Monday, December 12, 2011

Coach's Luncheon

I live-tweeted (is that a word?) portions of the SMU Coach's luncheon. You can read that at

I think people heard what they wanted to hear.

If you think June Jones hung the Moon, you were thrilled and thought June Jones said all that needs to be said.

If you want to be upset with June Jones , then you didn't hear enough.

I guess I had low expectations and am not that upset he didn't get down on his knees and beg my forgiveness. I will get into it in a bit, but I do think he owes me (and those like me) an apology. I don't really think I got it today and don't expect to get it.

I think a lot of people have read a lot of things into my tweets (still hate the word) and the other summaries that just don't exist. I don't feel patronized; I don't feel like June talked to people like they were idiots (which, btw, people forget Phil Bennett was famous for).

Couple of items:

June said he was never offered and never accepted the ASU job. That may be sort of true. I have read a coach's contract offer/letter of intent before and they are the most ambiguous writings I have ever read as a lawyer. I showed it to a couple of other attorneys and the consensus was it was borderline unenforceable. It had language that said it wasn't offered until it was accepted or somesuch. Regardless, it gave both school and coach plausible deniability that an offer was never made in the event things fell through. Maybe that is disingenuous. But that's where we live today sports.

I do fault Super Agent Leigh Steinberg (TM) for a lot of this and you get the sense June does too. I can also understand June saying he won't cut ties with a guy that he has worked with for 20 years that has helped him earn millions of dollars. Still, a lot of what upsets me can be traced back to a tweet and blog post accredited to Super Agent Leigh Steinberg (TM) and for which, despite what June might suggest otherwise, Super Agent Leigh Steinberg (TM) is solely responsible for.

Where this goes, at the end of the day, I presume is an extension. I could be wrong, but I expect that announcement to be made fairly soon. Nothing was mentioned at the luncheon, but it is the logical next step in the cleanup of this mess.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

June Jones on with Dale Hanson Tonight (updated)

WFAA Channel 8. Should be interesting. Dale usually isn't afraid to ask the tough yet uninformed question.

Will June wear Red and/or Blue? Will there be an SMU logo anywhere? If I were SMU SID Brad Sutton, I would stop by the SMU bookstore just in case.

Set the DVR...

Update: turns out June won't be on despite fact that they promoted it on Channel 8 this AM.

So WFAA promotes it, but it isn't happening? Sounds odd. Suggests June didn't have the time, but channel 8 did. II am sure June has a good reason for not doing it, if so. Too bad he pissed all his goodwill away or else, I'd believe it.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

I am on Twitter

Why? Because we all are.


Quick Hit: Rice Game Attendance

Much has been made of the lack of attendance at the Rice-SMU game. Personally, I thought attendance was better than previous post-Thanksgiving games. I recall sparse crowds for even TCU-SMU on those dates (at either place).

This is not a problem unique to SMU. There is a reason Texas-Texas A&M was that week every year. There was a reason those schools weren't scheduling Rice that week.

Should it be better? Yes. However, I think it is unfair to judge SMU on what I suspect is historically the worst attended weekend attendance-wise in college football.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Did That Just Happen?

So here I am sitting at my computer listening to the Black Keys’ “El Camino” (which I highly recommend, BTW) and I am just flabbergasted. I thought I was going to write about a coaching search. Seriously. Just a giant case of WTF?-itis. Did this just happen? Did this just unhappen?

Last Thursday, I was listening to the Troy Aikman show on the KTCK. They talked for a minute about the UCLA coaching search. Troy said he was excited because he had some information on who they were looking at, but he wouldn’t share. For some reason, that made me nervous; I had a suspicion he was talking about June. Aikman and June Jones have the same agent-Leigh Steinberg.

I thought on Monday June Jones was leaving and going to Arizona State. I assumed on Tuesday, June Jones was staying. I was sure Wednesday AM he was leaving for Arizona State. Then, on Thursday afternoon, it breaks that Arizona State has withdrawn its offer.

For those that need a refresher, here is a timeline:

November 28th- ASU fires Dennis Erickson. ASU hires Dallas search firm Eastman & Beaudine to assist with the search. Eastman & Beaudine assisted with the SMU searches that led to the selections of Steve Orsini, Matt Doherty and June Jones. Bob Beaudine is a graduate of SMU.

December 2nd-SMU begins the biggest recruiting weekend in the last 20+ years.

December 3rd-At some point during the day, ASU officials meet with June Jones for several hours.

Late December 4th-June Jones is announced as the only finalist for the ASU coaching position. Outrage on the message boards, twitter, myspace, tumbler and, hell, probably e-harmony as well, breaks out suggesting that June Jones is not acceptable. Apparently, in the mind of the ASU fan, June Jones is “Dennis Erickson-lite,” which I guess means a decent name, player coach, old and mediocre.

December 5th-Outrage on the web has reached such a fever-pitch that ASU backs off and is determined to slow things down, interview the Sumlin and Fedora’s of the world at the coaching convention in NY taking place as I write this. This is all well and good, but it quickly appearing that Fedora is going to UNC; Sumlin is likely going to A&M; Art Briles is uninterested in leaving Baylor.

December 6th- By the end of the day, June Jones is the only candidate again.

SMU LB recruit Thomas Brown commits to ASU. This is interesting. ASU doesn’t have a coach. Thomas Brown has never visited there. Thomas Brown has said he was deciding between Nebraska and SMU. Now he is committed to ASU.

Khalil Pettway, SMU commit, the highest rated recruit in SMU’s class, decommits. He was visiting this past weekend while June Jones talked with ASU.

At some point, June calls his staff together for a meeting in Dallas on the 7th. This is interesting because, (i) his staff is on the road recruiting; and (ii) he is supposed to be in NY. There is an alumni event in NY on the 7th and both Steve Orsini and June Jones are supposed to be in attendance.

Outrage is beginning to percolate on the ASU boards again.

December 7th-AM: June Jones has agreed to coach ASU. There is a deal in principle. June meets with his staff and says he is leaving. June apparently tells some players he is leaving, although there is no team meeting.

ASU outrage is boiling.

December 7th-PM: June is clearly out at ASU. He will not coach at ASU. Money quote from Leigh Steinberg: "Just had one of the most bizarre endings to a set of productive discussions to bring a client to a new situation. Everything was set, few tweaks left, and the principal decision maker yanks the deal with no real explanation."

Can’t find the quote, but Turner says that June Jones will lead SMU to the Big East or something to that effect.

Orsini still attends the NY alumni event (obviously, June who was/is in Dallas, was not in attendance). Austin Kilgore was there and tweeted about it. His twitter feed is here:

Orsini suggests June will continue to be the coach. Gerald Ford suggests the same. I am not going to say “follow” the guy, but his tweets from this event are interesting. Go read them. Or follow the guy. He does something with real estate and mortgages. I am sure it is riveting.


You can go to ponyfans or rivals or scout and read the same speculation, but it is just that: speculation. Bottom line right now is June Jones either leaves stays or he is leaving voluntarily or involuntarily. If I had to place a bet, I wouldn’t. If you gave me money and told me I had to place a bet, I suppose right now I bet June Jones is coaching SMU next week, next month and next year.

I can see June Jones “retiring” from college coaching, with a plan to coach again when this blows over. He would not be at SMU and SMU wouldn’t pay him. I guess June could get a job as a QB coach in the NFL, though I doubt anyone would hire him as a coordinator or head coach. If he “retired,” however, if I were SMU, I hold the contract over him until it expires in 2015, keeping him out as a head coach at the college level.

I can see SMU sacking June Jones over this, though that appears unlikely. The “Circle of Champions” would have to make the call and pony up the money to buy out Jones and then pay for a new coach. I don’t think people realize the money involved there. More likely, SMU and June Jones reaching a mutual agreement to part ways. The parties would have to negotiate some dollar amount less than the $6,000,000 he is owed on his contract. Contrary to the views of the amateur lawyers on the message boards, I don’t see “cause” to fire Jones over this, meaning SMU would have to buy him out of the approximately $6,000,000 he is owed on his contract. That being said, if June and his staff used SMU resources to recruit kids to another university….

I can’t see June Jones coaching anywhere but SMU in 2012. He is toxic to programs at this point. Rivals notes the $2,000,000 buyout. Yes, that is something. However, the first thing that will be brought up is the ASU matter.

June has some work to do. I am not forgiving this. This was nonsense. June Jones needs to sit down with Orsini and figure out how he will fix this mess. Reassure recruits for this year and next. Reassure the assistants for this year and next. Oh, and reassure the fanbase, too... if he can.

On the road again...


I haven't blogged in three years. Be gentle.