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Sunday, December 09, 2012
 
On the other hand . . .

While I generally agree with Rick about the unseemliness of the college football (and basketball) coaching carousel, my school is experiencing the flipside as we speak, illustrating why coaches do what they do and need to get the best deal at the best job they can.

A year ago, FIU football coach Mario Cristobal was on a two-year run that included a conference championship, some wins over BCS schools, and consecutive bowl games. Several years ago, just before or just after Cristobal took over the program, it was ranked as the next-to-worst program in Division I-A (and was on probation). Cristobal received strong consideration for the Pittsburgh job and was apparently all set to take the Rutgers job (his attorney was negotiating terms). But he instead decided he wanted to stay in Miami (where he was born and raised) and at FIU. You can call it loyalty, although he was well-compensated for staying. But he did stay to try to continue building his program.

Last week, after an unexpectedly poor season that included many injuries (including to the starting quarterback and running back) and four close and/or overtime losses (including one in which a receiver was tackled inches short of the goal line on the last play of the game), Cristobal was fired. FIU has pretty much gotten killed for the decision, which leaves the school with the glaring question of who is going to want the job--both given the limitations of the FIU job, as well as the unceremonious way Cristobal's tenure ended.

The point is that while coaches are trying to move around and up, they face the uncertainty of being subject to termination at will (yes, they still get paid, but that is not the same thing as job security). So I am less convinced that there is anything wrong with a coach dumping his current school for something better, because his home school can just as easily dump him at anytime. As the former AD at South Alabama said in The Times article, "If you have an opportunity to move, you move. . . .You have to."





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