this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
This Schiano thing bothers for two reasons. One, he turned it down. Dammit. Two, Martin met with Schiano for like five hours yesterday and immediately offered him the job. Or something of that nature:
Schiano called the team to the Hale Center at 7 a.m. and told them he "still had work to do" at Rutgers. Schiano looked physically exhausted and said "this was a hard decision," according to a member of the football staff who was in the meeting.
The member of the football staff requested anonymity because of the private nature of the team meeting, but said Schiano looked "tired, beaten up and physically exhausted." He said the Michigan job was Schiano's if he wanted it, but the job was never officially offered.
Is this an offer? Technically not, but functionally yes. (I wonder if this is what happened with Ferentz, too.) In a few hours with a guy Martin knows way less about than Miles he managed to offer an obviously good candidate the Michigan job. A week ago he couldn't manage to offer an obviously good candidate the Michigan job... and lost the one guy who was all but certain to take it.
So now what? Schiano's out, Ferentz is out twice, Miles is (probably) out, and Brian Kelly is allergic to cats and Carr is demanding his pet Siamese Wuffles be appointed offensive coordinator. Or something. Jeff Tedford would probably say "thanks, but no" and Michigan is looking at... who? Brady Hoke or an interim Ron English? Someone shoot me. If it comes down to that, there's one clear choice: make a run at Miles. If that requires firing Martin, then fire Martin.
What about that contract he just signed? Well:
Beyond that, publicly released details about the contract have not changed much. He will be compensated for winning the SEC championship last weekend, a victory that will push his base salary to the top three in the league, about $2.8 million.
And his salary will move into the top three nationally â€” between $3.2 million and $3.5 million â€” if LSU wins the BCS national title on Jan. 7 against Ohio State.
The buyout to leave for Michigan, $1.25 million, reportedly remains unchanged.
It would be a considerable outlay to get Miles, but not prohibitive. But who's left? Michigan has prissily narrowed the field of acceptable candidates considerably, alienated the most natural fit, and is left without options. The fanbase and football alumni are outraged. And it's because Sailboat Bill is either totally incompetent or duplicitous. Does it matter which?
Schiano is being talked to:
Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano met with Michigan athletic director Bill Martin "for quite a while" Wednesday in New York City to discuss the Big Ten school's coaching vacancy, according to a person who speaks regularly with Schiano. Though no official offer has been made, according to the person, one could be forthcoming. The person requested anonymity because he is not at liberty to speak for Schiano.
Some numbers on his situation:
A year ago, Schiano turned down a reported $2.2 million annual offer from Miami, where he served as the school's defensive coordinator prior to coming to Rutgers seven years ago. Schiano then signed a four-year extension through 2016 that will pay him $1.7 million annually.
Though Rutgers recently saw its ambitious $100 million stadium expansion plans stall, only to be jump-started slightly by Gov. Corzine's personal pledge of $1 million, the setback isn't believed to be the driving force in Schiano willingly listening to another major school's offer for the second straight December. It's the lure of Michigan.
That Miami offer from last year is higher than I expected, which bodes unwell for Michigan, so unwell that Pat Forde says the courtship is already over:
Two days after flirting with the Michigan job, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano has decided he will stay in New Jersey.
Jason Baum, Rutgers' assistant athletic director for football media and public relations, said the school would release a formal announcement later on Friday.
ESPN's Joe Schad reports that Schiano told athletic director Robert Mulcahy he will remain at Rutgers, a source close to Schiano said Friday morning. Schiano spurned a chance to go to the University of Miami after last season.
Tom Dienhart probably killed a few people with this baby:
From the talk I'm hearing from my sources, it looks like there is a leading man for the Michigan job now that LSU's Les Miles is out of the picture: Ball State coach Brady Hoke.
Hoke played at Ball State (1977-80) but he worked at Michigan from 1995-2002 as a defensive ends and defensive line coach under Lloyd Carr. His last year in Ann Arbor, Hoke added the title of associate head coach.
Hoke has coached the Cardinals the last five years, compiling a 22-36 mark. But he has the program rising, as Ball State is playing in its first bowl (International vs. Rutgers) since 1996.
Dienhart is wrong, has been wrong, and will be wrong in the future. He was the guy who started the inexplicable "what about Bielema!" thing; though he's nice enough to link to a blog he's got a track record of being hideously wrong about this stuff. Pay it no mind.
Nobody's emailed to say Hoke isn't a candidate, but then again no one has emailed about Jason Whitlock or David Letterman, fellow Ball State alums with an equal chance of being Michigan's next head coach.
Two sources . . .
Have now told me that Kirk Ferentz is at the top of Michigan's list of coaching candidates.
Members of Michigan's search committee leaked today that Ferentz has been made priority No. 1. Lloyd Carr, who's retiring after 13 seasons at Michigan, is pushing for Ferentz, a source said. He has a say in this. Mary Sue Coleman, UM's president and the UI president when Ferentz was hired at Iowa, has a say in this. That's according to logic, by the way.
For those concerned about bloggy stuff, Mark Morehouse is a sportswriter for an Iowa paper. For those concerned about the Ferentz's-agent angle, Morehouse makes it clear this is coming from Michigan's end. For those just plain concerned, well... yeah.
Stunning, probably wrong graph:
Ferentz makes $2.84 million at Iowa, and that's guaranteed through 2012 (that's $14.2 million over the next five years). Michigan knows it's going to take between $3.5 and $4 million to get in the ballpark, with a lot of coaches, not just Ferentz.
This does not jive with the "insulting" offer provided Miles unless this whole fiasco was downright deliberate.
Read this. Several people have urged me to urge you to write Bill Martin with your (polite) opinion on the way this has all unfolded, and Joey provides an excellent exemplar for how you should approach these things. Read the whole thing; Joey also includes an email from a former Michigan player being forwarded around that includes the genesis of the "come sail away" rumor:
Les Miles did want to coach here very badly, and the reports were right. This can be attributed to him being on the phone with a former teammate and very good friend of his until 2:00 am Friday night wondering why he hadn't been contacted yet when Michigan authorities knew about the contract extension. Les was put in a very difficult spot because he had not been assured that the job would be his by anyone at Michigan. There were financial arrangements between third parties beforehand and that was all agreed upon but there was no indication from Michigan directly that the job was his. The discussion of finances before interviews is pretty standard for Michigan when conducting a job search as I was told.
It was apparent that the Michigan admin. had reservations about him (that's another topic all together and can be discussed by someone else) and were not ready to pull the trigger even though the search committee all but confirmed he was the right guy. The search committee, by the way, is a front with no real teeth. When the developments happened yesterday morning with ESPN, Les was put in a real bad position and had to address the issue so that it would not be a distraction. As everyone knows the extension offer was only good for Saturday and he stood to lose a lot of money with no word whatsoever from Michigan about his position. He did what a lot of people would do.
A former player and member of the search committee tried to frantically call the Michigan Admin. as this was all developing and did not get anyone on the phone. Reason why? Sailing.
Contact was made today by Michigan Admin. to Les with Les telling him "door is not closed but closing." The Admin. responded that Les was one of several in a pool of candidates they are considering, and that Michigan wanted someone who was more invested in being at Michigan than at being well paid. Les's agent considered it a dead issue.
It appears that the Michigan Admin. was not all that interested in hiring Les and used the gentleman's agreement of not calling until after the game to his advantage. It looks like Michigan Admin. got over on Les.
Don't blame Les on this one. He wanted to be the head coach here but it seems other people had other agendas. A lot of former players are really upset about the way this was handled, including myself.
Martin's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org for anyone interested in making their case. You're probably as livid as I am after reading that, so you should probably fire off a profanity and threat-laden one to Herbstreit before sending off something more composed to Martin.
IBFC also has an open letter of its own.
Who now? I don't know and it appears no one else does, either. Most of the names being thrown about are complete shots in the dark. Witness this article from St. Louis on Gary Pinkel:
MU coach Gary Pinkel now could be coveted by many other schools seeking coaches, including Michigan, the winningest program in college football history.
Pinkel is a candidate!
Pinkel could not be reached to comment on Monday, but on Sunday night he declined to comment on rumors about Michigan, where coach Lloyd Carr last month announced he would retire at the end of the season.
"I'm not commenting on fiction," Pinkel told the Post-Dispatch, adding, "Nobody's contacted me."
Or the only reason this article is being written is that Pinkel said no one had been in contact when asked. Most of the names out there have nothing behind them, not even rumors, except attractive records. The list of names bandied about -- Schiano, Tedford, Pinkel, Grobe -- is purest speculation; we really have no idea where the search is or where it's going. Apparently the only thing we do know: Brian Kelly is too much of a meanie to be considered.
A possible exception. Angelique Chengelis might have something more solid:
The pool of candidates includes Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, who two weeks ago was thought to have been off the list. But sources said Monday that Michigan has Ferentz among a number of candidates including Rutgers' Greg Schiano, Wake Forest's Jim Grobe, Missouri's Gary Pinkel, Ball State's Brady Hoke, Cal's Jim Tedford and N.C. State's Tom O'Brien.
At least this one has "sources" backing it, although they appear to be sources that don't know Jeff Tedford's first name. In order, that list is okay, disappointing, disappointing, horrifying, WOOOO, and horrifying.
Quitter! The Free Press has the best headline ever:
ESPN's Herbstreit on inaccurate Miles-U-M report: I will never gather news and report again
This, of course, assumes that stating something completely and totally wrong counts as "reporting news."
Wholehogsports.com is reporting that Arkansas AD Jeff Long has interviewed Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, Tulsa co-offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and Michigan defensive coordinator Ron English for the Razorbacks' head coaching vacancy.
English isn't likely to get an offer.
Wheee! More fuel for the "Come Sail Away" theory of extreme incompetence infecting all levels of the AD:
I heard, for example, Michigan's "unofficial" offer to Miles was close to "insulting."
The number I heard was $1.8 million, which is exactly what Miles makes at LSU now... or at least until Thursday, which is a low-ball number. (Voracity* of that number is low, BTW.)
*(I know how to use words; inside blog baseball joke.)
Etc.: The Realests run down the top ten options for Michigan now that Miles is gone; MVictors dispatched a correspondent to the Harvard debacle; Miles didn't exactly sound unequivocal on Mike & Mike, though he has at other times and at this point parsing every sentence from him is an exercise in knight errantry. Canadian Us are moving towards joining the NCAA(!!!).
An hour or so ago this blog linked to a Times-Picayune article that said Miles' contract wouldn't get officially done until January:
"We didn't know we were going to a national championship game," Bertman [LSU's AD] said, laughing. "We had arranged to sit down at a leisure time and fix it so it could be brought to the (LSU) Board (of Supervisors) Thursday with our bowl budget.
"Now the chancellor (Sean O'Keefe) and other board members might delay that until the next board meeting in January after the game."
This would give Michigan a faint pulse in re: arrgh get Miles. But LSU's chancellor says NSFMF:
Although LSU Athletic Director Skip Bertman said on Sunday that the contract may not be formally approved until January because of the national championship, O'Keefe said that is not true.
The contract will be ready for the LSU Board of Supervisors to approve during Thursday and Friday meetings, O'Keefe said Monday.
"We are moving this for Thursday consideration," O'Keefe said. "That's the plan. There was no other date discussed."
That would put the nail in the coffin Thursday... or would it? The buyout doesn't appear to be going up:
The only aspects O'Keefe and LSU board members are intentionally being vague on are new clauses that O'Keefe said show Miles' commitment to stay at LSU.
Miles' existing $1.25 million buyout for going to Michigan should remain untouched, O'Keefe said.
Weems called the unknown clauses "ancillary matters" and LSU board Chairman Jerry Shea referred to them as a "win-win" for LSU and Miles.
So, hypothetically, if Bill Martin got religion here he could walk in with a comparable offer and still have a shot. Obviously that's not likely.