It is Friday, March 19th…and, even though we have only mentioned this date once on the blog (click here for the detailed background that you will need), there are a lot of Wolfpack fans buzzing around with heightened anticipation today.
Take my advice…relax…enjoy the fact that Sidney Lowe’s Wolfpack men are still playing basketball.
To set the table, the following is gleaned from last week’s much more detailed entry:
For the better part of the last month, the frequency and consistency of rumors related to a Lee Fowler departure has significantly intensified. Many different sources have shared with SFN that Lee Fowler will â€˜retire/resignâ€™ as NC Stateâ€™s Athletics Director at some in the very near future. The scenarios around Fowler’s ultimate departure usually takes the form of one of the two of the following:
(1) Some of the rumors have Fowler departing NC State in May, coinciding with the end of the school year. This version centers on the premise that Fowler has been given an ultimatum to have found a new job and hit the bricks by the end of the year…or else. This would have Fowler riding into the sunset with another of SFN’s most disliked NC State administrators, Tom Stafford.
* Related to this point – SFN has recently learned that within the last few months Lee Fowler made himself a candidate for the open Athletics Directorship at San Diego State University. Unfortunately for all of us, Fowler was again passed over for the job when Jim Sterk was announced about a month ago.
(2) The more intense and immediate version of the rumors have Fowler ‘retiring’ next week as the Wolfpackâ€™s basketball season is expected to be completed. The most widely speculated and most logical date of departure would be a Friday afternoon announcement on March 19th as the news and attention to the story would be significantly diluted by the NCAA Tournament first round.
If you have followed some of our conversations on our Message Boards over the last few days then you have probably been able to keep pace with the educated speculation that evolved all week.
As we made excruciatingly clear in our entry last week, we aren’t ‘reporting’ anything as fact nor are we ‘predicting’ any hard-coded timeline. We have not confirmed enough to ‘report’ them to you ‘news’. But – hopefully you have been a member of our community long enough to understand – we do feel comfortable enough in the strength of our sources and the momentum of what we are hearing to lay the information to you for your own processing and analysis.
The following is a combination of some recently gathered information married to some speculation and analysis. We’ve got more on the speculation front to offer here, but we want to try to find some corroboration before throwing it out:
* I would be very surprised if any kind of announcement on Lee Fowler’s future would happen before NC State’s Basketball season ends. Of course, the moment I say this there will probably be some kind of announcement hit the wires at 6pm tonight.
* You must realize that the specualted plan of a March 19th announcement was originally constructed with the presumption that the Wolfpack’s basketball season would have come to a conclusion and there would be little-to-no media attention and focus on West Raleigh. Add to that expected reality a late Friday afternoon with the entire world focused on the NCAA Basketball Tournament and you have the perfect recipe for flying under the news radar. In fact, we may be hearing about some scandalous story from John Edwards at any moment now.
* But, reality unfolded different than plan. There is current media attention on NC State because the team is still playing. What if we keep winning and need to go to NYC with the NIT? That, and all of the related logistics of such a trip, are made much more difficult without a ‘leader’. (Hell…think about who we are talking about here. Do you really think that Lee Fowler is going to give up a potentially FREE trip to New York in the spring where he could spend all of the school’s money on nice meals and cigars on which to chew?)
* Additionally, would you REALLY want to miss the hilarity that Twitter’s Lee_Folwer could produce given the canvas of “Coach” and his Cougar in New York City for a few days?
* The following was posted on one of our message board threads and I think should be shared here:
Donâ€™t get too anxious. Itâ€™s going to happen whether it happens today and causes a ruckus amongst the NCSU community (distracting them from tomorrow) or whether it happens in another week. Fowler not announcing a retirement for another 7 days isnâ€™t going to ruin NC State anymore than he already has.
* As an aside…just as we found the timing of these comments last week particularly interesting, I find it peculiar that BobLeeSwagger has decided to share some comments. Really? Right now? Out of nowhere? After 10 years of being justified to say the exact same thing? What in the world is different today from any of the last 2,500 days or so?
The Future of Lee Fowler – Has this itty bitty pulse blip of Pack Hoops saved Lee from a Be Gone-ing? Take away one Saturday in late November and this sports year has been odious for Wolf loyalists. â€¦â€¦ Dickie B. has always had â€œnon-revenue sports successâ€ as his safety net. NCSUâ€™s non-revenue sports are â€œnonâ€ in every respect. I suspect its time for a change for all concerned. ….
Folks, let’s enjoy the NIT ride and then let everything else play out on its own. If SFN were worried that a core shift had occurred in these developments then we would feel differently. But, right now the weather is beautiful and the Wolfpack is still playing and we all have reason to think that Lee Fowler’s tenure in Raleigh will be ending soon.
So…enjoy yourself and let’s start getting ready for one helluva celebration party!