Maybe he ate some bad gumbo and decided that was a sign from the Softball Gods, no? Either way, apparently Patrick Murphy has backed out of the LSU job and has decided to return to Tuscaloosa. Per Tommy Deas:
Kind of like Billy Donavon, just not quite so famous. Perhaps he had just grown so fond of losing in the CWS that he decided he couldn't leave? Personally, I just hope at some point last week he uttered something to the effect of, "I guess I'm gonna have to say it, I ain't gonna be the Alabama coach, aight?"
In all seriousness, I won't even attempt to feign the least bit of softball knowledge, but nevertheless that is the latest news. As of right now there is nothing in the way of any substantive reasoning for the change of heart, but I'm sure more will come out in the near future. Beyond that, I'll leave the softball expertise up to Todd on this one.
Update by Todd
Well, I was at a friend's house cooking out when I heard the news, and in the past few hours I've had a few thoughts on the subject that I'll just throw in here instead of starting a whole new post. Here we go.
I don't like this. I don't like this one bit. "But Todd, you were all "show appreciation for what Murphy did!"" True, and I still think that Coach Murphy deserves every ounce of credit for taking the Alabama Softball program to the heights it has reached. His decision to go to LSU didn't diminish that in any way, and though I couldn't really disagree with the "Murphy couldn't win the big games" crowd, I still wholeheartedly disagree with the folks that wanted to use his decision to accept the LSU job as an indictment of his character.
Now? Well, I'm not much for a man who doesn't keep his word and let's face it, you don't get to call your team and tell them you're gone, fly to Baton Rouge, get introduced as their coach, and then start having second thoughts without people starting to wonder just what sort of person you are. I had no problem with him wanting to take another job, even if it was at a division rival. This isn't Bear Bryant going to Auburn here, he had no ties to Alabama (the state or the school) and it's his career we're talking about here. Whatever factors went into that decision making process weren't up to us, so I was happy to wish him well and look at this as an opportunity to go out and hire a big name coach from the Pac 10 that could build on the success of Murphy and bring home that National Title we've been thirsting for. Instead....
Look, I don't know Coach Murphy personally and anything I say about him is purely my opinion based solely on what I've read in the papers. But how do you look at this guy the same way? If he had simply flirted with the LSU job to get a bigger salary or better facilities or whatever, that's just business. But this just stinks to me. Now you've got a guy that can legitimately have his integrity called into question, that will have to come back here and face his players and try to tell them "I'm here for you, except for those few days when I wasn't," and have to explain to the parents of the girls he is recruiting why they ought to believe him when he says he'll be looking after their daughter while she's away from home (especially considering we recruit nationally)...this just stinks.
"When reconsidering all of the factors involved, this decision comes down to the fact that I love the people at Alabama, the kids that have played for us there and who are on the team right now. Obviously, there are some fences to mend, but I look forward to getting the chance to discuss the situation individually with everyone involved over the days ahead. I am excited about the future of Alabama softball and I look forward to getting back to work.
Some fences to mend is an understatement, coach.