Jon Embree, Randy Shannon and Other Black Coaches Never Get a Second Chance

Categories: Luke's Gospel
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Alex Izaguirre
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke talks about the unfair treatment of African-American college football coaches.

The firing of Jon Embree as head coach of the University of Colorado's football team proves Division I college football is still a Good Ole Boys Club. At his last press conference, a tearful Embree, who compiled a 4-21 record in two seasons, noted that African-American coaches don't get second chances.

Bill McCartney, who coached Embree at Colorado in the 1980s and won a national title at the school in 1991, echoed his former player. McCartney told the Denver Post that he also had losing seasons during his first two years, but got to keep his job because he is Caucasian.

"I believe black men have less opportunity," he said. "It didn't happen to me. Why should it happen to a black man?"

The fact white coaches with losing records and dubious character issues have no problem getting new gigs backs up Embree's claim.

For example, the University of Arizona tapped Rich Rodriguez despite his lack of ethics and lousy job performance when he was running the University of Michigan Wolverines. During the 2008, 2009, and 2010 seasons, Rodriguez compiled a 15-22 record at Michigan. His last year at the school, the NCAA accused Rodriguez and his staff of committing five major rules violations. It was the first major scandal in Michigan's storied history.

Washington State University hired Mike Leach, who was fired as head coach at Texas Tech University in 2009 following an investigation that he abused one of his players, Adam James, by forcing him to stand inside a cramped equipment room during a practice. Washington State star wide reciever Marquess Wilson, who quit the team in early November after Leach suspended him, wrote a letter condemning the coach and his staff, noting the new regime belittled, intimidated, and humiliated players.

Interestingly, Leach finished his first season with a 3-9 record, only two more wins than Embree.

Another loser white coach who got a second chance was Gene Chizik. During his first coaching gig, Chizik went 5-19 at Iowa State. But that didn't stop Auburn from hiring him in 2009. Two years after winning the national title in 2010 with Cam Newton as his quarterback, Chizik finally got canned.

And how about Charlie Weis? He tanked as head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. But Kansas University brought him this season to make the historically awful football team a national power. He finished the year with only one win and 11 losses. 

Even successful white coaches who sucked when they first began at a program have been allowed to build up their resumes. For instance, Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer had four losing seasons during his first six years in Blacksburg. He's still there. 

Meanwhile, African-American Randy Shannon compiled a 28-22 record during his tenure as University of Miami head coach, guided the school to the third-best graduate rate among Division I football programs, and tried to keep Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro away from his players. Yet Shannon, who is now linebackers coach at Texas Christian University, is never considered a prime head coaching candidate.

This proves the plantation mentality still rules college football.

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9 comments
D.f. Basora
D.f. Basora

Shannon "tried" so damn hard the canes are still paying the price for the Shapiro bullshit. Shannon worked so damn hard we made it to a freakin emerald nuts bowl under his "leadership". Hey NEW TIMES! If your criteria for giving people a blog is having the ability to spew baseless bullshit, give me one. I'll at least make sense.

Anon
Anon

Which is why it's time we do for ourselves instead of expecting something from others.

unclelukereal1
unclelukereal1

@surrealo your why I love this country every day racist like you go away. Get up man we have a black President you tryed to fire I LV USA

MikeD_PhD
MikeD_PhD

@unclelukereal1 he gets fired and 5/6 years later still looking for a job.

MikeD_PhD
MikeD_PhD

@unclelukereal1 Willie Randolph great mgr for mets and great player for Yankees. He got stuck w a bunch of players he didn't want in ny

MikeD_PhD
MikeD_PhD

@unclelukereal1 I am a big fan of college football but also Major League Baseball. It's the same thing.

3Cane0Legacy5
3Cane0Legacy5

@unclelukereal1 Rodriguez and Leach proved they could lead a winning program. Same thing Sumlin is doing.

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