I've noted with interest all the posts calling for McBride's resignation. In the past I too have been very critical (as many of you know). After some serious thinking (can you smell the wood burning?), I've come to the following conclusion:
There is absolutely no REAL commitment to a first rate football program by the University of Utah and its athletic department!!! Their only interest is to spend as little as possible to have a program that will keep the big money boosters off their backs. Then they can devote their time to their only real interest. Utah is a "basketball" school.
The University's lack of commitment to football is manifest in the following ways:
1. Everyone can see the "record" of the football team. You can bet that if Ron McBride promised one share of a league championship in 9 years, or never going to the league's #1 bowl at any time, or losing game after game that the Utes shoulda won, he probably wouldn't have been hired. I think it's safe to say that the Utes under McBride have not quite lived up to expectations. Do you think that a school with a real commitment to footbal would have given 9 years to a coach with this record of underachievement? No way! Ron is still here because he is likable and loyal, and doesn't alienate his big boosters (at least so far). As such, he is no problem for the present athletic department, so achievement isn't an issue.
2. There have been plans for years to upgrade the old decrepit Rice Stadium. A real commitment to football would have meant a new stadium long ago. It's the political pressure and the promise of Olympic money that caused the U to get off its ass and do what should have been done decades ago, not the commitment to football. Sure, other facilities have been built, but only when big money boosters came forth, not so much because the athletic department made a big effort.
3. A real example of the "hind tit" commitment to football is how well the coaches and particularly assistant coaches are paid. Check it out and you will find out how well the basketball assistants are paid. Most of the football assistants probably qualify for food stamps. Most programs have learned long ago that "you get what you pay for". We have lousy unimaginative coaches because the good ones can and do get more compensation elsewhere. Until the U is willing to spend to get a capable staff, we'll see more of the same. Note: paying the current bunch better only means that we would have well paid lousy coaches. The cheapskate approach by the athletic department is probably one reason that McBride is still here. They probably do not want to eat the remaining year(s) on his contract.
4. An aggressive commitment to excellence in football would mean doing what it takes up front (even spending money) because this approach would pay off later with a full stadium, concession and parking revenue, bowl revenue, a better conference(?), money from banners, clothing, etc., better radio and TV packages, national exposure, side benefits of more donations to non athletic programs at the U, etc., etc., etc. So what have you seen from our school and athletic department?
5. Canning Ron would mean that Chris Hill admits he made a mistake. Is Chris willing to subordinate his ego to do what is necessary for improving Ute football?
There is probably more but this is getting long.
Many have said that we should keep Ron because we probably couldn't do any better. This used to bother me that Ute fans were so willing to settle for mediocrity. I think I now understand that if nothing else changes in the U's commitment to football, the results won't be any better, no matter who is hired.
I'm not optimistic that the average fan can do anything that will clear out the "good-old-boys" deadwood in the athletic department. They probably have incriminating pictures of those who can throw them out. My guess is that an outcry from the big boosters might get some changes made. We could make a stink, that if large enough might force them to do something. They may respond to negative publicity if it is big enough.They probably won't care if many small dollar members of the Crimson Club cancel. My fear is that Ute fans will have to get used to a very mediocre football program or root for someone else.
I'm sorry if this sounds so negative, but I'm afraid that this is the way it is.
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