Southern Miss' Coach Bought Suits for Players for Their First Post-Football Interviews

By DJ Byrnes on December 10, 2013 at 9:40a
Southern Miss

From Business Insider via the Hattiesburg American:

In a time when there is increasing debate over paying college athletes, it's refreshing to hear the story of how Southern Miss football coach Todd Monken found a small way to help his players that was not against the rules of the NCAA and its iron fist.

Using funds donated to the school's football program, Monken and his staff purchased suits for each of the team's 17 seniors according to Jason Munz of The purpose of the suits was to make sure each player had something to wear to their first job interview.

... Monken is in his first year as head coach at Southern Miss after spending two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State. Since the players have exhausted their eligibility the gifts did not violate NCAA rules.

This is on the same vein as Urban Meyer's "real life Wednesdays." There's A LOT of empty talk by college coaches about helping their players develop as "young men" under their tutelage, so it's refreshing to see somebody (almost literally) put their money when their mouth is.

Hat tip to Southern Miss and Todd Monken.


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OSUStu's picture

First, I think this is a terrific thing Southern Miss is doing.  But...

Since the players have exhausted their eligibility the gifts did not violate NCAA rules.

This can't be accurate.  Or if it is...this is a troubling loophole in the rulebook.  What is to stop a school from promising a recruit more substantive gifts or cash upon graduation?

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

AndyVance's picture

Bingo. I love this story, but there is a fine line between heart-warming, classy gesture and intentionally skirting the rules (this story clearly seems to be the former, obviously).

spqr2008's picture

Good for him and the program's donors.  What's a decent suit cost at Men's Warehouse (I know they can be more expensive than some cheaper places, but a decent suit is going to cost a bit), $450?

AndyVance's picture

If you play your cards right, $450 will buy you two suits at MW, because they're famous for their buy one, get one half-off or something like that. But yes, $450 would buy a very nice suit at MW. Hell, George Zimmer should seize this as a promotional opportunity and work with schools where they have stores. Could be a win-win.

Turban Meyer's picture

George Zimmer was fired by his own company. He's no longer part of Men's Wearhouse. 

AndyVance's picture

Guess I missed that little memo. Maybe I should renew my subscription to the WSJ.

EvanstonBuckeye's picture

And he no longer "loves it" I'm guessing.

CC's picture

He got forced out...

Denny's picture

"A decent suit at Men's Wearhouse" costs nothing because such a thing does not exist.


AndyVance's picture

Hangs head in shame after looking at closet full of suits purchased at Men's Wearhouse.

acBuckeye's picture

"I guarantee it!!"

acBuckeye's picture

Nice story, but I have a feeling if it were OSU doing this, there'd be an investigation immediately.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

More coaches should do this. I think a nice suit is a great gift for parting seniors. It sort of symbolizes a graduation into manhood. Kudos to Southern Miss.

Denny's picture

That's care. Good work, coach.


otrain2416's picture

This is awesome Bravo to this coach 

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

Doc's picture

Very nice.  I say cudos to Southern Miss and their staff.  Everyone of those seniors will need that suit for any job interview they will go on.  Nice way to give them a step up as they set to graduate.

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William's picture

Good for them. No one should have an issue with this, at all.