We Want Walker

DeWayne Walker for UCLA head coach.

It’s a little more complicated than that (long)

Posted by wewantwalker on December 28, 2007

I’d like to get a comment thread started on this page about the Bruce Davis picture. I want to hear what you felt when you saw it. I want to know if it moved you as much as it moved me. 

Though Dohn reported that Harbaugh, Walker, and Neuheisel are the main candidates , I’m hearing that the net could have been casted a LOT wider than many thought and this search isn’t over by a longshot.

I wish BRO kept archive of their posts, but they don’t. Anyway I had a post a few days after Dorrell was fired that dealt with the coaching search as a sort of game theory. I used Chris Peterson as an example. Peterson said he was out of the running and that “he had no interest” in that place.  Many people took him for his word but it’s a little more complicated than that.

I’ll try and illustrate: Say Dan Guerrero wants  coach who is a current head coach of another team. Let’s call this coach Z. Z would jump at UCLA, but Z has two very important things he has to deal with:

1) Z is coaching a bowl game.

2) Z doesn’t want to look like a heartless jackass.

In college sports, it goes like this:

1) reality is perception.

2)perception is recruiting.

3)recruiting is winning.

I know some of you are saying, “Hey, it isn’t ALL about recruiting.”

Steve Lavin went to a buttload of sweet sixteens (5? 6?)by doing only the following:


2) occasionally clapping for his players

 (We love Walker, first and foremost, because he is a ball coach and his recruiting prowess is secondary to that concept. Lavin never coordinated a defense)

Z wants to win the bowl game. He wants to prepare his team and go out on a win. A win in a decent bowl game would also help his side of contract negotiations so more cash.

But MOST IMPORTANTLY,  if Z is talking about other gigs while still being employed by a bowl-team, Z looks like a shameless, backstabbing, self-promoting hack (I hope that phrase isn’t copyrighted…haha [inside joke]). Z probably looked every single recruit in the eye and said he doesn’t plan on leaving, that he loves his current job, that he has no plans of leaving that the tradition at his school is special, unmatchable, etc.

Then we find out Z is talking to other schools about a head coaching gig, behind the school’s/players back? Before the last time some of those seniors will ever don their uniforms? In the biggest game of the year?

For instance, this uniform in this game?

Bruce Davis, you are my favorite bruin ever. 

I  proudly started the “Guns don’t kill people, Bruce Davis and Justin Hickman kill people” facebook group.

Many decent human beings would immediately call foul. That’s gonna hurt perception. That’s gonna hurt reality. That’s gonna hurt recruiting. That’s gonna hurt winning.  That’s going to seriously damage Z.

Bobby Petrino right now, despite his excellent abilities as a ball coach, looks like a jackass and a half. I would never coach for a guy who has tried to get five different jobs in five years and a guy who has lied so blatantly to his kids and others. Pat Forde wrote a FANTASTIC post that HAMMERED Bobby Petrino and echoes what I’ve just written:

In the coming days and weeks, the disingenuous drifter will say what Arkansas fans want to hear.

He’ll look at them with blank shark eyes and tell them, in a monotone voice, how excited he is to be the coach of the Razorbacks. He will tell them how impressed he is by the tradition and the fan base. He will tell them that the Southeastern Conference is the place he always wanted to coach (and that might be the one true thing he’ll say, given how many times he’s tried to land a job in the league).

It will be a trumped-up stump speech, as sincere as a politician’s pledge to cut taxes. It will simply be the latest pack of lies in a career full of them.

But it will be what Arkansas fans want to hear, and the poor saps will be desperate to believe him. During their arduous search to replace Houston Nutt, they’ve been used and abused by one-fourth of the coaches in the ACC — first Butch Davis, then Tommy Bowden, then Jim Grobe. Auburn’s Tommy Tuberville flirted for a minute as well.

So hiring a guy with a 41-9 college record will get the blood pumping. But those Arkansas fans ready to embrace their new hotshot coach and his pretty ball plays need to understand one thing:

Bobby Petrino

Joe Robbins/US Presswire

Bobby Petrino gave Louisville fans plenty of reasons to smile by going 41-9 from 2003-06.

The disingenuous drifter doesn’t love you or any other fan base. He doesn’t love any school or any NFL franchise. He loves himself, his playbook and his bank account.

That’s it. Don’t expect it to change.


Go read the rest of that article. After reading that, would you let your kid sign an LOI to go to Arkansas? Hell, do you think any kid with half a brain is going to sign it? Do you think any coach wants to carry a stigma like that from job to job?

Here’s my message to all Arkansas players that commit to Petrino starting in 2008 who don’t also have another offer from an SEC school:

Actually, screw the speech. Read all my posts on integrity. Arkansas boosters and AD, you should read it too. Note how Arkansas is a laughing stock right now. Petrino image has been seriously tarnished. So has Nick Saban’s. It could have been Miles, but…

Do you think Miles REALLY wanted to stay at LSU? No, he was backed into a corner. If he accepted the Michigan job, his credibility would be shot.  He wanted the Michigan job more than anything. He’d take a pay cut to go there, but Michigan would match that amount regardless. The dude had a “IF YOU END UP GOING TO MICHIGAN WE’RE GOING TO TAKE YOUR MONEY” clause in his friggin’ contract!  He was a Schembechler man, a Michigan man. Seriously, try googling “Michigan,” “Les Miles” and “Dream Job” together in one query. wow. Everyone is crediting the LSU AD for renegotiating that contract extension to get Miles to stay. As far as I’m concerned Kirk Herbstreit, deserves all that credit (note that Herby is from OSU…something smells funny). The report came out before the LSU championship game. Hours before it.

The players sat in the locker room and asked Miles straight up: “Coach, you got a flight to catch?”

What a person with any sense of decency say? “No.”

Coincidentally, What a completely self-interested shamless jackass say? “No.”

Can you imagine the backlash from having to admit that you’re goign to Michigan HOURS before the SEC game? His career would be OVER.

I wouldn’t doubt it if Miles actually did accept that job. At least from teh whole debacle we did get a gem. In the immortal words of our good poet and friend Kirk Herbstreit:

I will never gather news and report again

Thanks Kirk. Appreciate it. 

In general, the whole SEC coaching hiring process disgusts me. It’s always about the ends, and not about the means. I posted in my facebook a rant right after Ole Miss hired Houston Nutt, which remains to be the most disgusting hire of the season so far. It deserves its own post, so I’ll repost it here tomorrow. It’s probably going to piss off a lot of people, but I don’t care.

I’ve gone off topic and I apologize for that. The bottom line is I really have faith in Dan Guerrero. If we knew some of those coaches who still have a game to play were seriously in the running, then Dan Guerrero has failed both you and I. Everytime I read something going after Guerrero, i just crack a smile. Wait till after the search, then judge. Not a moment sooner.

I think Guerrero is doing a fabulous job setting up smoke and mirrors. He’s not telling us what we want to hear, he’s telling us what we NEED to hear. I, for one, have a hard time believing a friggin thing I read.

Just Neuheisel, Harbuagh, and Walker?

It’s a little more complicated than that.


3 Responses to “It’s a little more complicated than that (long)”

  1. Jason said

    While your piece on integrity is touching as it applies to recruiting, and I believe a good life lesson, the empirical evidence does not support your assertion that kids don’t want to play for coaches like Saban and/or Petrino.

    Alabama has the second ranked recruiting class of 2008 according to Rivals. In 2005, their class was ranked 18th. In 2003, it was 49th. Mike Shula might have been a nice guy with integirty, but guess what? Elite athletes don’t really want to play for just a ‘nice guy’. They want someome who can win.

    Go ahead, give the speech. You may think Saban is a laughingstock, but his recruiting results dictate otherwise.

    The fact is, while integrity is a cornerstone to personal success, as far as the business of college football goes (and yes, it is a business), it doesn’t matter. Kids and their parents want two things in a school:

    1) Winning
    2) Exposure so that if they are an elite athlete, they have an easier road to the NFL.

    Coaches like Saban and Petrino give them that, warts and all.

  2. The question is, Jason, do you want a coach like Petrino or Saban to coach at UCLA? do you want an ends-justify-the-means type of guy? or do you wan’t someone with dignity?

    I hadn’t realized Alabama’s recruiting class was so impressive. Wow, that makes me kinda sad.

  3. Jason said

    Oh, I agree with you – I like my coaches to have a bit more integirty than that.

    I think some of the issues with Neu are bit overblown, however – and he’ll clearly be under such a fine microscope and I believe the virtual cold shoulder he’s received from the collegiate community over the past five-plus years has matured him considerably.

    However, I wouldn’t necessarily knock the SEC’s hiring practices. Kids still are lining up to play for the likes of Saban, and I don’t suspect it will be any different with Petrino. My point is merely that being a nice guy with integrity isn’t enough. You also have to know how to coach and win, and when it comes down to it, schools are going to choose the guy who can coach and win, even if he’s a bit of a jackass.

    And evidence seems to support the assertion that kids and their parents will even want to play for the coach who’s a jackass.

    Regardless, I’m eternally grateful my other alma mater has a nice guy who CAN win – Mark Richt. Thank you Florida State for letting this man go.

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