ODDS AND ENDS
|ATHLETIC DIRECTOR SEARCH|
Thanks to Austin, Tx for following this, in the FanShot posted earlier this week, who noted that Level tweeted again that another candidate, in addition to current Alabama Associate AD Dave Hart and Pac-12 Kevin Weiberg, is current Miami AD Kirby Hocutt, and Level thinks that Weiberg and Hocutt are the primary candidates. Not really knowing anything about either candidate, I like Weiberg and Hocutt better than Hart, so I thought I'd post a few links about each.
Weiberg is currently the Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of the Pac-12, and has held that position since about this time last year. Weiberg was hired by the Pac-10 in February of 2010 and even a year ago, it was mentioned that Weiberg was instrumental in helping the Big Ten obtain their own television network (Weiberg worked for the Big Ten from 2007 through 2009):
"I left it feeling pretty good about the potential such a network carries," Weiberg said. "It's a wonderful way for universities to extend their brand, and it's great exposure for sports that don't receive much of it.
"Having said that, there are challenges. It's not easy to get (a network) distributed. I do think it's something that needs to be considered as the Pac-10 considers its range of possibilities for the future."
Again, that was a year ago. Prior to arriving in the Pac-10, Weiberg was named as the CEO of iHoops and had one of the most ambiguous and seemingly impossible mission statements I've read:
The initiative is designed to reach and benefit everyone who participates in youth basketball programs, including the more than 23 million American boys and girls who play basketball, their parents and those who teach, officiate and administer youth basketball programs at every level. The initiative will create a platform for teaching youth the value of education and the important lessons of fair play.
But let's speed back up to June of 2010, when the expansion rumors were heating up and reporters started to put 2 + 2 together regarding Weiberg and his employment at the Pac-10:
Did Scott hire Weiberg knowing full well that he’d attempt to pluck half the Big 12, including Texas and Oklahoma?
Did he hire Weiberg because of that?
We’ll probably never know, but from this vantage point, the latest developments have Weiberg’s fingerprints all over it. Nobody in college athletics has a better grasp of the Pac-10’s colliding canvasses — the Big 12 schools and the operation of a conference TV network — than Weiberg.
Back on Feb. 8, I figured Weiberg’s expertise in those areas might prove helpful as the Pac-10 explored expansion options that could eventually include Big 12 entities (and there’s no doubt that Weiberg brings plenty of other strengths to the table).
But with hindsight, maybe the move should have been taken as a clear indication of Scott’s territorial plans … a sign that he was going to aim high and make a strong run at the Longhorns and Sooners with a TV network in mind.
But perhaps the most important part of this entire equation, as mentioned above, is that Weiberg was the Big 12 Commissioner from 1998 through 2007 and when he left his work was appreciated:
His ability to keep money flowing into the coffers of member schools helped smooth over early distrust in the new conference. Big Eight holdovers looked at the Big 12 as an expansion, whereas the Texas schools looked at it as a new venture.
And now we turn our attention towards Kirby Hocutt, who has been the athletic director at Miami since February of 2008. Hocutt was a linebacker at Kansas State and has slowly but surely risen up the ranks, spending time at Oklahoma (raising money and obtaining his masters degree) and prior to Hocutt's hire at Miami, he was the athletic director at Ohio University from 2005 through 2008. Most recently, Hocutt was in charge of the fiasco that was the Miami Hurricanes head coaching search, which eventually resulted in the hiring of Temple's Al Golden. Meh. Perhaps the most interesting thing that I turned up on Hocutt was this blog post by Luther Campbell (yes, that Luther Campbell, Uncle Luke, Luke Skyywalker, from 2 Live Crew):
I still believe Shannon would have eventually won a national championship at the University of Miami had he been given complete autonomy over the football program. At the end of the day, he did what his bosses -- Hocutt and university President Donna Shalala -- wanted him to do. He came in and cleaned up the program, played the role of tough disciplinarian and graduated more players than any other coach before him. Make no mistake, Shalala is fine having a football program like Duke where the players' performance in the classroom outweighs their performance on the field.
I'm not saying that it is a bad thing, but at the same time, she and Hocutt handcuffed Shannon from being the guy who won championships with the Hurricanes as a player, graduate assistant and defensive coordinator. People forget that Hocutt forced offensive coordinator Mark Whipple on Shannon. Whipple was a disaster that Shannon had no control over. I know he contemplated firing Whipple during the season, but Shannon was too much of a nice guy to pull the trigger. And we all know nice guys finish last.
Hocutt and Shalala need to know they can't have it both ways. If they are serious about winning championships, then going after a guy like Jon Gruden makes sense. But they need to give him complete control. They can't tell him who to hire to run the offense and the defense. If they don't, then this program will continue to go down the tubes.
You might be asking yourself why Campbell is weighing in on the situation at Miami and he continues to be one of the Hurricane's biggest supporters and may be the one person that has true insight into the program at Miami.
With that being said, from my very superficial and 30 minutes of research, give me Weiberg every day of the week and twice on Sundays.
TEXAS TECH FOOTBALL
|A CLEAN SWEEP|
Robert Prunty, Texas Tech
2011 prospects: Branden Jackson, OLB (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport), Desimon Green, DE (Clairton, Pa./Clairton), J.J. Gaines, ATH (Irving, Texas/Nimitz), Leon Mackey, DE (Wilmington, Del./Hinds)
Prunty was once the head coach at Hargrave Military Academy, so his familiarity of players, especially on the East Coast, was a major advantage. Jackson and Green were two of the top defensive line prospects in Pennsylvania, while Mackey was a highly coveted juco player.
Congrats to Coach Prunty and let's hope like hell that all of his signees qualify and arrive in Lubbock and on campus.
|MORE RECRUITING STUFF|
The Williams and Hyatt Show had Scout's Greg Powers on the radio yesterday and talks about the 2011 recruiting class and also says that if Jonathan Gray gets out of Austin this weekend without committing to UT, then Texas Tech has a chance as does a lot of universities.
I didn't know that Athlon did recruiting rankings, but they do and in the Big 12, the Red Raiders had the #3 class:
3. Texas Tech Red Raiders (27 signees)
After a seventh place finish in the Big 12 recruiting rankings a year ago, Tommy Tuberville made big strides on the trail in 2011. Five nationally-rated recruits highlight a deep and talented group corralled by Big 12 recruiter of the year assistant coach Robert Prunty (according to Rivals). With Texas and OU dominating the Lone State State, it was important for Tech to reach outside of its borders. Tuberville used nine different states to fill out this class. That being said, the top five names in this class still hail from in-state.
Nationally rated recruits:
No. 139 Jace Amaro, TE (San Antonio, Texas)
No. 204 Kenny Williams, RB (Pflugerville, Texas)
No. 226 Michael Brewer, QB (Austin, Texas)
No. 234 Le’Raven Clark, OL (Rockdale, Texas)
No. 256 Bradley Marquez, RB (Odessa, Texas)
TEXAS TECH BASKETBALL
|BILLY CLYDE GILLISPIE TWEETS|
oldschoolraider continues to follow SportsByBrooks, who is tweeting like a mad-man about former TAMU and Kentucky head coach Billy Clyde Gillispie and his job prospects at Texas Tech should current head coach Pat Knight be fired. First, I think that Brooks, at one time, lived in or Tulsa and for those of you who don't remember, BCG was an assistant coach at Tulsa (when I was in law school) under Tulsa's then head coach, Bill Self. For whatever reason, Brooks probably developed those ties when Gillispie was at Tulsa and it appears that Brooks actually knows BCG personally because he seems to know a lot about where BCG is willing to coach next year. Here's just some of Brook's tweets:
To Wyoming fans campaigning for BCG: He has no interest in the job.
Besides TTU, BCG is eyeing ACC jobs. NC State, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest. What I've been told.
Also BCG territory: OU, SMU, Arky. He'd be interested in all of those jobs.
BCG has spent past 2 years watching high school games and will bring players w/ him to next job.
There you go. And as I always tell you guys and gals, take everything with a grain of salt. We all have our biases, but according to Brooks, the Texas Tech job is Gillispie's should he want it and that his termination and eventual lawsuit against Kentucky will not be a deterrent in his eventual hire at Texas Tech.