Well, it's official. June Jones has left University of Hawai'i to coach Southern Methodist University in Texas. Yes, you read correctly. Southern Methodist University. I'm confused because last time I checked, "Methodist" is a religion, right? So unless it's located in a small town in southern Dallas called Methodist, (which I hope it is thus negating the possibility of yet another entire university created around religion) why would it be "Southern" Methodist. Is there a Northern Methodist University?
Although I completely understand Jones' decision to leave, which is entirely justifiable given the lack of funds/resources and the disloyalty of the trustees and boosters during his time there, I have to say I'm a bit surprised. With the celebrity status that he's acheived this past year and the funds pouring in from the BCS Sugar Bowl, you'd think that he now, more than any other time, has the oppurtunity, money, and influence to put his foot down and demand that changes be made in Hawai'i's program. But, hey, you can only go unheard for so long before enough is enough.
No one holds the blame more for the chaos within Hawai'i's program more than their recently fired Athletic Director, Herman Frazier. This guy has done nothing but hurt UH athletics and it's a wonder how he kept his job as long as he did. He's like the George Bush of Athletic Directors!
He started his viral reign as AD by tearing down UH's basketball team to where their renowned coach, Riley Wallace, had to step down after over two decades of coaching. The virus spread as he failed to address numerous requests made by June Jones during the nine years he coached to better the facilities in the football programs. Frazier also ignored his duty to set up a schedule for the 2007 football season on time and UH's weak schedule was the result of his laziness. When Hawai'i made it to the Sugar Bowl, he sent over 5000 tickets, of the given 17000, back to the mainland because he "didn't think that fans would fly over there for the game." And just like the 2007 schedule debacle, the program suffers through another "too little too late" situation as he waits until the last minute to put anything into writing in dealing with negotiations to keep June Jones.
Even with all the money gauranteed to come because of the Sugar Bowl, Frazier still hadn't put anything into writing about improvments for the program until this past weekend, and by then June Jones was being wined and dined (but hopefully not sixty- nined) by SMU reps. How long was he planning on waiting? Hawai' was accepted into the Sugar Bowl in early December! The money was signed, sealed and delivered! In the days following the Sugar Bowl announcment, the contracts for upgraded facilities and coaches salaries should've been negotiated and signed. It truly did take Jones to leave before Frazier got his head out his ass. Even now that he's fired, UH athletics are going to be feeling the repercussions for a long time and these next steps that they take in terms of appointing a new Athletic Director and coaching staff will have an effect on the program for the next decade.
I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens.