Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Southeast's revelation: Not quite ready for the big leagues

Tony Samuel played hardball with a school that was out of practice.

Samuel got the best deal a Southeast sports coach could expect late Monday when he signed a five-year deal that included revenue sharing from games along with a salary increase of more than $25,000 annually.

Southeast, in return, got just enough time to wipe egg off its face before stepping to a podium in a hastily called news conference Tuesday morning.

After leading the revived Redhawks to a 9-3 season, a conference title and a playoff berth in 2010, Samuel was in prime position to make demands. And he did. His contract ran out Monday, and Southeast made no indication that Samuel would or would not return.

Boosters waited. Fans waited. Recruits waited. Southeast snoozed.

Score: Samuel 1, Southeast 0.

In his final compromise with a school lackluster in its football tradition, Samuel came out a winner. He gets a better salary, more control and five more years to potentially make a run back into the FBS ranks as an assistant or even head coach at a major college. He gets more time to show his ability to recruit and pull crowds into a historically quiet Houck Stadium.

Samuel 2, Southeast 0.

Left in the dark during contract talks were the fans. The school's inability to seal the deal immediately after the 2010 is a glaring indication that Southeast wasn't fully prepared to keep the coach that removed the "LOL" from its football program. The school knew Samuel's value would soar after a 9-3 season, but it let the process drag while fans — paying customers — were ignored.

Later this week, Southeast will introduce its football recruiting class. Later this summer, the focus will be on the Redhawks' OVC title defense. And later in the fall, the Redhawks could be in the thick of the playoffs.

Ultimately, with Samuel back on the sidelines, the fans win. But they never forget.


Pat said...

The only LOL is from your writing on this subject. You are trying WAY too hard to rag on Semo with this one. Maybe you should write what Coach Samuel actually said about the timing and not jsut make stuff up so it can fit your predetermined agenda.

And, as I told you a month ago -- get new sources. LOL

See you in 5 years, if this site is still around then.

JAMIE HALL said...

And as I've said before, Samuel's a smart guy. You think he's going to stand at a podium and say contract talks were held up because they couldn't agree on the salary and other issues? There's your real LOL.

Actually, the funniest part of the whole contract debacle was that SEMO actually said that their head coach forgot about his contract extension because he was so busy recruiting. I can't believe they said it without laughing.

That's worthy of not only an LOL, but also an LMAO.

I hope you'll be sure to come by and say hello again in 5 years.