Dearest Selena Roberts,
Ken Fowler | Tuesday, January 30, 2007
A few weeks ago, you boldly stated that the vibe out of Notre Dame was that Charlie Weis was surprised by the demands of the job and that he wants to leave.
I’d venture to guess that the nation’s most reputable paper doesn’t encourage its writers looking like clueless fools. You must have missed the memo.
On Sunday, you, a New York Times reporter, wrote a piece about how black coaches aren’t getting opportunities to prove their worth and bashed Notre Dame for the Ty Willingham situation.
Funny story, Selena. Notre Dame gave Willingham a shot so many other black coaches are denied. But he failed.
The problem I have with your argument stems from my vehement support for the notion that seven black head coaches at 119 schools is pathetic. But you do more harm than good to the cause by complaining about a school that indeed gave a black head coach a chance.
Willingham got his first head coaching job at Stanford after being only a position coach for the Vikings. He had no coordinator position experience. Of all the people to reference about minority hirings, it’s not him. He didn’t earn it as much as a guy like Ron Prince at Kansas State, and it shows in the fact that Washington is struggling.
Roberts should have talked to Prince, who earned the Kansas State head job a year ago thanks to an impressive interview. He did his homework and pitched a business-like presentation to the school. He got the job after serving for three years as Virginia’s offensive coordinator -an assistant position Willingham never got.
Roberts claims in her column that “Willingham was forced out of Notre Dame in 2004, not by the president or the athletic director, but by four-leaf boosters and trustees who, deep down, craved one of their own.”
Imagine if all the schools in the country could expect talking heads and faceless columnists to bash them if they had the audacity to fire a black head coach who in three years lost more games by 30 points than any other coach in the school’s history.
Guys like Prince wouldn’t have a job – not for fear of diversity, but for fear for the school’s image in case they failed.
On to Willingham.
“It’s access to power,” Willingham said in the article. “It’s about asking, ‘Is my access to power diminished because of diversity?'”
No, Ty. It’s about asking, ‘Is my head coach spending two hours perfecting the back nine at a golf course or spending two hours solidifying his front five at a combine?’
That’s the sad part about Willingham. The guy who’s gotten more opportunities than anyone is the one who doesn’t have the fire to try hard. Guys like Ron Prince do. Willingham doesn’t.
Example No. 1: “When you don’t meet your own expectations, you won’t meet the expectations of others”- Willingham after his firing at ND.
Actually, people who succeed in life have higher standards for themselves than others do for them. If your bosses’ expectations for you are higher than your own, then you’re unprepared and unqualified for your job.
Example No. 2: Washington just lost a recruit because no one from the football staff talked to him for two months. That’s just lazy.
Willingham bashed Notre Dame on ABC last year to John Saunders. Now he did it again to Roberts in the Times. The association of ‘classy’ with ‘Ty Willingham’ has been replaced with ‘bitter.’
He couldn’t get the job done at Notre Dame and was rightfully fired for that. Now he complains about his treatment. That’s the sad part.
A lot of guys who deserve to get their feet in the door don’t. He has gotten the opportunity others would die for. And now he complains to others when he fails, and threatens the opening of the door with every slander.