‘College Football Is Ruined!’ Says CFB Legend Lou Holtz On OutKick Hot Mic

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Legendary college football coach and analyst Lou Holtz joined Tuesday’s edition of “Hot Mic with Hutton & Withrow” to discuss the modern landscape of college football.

And that landscape, according to Holtz, is not good.

Holtz is not a fan of the new age of CFB, dictated by Name, Image and Likeness deals and the transfer portal’s free trade. He decried the current state of the sport, saying it pays a disservice to the core of college football: an opportunity for young men to face adversity and work hard enough to make it.

Lou Holtz, Head Coach for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish before the NCAA Independent Conference college football game against the University of Purdue Boilermakers on 24th September 1988. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Allsport/Getty Images)

“Well, thank God I’m not in coaching today,” Holtz told Hutton and Withrow. ‘They’re really ruining college football.”

The ex-Notre Dame coach knocked the transfer portal for allowing guys to escape depth chart battles and supported that college athletes should get a job outside of athletics to learn the ways of life in their collegiate journeys.

Watch the full ‘Hot Mic’ segment:

Lou Holtz Digs Into New Era of CFB

The transfer portal proved helpful for overlooked, talented football players buried in depth charts. Now it’s different.

For traditional college football fans, the lack of adversity presented by the transfer system portends a transactional element to the game that emphasizes business over development.

“Number one is the transfer portal,” Holtz stated, teeing off on the allowance for football players to prematurely jump teams in favor of a new (and typically, easier) opportunity.

“Alabama, which has great recruiting, has 16 transfers this year. Georgia has like 50 going. You can’t tell who’s going to be good.”

Holtz then delivered a gut punch to the NIL era.

“I’ve always felt an athlete should be paid if he worked at Wal-Mart or McDonald’s, but not to play college football,” Holtz shared.

“You learn in college football that you go there to get an education. They have sports in college because one of the great educational things you can do is learn to be a teammate. You learn to be compared to be learned, overcome adversity, you learn to be patient.

“And that’s what the transfer portal, I think, really hurts a player. If he doesn’t have instant success, he goes rapidly somewhere else, … that’s not the way college football should be. You learn patience, you learn perseverance, and you learn to overcome adversity to wait your turn.”

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Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.


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  1. Completely agree with Coach Holtz. They’ve ruined the game. They have no idea how bad it’s going to get. The ‘players are there to get an education’ thing is dead. They’re not. At least not many of them in the big programs. Loyalty? Teamwork? Forget it. It’s NBA mentality now. It’s all about me, now. It’s every man for himself now.
    And the TV contracts have ripped up the conferences. Old rivalries will be quashed, conference rivalries are meaningless now. USC in the Big Ten? It’s all a TV production now. No reason to be loyal to any team any longer. Kids play for a year, transfer for a year, then leave altogether.
    They’ve killed it. It’ll still walk around for a few more years, but it’s already dying and everyone knows it. Guess who will be in the playoffs this year? Same crew as is always in the playoffs. How long before you finally get bored with it?

  2. I’ve always felt that athletes, to a certain extent have always been compensated for playing. They get free tuition and room and board worth hundreds of thousands over four years, free tutors, great meals specific to their needs, etc that other students don’t get. Sure, they are required to work hard for the sport but, to me, they are compensated very well.

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