The Carolina Panthers gave former Temple and Baylor head coach Matt Rhule $60 million reasons to make the jump from amateur athletics to the NFL on Tuesday.
Carolina hired Rhule, signing him to a seven-year, $60 million contract in the process. It was an eye-opening deal for a guy that has no experience as even a coordinator at the professional level.
In looking back on Rhule’s successful college career, a quote from less than five years ago when he was the Owls’ coach is making its rounds.
It’s rather interesting stuff.
“This is hard man,” Rhule said back in 2015, via a CBS News affiliate in Philadelphia. “This is really, really hard. People start coming to your door and say hey, ‘I got four million dollars.’ But you know what, I’d rather coach Temple’s kids. I love these kids. I’d rather coach here and coach Temple’s kids then just sell my soul for four million dollars. That is the truth and that’s as honest and open as I can be with you guys.”
Things change in a half-decade. We’re not trying to bury Rhule in a “gotcha moment,” but this take seems hypocritical after he did indeed make that jump. Is “selling your soul” for $60 million different than $4 million?
The message Rhule sent to his now former Baylor players adds yet another layer to the entire situation.
If Rhule was all about his college players, why in the world did he let them find out through the media? Sure some of that is not in his control.
But the minute Rhule had agreed to become the Panthers’ head coach, his first course of action should have been to notify those on the Bears.
Either way, these comments from five years ago are now going to follow Rhule to the NFL. They will be a topic of conversation. That’s especially true given the comments some high-profile college coaches have made about transitioning to the NFL.