FanPost

Melting Down

The UM search is melting down, and FFS -- Ferentz Fatigue Syndrome -- aside, it still affects us.

The UM search is melting down, and FFS -- Ferentz Fatigue Syndrome -- aside, it still affects us.

First, Brian Cook is betraying a certain legal and institutional naivete. He writes that Miles has left the door cracked and may yet be signed.  I doubt it.  Read this:

http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/...

Then read this excerpt from an ESPN wire story:

The LSU official sports Web site stated in a release: "Terms and conditions of the contract have been agreed upon and will be presented at the next meeting of the LSU Board of Supervisors on Dec. 6. Miles will not entertain any offer from the University of Michigan to become the Wolverines head coach or from any other institution."

LSU's chancellor and AD say that Miles negotiated and orally agreed to his new deal -- with the LSU chancellor.  It is extremely unlikely that the chancellor is going to release Miles now from this oral agreement, and, I would assert, very likely that LSU will claim tortious interference if UM tries yet again to induce him to leave.  If Miles and Bill Martin try something funny the LSU chancellor will be made the fool.  College presidents have lost their jobs over this kind of thing.  

LSU clearly gave Miles an ultimatum with a short fuse and dared him not to take it.  It was a classic 'forced close'.  Of the four constituencies at UM, it's clear that only one (boosters) solidly supported Miles, with Martin a maybe and the Ferentz cabal (Coleman and Lloyd) skeptical at best.  Is Lloyd saying "I told you so" today?  Is Mary Sue?  These folks are not sufficiently organized to compete for high-value coaches right now.  

So Michigan's search is melting down.  The four interest groups are not on the same page.  There are very few young coaches out there with the stature of a Schiano.  It's unclear how divided the three principals (MSC, Lloyd, Martin) are.  It's unclear if someone like Lloyd is spitting mad now, with UM looking very stupid and slow. Ferentz' leverage is going way up, and Coleman may think she's looking second-rate in a big-stakes game.  Clearly two of the four constituencies favored Ferentz last week.  If these people don't have a mystery third man in the queue, it could get extremely ugly.  If Martin is smart, he will stop consulting with his boosters and work doubletime to get his two partners behind his fallback compromise choice.  Or, if he felt he had Ferentz in his hip pocket while he chased Fewer, he may strike quickly and fly back to Green Castle.  Earth to Martin:  Ferentz just got a lot more expensive.  As David Mamet so beautifully notes, "Always be closing."  

Meanwhile, Ferentz was at the basketball game last night but not openly.  Gee, you think that guy doesn't know his leverage doubled yesterday?  The guy has raised his game to a new level.  In the past he issued nondenial denials.  Now, he pulls a Cheney and spends his days at "undisclosed locations".  

And how'd you like to be Barta?  He's staring at thousands of empty seats at the men's bb games, which blows up one-half of his revenue stream.  Where's he supposed to get the scratch to buy Kirk Ferentz a new indoor facility, a new weight facility, whatever?  He's got to assume we're in for 2-3 years of bb rebuilding.  

Me, I confess to FFS.  It's ameliorated somewhat by the shock and horror being experienced by the UM fanboy blogging crowd that sneered at Ferentz for a week.  I wish them ill.  And it's helped by the fact that it doesn't appear we're going to get invited to some Petunia Bowl in a parking lot, to play a commuter school.  I do wish UM would get its shit together.  If they're going to hire our guy we need to get to work on hiring Philbin.  

Unless otherwise expressly indicated by BHGP editors, this FanPost is strictly the viewpoint of the author and is not endorsed by BHGP in any way.

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