Tag:joe paterno
Posted on: May 25, 2010 1:57 pm
Edited on: May 25, 2010 2:09 pm

Coaching longevity ... the stuff of legend?

CBS just posted their take on how secure major college football coaches are in their jobs:

While their assessments are interesting if speculative, what I did find fascinating were the accompanying statistics.

What I found most disturbing about the list is that coaches entering their fourth season at their schools are at the median for length of tenure. This means that as I type this note, more than half of the coaches in the upper echelons of NCAA football have only coached their schools for three seasons or less. There are 22 coaches who will be on the sidelines for the first time at their current school later this summer. That's out of 121 schools.

So one sixth of the schools changed coaches for whatever reason after the 2009 season. That's a pretty high turnover ratio, especially for contracted jobs where, with certainty, in most of these situations either the coach or the school did not honor their end of a contract, at least in the aspect of the term of the contract. If you still had any belief, and I don't expect you did, about the sham of "amateur athletics", this should shake those beliefs to the core. Only the small schools now have any semblance of displaying a relaxed atmosphere about giving it the 'ole college try'. The bigger schools are officially frying pans for coaches, staff, and to some extent the "student athletes". In my opinion, the biggest shame in the college football fishbowl this year is Florida State, who forced out a coach that deserved to stay at that school as long as he desired if they had losing seasons every year from now until that date. There never was a real tradition of winning at FSU before Bowden arrived, and now they're too good for him. Pshaw. Texas Tech makes that list too. Hurrying a very successful coach out the back door the very day before his bonus is due is just too transparent. And if it wasn't for that reason, and they are guilty not of greed but stupidity in their timing, it doesn't get the TT "front office" off the hook from where I stand.

On the other side, only 18 coaches are entering at least their 10th season with a school. Only eleven have, as I type, completed their 10th season with a school. Let me tell you, its hard to build (or maintain the illusion) of tradition or loyalty at a school when you can't stick with a coach for at least several years.

Of course, not all of this is on the schools. It has become increasingly trendy over the last few decades for successful coaches to jump programs. At times I suspect they do it as much from the fear that they can't maintain what they just accomplished than they think they are making a step up. Now, there is no question that I was spoiled growing up a Bama fan. Bear Bryant had many lucrative offers to leave Bama, but stayed the course and became a legend because he did. Granted that Bama was the Bear's 4th school before he settled down, but settle down for good he did. He gets a pass for two of the moves. At Kentucky, he wasn't satisfied with playing second fiddle to basketball, and from Texas A&M he was "called home".

Will we ever again see coaches with the longevity in a job of Bryant, Paterno, or Bowden? I would like to think so, but I think the odds are long. Frank Beamer at Va. Tech is the closest there is at 24 years on the job. Congratulations to both him and Va. Tech for staying the course. The longest current tenures at what I consider the "Destination jobs" for coaches is Brown at Texax (12 years) and Stoops at Oklahoma (11 years). Don't expect Lane Kiffin to hold the USC reins until there is more shuffle in his walking than his jobs.

The sad thing is that most of the time when your average old football program fires a coach, they don't really improve with the next guy. Its all a ploy to sell tickets, just like the pros do. Except there is no difference. The only difference between major college football as a business and pro football as a business that that the players don't get paid (that they let us know about except by accident LOL).
Posted on: May 28, 2009 10:25 am
Edited on: August 8, 2010 12:58 pm

Response to Doyle

Greg Doyle just posted a blog titled "Paterno, selfish old man".

In it, he criticized Joe Paterno for stating that the Big 10 needs a 12th team, and it might come from the Big East. He also criticized the ACC for expanding with three Big East teams, and took a cheap shot at Penn State players.

Here's my response:


Every once in a rare while (very very very rare while LOL) we get a sensible column or blog from Doyle.

This wasn't it.

If he were discussing a child's birthday party, and 5 year old little Joey wouldn't let the birthday boy play with the football he'd unwrapped just minutes ago, then Doyle would be right on target.

This is not a child's birthday party, this is big time football and big time business. Sympathy or worry over a rival conference have nothing to do with it. In fact, the "Big East" has no long standing football tradition compared to EVERY OTHER major conference, and it would take decades of football excellence before it will ever be thought of the same way conferences who have established their reputations thru decades of play are.

The ACC was selfish for building their conference into the modern mold? Cry me a river, please. (OK, really, please DON'T). We are in the era of the conference championship game, with the money and national championship boost in prospects that brings. All the ACC did was face the facts of the modern system and find compatible and willing schools to fill out the required roster of teams. There was nothing selfish about it. If CBS had an opening for three writers (and truth be told by all rights they SHOULD), and hired them from FOX, would that be selfish? No, its just business.

The circumstance that the Big 10(11) has allowed itself to go this many years without getting into the 12 team cradle is quite surprising, and actually shows some level of incompetence among their decision makers. It certainly needs to happen, and every year spent with 11 teams and no championship game just deprives their conference.

Joe Paterno speaking publicly about this is not selfishness ... its not like no one else in the conference is aware of this need and no one else is considering the alternatives. He is just the guy who happened to speak about it at this time. I'm not a Penn State fan, but I do know that Joe Paterno isn't going to spin anything he says. He's as straight-forward as they come. Forthrightness does not equal selfishness, forthrightness is actually a virtue, Greg.

And I can guarantee that there are a number of schools in the Big East that would welcome ... coaches, players, and fans ... a chance to be in the Big Ten. Why are they in the Big East now? The Big East is an accumulation of formerly independent schools who found they needed a conference on the modern college football stage. There is no history, no loyalty, no warm feeling for a conference that never was until eastern independents found they needed a home. That's why Va Tech, BC, and Miami left when called to a traditional conference, and why another team will jump at the chance to move to the Big 10(12) if called.

By the way, the shot at Penn State players was just absurdly cheap, and you know it. EVERY school gets some problem players anymore, and Penn State has no worse record for that than any other school, and much better than many.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com