Tuesday, December 16, 2008

...the more they stay the same.

Most of you know that I love sports. ESPN and all things sports have become a part of my daily life. Take your pick, I love pro and college sports, it doesn't really matter.

But I want to talk about college sports for a minute, and a dirty little secret in big time college football. For those of you who follow college sports, you will know by now that Auburn University fired their successful football coach, and hired a guy who was about to get fired by a lessor known football school, Iowa State. He was about to be fired because even at a non powerhouse program like Iowa State, a record of 5-19 is not acceptable. Gene Chizik might be a good man and a great motivator, but the truth of the matter is that he did not deserve to get the Auburn job. Turner Gill did.

Field, why Turner Gill? Well, Turner Gill is African American and....Oh here we go, of course, here comes field with the give it to the black guy speech. No, not quite, this time it's a give it to the best guy who happens to be black, speech. And if I did give that speech, could you think of a better group of people to give it to than the nation's top college Athletic Directors? Consider: Twenty five percent of the assistance in major college football are African American; fifty percent of the players are African American; yet only three percent of the coaches are black. That grades an "F" from the Black Coaches Association. Wouldn't it have been nice if a big time program like Auburn had stepped up to the plate and hired a qualified person of color? I don't often agree with the mouth from the South, but Charles was right about his Alma Mater this time. This shit was embarrassing.

"It’s a comment on Auburn. It’s a comment on the state of Alabama, I just feel sadness because you know what people think of the South and Alabama, things like that. And you just hope that at some point that people are going to say we’re going to change this. Or it’s just going to stay status quo...” ...I look at things from a commonsense standpoint, how do you interview Turner Gill and pick Gene Chizik over Turner Gill?"

Not only Auburn Charles. All the big time Division 1-A programs with there athletic directors, boosters, and alumni. Many of these schools are in places like Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas, where college football is their pro game. And even in places with pro teams like Georgia and Louisiana, the college football team is still the only game in town. Who do you think is more well known in Georgia, the coach of the Bulldogs or the coach of the Falcons? If you guessed the "Dawgs" you guessed right.

And now the buzz is that one reason Gill was turned down, wasn't because he is black, but because his wife is white. Yep, seems jungle fever doesn't play too well at those cocktail parties with those good ole boy boosters. They don't want to have to "guess who is coming to dinner". Oh, and we might want to add Florida assistant, Charlie Strong, to that mix. Yep, seems the white wife scuttled his chances as well. Honey I am going on a job interview. Hey, check out this new tanning bed I got you. Oh, and look at this nice wig.

Oh field stop it, you are such a race baiter. If that was the case why doesn't the black AD at Syracuse hire Gill? Isn't he in the state of New York already? (University of Buffalo) What is it field? Self racism? Maybe all these athletic directors are smarter than we are, have you ever thought of that. Maybe it's not about race? Yep, I think about it all the time. And you know what? My mind always goes back to the same thing.

"I shuddered when I read the comments of Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs, who spoke of Chizik being the “right fit” for the job. I desperately hope that had everything to do with football."

~Dick Gabrial~~

I hope so too Dick. But it doesn't matter whether it had to do with football or not. The next big black buck recruit will still be all too glad to sign on the dotted line for old Southern State U come signing day.

Some things will never change.


Woozie said...

Nope, college sports are still boring. And I'm a college student!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the idea that it could be all about race-but the only way Dick and us will find out is through time. Only time will tell- his productivity and accomplishments with his position and team will prove whether he was truly chosen for his capabilities and intelligence or not.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that shit is fucked up. On a brighter note, the Eagles are looking GOOD! Did you listen to the post-game presser? McNabb is PISSED at the fans, which maybe will be good for him to fire him up!!!!

Bob said...

Gill came out of Nebraska, which was great when he played & was an assistant coach & recruiter there, but struggles to be mediocre now. So what doesn't he understand about big time programs?

Christopher Chambers said...

They love seeing brothas running the football but not in control as coach...AD...president of the university...president of the USA. LOL

Anonymous said...

I'm a native Floridian, and I can tell you that in terms of race relations, things have improved in these parts, but, Lord, have mercy, there is so much improvement that needs to be made. I am SO not surprised by what happened at Auburn. Maybe other folks in other parts of the nation -- who would even bother to pay attention or take to knowing about such things -- would be scratching their heads about such a thing, but not me. And this is just what we have read in the papers. There is, of course, so much that doesn't make it to a minor conversation, much less national news.

field negro said...

Woozie, you are missing out.

Bob, that's another dirty little secret. Most of the blacks in college coaching are there to rceruit, not to help with the X & O's.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

The white wife strategy played well for Harold Ford, but then again, he's a Republican. I imagine Gill wasn't...

grown said...

As a native of one of those states you mentioned where college football reigns supreme (Go Hogs), I'm not at all surprised or saddened.

As far as I'm concerned they did buddy a favor. These crazy folks are not going to change their attitudes about race or interracial dating anytime soon. Why put yourself through the headache?

Besides, if they would've hired him, they would have just rode his ass all season and would have fired him in two years, tops.

Anonymous said...

Field said: "The next big black buck recruit will still be all too glad to sign on the dotted line for old Southern State U come signing day."

Change that to Alabama and I'll agree with you. Black athletes may rally around a black coach but they sign for TV and bowl games just like any other athlete. I remember Urban Meyers getting rough treatment not too long ago. I suppose if he'd been black, he have been gone. Some things are slow to change I guess.

Go hogs, szechuanpork

Anonymous said...

Look, I don't follow Jigger Ball that much so I really don't give a rat's ass about it.

I'm quite certain the above article was another "us Negroes are always getting the short-end of the stick just 'cause we be black" routine.

But I do take exception to your little sidebar thing on Bernie Madoff, who stole the 50 billion in a Ponzi Scheme. The guy is typical thieving Jew -- just like the rest up there, who've stolen so much that we are going into a depression.

You can spout off all you dam want about Negroes being treated so badly, but don't be calling a Jew White!

-- Your favorite Ebil Whitey

Chris said...

Paterno inked for 3 more years. So cranky old men are still well represented.

Anonymous said...

I am a huge fan. If I don't get the blog o' the day, I just close my eyes and substitute gender for race. Makes perfect sense every time.

"Have you ever thought...maybe it's not about race?"

HA! No, it's always about race/gender. ALWAYS. One or both, usually both.

Lola Gets said...

The Black Snob had a similar post a few weeks ago. In it, she wondered if Harold Ford would have had a better political career and a shot at the presidency, if he didnt have a white wife. Hmmm. Makes one think, doesnt it...??

As a Black woman, Im not really quite sure to make of this, so Imma just step out now.


rikyrah said...

Well, Notre Dame totally did Ty Willingham wrong too.

FOlks are right about them being married to Snowflake being part of the problem.

But, it totally is ridiculous when they hire someone who was LOSING. They couldn't find a WINNING White coach in order to cover up their dirtyness?

I told you before, this is why Palin upset me so much. It's one thing to live with the knowledge of White Privilege. It's something altogether different to have it shoved in your face in such a package of mediocrity. So, I feel for the Brotha. They didn't even bother to pretend not to insult him - they hired a loser. A White loser. But, isn't this the same school, or was it Alabama, that wouldn't hire the Brotha that ultimately wound up at either Mississippi State or Southern Mississippi- one of the two.

Anonymous said...

I played the college football game and I watch it very closely.

The numbers you cite are very disconcerting. However, if their is one thing I have learned about college football coaching is that it is a very tight-knit fraternity (one of the few places where "six degrees of separation" truly exists). We represent so few numbers because we aren't in the click and many of us don't politic to get into that click.

It's about getting the right black coach into a high profile coaching position. Just because a coach has had success at a mid-major doesn't mean he will have success at a major program.

Case in point, Ty Willingham and Stanford were a great fit. He fielded competitive teams, presented respectable graduation rates and, hell, even won the PAC-10 in 1999. He bolted to Notre Dame and we all know how that turned out (no fault of his own). He didn't fair too well at Washington either. He should have stayed at Stanford.

The SEC hired a black coach five years ago (Sylvester Croom). Again, not a good fit. The Bulldogs were immediately slapped with probation for offenses before Croom's leadership. However, he did manage to eek out a winning season in 2007. He eventually resigned this past season.

Again, that wasn't a good fit. I am not so sure Auburn would have been a good fit for Turner Gill. Yes, his turning around of Buffalo is commendable. I remember when they made the transition from 1-AA to 1-A in 1999 (scratched my head over that one because they were a horrible 1-AA team). They were extremely awful for years.

However, success at Buffalo doesn't foretell success at an SEC power such as Auburn, where the rabid fans are going to want success immediately. Auburn just won the SEC four years ago and Tuberville has a winning record (85-40).

Gill is still a young man and his time will come. Nebraska still hasn't been restored to national prominence. He could be chosen the second time around.

Anonymous said...


Harold Ford is not a Republican.

Anonymous said...

It's not only down south, Field. Notre Dame fired Willingham and replaced him with a white dude that's done a lot worse, who they are still hanging on to. But yeah, the Confederacy is taking it to another level.

And I swear the only thing Paterno wants outta life now is to drop dead on the sidelines during a game and be buried there.

Hey, I see the Cyber-Klan "phantom avenger" is back. He's always good for a chuckle. Or not.

Anonymous said...

Re: 12:32

I see your point about Gill possibly being a bad fit for the program, but I still see a lot of racism in the choice made by Auburn.

If there was no racism involved, why would Auburn pick a guy with a 5-19 record instead of another white guy with at least a better record that that? 5 wins and 19 losses should get a coach relegated to 1-AAA or high school coaching.

Auburn's not acting in it's best interests and this choice shows it.

Anonymous said...

As a University at Buffalo alum I thank Auburn for being that stupid.

Hopefully turner stays and we go to bowls for years to come.


Anonymous said...

Justin, you're in luck. Turner Gill and his staff got a contract extension and a hefty raise earlier today.

I hope Auburn doesn't make another bowl game for the next five years. Serves them right.

Seda said...

Field, after reading your blog, I feel good about my alma mater. Ernie Kent's been head coach of the men's basketball team at the University of Oregon for years, and no sign of him leaving yet, even though the community's about 90% white and 9% hispanic. As for football, Bellotti's got that job until hell freezes or he chooses to give it up.

And speaking of some kick-ass college football, the Ducks do pretty damn well for a small school in a big conference. And they're fun to watch.

Rater said...

I wouldn't say that Eugene is a small school. Nevertheless, the Ducks are competitive, but haven't really made a real run since 1994.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Syracuse has a black AD?

I need to pay more attention to what's going on at my alma mater.

I know you love your Eagles but don't get too excited. Go G. Men

Shady_Grady said...

Ultimately Gill will be better off working for people that know talent when they see it.

Losing a job to a fellow that went 5-19 is so ridiculous you just have to laugh..

Anonymous said...

I am going to be a terrible person and say that I did have feel an unholy thrill to know that having 'Snowflake' the perfect white wife isn't all it is cracked out to be....of course as a rational adult I realise that is not justified, they should be judged on their abilities NOT their spouses but it is interesting to know that their supposed status symbols cost them jobs....I know this is wrong but I couldn't help myself

Anonymous said...

I don't care about any of the sporty bunch, Field. I am not a bread and circuses type of individual. Well, OK, I'll have some bread that I hunt and gather, but I will skip the circuses.
Sports are going to have a big meltdown along with the economy, it is already underway. I prefer to play sports, not watch them. And the "subtext" of so much of sports {race and gender, even class and nationality} is so medieval that I get hives if happen upon something when I am at someone's home or at the bank {they have a TV there}. Well, so much for my contrarianism.

Tammy said...

I think Christopher Chambers has the right of it when he said:

They love seeing brothas running the football but not in control as coach...

It's a good 'ol boys network and always has been. They like to be in charge and recruit black men but when it comes to being in charge, guess what? That's going to be a white thing.

I'll tell you something else that I feel from the white community that is often felt but rarely spoken except from the boldest and most ignorant. There is a sense that 'if the minorities take over, what will happen to us?' that goes around. This feeling of losing power and not being able to get a fair shake afterward.

It's as if every white person is suddenly going to be oppressed and beaten down. It never seems to occur to them that things will probably be [for them] much like they are now for other minorities. You'll find some in the majority that will treat you fairly and some not so much. Regardless, your time in the sun may be done and that's the way it's gonna be.

But anyway...that's the sense I get here too. White men holding onto the last vestiges of power in a game that has largely been 'taken over' by minorities (not my quote but one I've heard). The ironic thing is...those same white men are the people that recruited the men who 'took over'.

David Sullivan said...

I agree with you Field...but...if you are going to start throwing percentages around then consider this..the percentage of faculty including deans and such are overwhelmingly white as are most student bodies. The players are just entertainment for this majorly white crowd. The head coaches are just a reflection of the rest of the hierarcy.

Lokk at what Charlie Weiss did at Notre Dame to fuck up Ty Willinham's program (and that's coming from a Pats fan!)

Christopher said...


I'll just wait till spring and the start of baseball season.

We always make a few drives up to Toronto to see the Yankees play the Blue Jays and Rochester has our Double AA team, the Red Wings.

Maybe it is the recession and all the struggle I see everywhere but, something changed in me this year when I saw the Yankees offer CC Sabathia a $161 million, seven-year contract. That's just obscene when millions of Americans are losing their homes in the mortgage meltdown, unemployment is soaring and homelessness is on the rise.

Rater said...

Black athletes are playing at majority white institutions for only the "entertainment value" if they enter with the notion of "making it to the league" and that attending class is a minor inconvenience.

The black athletes who are truly student-athletes are "entertainers" by coincidence in pursuit of an education with a high level of utility after graduation.

brohammas said...

Ya'll can say its not aboutrace all you want, and it may not even be an overt racism that locks out qualified black coaches, but it seems to me college football is THE best example of what institutional racism is.
You have to be one of the good'ol boys to coach, and it just so happens that none of the good 'ol boys is black. Thier ultra-exclusiveness has made thier racism a "non-issue".
Of course all that really matters in football is my University of Utah Utes sending the boys from Bama home crying.

Rater said...

The Utes are a retread-mid-major-WAC team (I played in the WAC 10 years ago).

Alabama is going to give the Utes a rude awakening...lol.

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ch555x said...

Yeah, college football is the lifeblood for many folks, especially down this way (TN). Racism may have played a role in selection, but who's problem is that? It wouldn't make sense for Gill to jump ship at UB, which just won a conference title, to a school that looks to be rebuilding AND has to deal with their neighbors sporting crimson. Couple that with SEC tradition and no thanks!

I've been falling out of favor with college football anyway due to their lack of a concrete playoff system, buck this so-called BCS computer stuff. The lack of black and other minority college football coaches is just another fly in the ointment given the amount of minority players in NCAA sports in general...its laughable!

SoulOnIce said...

In the words of Dr. Boyce Watkins:

Paying $5.1 Million dollars to get rid of a good coach so you can pay more money to get a bad one is flat out stupid. Even if you are a racist, you should at least be a smart one.

I mean, besides it being racist, it's plain stupid. Hell, Iowa State 2-10, and didn't even play Oklahoma, Texas, or Texas Tech this season, yet they STILL STUNK. It just doesn't make any sense, whatsoever.

On the flip side, Turner Gill will get a chance to continue to build what he's started at Buffalo, so this may work out better for him after all.

tjwash said...

Christopher said...

something changed in me this year when I saw the Yankees offer CC Sabathia a $161 million, seven-year contract. That's just obscene when millions of Americans are losing their homes in the mortgage meltdown

I have to admit to having one guilty pleasure...college hoops.

But to your point...I started feeling like you did 10 years ago, when pine shiners in baseball started to whine about only earning a paltry 3 million a year.

Actually, I think they have always whined about money, but I just started to notice it about 10 years ago. My brother makes very little money, and is barely scraping by, but you should have heard him moan when one of his favorite players "got gypped and only got signed to a 12 million dollar contract."

All professional sports in this country blows. They shoved a new ballpark down everyone's throats in San Diego a few years ago, while my daughter in law got her hours cut from her job at the school district, and they cut the city budget and closed libraries.

It's the death throes of every dying empire...bread and circuses.

Anonymous said...

Let's read what The Auburn Beat had to say.

A2daK said...

Well, I'm a big sports fan and love football whereever I can get it. I love the pros, college and high school football.

But, I'm no idiot. It's very clear that the folks that make the decisions across the country belong to good ol' boys club that doesn't accept brothas unless they are forced to do so.

Kudos to the Field for blogging on this. More light needs to be brought in this area. Their little glass ceilings will soon disappear or be shattered by the public fury.

Marc B said...

There have been some questionable hires in NCAA football recently (Bobby Petrino to Arkansas and Lane Kiffen to University of TN come to mind). This Chizik kat doesn't have the resume for an SEC school, but that also does not mean it's a gimme for a couple of specific selections. The NCAA has many good coaches. There are several coaches that would be more suitable in developing a top notch SEC program, and Turner Gill and Charlie Strong were but two of MANY better candidates whom were passed over.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

If picking College Coaches were under a mandate like Federal Contractors mandated to have EEO hiring standards, Turner Gill gets the nod.

As it is, not even being embarrassed by the NAACP or any other Civil Rights organizations is enough to quell inherent discrimination and bigotry.

I'm tired of the African-American having to always be near perfect, but the White guy can Eff-Up and be given numerous second chances to Eff-Up again.

field negro said...

Chris WTF? Jo Pa is what, 90 now?

"I'm tired of the African-American having to always be near perfect, but the White guy can Eff-Up and be given numerous second chances to Eff-Up again."

Co-sign christ. prog. Like Chris Rock says, that's when we know we will have true progress in certain areas. When we can be as big a f**& up as the other guy and still get another job later down the line. Most Af. m coaches are one and done if they get fired. (See Art Shell) Let's see if Syvester Crooms gets another chance in coaching. I think he did a decent job down in Starkville. AKA Cow bell country. And what happened to the guy at UCLA?

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

And my Raiders haven't been for shyt since they canned Art Shell.

Hell, every white boy Al Davis hired since Chucky has not been for shyt.

Jibreel Riley said...

Congrads to Tunner Gill and the U at Buffalo, yes the school I attend. This should help place Buffalo football on the map. Now what the F is going on at Temple? All that football talent in PA and Temple keeps coming up with goose eggs?

Rater said...

Temple Football was never a powerhouse. Even when Palmer played (back in the '80s) they were a mediocre team at best.

The college football hierarchy in PA has always been 1. Penn State, 2. Pitt and 3. Others.

Anonymous said...

Field, you can't seriously be surprised, can you? Naw...you CAN'T be.

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