and his impact on The Teens Of Today.
Diaz says that recruits are tougher to lure than usual, and it’s all the NBA’s fault. Though it’s an entirely different sport, apparently the 2016 Western Conference Finals has changed college football forever.
According to the Miami Herald, Diaz blamed Kevin Durant for losing to the Warriors while he was with the Thunder, then heading to Golden State in free agency for making teens want to “go where the winning is.”
“Look, the world has changed, and I’m going to blame the NBA. Once Kevin Durant went to the Warriors after they were 3-1 up when he was at Oklahoma City — kids want to go where the winning is. So, that’s hard because you have to create the winning to get them to come to where the winning is. So, there’s a natural tendency to be drawn to the places that are currently on top, which, that’s fair.
Diaz pointed out, though, that Kids These Days need to get a new impression of Miami and work hard with an up and coming program. But the sentiment he’s blaming Durant for — athletes wanting to go to top programs rather than be part of a rebuilding one — isn’t exactly a new development in college athletics. Plus, to say that these athletes — who are not compensated for their services and need to put themselves in the best possible positions to actually gain compensation for their work in the future — owe less successful schools special consideration for any reason seems silly.
But hey, it’s a decent way to get a soundbite covered by NBA media. It just doesn’t mean it’s a good take.