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Jumbo Package: Byrne: Goff was fired for “the long-term health of the program”

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Looking at the fallout from Greg Goff’s firing

College World Series - Game Two
Coming soon to a Joe near you!
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Alabama AD addresses firing of Greg Goff - News - Tuscaloosa News - Tuscaloosa, AL

Goff was terminated without cause. Alabama will be responsible for the remainder of his base salary unless he accepts another job in baseball. Goff signed a five-year contract that ran through the 2021 season for $450,000 annually with a base salary of $265,000.

If he does not accept another job in baseball, he will be owed $1.06 million over the next four years. He was due to make $1.8 million in total compensation if he had coached through the duration of his contract.

“We felt this was the best decision going forward for our baseball program, and that’s why we made the decision,” Byrne said. “When you look at these situations when it comes to coaches and you decide what is the best long-term solution for the program. Not based off of the season or anything like that, it’s based off of the long-term health of the program.”

AD Greg Byrne’s media address highlights the very point that we were trying to drive home here at RBR: Goff’s firing was not about one season’s wins-and-losses or that he’s a terrible manager; it was about Goff representing an existential threat to the program. /fist-bump y’all.

Byrne also noted that a technical violation wasn’t committed, though attempted. The violation would have triggered on July 1, had a player actually had a scholarship reduced or revoked. (NB: non-renewal of scholarships to raid JUCOs is acceptable at non-P5 programs, and would not constitute a violation. However, since that was the slack-jawed, abusive yokel’s preferred “recruiting” strategy, I don’t see him ever prospering at major conference program.) Anyway, speaking to a former member of the NCAA’s committee on infractions yesterday, it is “more than 50-50” that the NCAA will come sniffing around, even if only sending a cursory inquiry. That’s fair: You would expect that to happen. Goff was already embroiled in one set of NCAA violations at Campbell and we now have a very highly-publicized incident at Alabama (And, of course, the rumors surrounding La. Tech’s recruiting in Mississippi’s Hinds and Jones county JUCOs.)

Still, Goff was terminated within 24 hours of attempting to break the NCAA rules applicable to Power 5 programs. It has undoubtedly already been reported to the NCAA. Alabama’s compliance program has become a model across the country. That’s the kind of quick action the hall monitors love.

As for the buyout, terminations without cause almost always result in a negotiated lower sum. But, even if Alabama ponies up the full $1.06m remaining, that is less than 2% of the Alabama’s profit, and less that .7% of actual revenue. As we’ll see next week (TEASER,) that sum is still far less liability than what Alabama could have potentially been exposed to.

The full transcript of Greg Byrne’s presser is here.

Where next, is the question. The same names that we saw last season are circulating again. Greg Byrne is a baseball guy, though: he gets it (or listens to those who do...or maybe a little of both.) Both of Byrne’s previous hires have been slam-dunks.

Let’s hope the third time is even more charmed.

Of the realistic names, to my mind Cliff Godwin seems the splashiest. He really wanted the job last season, and had agreed in principle until the administration cheaped-out in him at the last moment (How close was this to happening? I was talking to the beat reporters in the Piedmont area and he had already agreed in principle — Hell, Godwin had already cleaned out his office.) With South Carolina almost certain to terminate Holbrook, and then look hard to its northern border, an aggressive move by Byrne may see Godwin land in Tuscaloosa, albeit a year later.

Byrne has already made two high-impact baseball coaching hires in his career, as he hired John Cohen at Mississippi State in 2008 and Jay Johnson at Arizona in 2015. Both previous hires could weigh heavily in his decision this time. Johnson led the Wildcats to the College World Series finals last year and has won 85 games in his first two seasons. He likely will be one of the candidates Byrne considers in his latest search. Cohen, meanwhile, was promoted to Mississippi State’s athletic director last fall, but his coaching tree has come to dominate the SEC. Auburn coach Butch Thompson and Kentucky coach Nick Mingione were both assistant coaches for Cohen. Auburn assistant coach Brad Bohannon, the 2015 Assistant Coach of the Year, would fit that mold as well.

In addition, potential candidates could include South Alabama coach Mark Calvi, East Carolina coach Cliff Godwin (who was a finalist in last year’s search before pulling out), South Florida coach Mark Kingston and Clemson assistant coach Bradley LeCroy.

Meet the nation’s 63rd-ranked recruiting class, the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Alabama currently sits at No. 63 in the 247Sports Team Recruiting Rankings with a pair of commitments in Xavier Williams and Jordan Davis -- uncharted territory for a program that's signed seven straight No. 1-ranked classes.

While recapturing the top spot seems a far cry from where the Crimson Tide currently sits, there may be a potential path for Bama to get back atop the rankings.

But, fear not, as explained in the article, the path to No. 1 is certainly manageable for the Tide.

Alabama Crimson Tide Football Recruiting How Alabama Could Realistically Sign The No. 1 Class

Let the hype begin...

In Week 1 in Atlanta, we’ll finally get it. It might be the biggest season opener ever. College GameDay will be there for a duel between likely top-five teams. The winner will be a title front-runner. A few things to keep an eye on:

We’re going to hear a ton about this game in the next few months, and why not. It’ll pit two top-three teams in a prime time season opener. I just want to note, before too many more analysts start spilling ink over this one and you folks read too many #takes, don’t ignore the hidden factor here: Saban’s track record against assistants. It’s not that he merely beats his former assistants handily — it’s that he obliterates their teams, often mercilessly.

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Quit begging, peasants

This season the Trojans are playing at LSU, but Brown said he would love to play the two in-state SEC schools - Alabama and Auburn.

"Without question, we'd love the opportunity to suit up and play Alabama or Auburn," Brown told AL.com's Mark Heim this week on his radio show The Opening Kickoff on WNSP-FM (105.5). "We tried to initiate talks. Those talks haven't moved forward. I don't know. We'd love to play them obviously.

I bet Troy would love to play Alabama or Auburn, and it’s a terrible idea for either school to do so. You can only lose by entertaining an in-state peasant. If you win, you’re supposed to win. If you lose, it’s embarrassing. In either case, all you’ve done is give free publicity to an in-state opponent. Worse, you’ve paid $1.7 - $1.8 million dollars to given them that publicity, while bolstering the credibility of their program, selling out their ticket packages, and the like. This idea is so stupid that really only Auburn would entertain it. But, since Troy is actually good again, I don’t expect that to happen either. Not even Jay Jacobs is that dumb. The best way to handle the Troys and South Alabamas and UABs of the world, in football at least, is to ignore them.

One of our favorite project players!

The Editorial staff all love this kid and love the idea of it working out. Josh particularly envisions nightmarish matchups if he can ever pan out. We’re speaking of course of 6’9” former pitcher Cam Stewart, who is walking on as a tight-end. Roll Damn Ent!

Meet Cam Stewart, perhaps the most unlikely Alabama football player in recent memory. From the Arizona rookie ball league to a deep-south state he'd never visited, Stewart's story is frankly wild.

On top of that, he's by far the tallest player in the Nick Saban era, a full two inches closer to the sun than 6-foot-7 teammate Raekwon Davis. The roster lists him at 251 pounds.

I’m glad Al.com covered this guy. Nice story.

I’m beginning to doubt that Cyrus Kuoandjio will ever play professional football. He was baptized yesterday, the same day that the Buffalo Bills cut the chronically-injured CK.

Sorry to leave you on such a bummer, let’s have something a bit cheerier to take us out.

Please enjoy this neutered dog meme (I can sense TUN cuing up panzer squirrels as I type.)

Poll

Do you support the dismissal of Greg Goff?

This poll is closed

  • 98%
    Yes, it had to be done.
    (396 votes)
  • 1%
    No, he deserved another year or two.
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Other, below.
    (2 votes)
404 votes total Vote Now