Notre Dame Fighting Irish HC cites 'embarrassing' state of college sports as he retires

Notre Dame hockey coach Jeff Jackson to retire, criticizing the state of college sports and its impact on student-athletes.
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Fans in the college sports world have heard it before. However, until this week, they haven’t heard it coming directly from a Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach

The state of college sports has gotten to a point where some coaches are deciding to call it a career. And when they do call it a career, they take the time to also call out the people they feel are leading to the downfall of their profession.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey coach Jeff Jackson hasn’t had a ton of success of late. That doesn’t diminish the level of a legend he is to those who know college hockey well. And that’s why his decision to leave in part because of what his beloved sport has become, should worry onlookers.

Retiring Notre Dame Fighting Irish coach calls out higher ups in college sports

“Notre Dame doesn’t feel this way,” Jackson said when explaining why next season will be his last. “But when I read somewhere they don’t want us using the terminology ‘student-athlete’ anymore, I find that embarrassing. That’s not what college athletics is meant to be.”

Those comments are similar to what Alabama head coach Nick Saban said when he decided to call it a career at Alabama. Saban also talked about how the sport has changed since he first started.

I’m not a fan of either men alluding to players wanting to control their own destiny really being part of the problem. Both seem to miss that it’s how other people have adjusted to those changes that is the real problem.

Still, they do have a point that NIL, and unlimited transfers have changed the sport. And that there are even more people being crooked, out in the open.

“Everything is cutthroat,” Jackson said. “Stealing everybody’s players and recruits. It’s just not what it used to be, and it’s disappointing.”

Perhaps the worst part is that it seems like things aren’t going to get better. Coaches, like the soon to be former Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey head coach are going to leave rather than adapt.