Friday, November 04, 2011

QUINCY UNIVERSITY: HOW TO MANGLE A PERSONNEL DECISION

Don O'Brien wrote a fine piece about the way Head Coach Bill Terlisner was not retained. Click on Don's name to read the piece.

Pretty obviously, the Athletic Director did not want to be bothered with Football morale issues during basketball season. The Athletic Director is, of course, the basketball coach. I can't add much to what Don wrote about the cruelty, to Coach T. and to the kids, inherent in this crude maneuver. In addition to being pointless, it was gratuitously hurtful to Coach and many of his kids.

If you guys just had to fire the Head Football Coach, how about a nice buried-at-Thanksgiving joint press release. Then, again, it seems the modern personnel approach at QU, generally, not just in sports, is best summed up as "Mind over Matter".

That is, the U. doesn't mind and their employees don't matter.

But I would like to go a step beyond OB. I contend that the non-renewal was a bad decision on the merits. The guy was required to play his home games in a Hell Hole that was suitable for condemnation. He was required to play 12 "money" games (Read: sacrificial lamb) and he had to recruit with no facilities to show recruits. He still has no decent practice facility. Since he can't practice at his game site, he has no meaningful home field advantage.

For his part, Coach's program provided better than one tenth of the student body. As a public prosecutor for years, I can tell you that his kids were low maintenance in the community. Very few of them got in any serious trouble with the law. On a per capita basis, football had fewer bad actors than several other men's sports programs and, I'm guessing, the general student body.

Some would argue that the University's extending football as a program explains the "one tenth of the student body" thing. They would be wrong. Coach T's attitude towards the soft walk-on player explains the large number far better than the U's merely deciding to have a football program. If a player truly wanted to show up here and show his stuff, working his way into some playing time, Coach T. would give him a shot. Too many guys who came in as grunts ended up with actual playing time to deny it. If a guy simply wanted to suit up and be in the team picture just to say he played college football, Coach T. was tolerant (if a little ironic) about that. In short, Coach T's attitude to both players and ceremonial roster spots encouraged people to attend QU.

The coach wasn't going to remind anybody of steely-eyed coaches like Bear Bryant or Bill Curry or Nick Saban. He has a unique physical presentation and a singular way of using the English language. But, if anyone had taken the trouble to actually listen to what the man said, he always reflected the grasp and values anyone would want in a coach. Nobody could break down a game into simple analysis better than Coach T.

They will get another coach and maybe even one who wins a bit more (although keep in mind they are again going "up in class" as they say in horse racing.) They will never get another one who gains as much net revenue for Quincy University or one who has such a zero percent chance of embarrassing them on moral or leadership grounds.

So I'm taking a step beyond OB. They way the U ditched Coach T. was terminally nasty, agreed. My view is also that letting the man go will make the University weaker. They may find a coach who wins more but they will never find anyone who adds more to the university through its football program.

Bad Move x 2

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