The Hurricanes transfer portal in 2023 will be full of a lot of departures. It has already started. Running back Thad Franklin has announced his entry and Striker Gilbert Frierson announced earlier in the week. The question posed to Mario Cristobal during the post-game press conference at Duke is now a fact. Hurricane players are not playing hard during games. The look on Cristobal’s face during that press conference and the repeating mantra sealed the player’s fate. He was going to go into the next week’s practice and grind that mantra into the players helmet’s. The other message he was going to convey–“This is my team, I’m the coach.”
Transfer portal departure highlights a bigger problem
In the “Through the Smoke” podcast, David Lake and Gaby Urrutia spoke about the roster turnover. Lake theorized that he expected at least 30 players from the current Hurricane roster to enter the transfer portal. They spoke about how Thad Franklin walked off the field during practice because he was upset at the coaching staff. Keyshawn Smith is also expected to enter the transfer portal. As per 247Sports.com, the Hurricanes currently have the ninth ranked recruiting class. A few parents of Hurricane players went on twitter and griped about how their kids weren’t getting enough playing time. Coach Cristobal said in a session with the media that “it is important to teach our own children to handle stuff like adults in a face-to-face manner.” Prized recruit Jaden Rashada flipped his committment to the Hurricanes to the University of Florida, which is prompting questions about the program’s direction. Read more here. Obviously, the culture surrounding the team has been one of selfish play, taking advantage of the recognition that comes with being a Miami Hurricane player.
Poor coaching may have created this
In “The U, Part 2,” the players spoke about how they wanted Larry Coker to be their coach because “since they knew what they had to do, they didn’t need an authority figure.” At that moment, the players’ exercised self-governance over one another and knew their responsibilities. The roster was steeped with elite talent and players had a proper mission and vision. Those players left but the relaxed enforcement by the coaching staff stayed behind. I had heard during the Manny Diaz era how rules enforcement was “relaxed.” I’m sure there was a notion among the coaches that if the players played relaxed, that they would play better. A “culture” was created or as radio host of the Locked on Canes podcast, Alex Danno stated, a diva-like mentality and a sense of entitlement. The “culture of losing” started with Larry Coker and was enabled by the administration year after year. Now, with the recommittment of the University to the football program, expect the Hurricanes to begin to perform better.
Future of Hurricanes program
Players have to produce on the field. As much as recruiting, coaching, athletic directors and school presidents can effect the direction of a program, they don’t play the games. A 2013 article by Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times highlights the effect of media exposure to kids athletic talent. This feeds the “diva-like mentality” in athletes when they are glorified for their talents. The writers concluded that when the players run into problems with playing time, they decide to transfer instead of trying to work harder and improve. It is well documented that the direction of the Hurricanes football program over the last 20 years has mired in mediocrity. Any recruit or transfer candidate that has committed to the program will know that their road to the NFL will improve by playing under Coach Cristobal.
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