Rutgers Back in the News; Grobe interviews for Auburn Job

Since we are playing Rutgers in a few weeks, there might be some NC State fans interested in what is happening with our bowl opponent:

Rutgers president Richard L. McCormick told the school’s board of governors and trustees in an e-mail last night that he has asked Mulcahy to leave his position by the end of the year.

“Recent events have convinced me, with reluctance, that this is the right course of action,” McCormick said in the e-mail.

Mulcahy issued a statement later last night making it clear that the decision to leave was not his own.

“I was asked to resign,” he said. “I have not offered my resignation.”

Assistant athletic director Jason Baum said Mulcahy was fired at 1 p.m..

The university’s review of Mulcahy’s department followed a series of stories in The Star-Ledger that detailed hundreds of thousands of dollars in off-the-books spending that never appeared in the Rutgers budget, secret contract enhancements given to head football coach Greg Schiano and a no-bid contract with a sports marketing firm hired after it put Mulcahy’s son on its payroll.

We originally mentioned an expose done by the Star Ledger here.

Click here for direct link to the full Star Ledger article detailing abuses in their athletic department.

Two weeks ago a special university commission concluded the athletics department had been allowed to operate like a rogue agent, making secret deals and spending recklessly with little oversight. An internal audit concluded much the same.

After months of revelations of hidden spending, no-bid contracts and growing funding problems with a costly stadium expansion project, Rutgers now is at a crossroad. Later this week, the university’s governing board is to meet over what to do about the stadium, and discuss how to rein in its athletics department.

Another potential story also could impact NC State. Jim Grobe was very close to taking the Arkansas head coaching position last season, so it is safe to assume that he would seriously consider an offer for Auburn’s head coaching position. Apparently he is interviewing for the Auburn job today. Grobe has done an outstanding job at Wake Forest, however the program fell back this year to a 7-5 record after winning the ACC championship in 2006. With 4-5 programs in the ACC likely improving, there are going to be fewer wins to go around for other ACC teams the next several years.

Grobe’s recipe for successs the last few years has been:

-Don’t turn the ball over (35th nationally in 2008) and play for field position (19th nationally in net punting in 2008).

-Play strong defense (17th nationally in scoring defense in 2008).

-Create big plays on defense that lead directly to points either by defensive touchdowns or short fields given to the offense(3rd in the nation in TO margin in 2008).

-Strong special teams play (not in the top 100 in FG kicking with Swank injured this year).

Wake Forest loses 2008 Butkus Award winner Aaron Curry, all-everything cornerback Alphonso Smith, and 5 other defensive starters from this week’s depth chart. Curry and Smith were responsible for numerous defensive scores over the last three years.

They also lose one of the best ACC combination kicker/punters in recent memory in Sam Swank who has been instrumental in many wins over the last four years. Anyone remember his three 50+ yard field goals in Carter Finley in 2006? With Swank injured, Wake dropped off the charts in field goal kicking percentage (see above). The offense only loses two seniors including an all-ACC 1st team wide receiver, but Wake’s offense won’t scare anyone next season either way. They will lose a four year starter at the quarterback position in Riley Skinner after next season

Does Grobe feel it is time to cash in for a big money contract and a shot at traditional football power like Auburn?

With Jim Grobe, Wake Forest will never be an easy win again. Those days are likely over unless Grobe was to leave the program. However, at the same time it isn’t likely to get better than the last three years and it will be difficult to even match that success again. The ACC title likely earned him a contract until he retires and deservedly so. Still there was a lot of chatter from Wake Forest fans on the internet this year about making changes to his offensive staff. One of Grobe’s best qualities is his loyalty to his staff and the strength of his staff is largely responsible for Wake’s success. It should be interesting to see how he reacts to any outside pressure for staff changes in the future.

Here is how he responded earlier this year as the media and fans focused on Wake’s offensive problems:

His only complaint is that he’s convinced that those pulling the trigger are aiming at in the wrong direction. Instead of training the sights on Steed Lobotzke, the offensive coordinator, Grobe suggested a bigger target. That would be the man who recruited Lobotzke to play line at the Air Force Academy, and later hired him to be an assistant coach at Ohio University and Wake Forest.

“I knew I should have never recruited the guy to the Air Force Academy,” Grobe began, lightening the mood with his usual levity. “That was the first mistake.

“There’s not anything that we do offensively or defensively that I’m not in approval of. So they’ve got to get me before they get Lobo.”

General NCS Football

31 Responses to Rutgers Back in the News; Grobe interviews for Auburn Job

  1. CarnifeX 12/12/2008 at 11:28 AM #

    eeeeyyyyyy, fuhgetaboudit

  2. old13 12/12/2008 at 11:29 AM #

    Can’t say that this is unexpected or wrong in view of the documented reports that have surfaced recently. But it seems to me that McCormick, and maybe other top administrators/board members should also be “asked to resign” as they are the ones who failed to maintain proper oversight of the athletics department. Otherwise Mulcahy just becomes the scapegoat and the (other) guilty are rewarded (or, at least, ignored.)

  3. Gene 12/12/2008 at 11:45 AM #

    Chucking out the AD was the right thing to do, given the evidence against him. The university should appoint an independent group to make sure the lack of controls do not go higher up.

    On a side note, I know a universtiy, with Red as its primary school color, who has an ahtletics director who is excellent at managing and budgeting contracts for expanding a football stadium.

  4. ruffles31 12/12/2008 at 11:58 AM #

    Maybe Fowler would like a new department to clean up.

  5. Gene 12/12/2008 at 12:05 PM #

    Fowler didn’t clean up NC State. Robinson did that. Fowler inherited a department in good financial standing.

  6. newt 12/12/2008 at 12:18 PM #

    This scandal at Rutgers might turn into a significant event in college athletics. Rutgers has been a battleground for academics verses athletics. There is a long history there, back to the 70s even.

    Their academic community has battled the athletics interests every step of the way. most recently via a campaign called Rutgers 1000 that feared what would happen when Rutgers joined the Big East. There is also an ongoing debate about building football facilities.

    A Rutgers English professor published a book in 2007 Confessions of a Spoilsport: My Life and Hard Times Fighting Sports Corruption at an Old Eastern University.

    Even our nemesis that wrote a similar book about NC State is involved.

    Here is a post from the Rutgers1000 blog on the topic of the Mulcahy firing:

    Mulcahy Is Out, Two to Go
    December 10, 2008
    The Ledger has the news that Bob Mulcahy’s era of excess is officially over. (We predicted this termination as far back as July.) No doubt about it, Mulcahy was fired. What shoes falls next?

    We assume the BoG will announce Friday that the stadium expansion will be delayed.

    We assume Schiano, finally, will pack his bags and move out of state.

    Call it three for three by December 31.

  7. wufpup76 12/12/2008 at 12:19 PM #

    ^Don’t forget about Todd “Too Good to be True!” Turner

    In fact, hey – Rutgers – since you’re looking for a new AD and all …

    If not Goody Two Shoes Todd, then perhaps you may be interested in an AD who knows his facilities? An AD who knows the real dilemmas facing University athletics departments begin and end with deranged fans on the interwebs?

    Nobody ever said we don’t know a good AD when we see one ’round these here parts … You just let us know

  8. TOBtime 12/12/2008 at 12:23 PM #

    ^Wow newt! That is HARSH! What are they going to do though, let the new stadium sit until it falls in on itself? Schiano, as posted here some time back, could wind up at Penn State no matter what happens with the Athletic Dept.

  9. Sam92 12/12/2008 at 1:59 PM #

    the thing about Jim Grobe is, he’s solid but he’s not a star. he’s also a little long in the tooth.

    auburn dumped tommy tuberville after a lot of success, including an undefeated season, after essentially one mediocre season, because he couldn’t compete with Nick Saban. i don’t think auburn is going to see jim grobe as the solution to that problem

  10. choppack1 12/12/2008 at 2:00 PM #

    Not surprised Grobe is being interviewed at Auburn. One thing to keep in mind – I think he lost 2 key assistants after the 2007 season.

    I really don’t think anyone does a better job at preparing his team for Saturday than Grobe does. Watching his team, and all the things that they do is truly amazing (and frustrating some times how they push every rule to it’s absolute limit.)

    Luckily though – as in most cases – God is a just God, and on gameday, Grobe is pretty average. He’s often very conservative in close games – which allows opposing teams a chance to win – and he seems to have mediocre instincts.

    Like others, I think that Wake has taken advantage of a horrid situation in the ACC. Maybe you noticed, but when Wake has faced a team w/ good athletes AND athletes that are well-coached, the outcome is usually a Wake loss. However, in today’s ACC, there’s really only been 1 team that consistently meets that criteria – the Hokies. Wake also has had the advantage of having Duke as their “rival” – the only team that they’ll consistently have an athletic advantage over.

  11. b 12/12/2008 at 2:31 PM #

    Grobe would be a good hire, but if Auburn has any vision, they would pick Turner Gill and be patient with him. There will be some growing pains, but he is a solid coach.

    Buffalo was hot garbage before he got there and if he can get decent players to come to Buffalo, getting good players to Auburn should be no problem.

  12. thekind 12/12/2008 at 2:49 PM #

    You can’t win at Auburn. That was all TTubberville did and het gets fired after one tough year.
    I persoanlly believe that Auburn is in for a tough stretch of about 5-10 years.
    Grobe is only using the leverage for more money from Wake. But he is a great coach (the best on the list). If you can win at Wake with 20k fans in the stands, then you can win anywhere.

  13. primacyone 12/12/2008 at 3:12 PM #

    Got to give Mulcahy some props. If I’m not mistaken, he is the man that reponsible for honor Jim Valvano by creating the Jim Valvano room in the Rutgers locker room with the a “Don’t ever give up” mural, etc.

    I wish we had one of those.

  14. Alpha Wolf 12/12/2008 at 3:16 PM #

    “I persoanlly believe that Auburn is in for a tough stretch of about 5-10 years.”

    I do too, and the only way that they may be able to counter that is to bring in a guy like Grobe that molds very solid football players.

  15. Noah 12/12/2008 at 3:54 PM #

    Tuberville did not get fired because of wins and losses.

  16. bradleyb123 12/12/2008 at 3:55 PM #

    A quote from this blog: “Another potential story also could impact NC State…” (followed by the Jim Grobe stuff).

    How does the Jim Grobe part impact NC State?

    I mean, if Grobe leaves, then (hopefully) Wake becomes an easy win every year once again. Other than that, how is NC State impacted by the Grobe part of this blog?

    Daily update: Wake competes with NC State every year for a birth in the ACC title game. NC State plays Wake Forest every year. Anything that happens to other schools in the ACC impacts NC State at some level. It seems pretty obvious to me.

  17. bradleyb123 12/12/2008 at 5:46 PM #

    I get that, and you can see that my comment addressed that without Grobe, Wake becomes an easier win for State. The way it was worded, though, I thought maybe there was more to it than that… like Grobe leaving might result in Wake coming after one of our assistant coaches or something along those lines. EVERY team in our division benefits when a good team becomes less of a threat, not just the Wolfpack.

  18. highstick 12/12/2008 at 6:06 PM #

    I think the mentality at Auburn was “once you get Bama down, don’t ever let them get back up” and that certainly changed this past year. I’m afraid they are going to be staring a Saban for a long time based on his contract terms.

    Is there anything we can do to promote Lee’s move? Like back a moving truck up to his front dooor??

  19. packalum44 12/12/2008 at 8:27 PM #

    I think Jim Grobe would be a good hire for any school in the country. Jim thought he would get better recruits after the ACC championship but it really hasn’t translated into that according to recruiting sites. They built a poor man’s version of the Vaughan towers last year but besides that, their stadium is sad. I am happy for him to pursue bigger and better things and wish him the best of luck.

  20. TomCat 12/12/2008 at 10:48 PM #

    ECU’s Holtz is always good for a look after flirting with and turning down Syracuse. May draw an invite to Auburn as well.

  21. EverettBeez 12/12/2008 at 11:00 PM #

    I don’t know that anyone will get the time to develop a program at Auburn until Bobby Lauder (sp?) and his buddies are gone from the Board of Trustees. The group the certifies southern universities (what are they called Dr. Badger?) has already cited Auburn’s Board over Jetgate. Those folks are insane down there.

    How insane has it gotten? Last night at 6 a Montgomery TV station reported that they were about to offer the job to the Ol’ Ball Coach. At nine, a Mobile station assured folks that they were offering the job to Will Muschamp, who of course was run out of Auburn last year!

    You think Fowler mishandled our b-ball coach search, what in the world is Jay Jacobs doing? lol – where do all these AD’s go to college to learn to be this screwed up? Chapel Hill?

  22. PackerInRussia 12/13/2008 at 1:14 AM #

    I guess I need to keep up with my news better. TomCat, I didn’t even know he ultimately turned down the job until you said something about it.

  23. Daily Update 12/13/2008 at 8:03 AM #

    bradbleyb123: No confusion was intended. It was just a transition statement to put two completely different stories in the same entry together. I am certainly not a professional writer and I could have left that statement out entirely. If the meaning of that statemet went beyond the obvious, then I would have explained it further. Let’s move on.

    I thought the rest of the entry was fairly solid as far as breaking down Jim Grobe’s success, how he has accomplished it with supporting evidence, and how key personnel losses might be a motivating factor in looking at other opportunities. You could make an argument that losing just Swank for several games this year cost Wake at least 1 or 2 more victories this season alone. I used that point to illustrate how personnel losses have already impacted his program. Additionally, his loyalty to his staff and potential staff changes are issues he is going to have to deal with in the near future at Wake Forest as the link to the WS Journal article illustrates. In fact, it has been said that the reason he didn’t go to Nebraska was because he wasn’t going to have 100% control over choosing his staff.

  24. EverettBeez 12/13/2008 at 9:04 AM #

    This morning’s Alabama papers are reporting that Grobe didn’t even interview. Add it to the list of misdirections or misreported stories in this coaching search.

  25. BoKnowsNCS71 12/13/2008 at 10:33 AM #

    They are going to make him “an offer he can’t refuse.”

Leave a Reply