Thursday, December 10, 2009

Brewster Backpedaling Faster than Tiger Woods' Sponsors

The Strib and the Pioneer Press both have stories this morning of Gopher head coach Tim Brewster saying he has no interest in the Kansas job, never had interest in the Kansas job, and has no idea how his name even came up for the Kansas job...

"It happens every year," Brewster said of the rumors. "Last year I was asked about Tennessee. It's unfortunate that unsubstantiated rumors circulate in the coaching profession this time of year. ... I'm not a candidate for any other job. I'm where I want to be, and I'll be here for a long time."

Poor Tim. If only he could find those jerks who started those unsubstantiated rumors! He'd tell them a thing or two! Of course if you believe Lou Nanne or Pat Reusse or any other number of sources, the rumors started when people close to Brewster contacted Kansas asking if they were interested in him! Kansas, like you and I and anyone else who's even the least bit familiar with the Gopher football program under Brewster and his 6-18 Big Ten record probably just laughed before hanging up the phone.

Considering we've seen zero evidence that Kansas had legitimate interest, we have to assume it was indeed Brewster who was trying to increase his leverage from none to almost none by inventing interest in him from other schools. AD Joel Maturi called his bluff yesterday, saying he wouldn't stop Brew from finding another job and said nothing about all of this attention leading to an extension, and so Brewster has wisely backed down, running away from this little Kansas rumor faster than corporate sponsors are running away from Tiger Woods.

This is an ugly situation for a program that needs something positive right now. After another 0h-for-November against Big Ten opponents, Gopher football fans finally got some good news as we drew a beatable opponent in Iowa State and their equally anemic offense. That positivity lasted less than a day as Brewster's dirty little tactics spawned Monday and had blown up in his face by Monday night. For all of Brewster's huffing and puffing about how much he loves Gopher football, this was a spineless and selfish tactic aimed only at bettering himself, the football program be damned.

Personally, I think it's a fireable offense, but as many have pointed out, it would have put us in a tough situation, having to seek yet another new coach, and put the whole thing in flux yet again. Because of that I'm guessing Maturi had to simply tell Brew he was either coaching here or nowhere next year, and if he didn't like it he could go coach Kansas or Timbucktoo or anywhere else he pleased, but he wouldn't be forcing an extension.

Brewster's toughest job now won't just be beating Iowa State and trying convince Maturi he's worthy of an extension, it's going to be trying to win back the Gopher fans. The Strib ran a poll asking if the fans would be unhappy if Brewster took another job, and 5792 of the 6611 votes cast- 87.6%!!!!- said no! The Pioneer Press ran a similar poll asking if Maturi should fight to keep Brewster and of the three answers available, 72.10% of the 2058 respondents chose c) No. Be grateful someone else will take him off the U's hands. Another 20% answered B) Why? He's not going anywhere. Let's see how he does next year., meaning just 7% of those polled think Brewster is worth fighting for.

If you can't tell, I'm definitely with the majority, and I'm a VERY reluctant member of Brew's Crew right now. I know firing Brewster now would put Maturi and the program in a tough situation, but I refuse to support giving a guy with that pristine 6-18 conference record and an o-fer in trophy games an extension. Of course, Maturi should not be made blameless in this whole mess either, as had he made a better hire when fired Mason (Florida defensive co-ordinator, who just took the head job at Louisville yesterday, would have been nice), we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place!

Hopefully for the next three weeks we can just concentrate on football and beating Iowa State, and we'll see what happens after that.


Jeremy said...

It would be very curious to see who is actually voting in those polls. I think they are quite damning as far as what the general public thinks of Tim Brewster... but I wonder how closely the general public follows Gopher football.

Jeff said...

Jermo, I'm certain those polls are not a 100% accruate reflection of the feeling of all Gopher fans (you can be certain there are people voting in those polls more than once, and probably several times). Still, I think the people who are not only reading these articles, but who also would take the time to cast a vote, are most definitely Gopher fans.

Therefore, while we don't know if 70-80% of all Gopher fans are actually anti-Brewster right now, I'd still say you could surmise from these tallies that the majority of Gopher fans are NOT happy with Brewster right now.

The season we had to endure as fans was bad enough, but now, to seemingly add insult to injury, has somehow made it worse. He's got some PR work to do with the fans that won't get fixed with a few positive tweets. He needs to beat Iowa State soundly and continue to recruit hard, but really, I think he's done damage to his reputation and image that can't be fixed in the court of public opinion until he starts winning football games in 2010.