What a day! Lee Fowler may go down in history to be the only Athletics Director to be foolish enough to allow himself to be publicly turned down by two candidates in the same afternoon. He will definitely be the only AD in history who was a coach on a staff that was so crooked that its Final Four and NCAA Tournament appearances have been vacated by the NCAA who was turned down twice.
It started with the news (and good commentary) in this entry that Steve Lavin had turned down NC State. We’ve seen some Wolfpackers on message boards say that “you don’t know that Lavin turned us down”. LOL! Yes. We do know that Lavin turned us down. Just because YOU don’t know (or are willing to listen to credible sources when they speak) does not mean that reality does not go on around you.
Beilein Says No
The Lavin news was followed up by public Strike Four for Fowler resulting from his poor execution during the search.
In a prepared statement this afternoon, West Virginia Head Basketball Coach said the following:
It has never been my philosophy to comment on job openings at other schools, but the speculation today about me accepting another head coaching job is erroneous.
I am flattered by the interest and recognition that the basketball program has received. West Virginia University and the people of West Virginia have been great to me and my family. I will be the basketball coach at West Virginia next season and I look forward to continued success.
What Happened to Beilein
One potential reason that Beilein may have fallen through was the issue of taxes related to the proposed pay structure. As was widely reported, West Virginia’s professionally managed Athletics Department had installed a $3 million buyout in Beilein’s contract. It was rumored that NC State’s compensation package would pay Beilein more money to then pay West Virginia the buyout over time.
Nice idea…except the rocket scientists at NC State may have never considered the income tax consequences of paying the money directly to Beilein as opposed to West Virginia. As a hypothetical example – let’s say that NC State was going to pay Beilein the $3 million buyout over six years in $500,000 annual increments as part of an annual pay package of $1.2 million. In that scenario Beilein would still be responsible for income taxes on that money…meaning that the additional $500,000 would need to be grossed up to something like $750,000 per year to create a net neutral income situation for Beilein.
Who says that an Athletics Director should have real world business experience to be successful?
At this point, we can only expect one of a couple of things to happen:
(1) Dereck Whittenburg will be named NC State’s Head Coach as soon as they can get him on the plane, or
(2) The search starts over and we could be doing this for a while longer. Considering that Fowler told Frank Haith, Gregg Marshall, and other coaches last week that the job was no longer vacant we don’t really know where he would start over again.
NC State could have easily hired Frank Haith two weeks ago and been done with this. But, Lee Fowler was so driven by getting a “name” (that’s what gets his name in lights!) that he lost all ability to understand what kind of “names” that he was pursuing. (Steve Lavin!)
How did we get here?
Make no mistakes about it – NC State currently sits in this precarious position because of the decisions Fowler has chosen to make. The best thing that happened today is that NC State will be getting a new Athletics Director at some point in the near future.
You are now seeing the full effects of five+ years of an Athletics Director who would not make proper and necessary decisions when given the opportunity. THIS is why so many Wolfpackers have been clamoring for NC State to take proactive control of the coaching situation as opposed to sitting around and waiting for something to happen on someone else’s terms. This is why it has been so frustratingly dangerous for a simplistic Athletics Director to publicly criticized his own fan base and consistently de-valued NC State’s job for five years.
Do you think that maybe the five+ years of Fowler criticizing NC State fans and demeaning this job may be biting him (and us) in the ass while he is conducting the search?
At least now the rest of the world sees Fowler for what we have known that he is for years – incompetent is a compliment.
Yes. You read that correctly. PHIL FORD.
The News & Observer is running an article tonight that someone at NC State (who should probably be lynched) has spoken with Phil Ford about the Wolfpack job.
Let’s be perfectly clear about this – Phil Ford is a great guy. He truly is. We genuinely like and respect Ford. (Leave your DUI jokes at the door). BUT, this idea is so obscene that it brings us to (sad) tears. We hope that there is no reason to say anything else about this in the future. It just is a horrendous “fit” and would be grossly unfair to all parties.
If you really liked Phil and had his best interests at heart…why would you consider putting him through something like this?