Wheels in Motion? The Coaching Scoop

It is no surprise that a lot of rumors regarding NC State’s Head Coaching job are starting to make their way onto NC State Message Boards and through various Wolfpack communities today. From what we have learned; some of them are accurate and some of them are absurd.

Today, we are going to share what we think is prudent regarding the current situation along with some commentary. Many of you are new to our community, we would like to stress/remind you that we have a group of authors/sources that have built very solid reputations of sharing accurate information for more than a decade. You can choose to believe or not believe anything that you would like. But, please do not spend time posting comments asking for sources or links or the like.

Additionally, we love NC State and would never willingly do anything to hurt the University. Since much of this is already hitting the rumor-mill, we hope that we can serve as a voice of reason and provide needed clarity in times that usually carry with them so much confusion.

Thank You.

* A few very prominent, and recognizable boosters huddled this weekend in Greensboro at the ACC Tournament and have offered to front the $800,000 required to buyout Coach Herb Sendek’s contract. Emphasis — just because donors offer money for buyouts does not mean that buyouts happen; but, buyouts can’t happen without the money.

* Donors can put together financial packages and bring them directly to coaches, or to the Athletics Director, or to the head of the booster club, or to the Chancellor. There is no protocol to be followed.

* Lee Fowler met with Chancellor Oblinger this morning on campus. This may have been a regularly scheduled meeting, or it may not have been. Nobody knows. Regardless, word of this meeting spread like wildfire on campus and throughout Raleigh this morning.

* For the first time in his tenure, many of Sendek’s closest personal supporters/friends have advised him and his family that it may be the best time for all parties involved for Sendek to take the lead in breaking ties with NC State.

* Herb Sendek has been sending feelers throughout various contacts inside of college basketball for the last couple of weeks regarding different potential jobs. One specific job that has been specifically mentioned is Oregon.

* At the end of last season, Team Sendek and some prominent boosters at the University of Michigan expressed mutual interest in the Wolverines job if Tommy Amaker were to fail to succeed this season. Michigan was generally considered one of the last teams to miss the NCAA Tournament, and we are hearing that UM values/appreciates Amaker’s loyalty to the school when he choose to accept their position in the middle of their NCAA firestorm. We have heard nothing recently related to an interest in Sendek this season.

* Similar to Sendek’s back-channel connections, some recognizable and highly-valued coaches from around the country have attempted to signal and position their interest in the NC State job if it were to come available. Some of these coaches would command pay packages between $1 million and $1.5 million dollars.

* Some key human resource consultants with a focus on advising schools in coaching searches have shared off the record that they see no way that Herb Sendek can get the type of job in which they expect that he has interest.

Related Commentary

* Donors can put together financial packages and bring them directly to coaches, or to the Athletics Director, or to the head of the booster club, or to the Chancellor. There is no necessary protocol in the situation. In Sendek’s situation – the ultimate decision would be made by Chancellor Oblinger, the Board of Trustees, and the Athletics Director (whom has made his feelings on the topic aggressively known in public for the last five years). Unfortunately for those that support change, they will have to convince the AD to publicly admit that he has been wrong ever since the day he stepped foot in Raleigh.

* We stand by an old the story from five years ago that a group of boosters offered to pick up the tab of a buyout of up to $1 million of Sendek’s contract after his disasterous 5th season. At the time, Sendek’s buyout was structured grossly out of market and provided a significant amount of advantage to Sendek in negotiations. This was left over from the Les Robinson mismanagement of the Athletics Department. Sendek refused the deal, demanding that State pay him the full amount contractually obligated to him (a significantly higher sum). The portion of his contract that created that buyout is no longer valid.

* At the time that this happened^, Lee Fowler acted like…well…Lee Fowler and criticized and mocked rumors of the buyout in the press. On one occassion, he even called a newspaper reporter in another part of the country to tell the reporter how wrong he was about rumors that were printed. As we previously highlighted, buyouts don’t necessarily have to run through the Athletics Department and we never confirmed if Fowler was blatantly lying in public or if he had been kept in the dark.

* Like he did five years ago, we fully expect Lee Fowler to publicly parade, tirade, criticize and villify anyone who peeps a word about the current truth of the situation. In many cases, we expect Lee Fowler doesn’t know the truth of the situation (as in some of Coach Sendek’s conversations with others over the last five years).

* The most strategic option that may currently exist for NC State it to use the legimitacy of having the buyout money in hand as leverage to force Sendek to take a job that he may not otherwise take. Let’s assume that Sendek’s “line of acceptability of next job” was previously drawn in the middle of the major conferences with names like Michigan, Pitt, Indiana/Iowa, Cincy, Oregon, etc. With a buyout and the public scar of being fired staring him in the face, perhaps he can be encouraged to take less appealing jobs in a major conference, or even some jobs like the one he previously had at Miami.

* In the end, Sendek & the media can whine all they want about injustice and how great of a coach Sendek is. The only judgement that really matters is the judgement of the market. If Sendek is as good of a coach as everyone proclaims and has done such a super job at NC State, then he has nothing to worry about and the market will scoop him up with no problems. He has had a decade of opportunity to build a case for himself by participationg in the highest-profile conference in the country and with the tradition-rich resources of some of the best facilities in the country. Nobody can complain that he hasn’t been given the opportunity to build a resume. If nobody else wants him, then NC State fans are left wondering what we have ever done to be the ones who get to keep him.

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General NCS Basketball

33 Responses to Wheels in Motion? The Coaching Scoop

  1. Clarksa 03/13/2006 at 4:03 PM #

    Keep yo the good work!

  2. Sammy Kent 03/13/2006 at 4:09 PM #

    Some key human resource consultants with a focus on advising schools in coaching searches have shared off the record that they see no way that Herb Sendek can get the type of job in which they expect that he has interest.

    Maybe Herb needs to make a public “Ah kin COACH!” disclaimer to improve his reputation. Oh well. When I was single I used to want all the ladies to think I was handsome and sexy. When I got married, the only opinion that mattered was my wife’s. I guess as long as Herb can stay married to Lee Fowler that’s the only opinion that matters to Herb.

  3. TVP 03/13/2006 at 4:14 PM #

    “Some key human resource consultants with a focus on advising schools in coaching searches have shared off the record that they see no way that Herb Sendek can get the type of job in which they expect that he has interest.”


    I think the events of the upcoming weekend could have a decisive effect on whether Sendek is here next year or not.

  4. Cardiff Giant 03/13/2006 at 4:32 PM #

    I think we will have to use dynamite to get him out of here, after we dynamite Fowler.

  5. class of '74 03/13/2006 at 4:42 PM #

    First of all this is a great piece. The true measure of how great Herb really is will be who and how many come calling for his services. My fear is it will be few and th not so great that want our Herbie. It is a shame the state lemon law doesn’t apply to coaches.

  6. NCSU'79 03/13/2006 at 4:47 PM #

    Well, Texas Tech hired Bobby Knight despite all the bad press but, then again, he could coach and actually won championships.

    I’m afraid it will take another crap season before both Sendek & Fowler are thrown out!

  7. Chris 03/13/2006 at 5:23 PM #

    Herein lies the problem that I fear will keep Herb here at least another year. The only way he leaves is on his own accord and for another job somewhere else willing to pay him enough. We won’t fire him, so someone else is going to have to hire him. Problem is, I don’t think anyone out there really wants him. He’s just not an attractive coach that other schools really want that bad. Everyone in the media and at other schools talk about how he’s a great coach and we’re crazy for wanting him out and we’re going to regret it if we do and yadda yadda yadda….

    If he’s so damn great, why aren’t these schools blowing up the phones and knocking down State’s door to talk to Herb???? Because no one is really interested in Herb, that’s why. The truth is, no one really wants to take a chance on this guy b/c they see the problems they will get themselves into in hiring him. Good coach, but not a great one. Hart to get rid of when they see what he’s really all about.

    We’ve really gotten ourselves into a mess with Sendek. Other schools don’t want any part of it (and I can’t say I blame them).

  8. crpagpalp 03/13/2006 at 5:43 PM #

    Great work. Will there be a daily update on the situation? Sad to say, I am more interested in potential buy-outs than in the actual tourney.

  9. 4NCST8 03/13/2006 at 5:47 PM #

    If I’m Sendek, I’d seriously get out right now. No kidding. I’m being absolutely serious. I don’t like Sendek. He’s arrogant, condescending, and aloof and he’s drained the life out of NC State basketball for many of us. I love NC State and I love NC State basketball and the caretaker of the program should be a man who is passionate about winning championships. Sendek has never been that man, nor will he ever be. I can’t stand his attitude. He downplays the importance of winning and has no serious aspirations of winning the ACC. Sure, he might talk about a little bit, but he doesn’t want it that badly.

    If he gets out now at NC State, he’s still marketable: 5 straight NCAA bids, consistent middle tier program in the ACC. He can probably land a job elsewhere. Might be at a school with less prestige than NCSU, but it will be a college coaching job nonetheless.

    If he stays, it will get more ugly next year than just some heckler in Greensboro last week. Herb will hear a lot of boos, catcalls and he will get harassed a lot more to his face next year at the RBC. For big ACC games, attendance will probably be bad. And between the RBC Center, his radio show, and the Internet, he will feel the pressure and the heat like he never has in his eleven years. If he’s here next year. I wouldn’t blame the fans at all for turning up the pressure like he’s never felt it next year. If it would make him leave and go somewhere else.

    I’m just sick of him and his attitude and his lack of connection/feeling for the NC State fanbase. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say this man is as disconnected as any NCSU coach has ever been with the alumni and supporters of the university.

    I don’t particularly care for Adam Gold. But he made a point about an hour ago on the radio. He said, “If Sendek would just like act like he cared about the Carolina game or losing to Carolina by 24 points or losing six straight to them, he would endear hisself more to the people.” So true. The man has no clue how to join hands with Wolfpack fans and feel their feeling, passion, and emotion. He’s just Mr. Cerebral.

    And I’m so sick of it. I’m sick of people defending it. And I’m sick of him being here.

    He cares not about winning titles. It’s only a job to him: collecting a lot of money.

    Fine. He’s made millions and given NC State next to nothing in ten years.

    Just take your millions and leave, Herb.

    For the good of the program, yourself, and the fans.

    Go far, far away from Raleigh and please don’t ever come back.

  10. 4NCST8 03/13/2006 at 5:49 PM #

    One last comment: Next year, when he’s uncerimoniously dumped and fired, he will be less attractive to potential schools. While the going is moderately good, he better leave State now.

    It will get ugly next year and he will be less marketable than right now once he’s completely fired from NC State.

  11. Fish 03/13/2006 at 5:58 PM #

    Great work and great comments.

    Now if someone would only take Lee Fowler then SenDICK’s days would be numbered.

  12. Jeff 03/13/2006 at 6:42 PM #

    I would tweak the “if he showed he cared” comments slightly —

    You can fool a lot of people a lot of the time. But, those people that you fool are usually those that don’t have to spend a lot of time with you. People that do spend a lot of time with you cannot help but innately pick up on truisms.

    If Herb genuinely connected and had the same kind of fire as the great ones – Smith, K, Case, Valvano, Sloan, Roy, etc – then the people around him would naturally know it and respond to it. He certainly wouldn’t need people like Fowler having to publicly assure others of this.

    This is NOT about Sendek expressing his emotions differently than others. This is about his emotions not being able to connect, motivate, and inspire those around him. Whether it be expressed or not, it obviously isn’t effective.

    If Sendek had this quality…we wouldn’t even be talking about it because the people around him (his team) would have responded in a manner where we wouldn’t have performed so poorly for so long.

  13. WhitCanCoach 03/13/2006 at 6:49 PM #

    Jeff’s comments are spot on.

    I’ll go even farther — People know he’s a fake.

    Whether they admit it or not, peopel know & feel that deep inside his heart he has a feeling of not belonging and of inadequacy. I don’t know if it is the geek in him or what. But, he doesn’t have the natural confidence that you must have to battle on the national stage and his players know it.

    This becomes reality on the court. For 10 years our players have clammed up and lost big leads. They get scared to death any time that we get a lead and usually choke games away. Conversely, we never make similar comebacks as those made against us. He can’t put a 10 year trend off on his talent when the only common thread in the 10 years is him.

    As it relates to our horrible record in close games, I think Jeff once asked “how do we have enough talent to be within one possession of teams but not enough talent to win the game?”.

    Here is your answer. He can’t manufacture and control these situations and our players pick up on the fact that he doesn’t the natural confidence that comes from most successful leaders.

  14. Chris 03/13/2006 at 7:11 PM #

    ^^ and ^, agreed 100%. You guys have got it. And I think everyone else (i.e., those who have held out on him for so long until now) is starting to realize it too.

  15. NCSU'79 03/13/2006 at 8:01 PM #

    Great comments.

    Great coaches love the thrill of the game, the challenge, the hunt.

    I heard Valvano once said ” We are 3pts down, there are 10sec’s left, we have them right where we wanth them!” It may not be true but, I think Valvano lived for those moments where Sendeck dreads those moments,if he cares at all.

    More & more I think upon it, Sendek doesn’t have these qualities so, I can only conclude he’s in it only for the money.

  16. Cardiac95 03/13/2006 at 8:03 PM #

    Awesome report guys!!!!

  17. Wolfpack Willie 03/13/2006 at 8:29 PM #

    Fantastic story! I feel my depression lifting a tad…
    Now, a question about the following:

    Similar to Sendek’s back-channel connections, some recognizable and highly-valued coaches from around the country have attempted to signal and position their interest in the NC State job if it were to come available. Some of these coaches would command pay packages between $1 million and $1.5 million dollars.

    Can you “speculate” as to whom these coaches are?

  18. Kingfish 03/13/2006 at 9:09 PM #

    Great work! I love this site. So many people feel the same way I do. What is truly amazing is that I can not find anyone who likes Zendick so why is it that he stays?

    4NCST8 those were awesome words. I have met him. He is arrogant, etc. etc.

    Why is it that the HSSS defend him? They have no facts to back up anything remotely positive.

  19. Kingfish 03/13/2006 at 9:10 PM #

    I have not been this excited since the days of Fire and Ice. It may finally be over!

    “For the first time in his tenure, many of Sendek’s closest personal supporters/friends have advised him and his family that it may be the best time for all parties involved for Sendek to take the lead in breaking ties with NC State. “

  20. Joe 03/13/2006 at 9:33 PM #

    I have 3 guesses as to 1 guy they think is interested in coming to NCSU:

    A coach from the lone star state
    A former Clemson coach
    A coach who hates Dean Smith

    Am I close?

  21. Astral Rain 03/14/2006 at 4:49 AM #

    I will say this. I gave Sendek every opportunity to prove himself- until this year. I grumbled, but I remember the Les era, which is when I went to school, and the first couple years of Herb. I attended the NIT games back when we were happy to be in the NIT. I honestly believe now that Herb’s recruiting and coaching will only get us to a 20-25 ranking and 5 seed at best (The year NCSU was a 3, we were overseeded- and ripped as such deservedly, I was expecting a 5 that year). That is good enough for a lot of people, but I think NCSU can be a contender program, at least in spurts.

    Herb should be thanked for bringing the program to respectability (as much as some hate to admit it, he did bring the program up to a respectable level), but I really this he’s reached his limit here. It’s time to find someone to take the program to national contender status- which is possible- look at Tennessee this year. Rick Barnes may be the answer- he may not. He may not even want the job.

    As for Sendek, I think it would be best if we found him a nice lateral move, maybe to another major conference school that’s fallen on really hard times- give him a nice buyout and a gold watch, and wish him the best of luck. He’s not a bad guy- he’s just not the right coach for us right now- it’s getting to be a bad fit. The fans have completely turned on him due to frustration. We do have a very demanding fanbase compared to most schools, but with good reason due to our tradition and location.

    Honestly- I think Sendek would be much better suited to coaching at a top level mid-major then a school like NCSU- his strengths would be maximized there, and his weaknesses minimized.

  22. class of '74 03/14/2006 at 7:09 AM #

    It’s the peter principle. He’s fine at the mid-major level but he has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt he can not reach the top at this level. I just marvel at those that say well how can you know this? He’s still improving isn’t he? Look at his recruiting and those he has coming in how can you say this?
    To those I say, look at the numbers and look at the years of trying. He is stuck on decent and decent isn’t getting it done anymore!

  23. 83 Memories 03/14/2006 at 9:55 AM #

    Once at a Wolfpack Club meeting, I heard O’Cain say for us not to woory about what Carolina’s doing and woory about what we need to do. Well, that day he became a traitor. Then he went on to take a job there. State’s coach wether it be Sendek or his replacement replace needs to publicly profess that the Carolina fan’s, their players, coach and whole program are a buch of spoiled rotten wealthy a-hole’s who can buy and have what ever they want and thats why they should always win. State has to scratch for everything they can get ever since Valvano was soldout by our traitor administration. The State program has to become known as a blue collar, scrappy, tough son-of-a-bitches who will knock any player (Hansbrough) dumb enough to take a charge up into the upper deck. Hell we play in a hockey arena. Sportsmenship be damned, this is war. Teams need to be afraid of us and so do the refs. We need the next Bobby Knight, except one with good judgemnet.

  24. Fletch 03/14/2006 at 10:28 AM #

    FWIW Lee said yesterday he met with the chancellor Monday and it was a rutine meeting. ie monthly or weekly. What wasn’t rutine was the meeting with him on Sunday…

  25. JeremyHyatt 03/14/2006 at 12:01 PM #

    O K

    who has NC State beating Cal in their bracket printout? Go Pack.

    Oh and on this whole Herb Debate… it is indeed a thought-proking debate…

    I would not mind seeing a new coach come in and take us to a national championship, but who is to say the next coach pick will be able to do that? or i guess you are all willing to take that chance?

    Sendek has obviously put together a respectable program, but it is safe to say many of you feel he is not good enough of a coach to make the program better than upper-mid to mid-tier ACC / top 16-30 team. Perhaps. If you are not content with respectable and want greatness, you will not get it here, but is picking the right coach enough make that happen?

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