So why doesn’t the NCAA change this? Because the coach’s cult is good for business. College athletes play for a maximum of four years, and the best football and basketball players generally don’t stay that long. This is barely enough time to get them nationally known.
Rivalries between colleges can be branded, of course — but as any marketer knows, personalities sell better than abstract brands. The coaches are a crucial part of the product. That is a part of why the coaches make the big bucks. And in America, a high salary is a part of celebrity. This vicious cycle should end. There are, of course, some cult coaches with sterling reputations. But remember: Until year ago, Paterno was one of them.
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