In the summer of 2012 I originally wrote 900 words on the idea of Bobby Petrino replacing Tim Beckman as Illinois Fighting Illini Head Coach. I didn’t think it would actually happen, but I was in favor of the idea. If it were possible. This got linked on an Illini message board, and the commenters on the thread said I was the stupidest person alive with zero credibility.
But that’s my fault; for actually looking on a message board. You could develop a cure for all airborne illnesses, give the cure to all humanity at no cost and the message board commenters will stay say that you are the stupidest person alive, with zero credibility. You can post an article with perfect grammar, syntax and spelling, and some idiot will post that it’s “the worst written article ever written.”
Okay that we’ve re-established the idea that message boards are all pointless, let’s get back to the idea of Bobby Petrino coming to UI.
Here’s 5 reasons why Tim Beckman should be dismissed at the end of the year.
Here’s 5 reasons why he won’t be dismissed even though he deserves to be.
And here’s an explanation of just how high the temperature of the Tim Beckman hot seat really is.
It’s not news that Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas failed miserably in the Beckman hire, and he needs to correct that mistake. Not just correct it, but correct it and redeem himself with a home run hire.
That, coupled with the Arkansas Razorbacks firing of Bobby Petrino (he landed at Western Kentucky) in the wake of his scandalous affair with fellow employee Jessica Dorrell, leaves both the Illinois football program and Petrino has damaged goods, and very likely a good fit for each other. This is conversation probably better suited for 2014 headed into 2015 than it is for today heading into 2014.
Still, buying out Beckman and inserting Bobby Petrino in his place is a legitimate idea.
(For more pics of Jessica Dorrell go here)
Now this move would be extremely controversial to say the least, but it might make good business sense in the long run, and this is a business more than it’s a game. Football is played on a green rectangle. You know what else are green rectangles? Dollars. Beckman has a 5 year, $9 million contract.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Beckman’s buyout is two times his base pay of $400,000 for each year remaining on his contract. The agreement includes a $275,000 annual deduction from the buyout based on Beckman’s “duty to mitigate damages with other income,” according to his contract, which gives an example buyout. Should he be fired before the 2014 season, Beckman would be paid $1,312,500.
Remember the program is already paying three coaches (Ron Zook, Bruce Weber, Jolette Law) $7.12 million combined not to coach college athletics.
By the way, who buys out a women’s basketball coach? Who cares enough about women’s college basketball to spend the money and time on that?
The Illini just had a Petrino on the coaching staff, offensive coordinator Paul Petrino, who joined the program in 2010 and left after Ron Zook was fired in 2011. His first year was a rousing success, his second year a major flop. So those mixed results are something for the University to consider. We are talking about bloodlines here.
More important however, is the fact that the more high profile Petrino, we’re talking about Bobby Petrino, hired his mistress for a job instead of 159 other applicants, gave her $20,000 for God knows what, and lied to everybody while he covered it all up. He wasn’t fired for committing adultery with a subordinate, an engaged to somebody else subordinate, even though he’s guilty of both those things. He was fired for misallocation of state resources and then lying to his superiors about it.
You know who else was crooked as hell? Mike White. And like Bobby Petrino he won college football games. Such is the price to be paid.
Somebody, WKU, has already hired Petrino post Dorrell scandal, so the bad publicity baggage isn’t that big of a deal. Of course Arkansas knew what Bobby Petrino was/is, the Atlanta Falcons knew too. He got into plenty of trouble long before his adulterous affair. Football teams keep hiring him even though his name is mud. And this last time he truly smeared his own name even further.
But he wins games!
And he got the Razorbacks to the highest point the program has seen in multiple decades. If Illinois wants to win, and win now, he’s a viable option. Win at some cost obviously, but it’s still winning. Between Petrino and Urban Meyer at Ohio State, you’d have some slimy reputation flowing through the Big Ten, but you’d also have some more top ranked teams.
And if the University of Illinois pulled the trigger on hiring Bobby Petrino, you’d have some public blowback in Champaign too. But would it be worse than the negative publicity of two consecutive winless Big Ten seasons? What’s worse: 0-16 in the Big Ten, or
Catch me every Tuesday at 10:30 AM Central talking Northwestern and Illini for 1620 The Zone Omaha
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also an analyst for multiple news talk radio stations across the world; with regular weekly segments on NBC, CBS and Fox Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and RSSPowered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks