Muffet McGraw has seen it all and done it all.
But right now, McGraw doesn’t much like what she sees.
The legendary women’s college basketball coach has the seventh-most wins all-time (936), two national championships (2001, 2018) and nine Final Four appearances.
She officially retired following the 2020 season. But McGraw isn’t done trying to help grow the game.
Amid massive changes to the college sports landscape due to conference realignment, coaches across the country are speaking out about the affects on their athletes.
“My question is: Did we count the cost? And I’m not talking about the financial cost. I’m talking about: Did we count the cost for the student-athletes involved in this decision,” Missouri football coach Eli Drinkwitz said over the weekend. What cost is it to those student-athletes? We’re talking about a football decision, they based [it] on football, but what about softball and baseball, who have to travel cross-country? Did we ask about the cost to them?”
Now McGraw is echoing his sentiments.
“Time to stop whining about where college football is head and figure out how to save the rest of college sports,” she said in a tweet. “Let football break w(ith) the NCAA and form their own league, and let college basketball and the Olympic sports continue the conference model. There has to be another way to preserve all that is good in college athletics and give our student athletes the experience they deserve.”
Fans largely supported her proposal.
I think there’s a real chance this happens in the next round of media rights deals. And it should. https://t.co/IIxsc06mK8
— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) August 7, 2023
Such a move would be unprecedented and would come with its own set of challenges. But it would also fix the logistical issues teams are currently presented with.
McGraw joins other legendary basketball coaches like Rick Pitino in calling for change.
Doesn't it make more sense for football to break away to separate leagues and allow the rest of the sports to compete regionally? Rivalries remain n minor sports don't spend half their day looking for bad food at airport restaurants!!!
— Rick Pitino (@RealPitino) August 6, 2023
It’s yet to be scene whether or not they’ll get what they want. But it’s clear the proposed model is unsustainable. And that alone should be enough to find a different way.