Dan Mullen downplays NFL rumors but notes future of college football have coaches contemplating their futures
Did Dan Mullen have any interest in leaving Florida for the NFL this offseason?
Speculation that Mullen may be eyeing that jump was a hot topic after ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reported that information just over a month ago during a live segment on ESPN.
Of course, Mullen did not make the jump to the NFL despite the fact there were several head coaching openings at the game’s highest level this offseason.
For the first time since that report aired, Mullen was asked to address those rumors during his first press conference to open spring football in Gainesville.
“I didn’t interview with any NFL teams this year,” Mullen said on Tuesday. “Most of my focus was getting us back to Atlanta. Lot of rumors out there but I didn’t speak with anybody.”
When asked a follow-up regarding his interest in making a jump to the NFL, Mullen shared an interesting response.
“One thing that I think is interesting, a lot of people are trying to figure what the future of college football is going to look like going forward,” Mullen said. “I love being here at the University of Florida, I think we have a great program, we have a great fan base, great history, the opportunity to become a championship program every single year.
“I think there are concerns with coaches is what the future of college football is going to look like, which I think there are a lot of uncertainties right now of how that’s going to shape up. That may not be completely answering your question but I think that’s the fairest way as people look at things and look at the future. What is college football going to look like in three or four years and I think there’s a lot of uncertainty with that, that we are trying to figure out as coaches to see what our futures are going to hold.”
While Mullen didn’t give any insight into what exactly those “uncertainties” are that are causing angst amongst some college coaches, it’s safe to assume Florida’s coach is hinting at the upcoming Name, Image and Likeness laws that will allow athletes the option to seek some form of payment from sponsorships and perhaps even the transfer portal and the one-time transfer rule that may be passed by the NCAA this offseason.
College coaches are slowly losing more and more control of their programs, combine that with the never-ending recruiting battles that often define success and failure on the field, and it’s easy to see why many college coaches may be eager to jump to the NFL if given that option.