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Friday Flakes: Is the Surprising Retirement of Villanova’s Jay Wright a Sign Of Things to Come?

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Villanova v Kansas Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The retirement of Villanova basketball’s head coach, Jay Wright, surprised the sports world this week.

He’s still young. Just coached in a Final Four. Has won multiple national championships and just decides to walk away.

It does not appear to be for health reasons.

From CBSsports’ Gary Parrish:

Again, Wright has not said any of that — publicly. But sources have indicated that he, like many of his colleagues, simply reached a point where the job wasn’t nearly as fun as it used to be because of all of the things coaches now have to deal with that didn’t use to exist. Name, image and likeness rights were long overdue. The one-time transfer waiver is fair. Alternative options for high school prospects are great. Social media is fun. But even the coaches who agree with each of those previous four sentences — and, trust me, not all of them do — acknowledge that the combination of those things has made their jobs complex and in many ways unappealing. Do you really believe it’s a coincidence that North Carolina’s Roy Williams, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Villanova’s Jay Wright all retired within 13 months of each other — or that Maryland’s coach (Mark Turgeon) and Louisville’s coach (Chris Mack) just straight quit in the middle of the season?

I don’t.

I find this fascinating. I wonder if the professional ranks, and in particular the NBA, just looks too enticing for some of these coaches.

Some coaches are at that level solely for the money. The rest, however, are at that level because they love coaching basketball and love connecting with the players.

With the NIL issues as well as the one time transfer option, it might be turning into something besides coaching basketball. The case of Roy Williams and Coach K, I think the college basketball game is looking like a different animal than it was a decade ago.

I wonder if these early retirements are just a temporary thing or if it is a sign of things to come?


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