Commitment Issues: The New Norm


A very familiar headline appeared in the papers the other day.

“Matt Rhule Turns Down Colts to Remain at Baylor.”

Familiar, because I’ve seen that headline somewhere before:

“Matt Rhule Turns Down Missouri to Remain at Temple.”

Now, the chances are that Matt Rhule was offered either job are about as good as I being offered the job of replacing Mike Francesa on his highly successful radio show.



Yeah, right after I turned down WFAN’s offer to replace Mike Francesa.

It was just floated out there, maybe not by Rhule, but by his agent to make him look better returning to his other positions.


These two unfortunately are a dying breed

This is the new norm in college football these days and that’s one of the two reasons that college football is harder to get into for me with each passing year.

Commitment Issues.

Gone are the days when a great coach like Wayne Hardin can stay at Temple for 13 years or the days when Joe Paterno plants his flag down in State College and turns down being a millionaire as head coach of the New England Patriots for lesser pay and a chance to build something at Penn State.

Money talks and bullbleep walks, as the late-night TV commercial used to say.


Wayne Hardin, talking about Temple in 1976

The other reason—lack of a true all-inclusive national championship—has been covered in this space in the past and I don’t see that as changing any time soon, either.

Today, though, is about Rhule.

My issue with him was these proclamations of lifelong fidelity to Temple and then to turn around and leave the team that made him millions for Baylor and not even coach the bowl game. That was his decision and, while I didn’t agree with it, I have to respect it.

The bottom line for Rhule is that he gave Temple a great 10 years and if he felt that he had to leave before the bowl game, that should be his decision. God bless him and I hope he has a great career, but the latest dalliance with the NFL makes me think he’s got second thoughts about the mess he’s gotten into at Baylor. It’s a similar situation to Al Golden at Miami, who gave Temple a great five years.

Hopefully, both will straighten things out and have solid careers. Funny thing is they could have had good-paying jobs at Temple for life with a fraction of the headaches.

Maybe it’s something for Geoff Collins to think about.

Friday: Five Unanswered Questions

Monday: The Coaching Shuffle


12 thoughts on “Commitment Issues: The New Norm

  1. Mike,
    I don’t think you have to respect his decision. Accept it, yeah, but not respect it. After all, he didn’t show any respect to the kids, school or fans by leaving early that year. Staying and coaching would have been respectful. In the end, what did leaving early get him….one win?

    • Good point, Brian. I think, though, respect is a lot closer because of what he did for Temple as an assistant and head coach. I do not accept or respect what Daz did after two years. That’s using a great university as nothing more than a cheap hooker.

  2. As you said Mike, it was Rhule’s decision. He turned his back not only on Temple, the players and fans but on leaving a legacy for the program of winning a record 11th game and finishing in the top 25 and as Brian said, for what? A 1-win season? In fact, he fell short every year he was here regardless of the highlights he accomplished. Sorry, respect is not warranted. Respect would have been warranted by finishing what he started (win or lose).
    And except for his yammerings about “a dream job”, blah, blah, blah, Daz didn’t do anything any worse, plus he WON a bowl game.
    Now we can follow Rhule down there in Whacko and see if Collins can have his “ridiculous team” beat Daz up there in Boston.

    • Rhule did it like a sneak in the night. I’ll never forgive him for saying that he was hitting the road to recruit for Temple after he was asked what he was going to do next following the championship game. It was underhanded and undermined everything he said he stood for. I understand that he didn’t want to kill the mood but then, he should not have said anything. Golden never said he was not going to leave and I think most people expected that he was eventually. At least Collins never promised that he would never leave. Take blunt honesty over deception any day.

  3. I’ve been a fan of Golden and Rhule for what they accomplished at TU. I couldn’t blame either of them for leaving TU and taking jobs that doubled their salaries. I also stated on this site that I thought one of them might return as HC when Coach Collins finally moves on. And after what they went through at the P5 schools, the chance to return to TU might be very attractive to one of them if offered the HC job at some point.

    But I have to say my attitude toward Coach Rhule has soured some after seeing that he interviewed for the Giants job. But even more so was my attitude was affected when comparing Rhule to UCF HC Frost. I saw the loyalty of the UCF coach to stay through the bowl game AND after beating Auburn had the balls to suggest UCF is the disputed national champion. (Too many of the guys that played and/or advanced their coaching careers at schools outside the P5 suddenly become CFB elitest when hired at the P5 level. Their attitude toward the G5 changes. In fact, they claim they want to go to P5 only for future scheduling even as they continue to schedule Mercer, the Citadel, etc. BS excuses for scheduling easy games and avoiding the better G5 teams. But Frost didn’t go P5 PC. And I admire him even more for that.)

    Anyway, getting back to CC, I hope he has a second year as a HC similar to the Eagle’s Doug Peterson who seemingly took the first year and learned a lot from his failures. And I’d love to see him duplicate Coach Frost’s success (undefeated, New Year Day Bowl win, and, yes, mega bucks offer from a P5 school). But with it all he conducts himself similarly on the way out the door should CC have that success.

    In Rhule’s case, he could’ve and should’ve stayed for the chance to have his players put the label on the 2016 team as arguably the best in TU history with the bowl win. Baylor and ultimately the one win season could’ve waited.

  4. It’s money that matters. Golden’s Miami Miasma and Rhule’s Baylor Bailout contract buyouts helped finance TU football operations. I hope Collins has a big buyout clause and gets snapped up by Texas, Tennessee, or LSU – programs with money to auburn.

    • The upside to that is that the team will have to have improved tremendously for him to get that kind of offer. That would be the only reason I would see his leaving being a plus.

  5. Well Mike, the stadium is 6 months away from being a ‘done deal’.

  6. If TU were smart, they’d call Jeff Bezos of Amazon and offer to give Amazon naming rights in exchange for a hefty donation. That would also bolster Philly’s attempt to lure Amazon to Philly.

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