I don’t hate saying this, but: we told you so.
It’s a simple statement of fact to say so out loud. For over a year, this website and its authors have dutifully reported stories told to us concerning Lee Fowler’s increasingly tenuous hold on his job in confidence — that is, “off-the-record, no names, but here is what’s happening…”
Some of those stories came from high up in the Wolfpack Club, others from within the Athletic Department, and still more from within the Board of Trustees itself. To a man or woman, those folks were and are folks close to the Lee Fowler situation, people in the room who know what was said, what was not said, what was happening and what was not happening.
We wrote what we could about what we heard, honoring the requests of where the info was coming from to not name sources. Readily recognizing that things constantly change, we were more interested in being honest about what was developing in real time than being right about predicting the future.
As with dozens of other stories through the years that we have broken, analyzed and developed – we never made anything up, we never over-inflated things and we never tried to create a story where there wasn’t one.
If anything, we tried to separate information from possible disinformation, tried to make sure we heard things from at least two independent places before passing it on, and – maybe most importantly – made sure that SFN never became an unwitting PR outlet for political infighting that was going on in the hallowed conference rooms of the University.
In short, and this is important: we told you the truth.
Now that the whole story is coming into the light, the media are reporting that Lee Fowler knew that he was going to be dismissed in March, when interim chancellor Jim Woodward told the Athletic Director that he would not be retained. This news leaked out back then – not in complete detail, but enough of it to paint a clear picture – and we reported it when we were sure of its veracity. If you recall, Fowler told ESPN’s Andy Katz that ‘the Internet had fired him seven times’ – while he knew he was losing his job!
For our trouble and diligence, we took a lot of crap from message boards, from radio talk show hosts, from the press and indirectly from Lee Fowler himself. The normal riposte was “there goes HateFans Nation again, banging their anti-Fowler drum” or some other close derivative, usually followed by some sophomoric insult or two. I would say that they hurt our feelings, but when you know you are right, your feelings don’t get hurt.
We objectively knew the performance of NC State’s athletics across the board — and documented them time after time for you so you could form your own opinion. We objectively knew that people with power inside the University actively wanted change — because some of them told us — directly, I might add — exactly that, in their own words. They wanted better for our beloved school, and they were trying to change the leadership so that could happen.
But, there was one tenant of our blogging that many of our critics never understood — we don’t share because we wish they were true; we share things that we know are true. So, without second thought, we stuck by our guns because the truth cannot be changed or refuted…and now many of our readers are recognizing the work we did.
Many have asked if this website would have a reason to exist once Lee Fowler is gone from NC State. The short answer is YES. The long answer is HELL YES! In fact, the site’s highest traffic happens during and after NC State’s biggest wins.
And, we will exist without charging you $100 a year for a “Premium Subscription” only to remain 100% devoid of news, information, analysis and opinion while completely ignoring the #1 topic facing NC State Athletics for years. When will fans who use the internet realize that more often than not, you are what makes a community “Premium”. That is why our message forums have taken off so effortlessly.
That reason: to tell you the truth.
Our author team is comprised of over a dozen individual contributors. So, there is no unanimous, centralized “StateFansNation” position on most topics. We may not always hold opinions with which you agree and we expect and hope that you as our reader would hold different opinions from the person writing a given article. But you can be sure of one thing: if we say that we have heard something, we have heard something. If we think that a given coach is doing a good job or a bad job, that’s what we think. And if you disagree with us, we have always given you an avenue to respond, and not one that’s hidden away in private. The comments are for all to see, and more often than not, a discussion with a given article’s author(s) would happen when a disagreement broke out.
We firmly believe that the ultimate fairness in any walk of life is truth, and that’s what StatefansNation stands for, period.
Some say that now that Lee Fowler is leaving, this site will lose its raison d’être, its reason for being. That’s not so.
We’ll be here in the future to talk about NC State’s athletic and academic endeavors, to host a community of passionate fans, and we will be more than happy to report and comment on the good times as well as the bad. We’d most certainly rather spend our time talking about success rather than failure, but either way, you’re going to the talk in a straight forward, honest manner that does not insult your intelligence or make trade-offs based on word count and MTV-like sound bites.
We’re looking forward to NC State moving forward, to hiring an Athletics Director focused on success, achievement and superior results. That’s what the school asks each and every one of its undergraduates to focus upon before they are given a degree, and it is reasonable for NC State fans and alumni to demand that from their school’s athletics. In fact, they should never demand anything less. We never will.
NC State has incredible potential to be a powerhouse in college sports, and perhaps now that potential will begin to be realized. There’s a lot of work to be done, work by our leaders, work by our teams and, yes, work by our fans too. Let’s all look forward to a brighter future, one filled with loud cheers and success where ever NC State plays.