Fowler’s Fate May Rest in Lowe’s Hands (Updated 11/7)

We are pretty busy this morning and don’t have a lot of time to comment right now. We saw this artice in the Fayetteville Observer and figured it would generate some comments from you so we wanted to get it on the site. More later.

In our archives we ran across this old entry from April 23rd focusing on some comments from Caulton Tudor.

Since landing the job in September 2000, Fowler hasn’t faced anything nearly as important as the task at hand.

Right or wrong, the short- and long-range performance of the next coach will become Fowler’s responsibility. That sort of accountability comes with the keys to the AD’s office at most major colleges. It’s unavoidable.

For all practical purposes, the next Wolfpack coach and Fowler will be joined at the hip — actually the wallet — for the duration of their tenures on campus.

When he was forced to look elsewhere (defined as not the obvious of Barnes and Calipari), Fowler’s situation became much more precarious.

The nature of coaching hires is that Plan B is always more complex and infinitely less predictable than Plan A.

Other than for the nation’s most successful coaches, there is a litany of pluses and minuses to be carefully weighed for each potential candidate: Academic emphasis, affordability, age, recruiting skill, big-game experience, geographic background, playing style and personality. And those are a only sampling of the factors that could make the hire a boom or a bust.

In other words, the situation gets very dicey, very risky. There are as many ways to go wrong as right.

With no apparent foolproof target left to pursue, Fowler has to carefully research each point and counterpoint of those in the Plan B-group pool.

The one thing Fowler absolutely cannot afford to do is make a mistake that could put the basketball program miles behind Duke and North Carolina for the next several years

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32 Responses to Fowler’s Fate May Rest in Lowe’s Hands (Updated 11/7)

  1. partialqualifier 11/06/2006 at 1:59 PM #

    Let me say that if Lee Fowler’s job depends on us having to wait 4 or 5 years to see if Lowe was the homerun we all hope he is, I ma going to kill myself. I cannot look at him for that long!!

  2. redfred2 11/06/2006 at 2:09 PM #

    I’m dragging these posts over. That article kinda chaps my hide.

    “It’s always fun to have a new beginning,� the Wolfpack athletic director says. “And to have a new beginning with deep ties to our past makes it all the more exciting. It’s important we promote our history, our tradition and our heritage. Now I feel the evolution of the program is coming back in the direction it should.�

    Oh really now Lee, how astute of you. And it only took how many years for you to realize this?

    (((It’s important we promote our history, our tradition and our heritage.)))

    What a guy.

    Friday night, the RBC, be there, BIG PROMOTION.

    and bring a tomato(e)

  3. gopack968 11/06/2006 at 2:18 PM #

    There are actually 5 articles on Pack bball on the Fayetteville Observer site today! Listened to David Glenn interview one of the writers on his Saturday show. Very good look at the State of the Pack.

    Linked on Pack Pride or at
    (scroll down to Latest Headlines to see links for all five)

  4. redfred2 11/06/2006 at 2:28 PM #

    Rick Barnes, John Calipari…”rock stars”

    I wouldn’t think of Lee Fowler as a big fan of heavy metal. Maybe he was a little intimidated by, or felt he didn’t have anything to offer those, “rock stars” to begin with.

    “We aren’t worthy” seems to be the pattern in Raleigh.

    I’m sorry, but that rock star connotation sounds too much like something my father would have said about thirty years ago.

  5. cfpack03 11/06/2006 at 2:30 PM #

    Unfortunately, this is a catch 22 for us fans. If Lowe succeeds like we hope he does, we still get stuck with Jed. The only why he’s ousted is if Lowe is a bust.

  6. redfred2 11/06/2006 at 2:52 PM #



    Is that not exciting and the type of story that any sports fan anywhere would want to read, at any time?

    This could have been building and building since the hire was finally made.


  7. GAWolf 11/06/2006 at 3:13 PM #

    For a man who ignores the lunatic fringe of internet sports blogs and message boards, his statements pretty much exactly resemble those thrown around the same for about 7 years.

    He’s a true piece of work.

  8. BoKnowsNCS71 11/06/2006 at 3:15 PM #

    “It’s always fun to have a new beginning,â€? the Wolfpack athletic director says.”

    Yeah — that’s like saying going through a divorce is fun.

  9. Wolfpack4ever 11/06/2006 at 3:18 PM #

    redfred2 Says: “Is that not exciting and the type of story that any sports fan anywhere would want to read, at any time?

    WHY NOW and ONLY NOW?”

    redfred, Your question needs no answer if your intent is another attempt at slamming the AD.

    If your question has any authenticity to it and I prefer to think it has, then the answer is balance. Balancing the basketball season and the football season. This is not UNX. Many of us have not been anxiously waiting for bb season.

    Sidney and staff have had all they can say grace over with the recruiting, evaluating our own players through film-study, practice planning etc. Perhaps it was a conscious decision on the part of the bb coach whoever is in charge of promotion to not build unfulfillable expectations through media blitz.

    Frankly, I don’t think an all-out basketball promotion would have been appropriate in the midst of what was at the time, a football season in full swing. While we the fans are free to abandon the fg program, the administration has a bigger obligation.

    The only sport that has no season is the sport of re-contextualizing all aspects of the athletic department into a negative connotations. I don’t read many blogs from other schools, but I’d would hazzard a guess that we are national champions in this sport. 😉

  10. redfred2 11/06/2006 at 3:20 PM #

    If this kinda stuff had been promoted and shoved down the sports media’s throats from day one, by the administration, it could have helped Sidney in his first recruiting class. Like SFN said earlier, he’ll have to do it all on his own. He did, and he did well.

    Those now lost months of free publicity for the program that would have aided for future recruiting classes have stand to up to a critical press because the rigors of the season are upon us. One in which we’re out manned, brand spanking new, and one we’ll struggle our way through hoping for the best. A better foundation could have been laid without one dribble of a basketball. UNTIL NOW.

  11. redfred2 11/06/2006 at 3:26 PM #


    I know you like the guy, but the AD answers to people also. Somewhere, up there in Raleigh, there is accountability. Whoever is ultimately reponsible, your guess is as good as mine?

  12. class of 74 11/06/2006 at 3:29 PM #

    LF’s security should be tied to his overall performance not Coach Lowe’s. And if that’s the measuring stick he should not have gotten a 3 year extention like he did earlier this year if I recall correctly. His gaff’s and ineptness are too numerous to keep up with in a single post but it is sufficient to say he is one of the worst AD’s in the ACC. A nice guy but not what you need as a leader of our athletic department.

  13. choppack1 11/06/2006 at 3:39 PM #

    Actually, Lowe’s success shouldn’t have anything to do w/ whether or not we keep Lee Fowler. We shouldn’t forget, Lowe was not his first choice. Like class of 74 said, the overall status of all the programs should be considered, as should the handling of the his biggest hiring to date – not the end result.

    If you take 5 shots and make one – it doesn’t make you a good shooter.

  14. GAWolf 11/06/2006 at 3:40 PM #

    W4E = Lee Fowler with a thesaurus

  15. partialqualifier 11/06/2006 at 4:10 PM #

    I am amazed that there are still some people who defend Lee Fowler.

    I am not going to get into personality or anything like that, because I dont know the guy. All I can go on is what I see and hear.

    Lee Fowler seems like a decent guy. He obviously respects other people because he treats all of our coaches with more respect than anyone. I cannot say anything negative about him as a person, and I wont. I also understand that he is under a ton of pressure and everything he does is in the public eye. But guess what? He signed up for this job knowing full well what the demands were. I am sure he deposits that paycheck without any second thought at all. In a perfect world you could call it unfair for these coaches and AD’s to have to live out their lives in Public with every decision scrutinized to the “t”. But this aint a perfect world, because in a perfect world they wouldnt be making 6 figure salaries directing sports.

    Job Description:

    High Paying job with state employee benefits. Demands of the job are severe, and all decisions public. You will be responsible for putting NC State athletics above all else including your own personal glory. Financial demands are severe with many upgrades to facilities here at NC State. Because of these demands a premium MUST be placed on putting VERY successfull teams on the field in our 2 most profitable athletic programs: basketball & football. Doing this may require some tough and at times unpopular decisions, but remember you will be paid extremely well with terrific benefits! At NC State we have the added difficulty of being at the doorstep of two of the countries most prestigious athletic programs: UNC and Duke University…so forward thinking and long-term strategic planning are a MUST!

    This is the job description. Your choice Lee: If you’re gonna take the money and the fame….do the job. If not, get the hell out of the way and let someone do it who can!

  16. redfred2 11/06/2006 at 4:16 PM #


    Liked your BB analogy at the end there.

    Don’t all we know that it’s harder to jump right and sell something to someone else, when we have no practical experience or confidence in the product. From what I’ve seen these guys don’t know what they have, where they’re going, how they got here, or where they’ve been.

    As if it wasn’t apparent before, it has become more and apparent since they got lucky enough to hire Sidney Lowe as the Head Basketball Coach at NC State University.

    The light bulb just came on, articles appearing out of nowhere, four days before the first real basketball game.

  17. class of 74 11/06/2006 at 4:20 PM #

    Laugh of the day goes to GAWolf. I’m still chuckling.

  18. redfred2 11/06/2006 at 4:24 PM #

    ‘You mean NC State did all of that? Gosh, I work here and I would have never know that if I hadn’t read the paper today, here just 4 days before the season.’

    Two secretaries chatting at lunch, one from the SID, and the other from the AD’s office.

  19. gopack968 11/06/2006 at 4:33 PM #

    Unfortunate that such a positive and extensive set of articles only seems to ellicit old, worn-out feelings. So what if he stumbled across Sidney? The point here is that he wound up in the right place, no matter the journey. It also seemed that once SL let him know about his degree situation that LF got real interested quickly.

    LF is the AD. It will not change anytime soon. He is far from perfect. But I thought that in this series he came across better.

  20. gopack968 11/06/2006 at 4:36 PM #

    ^^ Great secretary line! It is funny that all of this came out of Fayetteville.

  21. choppack1 11/06/2006 at 6:00 PM #

    gopack86- Perhaps you missed my point. Even if Sidney Lowe wins a national this year, and NC State doesn’t lose a basketball game in his tenure – or vice versa – we shouldn’t judge Fowler on the Lowe hiring.

    IMHO, if it works out well, it’s more of a blind squirrel finding a nut than it is evidence of Lee’s genius. By the time it arrived to make a decision, our name had been trampled through the mud so much and there was so little credibility in the way that he’d handled the search that LF had to make a choice that would at least make his immediate customers happy. Hiring Sidney did that – and it looks gutsy and progressive at the same time.

    However, this was one hire – and it took him over 30 days, and 5 public brushbacks to get to him.

    At the end of the day, I’m content to look at the entire athletic department to judge Lee. I also know this: Next a major coaching positions opens up at NC State, Lee damn well better hire a consultant or he’ll end up looking like Jed Clampett again, unless he has a document signed w/ BC’s signature, in BC’s blood.

  22. redfred2 11/06/2006 at 6:38 PM #

    “the answer is balance.”

    Now where have heard that lately? The number 54 keeps ringing in my head at the exact same time, for some odd reason.

    4ever, so what you are telling me is that there just is no way to promote FB and BB at the same time. You’re right again, those guys are working themselves into a frenzy already.

    Or you’re saying it wouldn’t be the proper thing to do during Chuck’s time in the limelight. Kinda the politeness issue again. Again you are right, I’ll bet Chuck is loving all of this attention he’s getting right now.

    To basically sum it up, I think what you’re telling me is, if they’re going to stink it up, they mustn’t don’t show any favoritism while doing so, just go ahead and stink it up everywhere, evenly. But please be polite about it.

  23. BladenWolf 11/06/2006 at 10:40 PM #

    Easy now gopack968 –
    The Fayetteville Observer is my “local” paper. Although lacking in truly excellent sports writing, it is far better than reading the pro-UNX tripe in the Charlotte Observer or reading the hack jobs by the egomaniacle Blues & Disturber crew in Raleighwood.
    And just to let you know, tomorrow’s write up in the Fayetteville Observer will be about “the fan base” and our realistic (or otherwise) expectations. Stay tuned.

  24. Wolfpack4ever 11/07/2006 at 1:01 AM #

    class of 74 Says: “His gaff’s and ineptness are too numerous to keep up with in a single post but it is sufficient to say he is one of the worst AD’s in the ACC. A nice guy but not what you need as a leader of our athletic department.”

    You know, LF may be the worst AD in the ACC. He certainly puts himself in position for ridicule with some of his comments.

    I’m sure no one gives a hoot where I’m coming from, but I’m going to tell it anyway. Perhaps someone can find something in this silly story to use as ammo. When my son was in the 6th grade, his teacher called us to come over for a conference. I didn’t enjoy my parents being called for the shit I pulled in school so I was agitated to say the least. It seems our son had picked some kid up by his shirt and slammed him up against the blackboard for….. making fun of one of the main-streamed, mentally retarded students in his class. I was astounded. I felt a rush of embarrassment as I recalled NOT doing that kind of thing when unpopular kids were picked on in my class at school.

    So I take up for Fowler when he is being ridiculed. Everybody on SNF not only seems to think that LF is the worst AD on the ACC but seems to enjoy sticking a needle in him even when the justifications is thin — sort of like the wannabe tough kids did at school in the safety of the crowd. Did you see the movie or read “Lord of the Flies?” Fowler is starring in his own “Lord of the Flies.”

    ‘class of 74’ when I first signed on to this blog, I asked what has LF done to warrant the bile he was getting. It may have been you who referred me to the archives. I went back to the beginning and couldn’t find anything but interpretations of what was perceived as inept. Now we have your “too numerous to keep up with in a single post” innuendo. Surely, you guys could let some of us, uninitiated in the fine art of despising Lee Fowler, in on the facts. Or is it NOT too numerous to mention but the same old stuff repeated too many times to mention. I really would like to know because I’m not piling on just because the powers behind SNF say Fowler is inept.

    While the internet gives some of us the courage to wield a broad sword and attack, it also gives others of us the courage to stand for something we didn’t have the guts for when it would have made a difference to some kid who was taking a verbal and sometimes physical beating — not that LF is taking either one.

    This should give the close relatives of the wolves here something to get steamed up about.

  25. class of 74 11/07/2006 at 6:55 AM #

    ^You sir are in the extreme minority not only here but in the minority of the entire Wolfpack fan base. Enjoy your minority status and support those that inept individuals that lead our mediocre, at best, athletic program.

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