Monday, December 15, 2008
Charles Barkley on Turner Gill
After they hired Gene Chizik from Iowa State, Chuck had this to say about the situation:
"I think race was the No. 1 factor," said Barkley, who played basketball
for three seasons at Auburn during the early 1980s. "You can say it's not about
race, but you can't compare the two resumes and say [Chizik] deserved the job.
Out of all the coaches they interviewed, Chizik probably had the worst resume."
But is he wrong? Chizik clearly sucks as a head coach. And I don't want to hear that "he was only there for two years, what do you expect, miracles?" argument. Turner Gill wasn't ask to do anything other than make Buffalo competitive, and went ahead and performed miracles anyway. Anyone who is worth a poop as a coach can win *a* conference game.
There are some other interesting notes from this article:
Barkley, who works as an NBA analyst for Turner Network Television, said he
spoke with Gill before Gill interviewed with Auburn officials last week.
"We talked about the whole race thing in Alabama," Barkley said. "I told him it's
there and it's going to be anywhere you go. I told him you can't not take the
job because of racism. He was worried about being nothing more than a token
interview. He was concerned about having a white wife. It's just very
disappointing to me."
Those comments are very sad. Very sad. How the hell is Turner still getting "token" interviews? He won the flipping MAC Championship at Buffalo against an undeafeated, ranked team! People were talking about if he could win 4 or 5 games a year, it would be a success--and he's winning conference championships at year 3. Unreal.
This was the best point, I thought:
"My biggest problem with the black coaches is they're not getting jobs and
they're getting [expletive] jobs when they are hired," Barkley said. "They're
not getting good jobs. They're not getting jobs where they can be successful.
That's why I wanted Turner to get the Auburn job. He could win consistently at
Auburn. You can't win consistently at New Mexico. You can't win consistently at
Kansas State. He could have won at Auburn."
I think this is basically true. It is strange; it is almost as though Tyrone Willingham was the only guy that is going to get a shot--and since he screwed it up, people are tepid. This, of course, is ridiculous.
Ultimately--Turner Gill or not--how Gene Chizik got the Auburn job is just beyond me. How you are on the edge of being fired at Iowa State leads to getting a SEC job is insane.
Oh, and one more thing: LOL at Chuck's comment about Kansas State. You suck, K-State. Even the Chuckster knows it.
I really see this as college football's answer to what's transpired in the country-at-large: basically if you suck at your job, you get rewarded. Tommy Tuberville did not suck at his job, in fact he is a damn good coach that any school should be happy with, and he gets canned by some shit-for-brains AD in the pocket of boosters.
As far as the hire being racially motivated, it absolutely was, and here's how we know: if you were doing the hire and you cared one iota about the public perceiving you or your organization as racist, how could you possibly explain Chizik was the better guy?
Look at their head coaching resumes:
Chizik- inherited a program that went to 5 bowl games in six years, went 5 and 19 in two seasons, had many of his best players transfer
Gill-inherited a team that won like 10 games in 7 years, wins the MAC championship in 3 years.
I mean there's no comparison. None. If you take race out of it, the choice is clear cut. If you put race into it and you still have a "gut feeling" or whatever that Chizik is the guy, you would generally do a lot of things to make it abundantly clear that race was not an issue, etc, or just hire Gill out of guilt (rightly or wrongly).
If you're Auburn you:
1. Hire the less qualified white guy
2. Do nothing to explain yourself, figuring (correctly) that most of your fans wouldn't want the black guy with the white wife anyway
3. Look like shit to Chuck Barkley, me, GA Hill, and many other outraged Americans.
Gill or Tuberville should be coaching Auburn next year. That's for fucking sure.
I would agree with you though, Sambuca--he's got a lot of people coming back next year. Rattle off a one or two loss season next year, repeat the MAC, and extend 2 middle fingers to everyone that passed him over this year and get a big job.
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