Editorial: Dear Coach Crowton…


    On the pages of this paper, you and the rest of the faculty, staff and student body have read about T-shirts demanding your departure. You may also have read letters to the editor that called for the same. You may have felt the weight of blame some fans directed at you for the past losing seasons.

    But there were other T-shirts, there were other letters and there is a different group of fans that regrets your departure and wishes you the best.

    The aim of college sports may once have been simply playing the game itself. No doubt winning has always been the ideal if not the expectation. But putting up a good fight, playing hard but losing a close game may once have been enough. Not any more.

    Now it?s about money. College athletic programs are businesses and businesses need to turn a profit. Money comes from fans, fans are attracted by wins and the coach is expected to provide those wins. If he doesn?t, the business will not turn a profit. This means personnel cuts.

    Of course you know this. You have experienced it. It?s the regrettable condition, the unfortunate machinery that powers college football. You are one of more than a dozen head coaches of college football teams that have been fired or stepped down in the last few weeks.

    Perhaps with another season, you would have satisfied fans and financial needs. We?ll never know.

    But you now have an opportunity to prove yourself elsewhere. You remained optimistic during challenging seasons and we expect you will do the same now.

    We can hardly blame you for your decision to step down as coach. You no doubt have felt pressure from above and below to do so. But you handled yesterday?s press conference as you handled several tough seasons and one of the hardest schedules in the division: with grace and class.

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