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Change of Tone
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November 27, 2006

Shula Out at Alabama

True to character, and showing a remarkable short-sightedness, the University of Alabama athletics department lets Mike Shula go.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - University of Alabama Director of Athletics Mal Moore announced today that Mike Shula will not be retained as its head football coach. Shula led the Crimson Tide to a 26-23 record overall in his four seasons (2003-06) as head coach.

Shula, who was named the 26th head football coach in UA history on May 9, 2003, led Alabama to a 6-6 record this season. The Crimson Tide is bowl-eligible this season, but it has not been determined if the team will receive an invitation to a post-season bowl game.

UA assistant head coach/defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Joe Kines will assume the role of interim head coach.

On the bright side, at least it's not Dave Rader taking over, given that he seems to think field goals are worth more than touchdowns, especially in the Iron Bowl where they count for a million billion points in Raderworld.

I don't blame the Alabama fans for this; I think for the most part we have some of the most patient and respectful fans around. Of course, I could be completely full of shit and basing that solely on the fact that I am patient and respectful and kind to small furry animals with never a cross word for anyone.

Seriously though, I'd say the blame for this falls on the big money alums* that make sure Alabama's football department is well stocked**, while the University itself is looking to make ends meet (or was back in the early 90s when I called Rose Towers and assorted near-campus apartments homes). Money talks, often a hell of a lot louder than reason***.

Best wishes to Mike Shula - he served the school and her team well in multiple roles through multiple decades, and, now, he gets to be pissed off. Alas, I think counting his multiple buy-out millions might soothe his pain just a tad.

Update: Shula's statement can be found here.

I am deeply disappointed to be fired as the Head Football Coach at the University of Alabama . From my very first day on this job, I had a single mission: To return the Crimson Tide to its place among the elite programs in college football. Although I maintain that we were moving steadily in that direction, I regret sincerely that I will not be given the opportunity to finish the job I was hired to do.
There's more.

I think one of the commenters at the Montgomery Advertiser site summed things up well:

I cannot believe that Mal Moore wasn't the one getting the boot today.

If the person in charge of hiring can't "get it right" this many times, then who is really the problem?

Indeed.

Update 2: Well, that didn't take long.

Update 3: More (a lot more) over at Outside the Beltway.

* If I were a big money alum, I'd make Friday part of the weekend, and give every new baby chocolate éclair.

** "Stocked better than a big ol' catfish pond down yonder Pintlala" is the saying, I believe. And, if it isn't, it probably should be. Unless it shouldn't, because it's not like people there really talk like that or nothin', y'all.

*** Although, reading some comments around the intarwebs, it looks like even many of the average fans see this as a good thing, unaware that it's likely to going to mean another few years of rebuilding before yet another head rolls into Mal Moore's basket, and then they shall smirk and make ook ook sounds while wanking onto it, satisifed that yet another armchair victory is theirs! Huzzah!

Posted by Andy at 10:36 PM





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