Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tom Osborne Did What Needed to Be Done

Some initial thoughts about Tom Osborne's press conference after dismissing Bill Callahan this morning.
  • I believe Osborne struggled with this decision until yesterday. The coaches asked for benchmarks after the Texas A&M game, and he told them that they likely needed to win 7 or 8 games. Six wins might be okay if the losses were close, though the die may have been cast after Kansas hung 76 on the defense for the sixth loss.
  • Osborne revealed that he was told after winning the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl in his fourth season that a regent informed him that if he hadn't won, he would have been fired.
  • He said that Bill Callahan worked hard and recruited well, but there was "something not right" with the program.
  • The meeting between Osborne and Callahan only lasted 10 minutes because Bill Callahan didn't want to continue the meeting.
  • All of the assistants remain on contract and will be paid at least through January 2009. They've been asked to help with recruiting while a new head coach is selected. The next head coach may or may not choose to retain any assistants.
  • Osborne said that the head coach was in charge of the whole program. He wouldn't tell the head coach who the assistant coaches should be or should not be. With that philosophy, Bill Callahan was ultimately responsible for the horrendous performance of the Nebraska defense.
  • Osborne called in a third party a few weeks ago to begin identifying possible candidates for the head coaching job in case he needed to make a change, but said that he stayed completely outside that process. He did not that effort to conflict with or influence his decision. The Lincoln Journal-Star reports that Bo Pelini has been contacted by this firm.
  • No guarantees as to how long this process will go, but Osborne expects to act quickly. I believe that this search process will likely be completed next week. (After the SEC Championship game to be precise.)
My first take is that this coaching change will be far less contentious than the last one, and I think Husker fans will end up being far more united when this completes than after the last one.


Hanging Shingle said...

Do you really believe Osborn struggled with this decision until yesterday? It seems like having a press conference the day after the last game implies the decision was made a long time ago, probably when he was hired.

Husker Mike said...

Yes I do. Osborne knew what he was probably going to do after Kansas, but I think he was looking for a way not to do that.

hbrogan57 said...

I think that, had Callahan and Company, had one three or four games things may have been different. But when teams are hanging as many points as they were then the decision became clear.

Then throw in the fact that Boosters came forward saying that they would pull donations the die had been cast. At the point when a University begins to lose money then the heads of departments begin to stand up and take notice.

Anonymous said...

Husker Mike:

Where is Barney Cotton these days?

Quiller said...

@Hanging Shingle: The timing of the press conference only shows that an announcement would be made after the season -- something HAD to be announced, whether it was to fire Cosgrove or Callahan was the real question. Even if nobody was to be fired, though, Osborne would need to publicly support Callahan and attempt to hold back the negative emotion.