I guess CU just can’t get anything right when it comes to their football program. The guy they wanted the most, Butch Jones, was quietly sitting in a Cracker Barrel restaurant in North Carolina when his phone blew up. His friends, family, players and wife all wanted to know what the hell was going on. Reports out of Denver had Jones committing to become the next head Buffalo. Jones pulled a page from Bill Clinton’s book – deny, deny, deny. He told Sports Illustrated it wasn’t true. He told the University of Cincinnati president (who’s name is Santa – you learn something stupid but funny every day) it wasn’t true. He told a Cincy local talk show host it wasn’t true. I heard he went into the bathroom, found a chubby 6-year-old washing his hands and told that kid it wasn’t true. Hey, everybody, LEAVE BUTCH ALONE!!!!
In the end, Butch told the truth – it wasn’t true.
Tuesday this week, Butch told inquiring minds at a Belk Bowl press conference to stop asking him questions or he would turn the car around and go right home. Wednesday, reporters were told NOT to even dare ask about his future, which of course they did. The real question may be why in the world is something called the Belk bowl having press conferences three weeks before its meaningless exhibition game?
Can you imagine being offered $2.5 million dollars a year to work and live in one of the most beautiful cities in America with an endless supply of sunshine and friendly marijuana laws? How long would it take you to leave a rat hole like Cincinnati to commit to Boulder? Cincy is so bad, that people with a choice choose to live in KENTUCKY! We all know what was going on here. First, the CU job just ain’t that great, that is the reason you have to back up the Brinks truck trying to get a guy most people think is Butch Davis, not Butch Jones. What in the world do you think Jon Embree is thinking right now as CU prepares to more than triple his pay and improve, well, everything for the new guy? Secondly, Jones obviously tried to squeeze every nickel he could out of the Bearcats. Butch didn’t want to burn a bridge to a city nobody really wants to go to. After all those denials, Butch knew there would’ve been no going home. Icky Woods will now welcome him happily at Terry’s Turf Club, the best burger joint in town. Pasta Jay’s will have to woo another dude.
So, you had a guy who snapped at innocent questions at a Belk Bowl presser. You had a guy who had a hard time deciding about leaving Cincy for Boulder for twice what he is making. You had the perfect guy for the constant stream of chaos that seems to surround CU. You HAD your guy, and then you lost him.
There is no doubt and no shock, the system is broken in the NCAA. Kids certainly can’t go on recruiting trips while they are already committed to their school, why should coaches be allowed to do so? Can you imagine if the QB for Cincy was taking a recruiting trip to USC before a Belk Bowl presser? It’s laughable, right? But, the fact of the matter is if the coaches had the same restrictions as the kids then you wouldn’t see this mess. You want to leave a school before your deal is done, fine, but you have to sit out a year. If that seems unfair, then fine, kids should be allowed to transfer and be recruited by other schools with no penalty. Make this playing field even and you’ll eliminate the absurdity of the coach pilfering a season which is embarrassing to all. If you are going to have all these stupid bowl games, then clearly there should be a freeze in hiring coaches until the stupid bowl games are over. As soon as the one game that counts is played, then have at it. Until then, the NCAA should absolutely restrict the out and out stealing of coaches until after Santa, and I don’t mean the Santa that runs Cincinnati, has delivered his goods.
However, none of this matters now. The Denver Post has had their Dewey-Defeats-Truman moment. They jumped the gun and we may never know if Jones was about to jump to CU. It was bad reporting and may have blown up the fragile deal in the first place. You can’t say a guy has taken a job, if in reality, he’s still just thinking about it. Let’s hope CU dodged a bullet and they get better because of it, but still this is just another bad moment in a collection of many. How does this crap always seem to happen at CU? Hopefully, this will all be a blip on the radar in the next great run in the proud history of CU football. The disappointing fact is that it has happened in the first place. School after school has interviewed and named their head coach quickly, efficiently and with no drama whatsoever. Hell, Arkansas stole a coach that routinely goes to the Rose Bowl and nobody knew it was happening.
Then again, he probably didn’t get the news that he had accepted the job at Cracker Barrel.