Calls For Bunting’s Job Grow Louder

Today, the News & Observer is really focusing on the Bunting situation with a couple of articles, one of which is – “Clock ticks on Bunting”.. Additionally, this entry @ AOL highlights some recent articles.

Although it doesn’t surprise me that the world is FINALLY talking about the obvious…it continues to fascinate me how “hot” Chuck Amato’s seat has supposedly been (if you listen to the national media) while John Bunting has been able to skate by with a free pass from scrutiny with significantly worse performance than CTC.

It would be different if NC State fans REALLY were clamoring against Chuck Amato in large numbers that were disproportionate to any other fan base’s unhappiness, but the truth just does not support the onclusion that the media continues to juxtapose. Somebody says it…so it must be true!

As I stated almost two months ago in an entry that is very relevant to this entry, Coach Amato
has legitimate justification to be frustrated with the inconsistent recent media coverage of local programs. (Looks like the rest of the world is only two months behind what you see on SFN.)

This is no small issue as the coverage and focus as most definitely played a role in recent recruiting success at Carolina and decreased recruiting success in Raleigh. I am very pleased that we are finally getting a little ACCURATE focus on topic. It will be interesting to see if Carolina can hold together their strong recruiting class by signing day in light of some of the recent developments. The following are some key comments that I made in the previous entry.

The media’s inaccuracies and inability focus on the truth are starting to have a negative impact on the NC State program as it is various members of the media – at a level that is infinitely more intense than Wolfpack fans – that have insisted on writing articles about Coach Amato being “on the hotseat” while simultaneously (inaccurately) criticizing Amato for foolish reasons.

Think about this for a moment.

There is little to no doubt that John Bunting will be fired as UNC-CH’s football coach after this season if he turns in a performance that is just an average year for him. How much publicity is this topic getting? While Chuck Amato has succeeded in becoming one of the most successful football coaches in NC State history and has succeeded in elevating our program far above all other programs in the area, the media has decided to swarm like (uneducated) vultures on CTC’s job security.

The result? UNC-CH is experiencing one of the best recruiting classes in their history while NC State is experiencing our second slight downturn in a row from the standards of CTC’s first four recruiting classes.

Reality check…NC State’s program has quickly become an NFL factory while UNC’s has experienced more player turnover and attrition than is close to explicable. The success that Chuck Amato has generated at NC State dwarfs the overall success of what John Bunting has generated at Carolina in only one fewer season.

Yet, the media makes a huge deal of our successful coach being on “the hotseat” while Carolina’s unsuccessful coach gets NO public pressure or scrutiny and thereby allowing him to mislead recruits into thinking that his job is safe. Wouldn’t you be a little ticked at the idiocy and blatant disregard for reality?

General Media NCS Football

84 Responses to Calls For Bunting’s Job Grow Louder

  1. Mike 09/26/2006 at 8:58 AM #

    No doubt at times we at NC State have underachieved and been disappointed. I see many decisions by the coaches that I would have done differently, but then again, they are the paid coaches and I am the idiot in the stands. So much easier to coach from the stands. I truly feel like we can get where we want to be, with a few shrinking egos and more overall cooperation (and keeping assistants, which falls into egos and coop).

    This guy at UNC is a clown. I think we saved his job 2 years ago by letting him beat us. We need to find ways to help him keep his job, just not at our expense. He is good for the program, lets find a way to keep him there. They have the next year mentality that we had in basketball. I am confident next year will be their year, please keep Bunting.

  2. RAWFS 09/26/2006 at 9:01 AM #

    “(Looks like the rest of the world is only two months behind what you see on SFN.)”

    I would say that SFN, RAWFS and Section Six all arrived at the same conclusion roughly at the same time…. 😉

    At the same time, the oft-reviled Adam Gold of 850 The Buzz has been saying the same thing all along: no reason (yet) to dismiss Chuck. Then again, AG never calls for anyone’s head directly.

    Seriously, good point. UNC fans seem to feel that Carolina is arcing upwards, but the record shows differently.

    My worry is that they will get themselves a bona fide solid recruiter and coach. If so, we may look back at the Bunting era as “Oppurtunity Lost” because like it or not, UNC has natural advantages that they are failing to capitalize on. Another Mack Bown level recruiter over there could be VERY bad for NC State’s football fortunes.

  3. choppack1 09/26/2006 at 9:06 AM #

    Well – I’m at a loss here.

    For one – I think Bunting is a lousy evaluator of talent and poor leader. Something in his demeanor allows the Tarheels to quit on a regular basis. In short, I don’t want him on the hot seat, but it looks like he has finally arrived at that point after a predictable 1-3 start.

    Another thing – regarding the hot seat talk, it’s all predicated on the assumed finish by the journalistic community. The journalists were thinking that UNC-Ch would be decent and we’d suck – therefore, they directed most of their venom towards Amato – assuming a losing season.

    Saturday’s win over BC changed everything. State fans are walking around w/ their chests bowed out and well, Chapel Hill can’t wait to see what Roy puts on the b’ball court. Ultimately, I think a lot of this is about where they believe the passions lie. Even in a good year, you just don’t got a lot of folks geeked up about Tar Heel football – a bad year, less so. However, in Raleigh, we’re a more passionate group -and we have a more high profile coach. So, while we’re sticking out like a sore thumb, booing our coach on Thursday night game, everything seems to be fine in Chapel Hill. Well, I think we all knew that either coach could tolerate the effort we saw vs. Clemson or a 1-3 start.

    At the end of the day – you rarely get good insight from the national or local media. They use a template. Template now says, Bunting stinks. These dolts have suddenly realized that after Clemson, UNC-Ch has lost by more than 30 points 12 times – funny that they ignored the first 11.

  4. Sam92 09/26/2006 at 9:09 AM #

    The difference in coverage has a lot to do with Chuck’s personality.

    Chuck has generated a lot of hype, and hasn’t delivered on it. Bunting hasn’t delivered for UNC, but he never hyped anything.

    Chuck chooses to fight with the media, which is not savy, and creates attention. Bunting doesn’t do that.

    The other difference is that we at N.C. State have higher expectations than they do at UNC, so we put more pressure on Amato than they do on Bunting.

    Those higher expectations translate beyond the N.C. State alumni/fan base — people generally don’t expect much of anything from UNC’s football program, so there’s less heat on Bunting.

    It’s true that Chuck’s “hot seat” has received a lot more attention than Bunting’s, but it wouldn’t be accurate to attribute that primarily to the media doing a poor job or being unfair.

  5. Astral Rain 09/26/2006 at 9:24 AM #

    It’s still too early to save Amato yet. Not trying to be over-critical, but the record is still 2-2 when realistically it should be 3-1 (lost 2 games that should have been one, won one that should have been lost)

    That said, if the Pack can take out FSU again, that’s a good position to be in.

    At least CTC allows us to expect more- when I was going to school- the expectations were the same as UNC’s are now.

  6. BoKnowsNCS71 09/26/2006 at 9:32 AM #

    JB sucks up to the media and does the best con job he can. Chuck is passionate and has high goals. It’s hard to deliver on high goals every year but why not reach for the stars?

    I still think about that WP team back in 1967 that won 8 straight teams against some good talent, was ranked in the top 10 — only to lose the last 2 games by less than 7 in the last minutes of both games against Penn State and Clemson. State was on the 1 or 2 yard line and only needed to push it in. Had they done that, they would have been playing for a National Championship. And the expectations for that team were probably to just try to win the ACC title. They were yards and seconds from greatness under a coach (Earle Edwards) who went 5-6 the previous year and who had coached the Pack for 17 years. Earle had only 6 winning seasons out of those 17. Things were different then but the formula for building a winning team remains the same.

  7. TomA 09/26/2006 at 9:45 AM #

    “Mack Brown level recruiter” of course being the Rams Club and their ability to “assist” in bringing players to UNC…

  8. class of 74 09/26/2006 at 10:21 AM #

    Unless there are more Clemson like performances in UNC’s season Bunting will still be there due to money. You’re looking at $4.5 to 5 million to make a change due to the contracts they have in place and what a new staff would require to come to Chapel Hill. More than they are willing to spend to correct the problem.

  9. packbackr04 09/26/2006 at 10:44 AM #

    i hope class of 74 is right^^^ i want bunting to stay around for a while. I have made the analogy before, about him being like our former bball coach (the one we shall not mention on this site). Nobody in the Acc wants to see him go, because they beat him up like a rag doll every year. Why ruin a good thing? And if he is fired, the school may find someone who can compete. Very reminiscent of the Herb situation for the past few years, in my opinion.

    I say this realizing that Bunting has had Chucks number for the past few years.

  10. Rick 09/26/2006 at 10:48 AM #

    I have always said mass exodus of players (for whatever reason) is an indicator of problems in a program.

  11. BobLee 09/26/2006 at 10:57 AM #

    * The Grey Blackwell cartoon (which the N&O continues to showcase) was waaaay out-of-line and undefendable. Grey (one of your own!) should be beaten to a pulp and tossed in Amedeo’s dumpster.

    * The “Carolina doesn’t care about football” myth was started by our own Internet Idiot faction. That basketball has enjoyed far more success historically is a fact. Using Internet Idiot logic … Johnny and Beth Evans love Daniel a lot more than they love Andrew ???

    * CaroLoons love Caulton now because he called for Bunting’s head yesterday. I’ll never forget a Tudor column 5 years ago over which BOTH warring camps screamed “this PROVES that he sucks up to (them)”. Exact same column viewed thru partisan lens. …. and ECU nuts, of course, were simply POed that they weren’t even mentioned.

    * When two bitter rivals must share the same regional media, every word, every inflection, every type font is micro-analysed to prove whatever point the micro-analyser is determined to prove. And it will always be so.

    * Chuck is easy to cover because he delivers belt-high fastballs to the media. John, by comparison, is less combustible. NOW … that may change dramatically over the next few weeks. A WHOLE LOT might change in the next few weeks.

    * “The media” does tend to use a “bell cow” approach to certain stories. They pick up an angle from one outlet, tweak it and pass it on. That was evident in the pre-season Amato-bashing in SI, etc. “The media” reads “the media” … DUH!.

    * To say now, in the after-glow of Daniel to Dunlap, that “we never gave up on Chuck” is ludicrous. Go back to your archives. Are “the rules” now that one dramatic contrast weekend changes everything? State has a wonderful miracle game … and Carolina sucks swampwater in Death Valley … and suddenly that is the new standard by which both programs are evaluated ??? OK … but lets be consistent … every weekend we will create a new benchmark?

    * I mentioned to my Hokie buddies that you know Triangle teams are into self-absorption when the suspension of two VaTech starters goes undiscussed.

    As Jeff and Jon and others know, I’m not here to (what’s that term the loonies use) “flame”. Just offering a different perspective. FWIW, my upcoming column might just create more furor on Franklin Street than driving my F-150 thru town w/ the “I LUV Bush & Rush” bumpersticker.


  12. noah 09/26/2006 at 11:43 AM #

    Give credit where credit is due — Mack Brown is probably the greatest recruiter in college football.

    One of the big differences in Bunting’s job and Amato’s job is that absolutely NO ONE at Carolina gives a flying f*** about football. Okay…maybe that’s an exaggeration. Maybe five people care.


  13. old13 09/26/2006 at 11:50 AM #

    You’d think that between 1) Foulup’s ineptitude at public relations (not to mention at being an AD in general), 2) the ongoing NCSU tailgating fiasco and 3) the imprisonment of students at football games (denying them both food/drink and physical relief), Oblinger and Foulup should be the subject of such an article on an NCSU blog! I always thought it was “three strikes and you’re out!”

    As for Belly – “it is what it is!” (per Herb!)

  14. BoKnowsNCS71 09/26/2006 at 11:58 AM #

    Ah the music — the music. I was just listening to callers and Caulton Tudor on 850 and they all have pretty much written JB off.

    One caller, lacking any argument, stooped to a low of criticiizing Wolpackers as being illiterate and not having decent jobs.

    But to hear the whines about JB was magic to my ears. I love the sound of whine in the morning — expecially when its baby blue.

  15. SaccoV 09/26/2006 at 12:40 PM #

    In opinion, as Sam92 mentioned, Amato was the one saying “National Championships” no one else. He got some laughs in the press conference that day, and those laughs are turning into “What-did-I-tell-ya??” The fact that Bunting has been the Gomer Pyle here, turning a mediocre program into a laugher, has only recently added the necessary Brownian movement to the molecules under his behind. Bunting is substandard, as Amato is. To his credit, and our detriment, Amato can beat FSU, which is the only good thing his record really show us. Both coaches are sub-standard at best, as evaluators, motivators, and as coaches. Both need someone to bring the programs to even moderate respectibility. In some ways, I wouldn’t mind it if UNC did make the first big move to stir this horrible pot of crappy football stew in the Triangle, make something worth talking about in September and October.

  16. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 09/26/2006 at 12:45 PM #

    Gold on 850 never seems to call for a coach. He supported O’Cain and told people repeatedly that Amato wouldn’t change the program in the short run. He was right in the sense that we are still a middle of the ACC team at best. The ACC is in theory ‘better’ now and our facilities have improved so Amato has been able to accomplish some things that wouldn’t of happened without the change. With the exception of maybe Matt D’oh Adam Gold seems to have always supported the coach that is in place.

    At this point it is clear that UNC and Duke must make changes for the sake of the conference. Duke had an opportunity to before Ted to spend some money, improve facilities and do a national search but because Duke stayed close to Tennessee in Ted first game they didn’t do what needed to be done. The Devils can find someone with some stature if they want to. They may have to sacrifice and get someone with some questions like an O’Leary or maybe find someone that is older that has been out of the coaching for a couple years they can find a good coach.

    UNC has made many mistakes since Brown left. First they where going to fire Torbush then they made him fire his staff and gave him another year (enter O’Cain ball) before looking to a Saints assistant with no evidence he could do well. Carolina only made that move after Frank Beamer used like a $10 whore.

  17. westwolf 09/26/2006 at 12:48 PM #

    I agree with the analysis of SFN, especially with regard to how media coverage can impact recruiting. But the “slight” down turn in recruiting success for CTC can also be attributed to his mediocre won loss record in the last few years. Quite simply, the program has underachieved in most of the past 6 years.

    It’s important that CTC salvage this season, starting with back to back high profile wins over BC and FSU. Let’s get it done Chuck!!

  18. statered 09/26/2006 at 1:13 PM #

    “Quite simply, the program has underachieved in most of the past 6 years.” Compared to WHAT I ask? Seriously.

  19. BJD95 09/26/2006 at 1:19 PM #

    Noah, I actually DO know a “football first” UNC fan. He even went to Death Valley last weekend. They do exist – just very, very rare.

  20. BoKnowsNCS71 09/26/2006 at 1:19 PM #

    Good observation. When we brought in Sheridan and his full staff, he had established his system with coaches and players at Furman (beating a lot of bigger schools).

    When he came to State, he took the existing talent left by Reed and had a good year, then a 4-8 follow up year and then it got much better after that.

    JB was a long shot hire at UNC. He came in to learn on the job. Not knowing the subtleties of recruiting. Constantly having staff turnover. Not really having a grasp of kids versus pro-ballers. Threw some kids off the team and let others go to free up scholarships that he wasted.

    Chuck was not a head coach but did have a great foundation in the college game, coaching (defense) and recruitiing (in fact he has made some smart coups by retaining some scholarships until late in the season). On the negative side, he has not established (yet) the team of assistant coaches with experience working together to meld into a more effificent cohesive system. That piece of the puzzzle is in process. It will come. Once that happens, success can begin to repeat itself yearly.

    And yeah, there are some coaches who have been able to be more successful than JB in coming in from the pros. If you believe the hype about the past few years that UNC recrutiting classes exceeded ours, then therein may lay a clue that there is something intangible missing in JB. The man can coach but for some reason the kids don’t show up all the time. When they do, they pull off upsets. If the man ever fixes that — look out.

  21. choppack1 09/26/2006 at 1:54 PM #

    I see Bunting the way I saw MOC. Probably a good coordinator, but when it comes to the day to day of running the program, something huge is missing. Why does Chapel Hill routinely get throttled? Let’s face it – you only get 11 or 12 games, you can’t afford to give up in any. IMHO, it’s not just about talent, but managing it and that’s where he is falling short. He may be a better guy to work for than Chuck – and he may have a better feel for the game, but clearly he is having some issues – both from an administrative perspective and in the realm of motivation.

    A note about their fans – their are probably hundreds of thousands of people in this state alone, that are die-hard Carolina basketball fans. A significant # of these “fans” probably follow UNC-Ch college football w/ a casual interest. I think that most of these folks are bandwagoners – who won’t follow a team w/out much success. There’s definitely a cadre of UNC-Ch football fans – I think they’re a little smaller in # than at State, but there’s about 40K of ’em. Where state has an advantage is the tailgating and unfortunate USC-like knowlege that the game is just part of a process. Our crowd Saturday night, IMHO, is proof positive of the level of commitment from the average NCSU fan.

    Do you get the same crowd if BC is walking into Kenan under similar circumstances? I don’t know.

  22. BobLee 09/26/2006 at 2:48 PM #

    Chop … you’ve got my attention. I’m always looking to add “facts” to my commentaries.

    “probably hundreds of thousands of people in this state alone, that are die-hard Carolina basketball fans. A significant # of these “fansâ€? probably follow UNC-Ch college football w/ a casual interest. I think that most of these folks are bandwagoners – who won’t follow a team w/out much success. There’s definitely a cadre of UNC-Ch football fans – I think they’re a little smaller in # than at State, but there’s about 40K of ‘em.”

    “a significant # probably …” …. “probably hundreds of thousands…” … “most of these folks” … “definitely a cadre …” … “about 40K of’em” ???

    Please tell me you assembled these facts somewhere other than “read it on a board”. That 40K figure is especially interesting. Did you use telephone surveys, girls w/ clipboards in a mall, door to door pollsters ???

    The whole issue of “how seriously do UNCers take football” seem to me the LAST subject that would be discussed by NCSU fans considering the overall series and recent game results. Again … no flaming … but wouldn’t UNC nonchalance (if true) be insulting to NCSU? I understand UNC hardcore loonies raging about it, but why is it discussed here?

    Personally I’ve never bought in to the “UNC doesn’t really care” theory. I think UNC fans care a great deal about both sports, but BB has enjoyed unparalled success past and present. If UNC did NOT care very much about FB I doubt they would hold such a series advantage over NCSU.

    Maybe I’m missing something in my conclusion ???

  23. BladenWolf 09/26/2006 at 2:55 PM #

    One game of last second heroics does not convince this Internet Idiot at all. FWIW I still think CTC is not meeting expectations, can’t keep assistant coaches, has an unprofessional and antagonistic relationship with the media, and although extraneous to coaching, he still talks like someone has his balls in a vise and can’t complete a f’ing sentence… (ever read the transcripts of his radio show? good grief)

    statered –
    We’ve underachieved compared to his own hype if nothing else. The man continuously talks as if National Championships are right around the corner but typically finishes 6-5. And then they call the Wolfpack Nation a bunch of crazed loonies for getting frustrated by the empty talk? WTF? We’ve given him everything he’s asked for in facilities, salaries, and equipment. Where’s the results?

    I’m f’ing ecstatic that we beat BC with a great young QB in Evans, but that doesn’t save the coache’s bacon in my book.

  24. cfpack03 09/26/2006 at 3:01 PM #

    True, both NCSU and UNC fans care a great deal about both sports.
    But, NCSU has sold out C-F stadium for 7 years in a row, including the 7,000 (if I remember correctly) new seats that just opened this year. UNC, on the other hand, advertises Tarheel football on billboards all across this great state and clearly has difficulty selling seats despite their equally local alumni footprint.

  25. cfpack03 09/26/2006 at 3:07 PM #

    and back to the point at hand,
    the media pushes out more columns questioning Amato’s job than Bunting’s b/c …. (no, not a anti-pack conspiracy)…. because it SELLS more papers and drives more clicks.

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