In an article on WRAL.com, Dane Huffman conveys word from Lee Fowler:
A rumor making the rounds this week had N.C. State on the brink of a major athletics department shakeup. But university spokesman Keith Nichols said there had been no special meeting of the Board of Trustees, and Fowler said he wasn’t on the brink of leaving the school.
“I’m still here,” he said. “I’ve got a contract through October of 2013.”
Fowler said he had heard the rumor, but assumed it was an April Fool’s joke that had taken off on the Internet.
Take from that what you will, but also take from it the source: Lee Fowler himself, and also a PR guy. Those that are not speaking tells you as much as those that are: no high level University official such as the Chancellor, or anyone on the Board of Trustees, for example.
Further, read between the lines and it sounds like Lee Fowler is being defiant: “I have a contract through 2013.” Not “The University is happy with the job I am doing and this is just a crazy rumor.”
Folks, this story has real legs, and this is not the end of it as far as we know. There have been off-the-record comments by those that do know what they are talking about that indeed something is going on. What this isn’t is an April Fool’s joke, or a message board rumor that got out of control. It is not something that the writers at Statefans Nation or any other blog dreamt up, made up, misinterpreted or misconstrued. If anything, many of the folks here are being very careful to only point out palpable facts.
The bottom line: too many people in authority, in the know and close the to the situation are indicating as much — level-headed people who most definitely do not fit the stereotype of a mouth-breathing fan sitting in his mama’s basement stirring up trouble.
My feeling is this: compare the situation to the Joe Alleva situation at Duke a couple years back. Alleva was not fired, per se, but it was made clear to him that key people at Duke were deeply dissatisfied with the job he was doing over there — and that those key people would prefer that he not continue in his position. Alleva left, of course, to take the AD job at LSU…more or less a lateral move. Nonetheless, he was pushed out the door, quietly, but forcefully. At the end of the day, Alleva got another job, a public pat on the back and everybody moved on happy — and without a messy public soap opera played out in the newspapers that ended up in recriminations, lawsuits or buyouts.
It is very possible that this is exactly what is happening behind the scenes at NCSU. Note I said possible. That’s just my personal theory and nothing more than that. But I do think that if you put all of the pieces together as logically as possible that’s what you come up with as the most likely scenario. I could be wrong, or not. Only time will tell.
My free advice to you is to sit back, draw a deep breath and take a “wait and see” attitude — no matter how you feel about Lee Fowler or anyone else at NC State.