The college sport that could change the most in the near future? College soccer!
Good morning, and thanks for spending part of your day with Extra Points.
I realize that we're in the middle of a dramatic period of change within college sports. NIL, the transfer portal, the work of the transformation committee, and various legal challenges to the NCAA's ability to enforce the status quo have completely upended how recruiting and roster management work for most sports, perhaps most dramatically football and college basketball.
But those are the only forces that are pushing college athletics to change. Sometimes, that change comes from coaches and current athletes. That may be the case right now for men's soccer, as a coalition of athlete and coaches have been pushing to change the calendar of the sport for years. Now, they're close to victory.
In today's Going For Two, Bryan and I sat down with Maryland men's head coach Sasho Cirovski, one of the leading advocates for what's called the 21st Century Model, a system that would move men's soccer from the Fall into a Fall and Spring sport, with the championship occurring in May.
The hope is that this system will make the championship more exciting, will reduce wear and tear on the current athletes, reduce injury risks, and help grow the game.
In this episode, Bryan and I discuss, among other issues:
- How NIL and the portal has shaped recruiting and roster management in men's soccer
- What Sasho would say to schools who worry they won't have enough trainers or SID personnel to accommodate additional sports in the Spring
- What changing the calendar might mean for expanding the potential talent pool for college soccer
- Why there has been more momentum for big changes in men's college soccer vs women's college soccer
- and more:
This was a really interesting conversation for me, even as a person who doesn't follow men's soccer super closely, which makes me think you'll enjoy it as well.
There's also some non-soccer talk near the end, as Bryan wraps up spring conference meetings in Arizona, including talk about who is advocting for various changes in the football recruiting process, and who might actually benefit (surprise! Not JUST Alabama!).
Going For Two is the free podcast of Extra Points, which drops every Wednesday and Friday. You can find it via Apple Podcasts, Spotify and wherever else you get your podcasts.
You can also find the videos of our previous podcasts right here.
Here are the other super interesting things we published this week
- Free Extra Points subscribers got an update on what I'm hearing on several mid-major realignment fronts, from the Southland, the WAC, the ASUN, Chicago State, and more.
- Our ($) readership got a column on the potentially exploitive agent-athlete relationship in the new NIL world, the difference between NIL and the bagman-market, and who is looking out for the fans.
- Our ($) readership also got a look at the big hire from MOGL, and what it may tell us about how the NIL space, and particularly the NIL marketplace space, is changing in the near future. SPOILER: I think marketplaces are about to become more than just marketplaces. They have to!
- Our ($) readers also got additional context into what's going on with conference spring meetings, from media rights to transformation legislation and more.
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We're excited to share some more original reporting next week, as well as something very stupid that we're excited to share with you.
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