These last 48 hours on social media took me back to night of the presidential election; entertaining yet appalled. Thanksgiving embarks the time of Football Season that can make or break a bid to a title, along with the reign of your head football coach. Current athletes are going through their pre-game rituals, while alumni enjoy their full stomachs with relatives. Instead of focusing on game preparations, the travel squad is tied to their Twitter handle reading numerous articles, many from sources with clout, about their coach whom they have grown to value, respect, and love may be leaving them after this next game…
Success causes turmoil. It is a self fulfilling prophecy- You win too much, you stay, you win a game less, and you’re out.
“Why would anyone want to come to a program where they do not even have the chance to Coach?”
You are paying them to groom athletes into successful scholars on and off the field.
Let’s talk Louisiana State University: Before a National Championship with Nick Saban who were you? Les Miles came to LSU in 2005; the year that Hurricane Katrina struck southern Louisiana. Miles, despite several in state travesties was able to hold the program together , help the state of Louisiana, and need not mention have winning seasons for 10 years. The State of Louisiana has failed their University. Why do I say this? Miles worst season was 8-5 in by far the hardest divisions in College Football. In 10 years as your head coach you set the presicident that even 6 years of 9 plus wins, 3 division titles, 2 national championship appearances with winning it in 2007 , and a 72% winning percentage (not even finishing the 2016 season) that will not cut it here.
The University of Texas: You won in the 1960’s, then had Mack Brown. Coach Brown took the University to a completely different level; a level at which nowhas bolstered to more greed. Brown’s last season was 8-5 in 2013, the year he “resigned”, and then comes in a man who the athletes absolutely admire: Charlie Strong. Strong was not able to settle in before his very own backing was bolstering about him not being the right guy. Thank you Texas for automatically setting the standard of failure before having any time to make Texas his own.
Nebraska: A mecca of College Football since forever. Generations of college football fans remember Tom Osborne followed by Frank Solich. Osborne was there for 25 years where the lowest season win total consisted of 9 wins. Solich was released after a 9-3 season, and had more wins in his 6 seasons than he predecessors. Recently, the Bo Pelini era ended with his lowest winning season being 9-3 with of course the excuses of the “Feoux Pelini” Twitter account impacting the Husker program and sideline controversy. Now Husker Nation has Coach Riley whose first season gave you 5 wins and this year the infamous 9-3 record. Will that be good enough for you Nebraska or will you let him go too without being able to properly transistion and mold his guys into the best they can be?
Now, I am sure there are many other programs like Georgia Tech and Notre Dame who still want to pull the trigger after intrusting in your leader’srole. Maybe, instead of firing your coach after giving him an extension, why not spend the money you would use to buy out his contact on an academic wing, updated athletic facilities, or fight harder to give them a chance to be able to win a National Championship due to the conference they are in? Perfect your institution and programs to be a destination, not a stepping zone.
The nature of any athletic event is someone wins and someone looses. There will be days where it does not go your way, there will be days where you were out coached, or the “Experts”, who chose your ranking, said you were with the over/under prediction. You can’t always win them all. You would assume you have the support of your alumni since they are paying you millions, right? Shouldn’t they believe in your commitment to the university and the student athletes even when you loose a football game? Shouldn’t they honor the fact that you have to build a foundation from within and sometimes ween the toxicity out to become “STRONGer.”
Examples : Bob Stoops has been with Oklahoma since 1998, Kirk Ferentz in Iowa since 1999, Gary Paterson with TCU since 2000, Mike Gundy with his loyalty to Oklahoma State started in 199o and many more.
The pageantry of college football has started to lack the respect towards coaches more so each year. To the Charlie Strongs, the Tom Hermans, and the Les Miles’s of the coaching profession I tip off many hats to you. You are able to take children and groom them to men, instead of the others who in press conferences label them as “personelle”. You may not win every game, but you have earned respect in this downright awful display of how disposable your worth is in the evolving game and coaching carousel. Truth is sometimes even winning is not even good enough- sometimes they are just “tired of you”.
To be continued…