Laura Rutledge photo from espnpressroom.com

Laura Rutledge: Saban’s Retirement Having Impact On College Football

Laura Rutledge, host of NFL Live and SEC Nation, joined Sport Scene Thursday to discuss the NFL Playoffs, NIL, the transfer portal, conference realignment and the state of Gators athletics.

Rutledge’s Stance on the NFL Playoffs

Rutledge discussed the Philadelphia Eagles wild-card exit and how Eagles coach Nick Sirianni needs to navigate the offseason. She said the Eagles have not been able to recover from losing former offensive coordinator Shane Steichen and former defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. Steichen is now the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and Gannon is now the Arizona Cardinals head coach.

Rutledge also discussed the Dallas Cowboys failing expectations, saying it was the most talented roster the Cowboys have had recently. She also gave props to the Houston Texans, whom she believes has a chance to upset the Baltimore Ravens.

The Changing World of College Athletics

Rutledge talked about the impact former Alabama head coach Nick Saban is having across college football. She said due to NIL, conference realignment and the expansion of the College Football Playoff, the outlook of college athletics is changing.

Later, she mentioned that conference realignment could make college football look more like a professional style league. However, she said even with the structure of college football looking more professional, people will still be able to enjoy the sport because the aspects fans enjoy will not go away.

Player Compensation

Moreover, she said she thinks players should be compensated because they are the ones performing on the field. Rutledge said the compensation is changing the athletes’ lives.

She said she wants the players to have the opportunity to be in the best situation they can possibly put themselves in. However, Rutledge said there needs to be more control over NIL, and it needs to have a more improved structure.

Her Opinion on the State of Gator Athletics

Rutledge said she knows Gator football and basketball is not where it needs to be. She also acknowledged the University of Florida is not doing as well in the transfer portal as other schools they compete with. She said this year is very important to develop the talent at UF, since the transfer portal rankings aren’t high. If that does not improve, Rutledge said the concerns of fans will continue.

About Jackson Colding

Jackson Colding is a second-year journalism sports and media student at the University of Florida.

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