More Great Media Coverage of NC State Football

I was listening to Sporting News Radio (on my beloved XM radio) this morning on the way to work. The morning guys were talking college football with Matt Hayes, and I was surprised to hear him talk at some length about NC State. Turns out, they were discussing this article, which I found under “magazine exclusive.” So, it has been on the web and the radio, and will soon be in print.

The title is “Some Coaches Need a Hail Mary Finish,” and includes the following key excerpts:

What’s the problem: N.C. State’s talent is in the upper echelon of the ACC, but the Wolfpack is the most undisciplined, unorganized team in the nation.

Where it gets ugly: The athletic director begs fans for patience; the coach begs his team to play with more discipline. Neither has worked.

Note how Matt Hayes gets even more ammunition out of Lee Fowler’s ill-advised “open letter” to NC State fans. Refreshingly, Hayes does not claim that NC State fans should be more patient, just that the AD is begging for such. Although Hayes concludes that Amato’s job is safe this year, he believes Chuck will definitely be in the hot seat in 2006.

I disagree with his assessment about NC State’s “investment” in Amato. In my view, we’ve invested too much in the program to let it stagnate another year, and make a new coach’s job that much harder. One subpar recruiting year is better than two in a row. I don’t think we “owe” Chuck anything beyond our contractual obligations. That may seem cold, but I think it’s just keeping priorities in order – I am an NC State fan, not a Chuck Amato (or any other NC State coach) fan.

I do understand that a change in 2005 is extremely unlikely, with “AD Status Quo” calling the shots. But if I were making the decision, here would be my criteria:

7-4: still skeptical, but firing not imminent

6-5: probably don’t fire, but seat is very hot for 2006

5-6 or less: pink slip

For context, Chuck Amato’s “company” in Hail Mary land includes Kentucky’s Rich Brooks, Kansas’ Mark Mangino, and Missouri’s Gary Pinkel.

UPDATE: Sure enough, the November 11 issue of The Sporting News has this article on page 55, with a nice picture of Chuck is previously trademark tacky sunglasses.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

General Media NCS Football

33 Responses to More Great Media Coverage of NC State Football

  1. Class of '74 11/03/2005 at 10:20 AM #

    NEVER have truer words been spoken! Your points are 100% accurate. In business you correct problems immediately, but in the academic world the idea of swift action is rare.

  2. newswolf 11/03/2005 at 11:00 AM #

    You have to remember this is an athletic department of Fowler, Horning, NLF. They couldn’t run a lemonade stand. I wish working in the real world was a require to be in the NC State Athletic Department

  3. Class of '74 11/03/2005 at 11:21 AM #

    That’s where the WPC should play a larger role. Without the WPC all they would have is a lemonade stand!

  4. BJD95 11/03/2005 at 11:31 AM #

    It all depends on how truly unhappy the “pork money” is. I’m not sure Fowler, driven by inertia as he is, could stand up to that kind of internal pressure.

  5. Class of '74 11/03/2005 at 11:42 AM #

    Pig Boat can’t be happy with a third consecutive season of underperformance. Heck, nobody should! I say, and I know the season isn’t over yet, 3 strikes and your out!

  6. TigerFan 11/03/2005 at 11:56 AM #

    In football coaching as much as anything else, perception is reality. The loudest voices that criticize institutions for being too quick to replace coaches are former and/or fired coaches. Coaching is a tough business, but that’s why head coaches make the big bucks. Coaches are big boys, and if they lose, they should be out. The question I ask about Amato is, if he can’t win with this team, who can he win with? It’s the same question we asked at LSU of Dinardo in 1998 before showing him the door in 1999. Amato already had one losing season despite an outstanding defense. There is no way he should get two and keep his job.

    Once players stop believing in the coaches, they rarely recover. Eighteen to twenty-two year old college athletes are driven off emotion, but more than anything, holding on to a coach too long can adversely affect recruiting.

    Other than Tommy Tuberville, I can’t think of a single coach in the SEC who’s been a major disappointment then turned things around. Of course, Tubberville’s major disappointment was overstated given who he lost to in 2003 and much of his criticism is unfair. From my perspective, Amato has had it pretty easy so far.

  7. BJD95 11/03/2005 at 12:17 PM #

    ^ A great “outsider’s” view on all of this. Thanks.

  8. newswolf 11/03/2005 at 12:26 PM #

    I agree, I can make the case to fire or not fire Amato, but when you are losing a lot of “playmakers” off a team that probably won’t go to a bowl, why would we be better next year?

  9. Class of '74 11/03/2005 at 1:26 PM #

    I think it goes beyond next year. If the move to replace is deferred then success is just postponed another season. If you look at all of the hires NCSU has made in the two revenue sports since the 1940’s, when have we gone out and gotten a high profile, proven coach. The answer is never! We have always gone after someone who the A.D. at the time thought was a “up and comer”. Reading between the lines, someone we could get on the “cheap”. Show me a perennial football power that hasn’t spent big bucks on facilities and staff. Usually you get what you pay for.

  10. Jeff 11/03/2005 at 1:37 PM #

    Let me ask you this (I have been using this for a few weeks). Let’s say that we finish 5-6 this year and the “pressure” is on next year.

    For all intents and purposes…NC State will be breaking in a new quarterback next year. If Marcus Stone was the answer, he’d have been playing before now. This new quarterback will be completely inexperienced – Evans/Greco/Burke.

    With our ACC Schedule….we will be LUCKY to go 6-5 in 2006 regardless of WHOMEVER is coaching.

    With that said…how is the program perceived and what is our momentum if Chuck takes us to 6-5 on the back of the last 3 years?

    How is the program perceived and what is our momentum if a brand new coach comes in with low expectations and immediately goes to a bowl at 6-5?

    It is the exact same result with a mountain of difference in its impact to the NC State football program and University community.

    Then again…that is WAY too strategic and proactive for Lee Fowler to think through. It is all about “standing by your guy” when the chips are down above all costs.

  11. Sam M '92 11/03/2005 at 1:49 PM #

    Right on with tying the team’s record to whether Chuck gets the boot. If there’s some miracle 7-4 finish I’ll give Chuck credit, and another year. But we could easily be 4-7, with 50/50 shot at 5-6.

    And can we get rid of Fowler at the same time?

  12. BJD95 11/03/2005 at 1:52 PM #

    ^^ Exactly. Add on top of that the fact that Lee Fowler would (despite the lack of fan enthusiasm and program momenutm resulting from Amato’s “accomplishment”) see that 6-6 mark (we play 12 games next year) as “progress” and extend Amato’s contract.

  13. Class of '74 11/03/2005 at 2:50 PM #

    If we could get a Butch Davis or someone of his ability I don’t think we will see a 6-5 record with the talent onhand.

  14. Virtual 11/03/2005 at 3:25 PM #

    Remember, these comments you refer to are from blogs which are the most dangerous and erroneous sources of info in the land(read this weeks Forbes). Just because some guy named Hayes refers to the blog doesn;t give it any authenticity not should we worry about it…I’m sure neither Chuck or our AD (a very good one) are bothered by these periphrial reports.

  15. BJD95 11/03/2005 at 4:03 PM #

    ^ Uh, Matt Hayes was referring to HIS OWN column, which will presumably also be in this week’s Sporting News. Matt Hayes is the primary college football writer for The Sporting News, not just a random guy on the internet.

  16. FireCoachAmato 11/03/2005 at 9:46 PM #

    [NOTE: Can post substantive argument, but not promote the website.]

    Coach Amato was given carte blanche and he has given us an un-coached football team in return. The penalties and the chaos have gone on long enough…

  17. newswolf 11/03/2005 at 10:45 PM #
  18. Class of '74 11/04/2005 at 6:04 AM #

    Virtual- I’m sure neither does worry and that’s the problem they are oblivious to what is going on all around them. Are you a Tarhole plant?

  19. Jeff 11/04/2005 at 8:41 AM #

    Matt Hayes is one of the most respected college football writers in America and has a weekly column in The Sporting News.

  20. George 11/04/2005 at 10:39 AM #

    Lou Holtz turned the NC State program around immediately when he took the job. Dick Sheridan took a 3-8 team and turned it around to an 8-3 squad. Charles Davenport (former State quarterback) said if Sheridan had this team, it’d be in the Top 10. All we’ve had under Chuck is hype, no substance (Rivers carried us the first years and we had that one good year)…..A head coach is only as good as his staff and there’s been no consistency. Frank Beamer’s staff, Bobby Bowden’s staff, all are loyal and remain with him….If we win one or two conference games, Fowler has no choice (the big money guys are already barking)….Butch Davis would turn things around immediately. So would Norm Chow if he got total control and brought in the assistants he wanted….The Future is NOW (George Allen)….

  21. BJD95 11/04/2005 at 12:02 PM #

    ^ George – is this something Davenport just said, or has it been printed/reported somewhere?

  22. Haredogg 11/04/2005 at 12:08 PM #

    Good points by Jeff about 10 ^’s up. After the excitement that has been brought into the progam, it is hard to justify a change at the end of this season. But I think next year should be his defining season.

    No bowl, IMO, with another cupcake non-conference schedule, means it is time to go. Burke should show some promise next year if he is allowed to play (and there is the possibility of Brent S. coming in and starting right away). I think that will be determined by how well Marcus plays over the final 4 games.

  23. Mr. O 11/04/2005 at 1:12 PM #

    Personally, I don’t think it will happen regardless of the results of the last 3 games. We pay Amato about $850,000 which isn’t much in this day and age. He makes less than Jim Grobe and about half of what Groh and Fridge make. It would be interesting to know what we could pay if we were in the market for a coach next season.

    I do agree that our prospects for next year don’t look good. We lose a lot of key players.

  24. st0rmin 11/04/2005 at 1:19 PM #

    Chuck has won 60% of his games. Third on the win list, third on win. % list. Guys, we have not been very good in football ever. Chuck is 10% above our historical average. Not giving him credit for the Rivers years means not giving him the blame for the last 1 1/2. I think we go to a bowl at 6-5 this year. Do I Support Chuck? Hell, yes! Do I Like Chuck? I don’t think so. Keep the faith!

  25. Class of '74 11/04/2005 at 1:45 PM #

    First of all we do not pay Chuck $850k. That figure includes all the extras like the addidas monies, TV show, radio show etc., his salary is more in the $250k range. That’s what we are on the hook for annually. Move him to a fund raising position in the school and bring on Butch Davis.
    As to the winning % check the percentage in the ACC and he”s upside down there. Beating-up on MTSU, Arkansas State and the like doesn’t impress me at all. Do I support NCSU hell yes on that, but not an under .500 ACC coach after 5.5 years with loads of talent and top 10 facilities!!!!

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