Talk that athletic director Kirby Hocutt or president Donna Shalala are happy with a mediocre football program and are simply keeping Randy Shannon on board because of graduation rates, running a tight ship and a discounted price tag.
One more time for the record, in case you missed it, everyone associated with this program is about winning. Miami football helps drive revenue. BCS games bring in bigger pay days. Merchandise sales directly impact the University of Miami’s bottom line and winning football games puts asses in seats and gets fans hopped up to donate more to the program.
Simply put, you’re an idiot if you feel that you, the armchair quarterback superfan, care more about winning than the coaches or administration that spend forty-plus hours a week work at and for The U.
ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich went straight to the source with today’s piece in the ACC blog.
“Success is measured by wins and losses and competition, and success is measured through championships,” said Hocutt. “Randy knows the expectations that are here better than anyone. He’s lived it for practically his entire career. He has the same expectations upon himself that we do as an administration, that we do as a program. It’s nothing new.
“It takes time, but we’re in a period now where it’s our time. I’m confident that the upcoming season and the season that follows, what has been a young team are now upperclassmen who are determined to return the program to where it was before.”
Entering year four, Shannon now has three full classes under his belt and as both he and Hocutt mention in Dinich’s article, the pieces are finally falling into place.
“It’s the first time I’ve finally felt comfortable in three years,” Shannon said. “It’s time to take that next step now.”
While the mantra the first few seasons was ‘youth’, Miami coaches are now using words like ‘older’ and ‘experienced’.
“We’ve finally got an older team,” Shannon said. ” … Everybody has played two years. I was thinking to myself, I’m beating myself up, I just want to win, win, win. Sometimes people have to calm me down about things I always see. I’m going to continuously be that way as a coach, but after the season I evaluate, ‘OK, where are we at?’ I compare us to some teams I’ve been on and played on and things like that. You really don’t get good until you have your guys play a lot of football, in their second and third years.
“I think the team is starting to evolve and change into where we need to be at now,” he said. “It makes it a lot of fun because the team is starting to get my mentality and attitude, and they understand what winning is about and what we have to do. I’m going to continue to stress the point of winning and competing at a high level because of the competition that is here.”
Yeah, good call from the ‘anti’ camp. Randy Shannon is just going through the motions and the higher ups keep him on board simply as an authority figure. Dude isn’t about winning ball games. He just wants to keep those grades up, keep kids out of trouble and is ‘content’ with four-loss seasons.
The past few years Shannon was quick to point out deficiencies, most notably a lack of depth and talent on the offensive line. Entering fall, the Canes will have upwards of fifteen linemen to choose from – most of which were signed over the past two seasons. Miami will be three-deep at every position except the secondary, a far cry from where things were in 2007 when Shannon took over.
A year ago the Canes only had five linebackers and needed to raid the basketball program for a tight end. A few years prior, a punter was listed as the third string wideout. As weak as the ACC might be, you’re not going to dominate a major conference with a lack of depth or talent. I don’t care how much ‘tradition’ and supposed ‘swagger’ a program claims.
This is a five-year rebuild whether you want to swallow that pill or not. Year four is on the horizon and you’re finally seeing the depth and talent returning. Miami has taken one step closer to being a player again. The schedule is daunting, but Shannon finally has the weapons necessary to win ball games without fading down the stretch.