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Mazurek: Texas A&M doesn’t deserve Sumlin

| Monday, September 11, 2017

If you were trying to make a head football coach feel as uncomfortable as possible what would you do?

Would you:

A) Have your athletic director go on national television and give the head coach an ultimatum that he has to win this year and that he has to “do better than he’s done in the past”?

B) Have a member of your board of trustees publish an incendiary post on Facebook about how your head coach cannot coach well, is arrogant and that he should be fired.


C) Have an angry fan write an extremely bigoted letter calling your head coach, who is black, the n-word and threatening him by leaving the letter at the coach’s home where his wife finds it.

Well if you’re Texas A&M you do all three.

In the past few months, tension over the status of Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin’s job has been mounting and mounting.

In late May, athletic director Scott Woodward went on Paul Finebaum’s show and all but said, “Sumlin has to win this year or he’s fired.”

Personally, I don’t think that’s the best way to go about motivating your employees, but maybe Sumlin responds well to public challenges.

But since the season started, things have gone from bad to worse for Sumlin. In the first game of 2017, Sumlin’s Aggies held a 34-point lead over UCLA, only to have Josh Rosen and the Bruins come back in spectacular fashion and win a 45-44 game for the ages.

I’ll be the first to admit that’s a horrible way to lose and I doubt Sumlin could have angered the Aggies fanbase more if he tried. And right on cure, a member of the board of trustees, Tony Buzbee, took to Facebook venting against Sumlin’s supposed streak of incompetence saying he would vote to fire Sumlin the first chance he got.

And then, as if Sumlin wasn’t having a bad enough week, his wife finds a letter calling him a n—- and threatening him to get out of town “or else.

Mr. Sumlin. Kevin. As crazy and counter-intuitive as it sounds, you should leave town. Not because you’re incompetent, but because Texas A&M is.

Starting in 2011, you almost single-handedly resurrected a program that had been stuck in the mud of mediocrity. In 2008, Texas A&M managed just four wins. In 2009, it only got six. In your six seasons in College Station, you’ve won the Cotton Bowl against rival Oklahoma, the Chick-fil-A Bowl and never won less than seven games in a single season.

That record is solid, but not mind-blowing, and you could make a case for Sumlin to be fired. But there’s a difference between firing a coach and holding ultimatums over his head and having trustees and disgruntled fans write threatened and racially charged letters.

Kevin Sumlin, you should leave because Texas A&M doesn’t deserve you. They don’t deserve any head coach of any moral fiber after what they’ve put you through.

If, and probably when Texas A&M does pull the trigger and fire Sumlin, I hope they can’t find anyone to replace him. I hope every qualified candidate takes a long, hard look at the culture in College Station and realizes it’s not for them.

Because it isn’t for anyone. Anyone civilized at least.

If you’re an Aggies fan, do you think Bob Stoops or Les Miles will come out of retirement to a fan base where someone finds it appropriate to write a hate-letter where your kids could read it? Do you think any potential head coach of note will choose to take a job where members of the board of trustees feel ok to write vindictive letters whenever they please?

Knowing college football, Texas A&M will find someone to coach the team. But it’s more than they deserve.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Marek Mazurek

Marek is a senior history major and is a former resident of Carroll Hall. He has lived in Mishawaka or South Bend for all 21 years of his life and covers Notre Dame football and men's basketball. He has loads of hand-eye coordination but lacks the height to be any good. Marek is also a proud esports supporter.

Contact Marek