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VU: No Deal Was In Place For Malzahn

Vanderbilt vice chancellor David Williams has told The Tennessean that there never was a deal in place to make Gus Malzahn the school’s next football coach.

Amazingly, Williams also told the paper that he will have to phone Malzahn’s people to find out if the coach really is pulling out of Vandy’s search.  “I don’t want to say a deal is dead because there was no deal to be dead,” he said.

Williams even told Jeff Lockridge that Malzahn remains a “person of interest” along with Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin and others.

“There still are discussions (with Malzahn),” Williams said.  “They may feel they don’t want to talk anymore.  I haven’t been on the phone with anybody for the last hour and a half.  I don’t know where they stand.  They may not want to be interested enough anymore.”

Oh, boy.  Where to start?

* First, Vandy fans, you might want to turn away because those of you who view objective opinion as “anti-Vandy bias” aren’t going to like some of this…

* From Day One, we at MrSEC have said that a) it’s good that Vandy is showing a willingness to spend money — if it really did — and b) it would likely make little difference in the end.  Most coaches view Vanderbilt as a dead-end job and no amount of money could lure them into what has become the graveyard of the SEC.  We were ripped for that (of course).  “Can’t wait to hear what you say when we hire a name coach.”  To the guy who wrote that — you may be waiting for a while.

Williams had a tough job selling the VU program.  Just check the history books and you’ll see why.  But…

* How can Williams actually tell a newspaper that he doesn’t know if Malzahn is in or out?  If that’s the case, then allow me to ask, “What the heck have you been doing for the past 72 hours?”  It’s called a phone.  Put it to your ear and call.

* If VU didn’t believe a deal was in place, why have Commodore officials been in silent mode since Saturday?  That’s what happens when folks hunker down to talk cash, buyouts and bonuses.  And Williams never denied that the two parties were working on a deal until it was reported that Malzahn had turned Vandy down.  Only then was there “no deal in place.”

* Williams had better hope that Malzahn really is still a “person of interest” because he’s now given VU fans reason to get their hopes up.  Again.  By commenting publicly on this he’s also backed Malzahn into a corner from which the only escape might be a loud shout of: “I don’t want your job!”  Dumb.

* In all likelihood, Vandy did believe they had Malzahn interested in their job.  As they chased him, other candidates removed their names from the search because no one wants to be the guy who isn’t chosen.  And Williams saying “no deal was in place” is probably just a cover because no school wants to be the school that isn’t chosen, either.

* None of this — from a perception standpoint — looks good for the Commodore program.  Their search has dragged on longer than most other searches.  The head coaches they approached were not interested in their job.  The man at the top of their list apparently turned them down despite what most believed to be a jaw-dropping offer.  And now the man running their search tells the press that he doesn’t know if his top candidate is interested or not.  Trust me — unless Williams lands Malzahn or another surprise hire — there will be a lot of talk about the fact that Vandy didn’t have an athletic director to run this search.

* Last Monday we wrote that with so many names popping up in the press, either Williams was laying down a lot of smokescreens… or he was scrambling in all directions to find anyone who would accept an offer from Vanderbilt.  If Williams doesn’t know if Malzahn is interested (or that Greg Roman and Franklin have reportedly pulled their names out of the hat), then it looks more like that latter than the former.

* Here’s hoping VU officials can still work some magic.  Commodore fans deserve better than the emotional roller-coaster and “I don’t know if he’s interested or not” confusion they’ve been treated to for the past 24 hours.

 


9 comments
Guest
Guest

After a night to rehash this thing, I am convinced that Williams did everything right for Vandy. He went for a news making name and put the bucks behind it. This truly would have made a major statement that we mean business for football. I don't know what an Athletic Director would have or could have done differently. Looking back at all of this and reading Malzahn's statement (no reference to the fine folks at Vandy and it's a great school, and other normal save face stuff, etc) several questions are raised for me. First, what impact did the Maryland leak / Washington post article have on how this played out? Was Malzahn simply using Vandy to get a raise at Auburn? What is it with coaches from Arkansas? (prepare yourselves Auburn, it's coming) Wouldnt it be better for Vandy to now slow things down and get the right guy during the holidays ( don't think it is fair to Vandy fans or to the new coach to do this while we are still angry, hurt and humiliated)? I thought that the coach was the key to getting the recruits, wins, crowds, and facilities. Do the facilities need to come before the coach? How is Herb Hand feeling; I am sure somebody got crossed off the Christmas card list. Hopefully we will get the right guy and we will develop a terrific program and the most famous coach in America will be our guy that makes us an SEC power ( and we will crush Malzahn wherever he is in a few years and we are a power) Go Dores!

CharlesMorse
CharlesMorse

The GM door is closed, but the search isn't over. That offer opened some eyes.

Jon
Jon

Oh, and I forgot to mention --

yes, Williams is that clueless.

Jon
Jon

Wah wah.
Currently finishing up my 4 years at Vandy. Could've told you this to begin with.

Even students don't give a d*mn anymore. Walk onto our campus -- only the freshman are naive enough to don Vandy gear. Or athletes who actually care. Oh, except football. The other day I saw one of our football players wearing a Georgia hoodie.

The administration can start to care about football all they want -- but they are about 50 years late on that train. Give or take. Any student here who is also a knowledgeable (and unbiased) sports fan knows the only feasible chances they have of fixing it are:
1.) Moving conference (unlikely)
2.) Moving to D-II in football (less likely/ maybe impossible, I don't know the rules)
3.) Getting lucky as hell with some Joe Schmoe football coach (not going to happen)
4.) Disbanding the program. Wah wah.

And about the "competing in other sports" -- thats great, but the last time I passed by a women's soccer game on the way to the Rec, there were still only 40 people there. Max. Basketball and baseball are legit -- which is why the ACC and Big East are just screaming Vandy's name...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueywqUBW3oM

TigerEyez13
TigerEyez13

Vandy fans, take heart. Just remember what Tennessee went through. They eventually made it out alive.

Guest
Guest

I was waiting to compose myself after reading that Malzahn was not coming to Vandy. I was truly devastated. I thought that today would be the greatest day in Vandy history. Btw, your article was really really nice, although I would have substituted' humiliating 'and 'devastating 'for' embarrassing.' the weirdest thing was that Vandy has not heard from Malzahn. If Malzahn had decided not to take the job, shouldn't he have called and made an announcement? We still haven't actually heard from Malzahn. I was initially ticked off at Williams concerning the comments that you provided but I think it was lawyer talk to cover this humiliating situation. But I would expect Malzahn to publically say something, I mean doesn't he have to acknowledge Vandy. He has to understand what he has done to us if this is true. I am wondering if Malzahn was playing Vandy and Auburn to up his salary at Auburn. The scariest thing about the whole Malzahn Vandy thing was how the interent and blogs and tweets took over. We don't know who to believe. And I still haven't heard from Malzahn! Anyway thanks for your coverage of this and sorry for my rambling.

Red Grainger
Red Grainger

Wonder who is more incompetent, Williams or the high-priced "executive recruiting firm" from Atlanta that was supposed to be handling all this.

Neil
Neil

Mr. Sec, sometimes you are anti-Vandy but your right in your article... this is awful. Williams could be trying to blow another smoke screen but if he really is this clueless...dear god. At this point, I dont even think we can get Franklin off Maryland's hands. Is this Malzahn thing dead? looks like it, but your right, this thing has gone on for WAY to long.

@GulfCoastTider
@GulfCoastTider

I was really hoping they could work out a deal for Malzahn to come there. Vandy looks like its finally serious about getting a big boy coach and Lord knows they deserve one. I also think Malzahn has earned a shot at proving he really is a big boy coach. It sounds like a win for both parties who, IMHO, both deserve it.

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