Mark Gottfriedâ€™s future at UA could be secure for at least another two seasons, perhaps more. The conventional wisdom is that Gottfried will be retained after this disaster. If he is retained this year then barring a nightmare, Gottfried would be back for another season. Kevin Scarbinskyâ€™s column in this morningâ€™s Birmingham News is a summary of the reasons Gottfried would be retained.
Behind the scenes in the athletic department, as this basketball season has spiraled into the school’s worst in eight years, it’s been business as usual between the coach and his bosses.
They’ve supported him in private and stayed silent in public, preferring not to dignify the keep-him-or-can-him debate.
It appears, to the coach, his supporters and neutral observers, that even though there are Alabama people unhappy with the coach, the team and the record, there aren’t enough of them in the right places to pull the plug.
In Februrary following the losses to Miss. State and Kentucky, Iâ€™m told there was a serious feeling on the football side of the athletic complex that Gottfried would be fired. It was believed by many that the decision had already been made to terminate the basketball coach.
But a few days later the sentiment changed.
Why? It appears the athletic director couldnâ€™t make up his mind, or the football coaches couldnâ€™t make it up for him.
Moore accepts, tolerates and in some cases almost encourages mediocrity unless he is forced to address it. The entrenched bureaucracy accepts mediocrity, so it is difficult to make Moore see reason. The only people inside the athletic department who wonâ€™t accept mediocrity reside on the football side of the aisle.
In fact, Iâ€™m told the $3 million buyout excuse appeared from within traditional athletic department circles. You know the circle: the one that sued Daniel Moore.
Scarbinsky also provides Director of Athletics Mal Moore some useful advice:
That’s not Moore’s style, to place specific expectations on his head coaches or else, but it’s time he changed his ways in that regard.
A coach needs to know what the AD wants and what the AD expects. A standard has to be set, and a standard has to be met.
Anything less is unfair to the coach and the school.
That is good advice, which is both fair to Gottfried and fans. Gottfried deserves this, and so do the season ticket holders.