Friday, February 03, 2006

Thoughts on Copeland

So, Copeland is gone. I never liked Copeland much. I would say he really accomplished nothing while he was here, but a year or so ago I started really looking into the building of Ford Stadium. I think some give him too much credit for getting it built, but most people give him zero credit. The truth is somewhere in between. He really did work to get the thing built and it really may have been his vision. So, kudos for that.

I officially got sick of Copeland in early 2001 when I got my season ticket renewal package after the 2000 season. It was the first season in Ford, the team won three games. I can best describe the renewal package as an invoice. We felt like we were being taken for granted. Where was the letter saying the 2000 results were not acceptable and that SMU was doing everything in its power to get better?

We were so incensed that we decided not to renew. There were ten of us that had season tickets that year in a group. Of those ten, I think I am the only one that consistently goes to games anymore, let alone has season tickets.

And then after four coaches were hired, one NIT invite between them to date, I think it is pretty clear that a change in direction was needed. I think I said it about a 100 times, but I would be damned if I would accept another coach selected by Copeland.

On top of that, fundraising just didn't seem to be there at the end.

Anyway, on to more interesting matters: finding a new AD. According to today's DMN, Turner says the new AD will need experience. Turner also said prospective candidates will need to fund raise, build strong relationships with the city of Dallas and develop credibility with the faculty.

With the exception of not really giving a shit about the faculty, that pretty much sums it up for me. I kid. If "develop credibility with the faculty" means doing whatever is needed so that SMU can recruit the same HS, Juco and I-A transfers as TCU, then I am all for it.

Candidates mentioned include SMU's two senior associate athletic directors, Scott Secules and Carlton Cooper.

Secules is a former Virginia QB who spent a brief unmemorable career in the NFL. He is also kind of the "fan favorite" of the ponyfans alumni. Secules is in charge of external operations and fund raising. He has been at SMU ten years. I really don't know Scott even though I met him once or twice. I won't judge him as a person. The guy is in charge of fundraising; anybody think SMU athletic fundraising is going great guns?

Cooper apparently played basketball at Texas. I have never met Cooper. Cooper, we are told is the "supervisor for several sports including men's and women's basketball and soccer, helped form the search committees that hired men's basketball coach Jimmy Tubbs, and women's soccer coach John Cossaboon." Tubbs, huh? This is the SMU Football Blog for a reason. I will be blunt: I don't like Tubbs. I think he was a bad hire. I never thought he would deliver what we were promised he would bring, and that is quality HS recruits from the area. And to date, he hasn't.

I just don't have much interest in a guy that is already here. I would rather have a guy start fresh.

Former SMU associate athletic director John Montgomery is also a candidate. He is now the President of the "Ram's Club", which is the fundraising arm of UNC's athletic department. If you want to know a little bit about what that group does, check out its website.

I could go on and on, but I will just quote mrydel on the message board, who I think hits the nail on the head:
... I would like to pursue someone like the Asst. AD at USC, Miami, or some other school that we could build a model like. Now be assured that I do not know the actual status or experience of those 2 individuals, it is the concept I am suggesting. We need for the Board to decide first that they are willing to invest the money and open up their eyes to the need to "massage" the model under which we now work, and go get someone that knows how to do it. Now is not the time to be content with the slow progress that is being made, but rather use this opportunity to do things that either Copeland could not get done or was not supported in doing. This is a key time in the future of SMU athletics. I personally like Jim Copeland. He has chosen to retire. The opening is there and we need to take advantage of this time and take a major move forward or we will be stuck where we are for another 20 years. This could be one of the biggest hire decisions in SMU's history, in that a wrong move could be our last move in big time athletics. A right move could put us on track to the recovery that should have occurred several years ago.

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