Jon Vilma is the latest Hurricanes alum to chime in on the Larry Coker saga. Sports talk radio finds any opportunity to point out the decline to former players, how it impacts the current head coach and what they see in the program’s future.
Michael Irvin and Melvin Bratton stated their peace on Dan Le Batard’s show last week, both in favor of change. 1-2 isn’t acceptable. They’re disappointed in the coaches and the players. A change is in order and personally, I’m shocked Vilma stayed so PC on the matter.
This is a time former players need to rally together, get involved and push for change.
In an interview on ESPN News Vilma stated that he supports his former coach because of his recent resume. Credits him for the 2001 National Championship and the 54-11 record. Enough said. Vilma also believes the Canes are going to win the ACC and wind up in a BCS bowl game.
We’ll see, regarding the latter comments.
As for his blind loyalty towards Coker, he’s too close to the situation to comment objectively.
Bratton played for Howard Schnellenberger and Irvin, for Jimmy Johnson. Two guys. Two coaches. Each with a ring. Bratton and Irvin both left Miami on a high. Vilma left Miami with one ring and played for two coaches. Coker replaced Butch Davis entering Vilma’s sophomore season.
Bratton and Irvin can see the forest for the trees here because the never played for Coker. There is no loyalty to its current leader. The loyalty is with The U. It’s all about the program.
How would Vilma feel about Coker the head coach, had he entered Miami as a freshman in 2003 instead of 2000?
Gone would be the 46-4 record he helped amass between 2000-2003. Instead, he’d be looking at 30-10 between 2003 and the early part of 2006.
The National Championship he came to earn at Miami? Gone. The Canes haven’t played for a title since 2002 meaning any graduating senior on this current squad won’t earn a ring. That dream died Labor Day weekend.
How about the four straight BCS games Vilma experiences as a Cane always on teams loaded with talent? The 2001 Sugar Bowl, 2002 Rose Bowl, 2003 Fiesta Bowl and 2004 Orange Bowl look pretty solid in the ol’ college scrapbook.
This year’s seniors can still decide how 2006 plays out, but their last three bowl losses include back-to-back Peach Bowl appearances and an Orange Bowl classic against Florida State. They’ll also remember being part of a team on the wrong end of a 40-3 New Year’s Eve beat down; Miami’s worst ever bowl loss.
Vilma left Miami with a 5-0 record against arch-rival Florida State. This current bunch will most likely leave, 3-2 – unless there’s a rematch in Jacksonville this December.
Regarding the combined record, 11-1, 12-0, 12-1 and 11-2 has a much nicer ring to it than 11-2, 9-3, 9-3 and a 1-2 start.
Simply put, Vilma came in on the upswing and was out the door right before things got bad. And that’s not a knock on him. He put in his work at The U. He was a huge part of that dominating run earlier this decade. He will go down as an all time Hurricane great. If he’s a senior right now, the Canes aren’t 1-2. Bank on it.
As for Coker, this latest Hurricane great is being loyal to a fault here.
If guys like Melvin Bratton, Michael Irvin and others can speak up – so can Jon Vilma.
He owes it to the program and he owes it to every kid who signs a LOI to play for Miami in the future. This is family and family has to be united on difficult decisions such as this.