January 18, 2010

Jay Paterno: Coaches Have Lost Touch with Our Mission: "As a professional lifer in college coaching I am unhappy about the current state of my profession," writes Jay Paterno, the quarterbacks coach for Penn State under his father Joe. "This profession has lost touch with the reality of the world around us, and some coaches have lost touch with what the mission of our profession should be. ... As coaches we can complain about the hair trigger firing of administrators, but the more we skip town, and the more we bail on the student-athletes the more we should realize that we are adding to our own problems."

posted by rcade to football at 06:51 PM - 11 comments

Signing your name on a contract doesn't mean anything these days. They shouldn't be allowed to bail like Kiffin did. There should be a clause written into the contract that forbids a coach to leave before a specified time frame from coaching at another school unless it is an administrative decision by the college. It would only serve to protect schools from damage to their programs. Most schools probably wouldn't do this on their own for fear of not being able to attract the biggest names, so the NCAA should make it policy.

posted by eccsport78 at 01:44 AM on January 19, 2010

Don't they have exactly that rule constraining student transfers? Sauce for the goose etc.

posted by rumple at 02:40 AM on January 19, 2010

posted by rumple at 02:40 AM on January 19, 2010

There is a national signing day for all athletes to commit to a college. There should be at least a signing day for coaches around the same time. It is getting very old to see a college coach turn a program around and then ditch that same team, they worked so hard with, just before a bowl game. I'm not sure if this can ever be put back to the wat it was, with coaches actually working through the contracts they sign. There needs to be something put in place though.

It does make sense that Paterno's son is the one writting this, sounds like he has learned a lot from pops.

posted by jojomfd1 at 04:49 AM on January 19, 2010

The rare college coach that has job security (JoePa) has the luxury of being loyal. The other coaches have to do what they can to get ahead in their career when they can. College recruits lose. Still, it is unreasonable to expect coaches to be loyal to schools that have shown zero loyalty to their coaches. Should Kiffin have been loyal to Tennessee? How much loyalty did Tennessee show Fulmer after all their success? Two losing seasons in 16 years? You are fired. Schools run their football programs like businesses, and the coaches do so as well.

posted by bperk at 07:47 AM on January 19, 2010

How can you compare the situations of Fulmer and Kiffin? Fulmer was fired after 16 years, while Kiffin quit after one. Top programs in college aren't judged by how many winning seasons they have -- that's too low a bar. They're judged by national championships and conference championships. Tennessee hadn't won the SEC in 10 years under Fulmer.

With Tennessee's resources and a stadium that holds more than 100,000, there's no coach who will ever go 10 years in the job without winning the SEC and still be employed.

posted by rcade at 09:06 AM on January 19, 2010

Okay, that's a pretty ridiculous standard as far as I am concerned. The SEC Championship is equivalent to the National Championship game about half the time. Tennessee won it all in 1998, then made it to the conference championship game and lost two other times, so Fulmer is a failure. Never mind that the SEC probably has two of the best head coaches in the NCAA with Saban and Meyer. Any coach worth anything should still win the SEC Championship every few years. How could Kiffin not run to the cozy confines of the PAC-10 under those circumstances?

posted by bperk at 09:46 AM on January 19, 2010

Kiffin knew that he'd be expected to win SEC championships when he took the job, so he can't use that as a rationalization for leaving for an easier conference. Especially since USC is a program where he'll get fired if he doesn't produce national championship-caliber teams.

I don't think it's ridiculous for any college football program to fire a coach because he hasn't won a conference championship in 10 years.

Having said all that, I think I would've given Fulmer a few more years. Coaches who have won national championships don't grow on trees.

posted by rcade at 09:59 AM on January 19, 2010

I think it is silly to fire a coach if you don't have a better coach that you can hire. How on earth is firing Fulmer and getting Kiffin an upgrade? I generally think coaches put teams in a position to win, and that is really the most that can be expected. Getting them into the title game is enough for me, especially in the SEC.

posted by bperk at 10:52 AM on January 19, 2010

So is Tennessee no better than USC for hiring away La Tech's guy? Almost every firing begins a chain that only ends when an assistant moves up to a head coaching slot and USC had to get someone, and quick, when Carroll resigned over the course of a weekend.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:07 PM on January 19, 2010

Who is slamming USC for hiring a coach away from another program? I think USC is nuts for banking on that clown, personally, but as I said when Notre Dame scooped up Kelly, recruiting needs force big-time programs to make coaching decisions before the bowl games. It's a shame, but until the NCAA puts a freeze on hiring until after bowls, it's unavoidable.

posted by rcade at 12:17 PM on January 19, 2010

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