Friday, July 16, 2010

For Your Consideration: Blog Argues "Johnson Being Let off the Hook at Vanderbilt"

I came across this post from the blog, Sports in the 615, via my Vanderbilt "google alert." As the title "Johnson Being Let off the Hook at Vanderbilt" indicates, the author isn't happy with either Coach Johnson's decision, or the mostly supportive attitude of the Commodore faithful. His central thesis can be summed up in this sentence: "To give Johnson a pass is akin to taking another 'attaboy' pat on the head from Florida or Georgia for having played them close. Vanderbilt ought to be tired of “attaboys.” Basically, Vanderbilt fans, by accepting CBJ's retirement on 3 weeks before camp opens are essentially acquiescing to the "lovable loser" status that many SEC fans associate with the program.

I think the writer ignores both the progress that Vanderbilt football made during the Johnson era (even in spite of his overall record), and just how ridiculously good the SEC has become since Johnson took over. The SEC was always good, but I'm not sure the conference has ever been as strong as it is now. With that said, he might also have a point.

The post goes on to say:
"This would have been a perfect season for Vanderbilt to start anew. You look around the SEC East and there appears to be a chance to make some headway. Tennessee is in utter turmoil, and Derek Dooley doesn’t exactly strike fear. Kentucky has a new coach, too. Steve Spurrier at South Carolina is 65, and Georgia has been sliding for the past two seasons under Mark Richt. Heck, even Florida, whom Johnson never beat, had some touch-and-go moments with Urban Meyer after last season.

This argument is premised on the notion that Johnson knew he was going to retire all along. That is simply not supported by any statements made by Johnson, Vice Chancellor Williams, or interim Head Coach Robbie Caldwell, or any of the subsequent reporting. As such, it is disingenuous to argue that this season, but for Johnson's abrupt retirement 7 weeks before the opener, was an opportunity for the program to "make some headway" in the SEC East. Frankly, I'm dubious of that. Still, it makes for an interesting read. I would commend the story to you, and ask what you think:


Vandygal78 said...

I don't think we really had any choice but to accept the retirement. I am very sad because I do agree that the SEC East is wide open and I thought that CBJ would surprise everyone in 2010. After the pas t several days thinking about how this occurred, I think CBJ had every intention of coaching this year, especially when he saw the recruiting class. I think the murder of Rejaan Bennett had a profound effect on him. When he and his wife went on vacation, I think the idea for retirement came up then and that this was that sudden. Thinking it best for the recruits to have the coaches they knew in place, he retired. I don't like it but nothing much to do about it but support the team. I DO think we can do much much better than certain reporters think. Go Dore! Do Whatever it Takes!

Anonymous said...

american idol wannabe hopefuls have invaded Music City. The first round of auditions kicked off in Nashville.

An estimated 10,000 people lined up early Thursday to register for a spot in front of Idol producers.

Did you guys camp out for a spot?

Douglas James said...

The problem I have with this whole situation is it appears that not only did CBJ leave right before the season but by doing so he forced the administration to keep his entire staff and name Caldwell as interim head coach. People have complained about CBJ's loyalty, which he seems to have to a fault. And thats what it SEEMS like happen here. What I'm confused about is doesn't also owe some loyalty to the school? its fans? its students?

Generally speaking I'm ok with this who situation and how it was handled. Its now how I wanted things done but it could have been much worse.

I'm totally supportive of CRC and with some talent emerging think this team can be decent this year. I wish him and the team all the luck in the world.

Anonymous said...

iCRC already bitched in the newspaper how he doesn't like that "interim" in from of his title. He's lucky that we don't have a real A D or the entire staff would have been renting U-hauls and moving this week while a new long term staff under a new head coach moves in.

If he doesn't find a way to win more games than people thought CBJ was going to win this year, he can work on his resume while he grumbles about his job title.

BP said...

I certainly have no problem with CBJ retiring, if that's what he wants to do. So I don't begrudge him for that. What I do begrudge him for is the timing. If there's no urgent (ie health-related) issue that needs to be attended to, there is simply no excuse for retiring 6 weeks before the opening of the season. It's like when an employee quits and gives no notice. Eligible for rehire? NO.