Have you ever wanted to be a college football coach? Well, here’s your chance.
For the second straight year, the Arkansas State football program will allow a fan to coach its spring game. All you have to do is be the highest bidder on eBay.
Last year’s winning bid? $11,700.
“We’re having fun,” Arkansas State athletic director Terry Mohajir said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “Sometimes people take themselves a little too seriously. Our new head coach, Blake Anderson, he’s fun. We wanted a guy that had fun (and who didn’t) take himself too seriously, (but was serious) when it came to football. This is why we’re doing it, man. We’re on a world wide web search for a new coach. I haven’t checked, but someone told me as of (Wednesday the highest bid) was like $8,600.”
Nick Bhardwaj – a mid-20s tech guru – made the winning bid last year. Mohajir and his staff spared no expense.
“We had a live press conference,” Mohajir said, laughing. “We introduced him. We had a buy-out (clause). If he left before the day was over, he had to take the AD to lunch or dinner. It was great. We signed a little contract with him. We framed it.”
This year’s winner also gets to choose someone to coach against.
“You get a draft, you get to go for it on fourth down – all kinds of stuff,” Mohajir said.
Believe it or not, Anderson was responsible for this fundraising idea.
“Coach Anderson has done it at a couple other places, where they had a guest coach and they would just basically ask somebody, ‘Hey, you want to pay $5,000 and be a guest coach?’” Mohajir explained. “I said, ‘Well hell, let’s just do it on eBay.’ He’s like, ‘Really? You would do that?’ I said, ‘Hell yeah, let’s do it, man. I think that’s kind of fun.’ He goes, ‘You never know who you’re going to get.’ I said, ‘Well, you never know what you’re going to get unless you try it. Let’s try it.”
They tried it.
“It came on strong, and I think it’ll come on strong again,” Mohajir said. “We’re a lot higher now than we were at this point last year in the bidding.”
Arkansas State hosts its spring game April 17 at 7 p.m. ET.
“Everybody is tickled to death,” Mohajir said. “They have so much fun with it.”
Yes, everyone does – except the NCAA, which was concerned about Arkansas State having too many instructional coaches. By rule, teams are only allowed to have nine.
The school had to sign a waiver.
“I said, ‘I can only hope that they send us a secondary infraction on this,’” Mohajir said, chuckling. “I can only hope. We’d get a lot of media attention on that. But anyway, they handled it appropriate, and they did a good job. We appreciate it. Sometimes people at the national office – sometimes they kind of wonder, ‘Hey, what are these folks on campuses doing?’ When we told them it wasn’t going to be an instructional advantage, I think they understood it.”