Mario Cristobal is why players should take advantage of the transfer portal

Last week, the NCAA approved changes to the transfer portal. Three days later, Miami head football Mario Cristobal showed why the portal is so important — so that players can get away from coaches like him.

It wasn’t a coincidence. It was fate.

In case you missed one of the dumbest plays in the history of sports: The then-No. 17 ranked Hurricanes, who were 4-0, played (2-3) Georgia Tech on Saturday. The Hurricanes were leading 20-17 with 33 seconds left on the clock when Cristobal decided against taking a knee and running the clock out for the guaranteed win. Instead, Miami ran it and fumbled. The Yellow Jackets recovered, eventually scored, and won in the final seconds.

It was March Madness on a football field in October.

“It will transcend sports, the stupidity of Mario Cristobal. People are going to be talking about that. There are very few times in our industry when you see something so bone-headed and moronic as what we saw from Miami and [Cristobal]. And it pains me to say that because I actually keep in touch with Mario all the time — but that doesn’t matter.

“We would be derelict in our job by not calling him out as he was in his job. I had a coach text me this morning saying, ‘Have you ever seen a more egregious of a display of coaching malpractice as that?’ The answer is no.”Paul Finebaum, ESPN.

“Saturday night was the worst loss in program history,” Dan Le Batard, Meadowlark Media.

What the f*ck are we doing?” — Miami player caught mouthing on camera with tears in his eyes.

“I made the wrong call,” Cristobal said during his weekly news conference. “I take full ownership in not taking a knee and giving them the opportunity to have a couple extra plays and preventing us from sealing the win.”

Apologies lose their luster when you’re a two-time offender.

Back in 2018, when Cristobal was the head coach at Oregon, the Ducks were up 31-28 late in the fourth against Stanford. Instead of taking a knee for the win, Cristobal’s team ran it. They fumbled. Their opponent recovered it. They eventually lost — in overtime.

It’s beyond fair to think Cristobal should be fired, given that at minimum there should have been discussions taking place in Coral Gables about his job status. For the adults on their staff, it’s going to be hard to work with someone who has a record of giving games away — but at least they’re on salary. But for the players, it’s going to be extremely hard for them to take “coaching” from a man that ruined their undefeated record — they’re not on salary.

With the new changes to the transfer portal rules, the window for FCS and FBS football players has been reduced from 60 to 45 days. Check out this breakdown from USA Today Sports:

  • The NCAA Division I allows undergraduate football athletes two transfer windows. The first transfer window, which takes place after the regular season in December, lasts 30 days.
  • The second window is in the spring and is open for 15 days in late April.
  • Athletes on teams participating in the College Football Playoff are also eligible for an additional five-day transfer window in January.

The number of days may have changed, but players are still allowed to find homes elsewhere without the approval of a coach. Since the creation of the transfer portal, it has been something that’s irked critics, as they believe it’s taken away the “loyalty” of a sport that exploits and doesn’t compensate its players, while it exemplifies how “this generation is spoiled and gives up too easily.”

While some parts of that may be true in some cases, the transfer portal has also proven that it can be used for good — like being an escape vehicle for players who want to get away from Mario Cristobal.



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