It is no surprise that a lot of rumors regarding NC State’s Head Coaching job are starting to make their way onto NC State Message Boards and through various Wolfpack communities today. From what we have learned; some of them are accurate and some of them are absurd.
Today, we are going to share what we think is prudent regarding the current situation along with some commentary. Many of you are new to our community, we would like to stress/remind you that we have a group of authors/sources that have built very solid reputations of sharing accurate information for more than a decade. You can choose to believe or not believe anything that you would like. But, please do not spend time posting comments asking for sources or links or the like.
Additionally, we love NC State and would never willingly do anything to hurt the University. Since much of this is already hitting the rumor-mill, we hope that we can serve as a voice of reason and provide needed clarity in times that usually carry with them so much confusion.
* A few very prominent, and recognizable boosters huddled this weekend in Greensboro at the ACC Tournament and have offered to front the $800,000 required to buyout Coach Herb Sendek’s contract. Emphasis — just because donors offer money for buyouts does not mean that buyouts happen; but, buyouts can’t happen without the money.
* Donors can put together financial packages and bring them directly to coaches, or to the Athletics Director, or to the head of the booster club, or to the Chancellor. There is no protocol to be followed.
* Lee Fowler met with Chancellor Oblinger this morning on campus. This may have been a regularly scheduled meeting, or it may not have been. Nobody knows. Regardless, word of this meeting spread like wildfire on campus and throughout Raleigh this morning.
* For the first time in his tenure, many of Sendek’s closest personal supporters/friends have advised him and his family that it may be the best time for all parties involved for Sendek to take the lead in breaking ties with NC State.
* Herb Sendek has been sending feelers throughout various contacts inside of college basketball for the last couple of weeks regarding different potential jobs. One specific job that has been specifically mentioned is Oregon.
* At the end of last season, Team Sendek and some prominent boosters at the University of Michigan expressed mutual interest in the Wolverines job if Tommy Amaker were to fail to succeed this season. Michigan was generally considered one of the last teams to miss the NCAA Tournament, and we are hearing that UM values/appreciates Amaker’s loyalty to the school when he choose to accept their position in the middle of their NCAA firestorm. We have heard nothing recently related to an interest in Sendek this season.
* Similar to Sendek’s back-channel connections, some recognizable and highly-valued coaches from around the country have attempted to signal and position their interest in the NC State job if it were to come available. Some of these coaches would command pay packages between $1 million and $1.5 million dollars.
* Some key human resource consultants with a focus on advising schools in coaching searches have shared off the record that they see no way that Herb Sendek can get the type of job in which they expect that he has interest.
* Donors can put together financial packages and bring them directly to coaches, or to the Athletics Director, or to the head of the booster club, or to the Chancellor. There is no necessary protocol in the situation. In Sendek’s situation – the ultimate decision would be made by Chancellor Oblinger, the Board of Trustees, and the Athletics Director (whom has made his feelings on the topic aggressively known in public for the last five years). Unfortunately for those that support change, they will have to convince the AD to publicly admit that he has been wrong ever since the day he stepped foot in Raleigh.
* We stand by an old the story from five years ago that a group of boosters offered to pick up the tab of a buyout of up to $1 million of Sendek’s contract after his disasterous 5th season. At the time, Sendek’s buyout was structured grossly out of market and provided a significant amount of advantage to Sendek in negotiations. This was left over from the Les Robinson mismanagement of the Athletics Department. Sendek refused the deal, demanding that State pay him the full amount contractually obligated to him (a significantly higher sum). The portion of his contract that created that buyout is no longer valid.
* At the time that this happened^, Lee Fowler acted like…well…Lee Fowler and criticized and mocked rumors of the buyout in the press. On one occassion, he even called a newspaper reporter in another part of the country to tell the reporter how wrong he was about rumors that were printed. As we previously highlighted, buyouts don’t necessarily have to run through the Athletics Department and we never confirmed if Fowler was blatantly lying in public or if he had been kept in the dark.
* Like he did five years ago, we fully expect Lee Fowler to publicly parade, tirade, criticize and villify anyone who peeps a word about the current truth of the situation. In many cases, we expect Lee Fowler doesn’t know the truth of the situation (as in some of Coach Sendek’s conversations with others over the last five years).
* The most strategic option that may currently exist for NC State it to use the legimitacy of having the buyout money in hand as leverage to force Sendek to take a job that he may not otherwise take. Let’s assume that Sendek’s “line of acceptability of next job” was previously drawn in the middle of the major conferences with names like Michigan, Pitt, Indiana/Iowa, Cincy, Oregon, etc. With a buyout and the public scar of being fired staring him in the face, perhaps he can be encouraged to take less appealing jobs in a major conference, or even some jobs like the one he previously had at Miami.
* In the end, Sendek & the media can whine all they want about injustice and how great of a coach Sendek is. The only judgement that really matters is the judgement of the market. If Sendek is as good of a coach as everyone proclaims and has done such a super job at NC State, then he has nothing to worry about and the market will scoop him up with no problems. He has had a decade of opportunity to build a case for himself by participationg in the highest-profile conference in the country and with the tradition-rich resources of some of the best facilities in the country. Nobody can complain that he hasn’t been given the opportunity to build a resume. If nobody else wants him, then NC State fans are left wondering what we have ever done to be the ones who get to keep him.