Dr. Witt, end this lawsuit

Time for UA to cease persecution of Daniel Moore
note: The University was emailed several times last week in an effort to gain comment about the lawsuit. Emails to Dr. Witt, Mal Moore, Finus Gaston, Doug Walker and other UA officials went unanswered. The offer remains open for any University official to share their perspective on why the lawsuit is a reasonable use of University resources.

Let’s sue Daniel Moore!

That’s a decision with as much wisdom in it as other decisions made within the confines of the University. It ranks right up there with, Let’s hire Bill Curry, or Let’s hire Mike Dubose.

An organization is only as good as its leadership. Incompetent leaders beget incompetent employees. Incompetent—You couldn’t find a better word to describe Alabama’s athletic department in the post-Bryant years. A line of athletic directors and University presidents have all failed. Whether it was arrogance, poor hiring decisions, or a failure to supervise subordinates, Alabama was hit with probation and other setbacks.

So, instead of keeping Coach Franchione happy and in place, instead of making sure Mike Price was focused on sports instead of bars, and instead of equipping Mike Shula with the tools to win and training the young coach, Alabama officials decided to intimidate and sue Daniel Moore.

That is a great use of time and resources.

In the last 25-years, Alabama has shot itself in the foot with bad decisions. And could any decision be worse than suing Daniel Moore?

He is renowned artist, popular with the people and a product of the University. He should be treated with more respect than this.

Moreover, he is an ambassador for UA athletics. He harkens back to a championship era of Alabama football—something becoming harder and harder for fans to remember.

I’m not going through the particulars of the lawsuit. (They can be found here. ) What is important here isn’t the facts of the case, only lawyers obsess about facts and points of law, what is important here is leadership. Dr. Robert Witt is a great president. His record so far is one of achievement and courage. He has stood strong on improving the Strip; he made the difficult decision to allow change in the football program by firing Mike Shula; he made the unpopular decision to fire Mike Price.

Dr. Witt has shown a willingness to make the tough decisions.

It is now time for Dr. Witt to call off the dogs (lawyers), and control the bureaucrats. Dr. Witt must end this lawsuit against Daniel Moore.

The lawsuit is a vestige of past error, despite what lawyers may advise, it only hurts the University to continue it.

Briefs are being filed on both sides—the parties have asked for summary judgment. It is the perfect time for rapprochement.

Dr. Witt, call a truce. Can the acquisition of a few extra dollars, offset the bad publicity for the University? In November, UA’s lawsuit against Moore was the subject of a NY Times article. When the lawsuit was filed, it was the subject of derision on talk radio and by newspaper columnists.

It remains a blight on the University’s good name. Even a victory would damage the University further.

A good leader knows when to end a fight. One mythical leader was reputed to have said: Destroying an empire to win a war is no victory, and ending a battle to save an empire is no defeat. (Hey, it sounds profound, even if it was from TV!)
Dr. Witt, show yourself a leader again. Stop the lawyers run amok.