More Muschamp Musings

By J. Henderson

Ancient history. No one cares.

Hey, it’s the off-season…

Stop me if this is old news, I don’t think it is:

Going by a story in yesterday’s Dallas Morning News, we can now scratch “more money” off the list of incentives for Will Muschamp’s decision to jump jobs; Muschamp will be making $425,000 per year as Texas’ defensive coordinator, the exact same figure he would have made this year at Auburn as the highest paid assistant in the SEC.

This revelation thickens the plot, or curdles it I guess, especially in light of Muschamp’s recent elaboration of his air-born deliberation described in yesterday’s Austin American-Statesman.

muschamp-airport-pic.jpg“On the plane trip back to Auburn the next day, he and his wife, Carol, made a list of the pros and cons about the job.

He said he had decided to say yes to Brown’s job offer, which Brown had extended earlier in the day, at the end of the plane ride.

‘There were no cons,’ he said.”

Sir? Some questions?

First off, no cons? Perhaps none specific to the job itself but surely some implicit in taking the job…. Pulling up stakes for the third time in three years for what could only be described – even before disclosure of the equal salary – as a lateral career move? Drawing negative fire in the press and provoking the disenchanted ire of thousands? Forgoing a promising 2008 season with a talented, proven group of players groomed for two years under your berserker intensity? No cons?

Secondly, and maybe I’m parsing here, but you say it was made up at the end of the plane ride? Your mind, I mean? Then why did you say it wasn’t, as a story in the Jan 5. Columbus Ledger-Enquirer indicates:

“For Auburn, the writing may have been on the wall when Muschamp briskly walked past reporters at the Robert G. Pitts airport with little to say. He said at that time he hadn’t made a decision.

‘I don’t have anything to say,’ Muschamp said. ‘You’ll have to talk to coach Tuberville.’

Asked if he had made a decision yet, Muschamp said, ‘No. I have to talk to coach Tuberville.’

You know, maybe the move to Texas is going to help in becoming a head coach because it seems he’s already gained some valuable experience in duplicity. I’m sure former boss Nick Saban would be proud.

And lastly, speaking of Saban… came across something while writing that Finebaum piece… again, could be old news, not sure how I missed it, but at least a couple of stories written during the West Virginia coaching search claim that Nick Saban’s connection to the story was yes, yes, of course, of course, limited strictly to an advisory role… but that the advice he reportedly gave was to hire Will Muschamp, outstanding defensive coordinator of his new arch-rival and the same person who took that coordinating job in part because Saban demoted him at Miami. This little detail was actually being used to explain away the Saban-to-WVU rumors on BamaOnLine.com:

“Some nice people in West Virginia asked Nick Saban for his input on the WVU job. He recommended two guys for the job: Florida State head-coach-in-waiting Jimbo Fisher and Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.

That is the extent of Saban’s tie to the gig. Having either of those guys at WVU would be a good thing for UA. Specifically, Saban wouldn’t have to recruit against Fisher and AU would be without one of the top young assistants in college football.”

If true, is that something that happens in the coaching biz? Is it weird for a head coach to phone the mysteriously ex officio head of another school’s coaching search, who just happens to be his best friend, to tell him to hire away one of the major weapons in the arsenal of the coach’s arch-rival (a man the coach himself recently, essentially, fired)? I mean, I don’t know, that could be standard protocol, just seems odd from where I sit…

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