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Rogue Band of Coaches Make Football Year-Round

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No more gloomy days ahead when there's no such thing as an off-season.
No more gloomy days ahead when there’s no such thing as an off-season.

by Con Chapman
Lifestyles Editor

SILLSBEE, Texas. It is often said, and without a trace of a smile, that college football is the most popular sport in Texas, and that spring football is a close second. “There’s nothing like it,” says Norville Warden, an Assistant Professor of Zone Defenses at the University of Texas-Sillsbee. “You’re out there in the sun watching kids play for the chance to play more football in the fall.”

But stark reality wrapped in a tongue-in-cheek jibe doesn’t satisfy the apparently infinite appetite of Texans for football. “We’ve got two seasons we ain’t even using,” says Charlie “Bum” Nadick, an alumnus of the Texas School of Metallurgy and Electrolysis, a small college in Port Arthur, Texas. “What are we supposed to do for entertainment,” he whines, “Watch Dancing With the Stars re-runs with our wives?”

That thought was voiced aloud at a Texas Small College Coaches Conference recently, and the word soon became the deed: in defiance of NCAA regulations, the mid-size campuses that get no attention when big television contracts are signed will switch to an all-football, all-the-time format beginning in August. “Texas and Baylor and them big schools will just start practicing around then,” says Warden, referring to a proposed August 15th start date. “We’ll be going at it for real.”

The plight of college football has begun to weigh on the nation’s conscience in recent years, as Congress intervened to end the Bowl Championship Series when it failed to produce a consensus national championship. “I’m not saying healthcare and education and unemployment aren’t important issues,” says Rep. Holman Rees (D-Chitlin Switch TX). “But are you really gonna let little boys go to bed crying if the AP and Coaches Polls pick different #1 teams, and neither one’s from Texas?   I should hope not.”

Games will be televised on ESPN 13, local cable outlets and TXSTAR, the closed circuit distance learning system run by the state’s Department of Higher Education. “Introduction to Linebacking 101 is typically over-subscribed at our campuses fall semester,” says Gene Ray Duggins, Director of Mass Open On-line Courses (MOOCs) for the Texas Agricultural Schools Association. “This will give kids who would otherwise be stuck in marching band or pep squad a shot at a better future.”