The AD Thing

I would really reevaluate the Athletic Director position, were I in that particular circumstance whereby I had that as my job duty. That is to say, “I’d think about firing the guy if I were in charge, buddy”

That’s not a particularly nice thing to say, but this isn’t the unofficial blog of niceness. North Texas Blogdom — make that message boarddom — has been ablaze with facts and figures that boil down to two simple metrics: winning and money.

Those in favor of keeping North Texas’ long-time Athletic Director point to money and facilities and baseball. Well the possibility of baseball to be clear. This group largely includes big money donors, those who haven’t paid close attention to the program for the last decade and one or two others, including RV himself. Apogee, Mean Green Village, practice facilities, and the move to CUSA are all in the FOR column.

Those in favor of removing Rick Villarreal from his position point to the parade of losing records. This group includes the most vocal of my twitter timeline, myself, Mr. Greg Goedecker, and the Denton RC Editorial writer.

The fear in changing Athletic Directors now is that Rick V is right, and that we wouldn’t be able to continue the course without him. It’s a kind of “YOU ARE NOTHING WITHOUT ME” kind of jail we are scared of. The truth is that no man is greater than an organization. UNT President Neal Smastrsk is right, the revenue sports are important and the last two hires have produced some embarrassment.

Leaving Dan McCarney’s complicated legacy aside, the failure to maintain the tremendous momentum¬†¬†we had during the reign of the best basketball coach we’ve ever had. It was completely squandered. The Super Pit, once packed and the place to see excellence is now empty, and forgotten.

That the biggest fans I know are now struggling to find a reason to go to the games, and met with scolding for not trotting out for more losing and broken promises is the biggest damnation. Sure, Ricky V was part of the transformation from FBS newbie to Bowl winner, and sure he hired the guy who made SunBelt title games a birthright for a time, but he is also the man who hired the worst football coach in school history, and the man who presided over the staff that produced the worst loss in FBS history.

It’s one thing to be bad, and struggling. It’s another to be awful and a laughing stock.

It’s hard at North Texas. I wrote recently that it will take a special kind of coach to win here.

Its easy to talk yourself into any coach, really. North Texas is a special kind of beast. We are in a small town in a big market. Denton exists in its own world, yet is outshone by the bright lights of the Metroplex. The only college football teams from DFW that have achieved near national championship status have been private schools in the hearts of the bigger towns. I say that to mean that any new guy will have public school problems with a tiny school budget, and you cannot be the boring because by no means are you the only game in town like Boise or Utah or BYU or any other little school that could.

None of that applies to basketball. Hoops is the only revenue sport in which a miracle season would end up with a freaking national title. You know that mega tournament that prints money and also pays for previous attendance in said tournament? Well, we haven’t been in it in a long while. Instead of demanding excellence here, where one or two good players is all the difference, we are content to make vague promises of “taking things seriously”.

College athletics is a moral quagmire, yes, but look around — we are in this thing already. So if we are being serious here, let us also be honest. Winning will bring in money and enrollment and prestige and all the things that the AD is saying that he provided. If we can get a guy in here that can make these programs winners? Well, we don’t need to keep this one around do we?