Former SEC Coach Dan Mullen Tells OutKick 360: ‘NCAA Really Needs A Vision’

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ESPN analyst and former University of Florida and Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen joined OutKick 360 to talk about all things college football.

One of the things Mullen touched on was the future of college football, specifically how the NCAA seems to be rudderless.

“It’s interesting because the NCAA — the NCAA really needs a vision of what is gonna happen and they don’t want to be that strong voice and that vision right now,” Mullen said.

He talked about how the NCAA is selective in what issues they look at and how they enforce them. Another stumbling block is the inability of coaches to get on the same page. Mullen said that competitiveness gets in the way of getting things accomplished.

“If I’m in the meeting and I say, ‘hey, I really think we should do this’ — in SEC meetings — you immediately have thirteen other coaches saying, ‘no, that can’t be a good idea. He must have thought of that for some way to give himself an advantage over all of us.'”

Mullen explained that this dynamic is also present at the conference level.

“If you can get all of the SEC coaches to agree to something, say, ‘hey, the SEC coaches think this is a great idea,’ Immediately, the Big 12 coaches, or Big Ten coaches, are saying ‘that can’t be good for the Big Ten. If the SEC wants it, it can’t be good for us.

“They’re almost just so suspicious of the competitive advantage of coaches’ ideas creating what’s good for the future of college football.”

Dan Mullen led the Florida Gators from 2018 to 2021. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

The Needs Stronger Leadership, According To Mullen

The former Gators coach explained that those suspicions prevent coaches from having a unified vision for the sport. He explained, however, that even if coaches did get on the same page, the NCAA would think an idea brought forth by coaches would only benefit them and not players.

He also touched on the NCAA’s lack of leadership in doing what’s best for college football. How a one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work for college football or college athletics as a whole

“The NCAA needs to kind of say, ‘hey, this is what’s best for the direction of major college football. Let’s separate that these are the rules, this is how it works,’ because you can’t govern them on the same rules you’re gonna govern division 3 football, and even FCS football,” he explained. “They just don’t have the same budgets.”

Mullen said that the NCAA may even need a full reset.

“Just start anew with everything. From the calendar to recruiting to NIL, and hey, if you want to unionize the players and collective bargain, do that,” Mullen said. “We’re going to make a decision — “This is what’s best in the big picture of it” — and it’s going to be uncomfortable for people.”

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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