Ohio State football: Tony Alford's move to Michigan is hard to understand

The former Ohio State football coach decided to make a move to Michigan. It's a move that is hard to understand.

Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

When I saw the news of now-former Ohio State football coach Tony Alford leaving for Michigan, I ran through a myriad of emotions. There was anger, more anger, a bit of understanding, but most of all there was puzzlement. Why would any coach of a successful Power 4 program join THAT particular program?

Alford is leaving an Ohio State football team that is loaded with talent and poised to make a run at a national championship to become a part of a program that has a proven track record of cheating since 2019. Not just minor rulebook infractions. The University of Michigan football program carried out the worst on-field cheating in the 150-plus year history of college football. Although the head coach who oversaw the cheating is now gone, his successor is someone who is neck-deep in the scandal. Why on earth would ANY coach want to join a program like that?

On the one hand, I understand the position Alford is in. He was not offered a contract extension and his future with Ohio State is not guaranteed beyond the 2024 season. In addition, I don’t doubt new offensive coordinator Chip Kelly is going to have a lot of say in what running back is on the field at any given time. Michigan is reportedly going to significantly increase Alford’s salary from the $772,500 he was making with the Buckeyes. Combine the possibility of diminished responsibility with a salary increase and I can understand wanting to better your situation.

On the other hand, Alford is agreeing to join the coaching staff of new Wolverine head coach Sherrone Moore, who has already served a one-game suspension for recruiting violations and is probably going to be heavily sanctioned by the NCAA for his role in the sign-stealing scandal.

Upon learning the news of Alford’s decision to join Moore’s program, I questioned his character and surmised he was just fine with the cheating. But that’s not fair because I don’t know Tony Alford. So, while I won’t question his character, I will question his judgment.

Moore has proven to have no character or integrity. He, just like the administration at the school, portrayed himself as a victim when the NCAA pointed a finger at those ugly helmets and said, “You’re cheating and we can prove it.” Evidently, Alford has no problem with all of this.

 I can understand Alford wanting a change, but agreeing to coach for a proven cheater who acts like he and others involved did nothing wrong is baffling to me. If Alford started making it known among coaching friends he was interested in making a move, he would have had his share of prime opportunities.

Three possible candidates to replace Tony Alford. dark. Next. Next story

Instead, he decided to join a program that will take decades to live down its deserved reputation as a cheater. That’s something I’ll never understand.