Monday, December 17, 2007

Moving Forward

Rich to Michigan happened pretty damn quick and may have caught the athletic department off guard. Especially considering Pastilong didn't even know there was a meeting. However, given Beilein last year and Alabama last year they better have an emergency list of coaches on hand at all times that they are breaking the glass on now.

As of now the athletic department has not even named an interim coach. The reason is probably due to the resignation letter of Rogriguez in which he wrote that he would step down on January 3rd, after the Fiesta Bowl. The thinking is that if an interim is named then WVU would breach the contract and forfeit the buyout. I am not an employment lawyer, but I would assume this is a non-issue. The reason? Common sense. If I tell my company that I'm quitting in a month and then immediately fly out to California and start working for another firm I believe they can hire another person to my position. The contract is over due to the actions of Rodriguez even if he states he is still working. Another analogy is that if I hire you to paint my house and you accept but start painting another house during the period I am paying you then you aren't working under my contract. Besides I don't think Rich is allowed to recruit for Michigan if he is still technically the WVU coach.

This brings up the bowl game. WVU is in a BCS game and has no coach. In addition Calvin McGee and Tony Gibson are gone and Rodriguez has hinted at more defections. McGee is offensive coordinator and Gibson the lead recruiter and head of recruiting. This means WVU has no offensive coordinator for a BCS game. Maybe Pat White can call the game himself, he may even throw a few passes.

Losing Gibson and Rodriguez during recruiting will be the biggest impact. Rich has stated that he will call the WVU recruits, despite the public shaming of Rick Trickett last year for doing similar things after going to FSU. Pryor is gone, Jenkins will likely follow. Most of the Western PA kids have looked away from WVU in the last few weeks and that won't change now. All WVU commits are now open game and if not to Michigan than everywhere else.

This brings up the urgency for a new coach. A new coach is needed in order to patch the holes in recruiting. In addition the new coach is going to have to deal with possible transfers and kids leaving. Top rumors include Slaton gone, White to baseball and Devine to transfer. Of all of those only the Slaton one seems legit. But the right coach could change that as well, remember Kragethorpe had one great victory last year and that was keeping Brohm. And say what you want about Louisville's hire of Kragethorpe, but they knew who they were dealing with in Petrino and had a short list available at all times. Hope the WVU administration is similar.

Which brings up the last talking point. The WVU athletic department. Even with a reduced buyout, which is possible due to Beilein precedent WVU stands to make some more cash from this. Between Beilein and Rodriguez Michigan coaches and boosters will probably pay WVU at least $3 million over the next several years making them some of our biggest donors. The Colosseum is to be renamed Wolverine Stadium.

But maybe Garrison and the WVU administration need to take a look into the athletic department as a whole. Two coaches left in two years. Both tried to leave the year before. Both have had rumors swirling about problems within the athletic department. The name Mike Parsons is constantly brought up. Two coaches took programs that had fallen far and had success pretty quickly. In seven years WVU had an Elite 8, Sweet 16, and NIT Championship to go with two BCS games and 4 Big East Championships. WVU was unable to keep either. Fans can blame the coaches and there is definitely some fault there, but the administration needs to make sure there isn't something systemic going on within the athletic department.

In better news WVU still has Bob Huggins (for now).


napp said...

Is there something going on with the AD? Can't they seem to get along with the coaches? Why do 2 coaches who have changed things around, want to leave for what seem to be greener pastures? I am afraid that something negative will come out of this.

bum at a desk said...

I agree somewhat, but when they're giving you everything you've asked for, how can you complain?

Thanks for writing up the "highlights", I wouldn't have the stomach to watch it in person.

The same folks who were slamming Petrino are all saying what a "good move" this is.

U of M fan said...

That was a good blog, solid work...

Anonymous said...

It's called an "anticipatory repudiation"

Johnny said...

I agree with U of M. This was an excellent post!

J. Johnston said...

wonderfully done. I couldn't listen to that press conference. For me, it's like you're ready to break up with some chick, then catch her in bed with another dude. You already don't like her, but you're still pissed.