Florida got a lot of pats on the back for how it handled Will Muschamp’s firing press conference on Monday, but let me take a minute this morning to give a dissenting view.
Gators president Bernie Machen and athletics director Jeremy Foley each talked about what a good person Muschamp is and how difficult that made the decision to fire him after 27 wins and 20 losses.
“In the end, can you say that someone who has to leave has made a positive contribution, and the answer for that is definitely yes, for Will Muschamp,” Machen said. “In fact, I would love for my son or my grandson to have the opportunity to be coached by Will Muschamp.”
I guess Machen doesn’t want his kid to go to Florida, then.
“He is as fine of a person as you could ever meet and a friend to all of us. Will Muschamp is a good, good person. That is why this is so tough for everybody,” Foley said.
That’s all great. Muschamp (who by the way handled the whole episode tremendously and with a class that will help him get another opportunity as a head coach sooner than he would if he went out whining) by all accounts is a good guy who just didn’t do a good enough job, and there’s nothing wrong with his superiors saying that on his way out the door.
What bothers me is the insufferable double talk.
Later in the press conference, Foley said this about the search for the next coach: “Couple of things I want to say about whoever the next person may be and I want you to understand going in and first and foremost is high integrity and character.”
How can that be true after everything else Foley and Machen just said? If integrity and character are “first and foremost” why isn’t Muschamp still employed? There’s nothing wrong with firing a football coach who is paid well to win when he doesn’t win. What’s hard to listen to again and again, and we’ve heard it from administrators around the country, is how integrity and academics and character are the most important thing.
They should be, but they aren’t.
Florida proved that Monday, no matter how nice the Gators tried to act about it.
Around the SEC:
Former Navy Seal and ESPN Gameday picker Marcus Luttrell spoke to Alabama’s players before their game against Mississippi State. It worked.
Auburn has allowed 30 or more points in a school-worst five straight games. Coaching defense isn’t easy these days guys.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The State