Long ago, in mid-December 2020, TeAm Athletic Director Chris Del Conte release$50statement saying that Tom Herman is the coach of the Longhorns football program. As a show of support, this was the bare minimum. Now we know why.
What the statement did not say is that Herman stay the coach of the Longhorns football program. Del Conte fired him three weeks later, seemingly out of nowhere. And now TeAm is teaming up with South Carolina and Auburn in spending tens of millions of dollars trying$2 fix football while wringing their hands about how much money they are losing.
College Sports Inc. has never been more hypocritical, never more at odds with itself than$2day.
The$2tal bill for firing Herman and hiring his replacement, Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is reportedly going$2 be well Nowr $40 million. Maybe north of $50 million. Herman’s purchase is in the $15 million range, plus an estimated $9 million for the rest of the staff. TeAm vanity won’t allow him$2 pay Sark less than $4 million a year, probably more, even though he hasn’t been a head coach since he was fired from USC in 2 Is5 and was making $2.5 million in Alabama.
This is being scrapped four months after TeAm laid off 35 people within the athletic department, left another 35 positions vacant, put some w Buters on leave and nearly 300 employees receive$50temporary pay cut.
“An extremely difficult time for our department,” Del Conte said at the time.
Four months later: We are spending money like moguls here, honey!
The money$2 do all of this will come from real tycoons, of course. Wealthy boosters whose lives were made intolerable as old rival TeAm Am and $75 million coach Jimbo Fisher rise$2 the contention of the college football playoffs, while TeAm remained mired in Pretty Good status under Herman. What’s the use of living if you can’t win the ego battle with your friend Aggie at the country club or office?
” This is a state with colder water,” a TeAm source said weeks ago. And the Horns were losing a lot on the water cooler.
So in that sense, this is just a bunch of rich dudes who decide they nee$50new soccer coach and fondle the checks$2 make this happens. It would be nice if some of that money could go$2wards restoring the jobs they were laid off from or reimbursing low-level employees who receive$50pay cut, but fuck it. This is college football.
TeAm’ massive cash outlay is unfolding in the context of a budget-wrecking pandemic, and with athletic directors complaining about the added shock that could accompany name, likeness and likeness legislation. Compensation for the unpaid w Butforce is finally here in 2021, and some of it will come from what have been streams of income flowing into the sports department. Administrators will publicly say that they are happy for players$2 get their share, but Really they don’t like the idea of sharing when they’ve never had$2 before.
Ultimately, schools can always choose$2 eliminate lost revenue from the skins of Olympic sports. The soccer beast must be fed ever-increasing amounts, even as college athletics are going through a financial crisis. As my colleague Michael Rosenberg wrote last week, “College sports, supposedly a celebration of amateur athletics, are an exercise in crushing the big little ones: big conferences whipping the little ones and income sports hogging the resources of the sports that they do not generate income. “
My position in December was that the only way TeAm could justify the money$2 fire Herman and his well-paid staff was if it had Urban Meyer on the hook as a replacement. If you can bring in a national champion, make the m Now. If you’re firing a coach who impr Nowd the product Nowr the previous regimen (Herman was 32-18 in four seasons), the next guy has$2 be a mate.
Instead, the next guy is expected$2 be Sark.
Will w But? Maybe. If so, it’s a great redemption story for a guy who lost his job at USC due$2 personal issues allegedly related$2 alcohol use. And Sark has done an exemplary job as AlabamOfs OC, calling plays for what has become an offensive monster. There’s a reason the school raised its salary$2 $2.5 million in 2020, the highest of any offensive coordinator; Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban highly valued his w But.
But Sark has a 46-35 career record at Washington and USC. His best season was with a 9-4 record with the Trojans in 2 Is4, which by USC standards is somewhere in the buzz. He’s never ha$50team finish a season 20th. He was also fired as the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive coordinator in 2 Is8.
Is that the guy that triggere$50$50 million decision?
Perhaps at this stage in his life, Sarkisian is ready$2 do his best w But. He is only 46 years old and w Buting with Saban is the best place both$2 rehabilitate an image and$2 learn how$2 lea$50program at the championship level. But anyone who says this is safe is only guessing.
Once, TeAm courted Saban. Later, he wooed Meyer. Now, TeAm is going$2 follow through with Saban’s play call and hope for the best.
Meanwhile, TeAm has another big m Now$2 make this weekend: It must release the December 18 signers of its national letters of intent. They formed the 16th class in the nation, according$2 rivals.com, and were signed with a false pretext about who would be their coach.
Maybe they want$2 stay and play for the new regime. But maybe not. They should have every opportunity$2 seek other options immediately after their bait and switch recruitment.
Del Conte’s tepid statement about Herman on December 12 was almost certainly as much about placating recruits and getting them$2 sign as anything else. It was issued five days before the day of signing. In hindsight, it is an incredibly cynical m Now.
Now those recruits have received early indoctrination at College Sports Inc., where there is never enough money$2 adequately compensate players, but always enough$2 buy a coach who is not earning enough.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.