The Money Is Talking to Kyler Murray, Actually, it’s Screaming at him.

Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs the ball against Arizona State Sun Devils defensive back Lloyd Carrington (8) during the first half of a college football game during the Advocare Texas Kickoff game at NRG Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. ( Karen Warren / Houston Chronicle )

When Kyle Allen opted to leave Texas A&M football, there was a belief that it was because freshman quarterback Kyler Murray was ready to take the role of starter, that he was going to bring back the Johnny Manziel-era of exciting football. Additionally, people thought that he would play a vital role in the Aggies baseball team when Nick Banks departed. However, Murray shot that down when he announced that he would transfer out of Texas A&M, While his final destination is still unknown at this time, one of the more popular theories that has been floated around is Murray going to a junior college to play baseball in order to be eligible for the 2016 draft.

Naturally, this has led to plenty of discontent in College Station, both in the football and baseball circles. Murray’s teammates on both teams believe that the former 5-star recruit is yet another example of an entitled student athlete leaving because the pressure, or the money, has gotten to him.

Both Banks, and Aggie lineman German Ifedi have indirectly called out Murray on his so-called entitlement, with Banks even saying that high school athletes have to earn the honor of being a somebody.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Doesn’t matter what you did in HS you’re a nobody when you step on to campus. You prove that YOU ARE somebody. Nothing is given you earn it</p>&mdash; Nick Banks (@Nick_Banks4) <a href=”https://twitter.com/Nick_Banks4/status/677265000969334784″>December 16, 2015</a></blockquote> //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Going past the so-called entitlement theory, is it possible that more and more college baseball players, even high school players, could take this route? Could they commit to a big school, then change their minds before the season starts so that they can get the money they feel they deserve?

We saw this phenomena arise at the end of the 2014 collegiate summer season when highly touted Cal State Fullerton pitcher Phil Bickford left the program to pitch at the College of Southern Nevada. Immediately afterwards, former first overall pick Brady Aiken chose not to attend UCLA and instead, after a long period of deliberation, went to IMG Academy. The same happened with pitchers Mac Marshall and Jacob Nix, who went to Chipola College and the IMG Academy as well. A year later, Bickford was chosen by the San Francisco Giants, and Aiken was chosen by the Cleveland Indians in the first round. Marshall and Nix were top five round picks as well.

While I have no problem with junior college players getting drafted, part of me feels that, from a moral perspective, if a high school baseball player wants to go pro and ends up choosing college, they should at least honor the three year commitment, or in the case of certain players who are draft eligible as sophomores, two years. It doesn’t matter if Kyler Murray was one of the highest rated infield prospects out of high school; he had two choices, go pro out of high school, in which case he likely would have been a high draft pick, or go to college and figure out if he wanted to play baseball or football. The issue with Murray is that he’s a highly touted prospect in both sports, and while it would be difficult to determine if he would have been a first round talent by 2018, he still would have had to have made a choice.

Whatever motivation Murray had to transfer, whether it was football or baseball related, I find his decision lines up perfectly with the baseball offseason and the megacontracts that have already been doled out. Even Jeff Samardzjia, a former college football wide receiver and current second starter, received a 5 year deal worth over $100 million. I don’t believe that Murray thinks he’ll get that type of money out the gate, he’d have to be a very good player with a solid track record to earn that type of contract, but I’m certain that if he is planning on leaving football in order to chase baseball money, he’s thinking of a lucrative signing bonus.

Nobody is telling Murray he can’t leave Texas A&M, but whatever reason he leaves, he’s going to leave a very bitter taste in people’s mouths. If it’s because of the coaching situation at Texas A&M and he wants to play at another school, Murray is going to come off as spoiled and unable to handle pressure. If it’s because he wants to have a quicker path to professional baseball, he’s going to come off as an impatient and entitled, completely focused on the money.

Whatever motivation Murray has, let’s hope that his decision doesn’t influence other kids to do the same thing. If they commit to a major program for college baseball, they should stay there, otherwise, why even commit? Let’s hope that this is just a small phase of young kids that think they are major league ready, the last thing we need is another one-and-done sport.

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3 comments

  1. Bruce Davison

    Child please! We talking bout money.Murray got skills with options kust like Coaches who leave for more money. If some one is willing to pay that kind money for a legal opportunity.Whats un moral about that.Get over it T Am hes gone. Call Kyle Allen back.

  2. Michael C

    I couldn’t disagree more with this article. I don’t think a kid with a enormous sum of money in the bank really cares how bitter that taste is in your mouth.

    “Honor the three year commitment.”
    Why? Maybe this year has been humbling to him? Maybe he realized that big time college football isn’t for him so he’s taking the fast track in baseball? Maybe it’s ok for him to because college football is a business. Point, blank, period. In this age of letting adults woo kids to their schools, a school they would have never attended without their talent, and making millions off of them, all the while letting most get a degree from a course full of high school level classes. You do know as well that those scholarships are not guaranteed for four years? They are renewed yearly and even if a player has done everything asked of them, they are still at risk of being told to move on. You just don’t have the talent to cut it, while in the recruiting visit telling their parents all about the college degree they’ll be receiving one day. Or maybe if the kid decides to stay, the coach you committed to bolts like a thief in the night for the chase of the almighty dollar, so why can’t this kid do what he has to do to be successful.

    So many of these kids are spoiled and entitled, but this piece is somewhat hypocritical as well. The more money that’s made, journalist write about these kids more and more, pay recruiting sites open, and these guys are now treated like rock stars all before they’ve taken their first snap in college. Fans sending death threats to kickers and reminding you on every message board how much you suck. Handle pressure? They’ve been doing that from the first day they stepped on campus. We helped make that world so now we want to get on our soap boxes and complain because a kid chased money. You soap boxers sound like the MLB bigwigs when they turned the other cheek when they knew Sosa, Bonds, and McGuire were juicing.

    Look, we can’t be the moral compass for these kids. I keep using the word “kid(s)” because these are young men that haven’t had enough life experiences for us to judge them making a selfish decision for themselves. I wouldn’t blame them one bit and if your best employable skill is bouncing a ball, hitting for average, or even solving quadratic equations, go get that money if that is your joy. All the coaches around them have done that at one time or another so don’t be annoyed when a teenager makes that decision to finally make it.

  3. Kevin

    The NCAA is about *nothing* other than making massive amounts of money on the backs of their unpaid labor, er, “student athletes”. I find it hard to blame any kid for choosing to take the money, too. If Kyler Murray’s knee gets blown out in A&M’s first game, who’s going to care about him then? No one.

    College sports are corrupt and morally bankrupt; if I had a son who had the option of taking pro money, I would encourage him to do so, and college program be damned.

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