Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lifeline for Williams?

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The article that started it all

It seems like this new piece in the Yale alumni magazine is offering a big boost for Head Coach Tom Williams' chances of keeping his job in New Haven.

The magazine's editors say it was their reporter who first inserted that word "finalist" into the text about Williams' Rhodes Scholarship candidacy and not Williams himself.

If true, that could make all the difference.

If Yale is still somehow intent on relieving Williams, it might want to get a move on. You just can't have your coaching situation in limbo for very long in college football.

Thought of the Day

Yale chose Williams over Tom Gilmore for its head coaching job in 2008. Princeton did the same in 2009.

How's that working out for both of them?


At Thu Nov 24, 07:55:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yale did not choose Williams over Gilmore. Gimore withdrew.

At Thu Nov 24, 07:57:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Okay, then let me put it this way: "Yale did not do enough to keep Gilmore interested and went with Tom Williams instead. How's that working out for them?"

At Thu Nov 24, 08:23:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For obvious reasons, let's hope Yale and Princeton retain their current head coaches indefinitely.

Happy Thanksgiving to the members of the Columbia Football Family!

At Thu Nov 24, 08:25:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous voy vey said...

It's working out exactly the way President Levin wanted it to work out.

At Thu Nov 24, 08:49:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get the Levin angle. Why would Levin want to torpedo Yale football? I think as a neutral observor of Yale football that Yale's middle of the pack record is simply the result of greater competition for academically qualified athletes who aren't quite up to the standards of a Stanford as D1 recruits. the father of an excellent Princeton DB told me that the difference between playing in the Ivies and at a D1 school is largely speed. His son, a three year starter when Princeton had good teams, was a 4.7/4.8 safety which is just too slow for D1. So in the case of the Ivies it is hard to get super elite athletes who can go to a Stanford to choose an Ivy all else being equal. I would add that the Yale Bowl, at least on the visitor side has become a complete dump --lousy splintered seats, no rest rooms, etc., and that New Haven is probably the worst venue in the Ivies.

At Thu Nov 24, 09:14:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger CULionsbacker said...

Happy Thanksgiving to all. May you be surrounded by family and friends and have much to be thankful for this year. Please remember those protecting our country separated from their families in the armed forces.

At Thu Nov 24, 09:25:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why one might ask has no one gone to Murphy's staff or have they to address Columbia position?

At Thu Nov 24, 11:25:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a person we have not mentioned as a coach candidate - How about Mr. Marcellus Wiley.

He is well known, was a great player and would bring high visibility to the program. We know he is smart - and had a great pro career.

I can't speak to his coaching ability, to the best of my knowledge he has no experience as a coach - but he brings some positive intangibles to the position.

Marcellus Wiley - Head Coach of the Columbia Football Lions!!!

And to Jake and all Columbia Football players, fans, alums, parents and yes even our denouncers, have a great Thanksgivings.

GO BC LIONS in the CFL Grey Cup!! In fact, I would like to root for the Detroit Lions today too!!

At Fri Nov 25, 12:20:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous carlos henriquez '60 said...

i second the idea of marcellus wiley. he was a leader at the bill campbell level and would supply that much needed intangible the burning desire to win

At Fri Nov 25, 12:57:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In reply to anonymous at 5:49: the charge against Levin isn't that he wants to "torpedo" football, but rather that he is content with Yale being average in sports and that he is insufficiently committed to athletic excellence. Here's a quote in which Levin (L below) speaks of lowering the number of recruited athletes at Yale, a policy that has been used to argue he is against athletic excellence. Of course football has a set number of allowed recruits, so Yale football isn't impacted by lowering the number of recruited athletes, but other sports certainly would be.

Y: What fraction of each class are recruited athletes?

L: About 13 percent. It was 17 or 18 percent when I became president. I have wanted to maintain a strong athletic program, and I believe we have demonstrated this can be accomplished without admitting quite so many athletes. We now admit significantly fewer recruited athletes than the Ivy League allows. Some of the coaches are not happy with this, understandably. But I believe we have struck the right balance between making our athletic programs successful and wanting to make the Yale experience available for students who excel in other areas.

Y: I’ve heard alumni say, we have a president who doesn’t make athletics a priority. And I’ve also heard from alumni on the other side.

L: Alumni are divided on this subject. Some are aware that Yale has reduced the number of admissions slots for athletes, and they're not happy about it. And I also hear from alumni who ask why we reserve slots at all.

Yale will save Williams if they possibly can.


At Fri Nov 25, 01:46:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving, all. A little holiday potpourri: If Gilmore is indeed the best out there, and has interviewed with the Ivies while at Holy Cross, then it's up to CU to make it work. I don't want to bribe
a reluctant coach but he's an Ivy alum, former Lion assistant, this might be his time and opportunity.
Sure Ivy players are generally slower than D1, but just from a
football standpoint, why just be good at Stanford (everybody can't go there) when you can be great in the Ivies and if you're good enough, still attract pro scouts.
That should work for a few kids.
I really know nothing about Marcellus Wiley the person except
what I've seen on tv. Would he want the responsibility and have a long-term commitment?
And finally, Yale's Levin. Did he attend the beatdown by Harvard? I assume he has to attend The Game every year. Did he seeme pained or oblivious?

At Fri Nov 25, 02:10:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone knows that Harvard has a huge recruiting edge over the other Ivy League schools so there is a feeling in football circles that Harvard's football coaching staff is untested. That's why other schools do not pursue Murphy or his assistants. Harvard's recruting advantage in the Ivy League may be the largest recruiting advantage of any school in any conference in the United States.

At Fri Nov 25, 03:11:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger dabull said...

Thumbs down on the thought of Wiley. Being a really good player means nothing in correlation to coaching. Doesn't have any idea about the rigorous hours kept by the staff and the pressures and skills involved in recruiting. Also has no experience in coaching and you want to hand him the reins? Show me a guy with experience and a proven track record in the above skills please.

At Fri Nov 25, 05:49:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, read the Yale article again. I don't see how you could interpret this article as a boost for Williams keeping his job. The alumni magazine sent a list of facts to be used in the article for Williams to confirm or correct. One of those facts was, "You were a finalist [for a Rhodes Scholarship]."

Somebody from the athletics staff corrected several other facts sent to Williams but left unchanged the statement, "You were a finalist."

To me, that hurts Williams' defense, as opposed to your interpretation that it helps him.

More broadly, I doubt that Yale will fire a man over an issue of who said what during the fact-checking of a specific article.

Williams has said over and over again, even prior to Witt's candidacy, that he passed on his Rhodes interview so that he could attend a pre-season mini-camp with the San Francisco 49ers. That assertion is clearly a lie. There never was any interview.

Now does Yale want to fire him on the basis of that lie? I don't know and I don't know if most universities would fire a coach on the basis of that "crime." But some certainly would.

The real "fact" of the matter is Tom Williams was happy to imply that he faced a heavy personal dilemma, choosing between a prestigious scholarship and his personal goal of playing professional football. That emotional story has been a part of his personal narrative ever since he arrived a Yale. That was also a lie.

At Fri Nov 25, 06:04:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Wiley idea is silly. In all sports, the best players rarely make good coaches. Think Bill Russell. The hours are brutal, you have to be able to relate to average players and get them to perform better, etc. For great players, the game just came to them and they usually don't have an ability to teach it. Wiley has a great life as a talking head, why give that up? Plus, he's never made any effort to be an assistant anywhere.

We need a proven D1 coach who can recruit nationally to the AI. It's not that difficult to figure out.

At Fri Nov 25, 09:20:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree about Harvard having a huge advantage. If you are fundamentally insecure and crave instant status go to Harvard. But does anybody who graduated from Columbia College think that he or she would have gotten as good an education at Harvard? I have known more neurotic insecure people from Harvard than from any other school in the Ivies. A shrink friend loves Harvard because it is responsible for so many of his patients.

At Fri Nov 25, 11:03:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of my best friends from high school went to Harvard and he had a nervous breakdown and withdrew before the end of the first year. I visited the school during my freshman year and found it full of pompous you know what. Nevertheless, Harvard does have a huge advantage over the rest of the Ivies in football recruiting because it is more well known than any of the other Ivy schools. Per the top recruiting service,, that translates into approximately two hundred football players nationswide expressing an interest in attending Harvard this year compared to only about 70 for schools like Columbia and Cornell. Of course, Brown and Penn have similar disadvantages and have overcome them, showing that it can be done through very smart recruiting and very good coaching.

At Fri Nov 25, 11:53:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big win for Greg Toal as BC rolled over #3 St. Joe. Bosch is undefeated and has at least ten D 1 prospects. Of ever a high school coach could make it at Columbia it has to be Toal.

At Thu Dec 01, 08:39:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger sageman said...

Columbia will fail again with its coaching search and continue to have abysmal results. I personally recommended Greg Toal to Bill Campbell , Chairman of the Board of Trustees and was flat out told "Never"! "Not a high school coach". I was ignored by Bollinger, Murphy and Tellier. Needless to say, Toal's high school team could beat Columbia now. The Columbia leadership will have mud on its face when Toal is picked up by another College with wiser leadership.

At Thu Dec 01, 08:43:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger sageman said...

Columbia will fail again with its coaching search and continue to have abysmal results. I personally recommended Greg Toal to Bill Campbell , Chairman of the Board of Trustees and was flat out told "Never"! "Not a high school coach". I was ignored by Bollinger, Murphy and Tellier. Needless to say, Toal's high school team could beat Columbia now. The Columbia leadership will have mud on its face when Toal is picked up by another College with wiser leadership.


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