Saturday, November 19, 2011

In the Dog House?

Tom Williams

I hate to dance on a man's soon-to-be grave, but there is proof today that not EVERY embarrassing incident in Ivy football is connected to Columbia.

Yale's controversial 3rd year Head Coach Tom Williams is in a lot of hot water over allegations that he lied on his resume.

The specific question is whether as a football player at Stanford, Williams truly was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship. Williams resume says he was, but no Stanford faculty member will step foward to confirm that.

Williams will already be on thin ice if the Bulldogs lose to Harvard AGAIN, (this would be the 5th year in a row), and he is not popular around the league for his aggressive personal style.

If Williams does get fired over this, and it's a good chance he will, we could see THREE head coaching vacancies in the Ivies in a couple of days.

That's assuming Norries Wilson is out and Dartmouth's Buddy Teevens is out too.

If all three are gone, the competition for the best talent adaptable to Ivy football should be fierce.

And that means the Columbia administration needs to be ready and aggressive.

Let's do what we can to help it, shall we?


At Sat Nov 19, 01:07:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say that there is "a good chance" Williams gets fired over his resume puffery, but there is definitely some chance.

To be fair to him, his Yale website bio only calls him a "Rhodes Scholar candidate," not a "finalist" per se. There is a very specific definition of finalist in the process of winning a Rhodes and Williams clearly did not get that far. But what constitutes a "candidate"? Well, taken literally, any student at any university in any country which awards Rhodes Scholarships could be called a candidate. Jake, because you attended Columbia, you were a candidate for a Rhodes. I know that I was, too. Congratulations to both of us.

It's clear that Williams was more than willing to bask in the reflected glory of Patrick Witt's situation these past few weeks, letting people and writers call him a Rhodes Scholar finalist while knowing that he was no such thing.

We'll see exactly how much of his candidacy story Stanford is willing to support. That's the key part of the puzzle which will determine whether he loses his job.

At Sat Nov 19, 01:56:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To quote a friend, I'll let you know how I feel about that after I get back from Sweden. See, I'm a candidate for the Nobel.

At Sat Nov 19, 02:01:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meanwhile one of our idiot administrators in response to Bandgate was quoted in today's NYPost to the effect that this was no big deal because we are not known for being any good in athletics. That quote will be read by every coach against whom our next football coach has to recruit. As far as Williams and Yale, I am not big on schadenfreude.

At Sat Nov 19, 02:04:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

True, schadenfreude is not my goal... the issue is that there could really be a glut of openings for coaches in the next 48 hours and Columbia needs to be ready. I hope all the major donors who may be reading this are ready to get going, because the race for guys like Gilmore and Toal will be intense.

At Sat Nov 19, 02:29:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 10:56 AM,

As you may know, the selection committees for the various Nobel Prizes do not solicit nor accept nominations. They truly "select" the winners based upon ongoing field research. Therefore, your friend is correct. He *IS* a candidate for the Nobel Prize, just as you and I are.

That's why you should always be skeptical when you read that somebody has been "nominated" for a Nobel Prize. There is no such thing, just you should be skeptical when Tom Williams tells you he turned down a Rhodes interview to attend the San Francisco 49ers mini-camp (which takes place in the spring while Rhodes interviews are in the fall).

At Sat Nov 19, 03:09:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why people are even considering Gilmore at Division I-AA Holy Cross or Toal at Don Bosco. The Ivies have moved beyond guys like them. With the exceptions of Bagnoli at Penn, hired out of Division III Union College when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, and Estes at Brown, promoted from within the Brown staff, all current Ivy head coaches were, immediately prior to being hired, either assistant coaches in the NFL, head coaches in Division I-A or assistant coaches in Division I-A. Coaches from Columbia's own Division I-AA or Division II or Division III are things of the past.

Of course, it is possible that there is an embryonic Bear Bryant lurking in the weeds in Division I-AA, II or III, but what are the chances that Diane Murphy is going to discover him?

Since Lou Little, "adaptable to Ivy football" has translated into an iron rule that prospective head coaches must live no more than a tank of gas from Baker Field. Again, look at current Ivy head coaches. The Ivy League now recruits head coaches nationally.

Columbia should be looking at head coaches in Division I-A (for precedents, see Murphy at Harvard and Teeven at Dartmouth) or an assistant coach at a TOP 25 Division I-A school (for precedent, see Austin at Cornell). In fact, why not go after Austin's former boss at Ole Miss, Houston Nutt (love that name)? He's available.

It may well be that Columbia cannot compete for a coach (head or assistant) from a successful Division I-A program. How about a head coach from a mediocre Division I-A program? How about anybody other than Columbia's usual suspects?

At Sat Nov 19, 05:11:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disagree on the coaching pool. The Holy Cross coach ia young and has won consistently with similar recruits to CU. He knows the league. Ivy league is tough: you must recruit nationally from a very shallow pool of qualified players. Patriot is similar. I don't think an NFL or FBS assistant would necessarily be superior -- Norries was by all accounts a terrific OC at UConn and he flunked. Williams has not lit the world on fire at Yale. A proven head coach familiar with how this league works would be a coup.

At Sat Nov 19, 06:52:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Three Ivy coaches on the hot seat, but the guy who is 2-17 going into tomorrow's game as an 18 point underdog to Dartmouth is safe?

At Sat Nov 19, 07:11:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Inwood Tiger said...

It should be very simple to find out if he was a Rhodes Scholar candidate. If you want a Rhodes Scholarship, you have to complete an application and declare yourself a candidate.

The Rhodes people in each region/country then review it and get back to you if you will be called in for the interview stage, the 2nd interview stage, etc. I know this because I applied as a college senior. While my dumb ass did not make it even to the interview stage, I suppose if I wanted to be really snotty and annoying I could say on my resume that I was a Rhodes "candidate".

So this does not require a Rhodes Scholar to unravel -- either he filed an application, or he didn't. If the Rhodes Trust people in the region he qualified under (California or his home state of Texas) have no record of an application, then he should not be listing it on his resume.

The ESPN story seems to suggest that he admits to not actually filing an application, so he is definitely in some hot water here. Lose a football game to Harvard, no problem. But lead people on about the Rhodes... the Elis won't care for that one bit. Don't let the bulldog bite you on the way out.

At Sat Nov 19, 08:15:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If a hs coach or potential recruit doesn't know of Columbia's athletic record, it would be weird.

At Sat Nov 19, 09:26:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you could look it up!
The only ivy team with a worse performance in all sorts of stats is lowly Princeton. Yet some how we also lost to them.
WTF is going on here?

At Sat Nov 19, 09:40:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I suggested that Columbia focus its recruiting on Division I-A, I specified assistant coaches (preferably OC or DC) from SUCCESSFUL (Top 25) programs (which would have eliminated Naso, Campbell, Shoop and Wilson) and mediocre (at worst) head coaches.

I understand that the new head coach must recruit from a shallow pool but I also understand that this pool has a very, very narrow range of talent. Each year the Ivies get a mere handful of outstanding kids (kids who could play in Division I-A). You don't have to get many (if any)of those kids to be competitive (at least in terms of talent). In other words, you don't have to be a recruiting genius to come up with a respectable Ivy team.

Let's suppose that Ivy recruiting requires some sort of special knowledge or "edge". There's a HUGE difference between recruiting for Holy Cross and recruiting for Columbia. The stellar prospect at Holy Cross doesn't have to choose between Holy Cross and Harvard; the stellar prospect at Columbia has to choose between Columbia and Harvard. Does anyone really think that Tom Gilmore's reputation is going to lure anyone away from Harvard (or Penn)? If recruiting is crucial, all the more reason we need a "name".

In any case, recruiting isn't Columbia's problem. Coach Wilson has been a more than adequate recruiter. Hell, he's a much better recruiter than most of his predecessors. The problem lies in every aspect of coaching OTHER THAN recruiting. These other aspects (practice organization, game plan, etc) require absolutely ZERO knowledge of the Ivy League.

I just don't see how Gilmore is a quantum leap above Navarro, Campbell, Naso, Garrett, McElreavy, Tellier, Shoop and Wilson. He seems firmly ensconced in that dreary tradition.

In the Ivy League, in this country, on this planet, in this cosmos, is any football team as entitled as Columbia to say "Let's try something new"?


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