As I have perused the Beaver message boards and public websites, I have seen a lot of interesting comments. I also feel, and maybe unjustly so, that some in the media have an axe to grind. The two points that have struck me in a negative way are the following:
1. If you ask for it, and you get it, why complain? I am always amazed at how angry people get when they get what they want and find out it is not what they wanted at all. There is a huge amount of buyer’s remorse in sports as people rail against a coach or an administrator for not doing ‘the right thing’ and then when they do, they rail against them for being too late or, even worse, because they are now faced with the realization that maybe things could get worse.
Since the CBI loss, I have not heard even a single person say that they think Coach Robinson should stay. Well, actually, one. Bob DeCarolis did. He has since changed his mind, and while it seems like an odd time, it is actually a genius time. Right now, NBA coaches are getting fired and all the big name college coaches that were looking for work have either found it or are faced with the reality that they are going to have to wait a year. Ben Howland wouldn’t even be in the conversation had Craig been let go in March.
But there is a very vocal section of Beaver Nation that are now complaining about who they might get, who they can’t get, why wait until now and, even worse, what if the only coach they can get is potentially an even worse fit? Whenever you fire someone, or someone leaves, you are faced with uncertainty. It is the same in business as it is in sports. So be happy those that wanted Craig gone. He is and now you can enjoy that potential that the next coach will be better. Just know that any time there is a coaching change, there are no guarantees that the next step will be up.
2. Be careful what you wish for, part two. I was really disappointed to hear about the issues surrounding bonuses for the football coaches. At a time when we should all be excited about a coaching search and a National Championship caliber baseball team, we are stuck with the negativity of who OSU’s leaders are and a rehash of past pains. Had this come out in January, it would have been a good story. Right now it is just peeing on the sauna rocks.
I understand that there is a large section of Beaver Nation that cannot stand Bob DeCarolis. They see him as the man who destroyed basketball (ignoring Dutch and Mitch before him) and as the guy that allows football to slide without repercussions. While I agree that the bonus deal was a pretty dumb move on the administration’s part, especially the way it was handled, I think many in Beaver Nation need to think about what they have and be careful about what they want.
If OSU had a great and dynamic Athletic Director, one that was willing to cut dead weight at the slightest hint of regression and that made splashy hires, then OSU would probably have had Dan Hawkins as their coach in 2003. Now I like Dan a lot, he is a friend of mine, but there is no guarantee that he would have done better at OSU than he did at Colorado. If you had this coach, then Riley probably would have been fired in 2011. Or 2005. Or early in 2006. And maybe we would still be waiting on a basketball practice facility or a sports performance center. Or maybe you get someone that cuts Wrestling and there is no track and instead we have competitive cheer.
The reality is that Bob does a good job at many things, a poor job at some and as easily as you can do better you can do much, much worse.
I am all for reporting the truth, but if you kept it a secret this long, why dump on everything now? I know nothing about the coaches at OSU’s relationship with Bob or the players view of him. All I know is that OSU has been competitive in a lot of sports, has totally reinvented its campus and has had the most successful 15 year stretch of football in Oregon State University’s history. There is a lot to be excited about and if Bob can land Howland, 2014 could be the most highly anticipated and successful year in OSU sports history. So maybe wait to grind that axe, old scandals are just that. Old.