Comments about ‘Everything is wrong with Gary Andersen's decision to leave Utah State’

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Published: Thursday, Dec. 20 2012 8:00 a.m. MST

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Columbus, OH

It's kind of strange to blast the NCAA in the way that big time programs can steal coaches with impunity (the rich get richer, etc), then at the end say it's unfair that players aren't allowed to transfer. If the NCAA let players transfer when a coach leaves, that would only widen the gap between rich and poor. The best players on USU's roster that got overlooked in recruiting would be immediately picked up by big-name programs. That might actually be fair to the players, but it would absolutely kill USU's chances of continued success.

You don't know me...

Thanks for this article. All I hear is that you can't blame the guy for moving on, and I suppose that is true from a business perspective. But if sports are merely a business then they become absolutely uninteresting. I'm not ashamed to admit that I hoped Gary would give USU a great story and stick around for a long time and turn the program around, but that would not be the sensible business thing to do. As a sports addict myself, the only redeeming value I see in my massive time and emotional investment is that you get to find out about the character of players, coaches and fans. It is, in small part, life in a test-tube where people face up to adversity, competition, and opportunity and we get to watch and cheer them on. I think we hope to see the best of humanity come through while watching sports, at least I do. So why am I disappointed? Because Gary did exactly what we'd expect him to do and no, we can't blame him because we'd all probably do the same thing.

  • 7:52 a.m. Dec. 20, 2012
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Heber City, UT

So much for the integrity of signing a new contract. I wonder what the out clause was? Contracts among professional coaches and college coaches are a laugh.

Salt Lake City, UT

Completely agree with the article!

If players have to sit out a year when they transfer, the NCAA should have the same requirement of coaches under contract. Believe me, if Andersen would have been fired, he would have collected every penny that Utah State owed him under the contract. Instead, he threw his commitment to USU out the window and chose not to honor his obligations to the university.

Hope he enjoys the next 4 years. He is in way over his head and totally out of his league. He had a good thing at USU and won't ever be able to get that good of a situation ever again.

John Galt
Salt Lake City, UT

Baton Rouge, LA
On the other hand, head coaches get fired when teams don't do well--even with years remaining on the contract.

Yes, they are. And, they're paid for the balance of the contract.

Me, Myself and I
The Promised Land, UT

What a classless attack on a man who has more integrity than any "journalist". Coach Andersen did nothing wrong and nothing anyone in his situation wouldn't have done. It was bad enough reading ignorant comments about Coach A from fans. I'll say the same thing to you Mr. Robinson as I did to them. Only someone who does NOT know Gary Andersen would say the things you have.

Ogden, UT

And life goes on. I am glad the name JOHN L. SMITH was mentioned. What he did to Weber State was beyond and now he is toast.

West Jordan, UT

Coaches are in a terrible spot. GA's name started to get mentioned for bigger schools with larger paychecks. Kentucky, Texas Tech, Colorado, Cal. All would have given him a "bigger paycheck", but he declined those jobs. Then every single day he was asked by fans, media, players, recruits, community members, etc what he was going to do. I don't blame him for putting the speculation to rest by saying he was staying. I would be sick of everyone getting in my business too.

It wasn't for the money because he turned down the "first $1.8 million" paycheck that was interested in him. It was something more than that and, at the time of the comments saying he was staying, he probably felt he was going to. But things change.

Everyone needs to get off his back and let the man go. He has been good to Utah football (SUU, UofU, and USU) for a long time now and has left them in a better place. At least he leaves USU with a program and team that a decent coach would actually want to come into.

Good luck Gary.

Provo, UT

Good article but how many of you when asked if you are going to stay at your current job and you do not see or have a better option would say No. But, how many of you when presented with a better option with way better pay and benefits would stay? If Coach Anderson sucked you all would ride him and his family out of town. Be grateful he took the job in the first place and got the ball rolling and made this job desirable for someone else with the ability keep the program growing.

Holladay, UT

But here is what is wrong with the column. Everybody is willing to blast a coach when he does this, but these are the same people, including the media, that would be calling for the coach's head after a few sub-par seasons. There are hundreds of coaches who did not take a better job out of loyalty when they had the chance, only to be unceremoniously dumped when they don't win as many games as everybody thinks they ought to. If you want to say there is no loyalty to players, fine, but there is not a whole lot of loyalty to coaches, either. And by giving Andersen everything he wanted, they made this a much more attractive job for the next candidates. Hey Doug, what if USA Today came calling and offered you 3x your current salary. You wouldn't listen? Maybe the aggie fans should have filled the stands if this was so important to them.

Farmington, UT

After all that's been said by Coach A. at the end of the day this is his profession and he made a career choice. It hurts as fans because our commitments rest with the school and team and coaches committmnet or loyalty largerly rests with their families and career objective. I think in the moment Gary meant what he said about staying with the information he had at that time. Obviously Wisconsin offered something professionally that Cal, Colorado, Kentucky, and USU could not--A chance at a National Championship if I had to guess.

But as Andersen is gone and it's time to move on. My commitment to my school as an Aggie is to get behind this team and continue to support them. They can still build off this recent success. They are better off now than they were 4 years ago. So let's keep this going. Go Aggies!

Mcallen, TX

How hypocritical? Had the Aggies loss five or six games,--the community would want him fired.

Plano, TX

How refreshing it would be if sports writers moved around as much as coaches do. And, I'm betting for 3x salary and a nationally recognized news outlet, Dick Harmon or Doug R, Brad Rock... would leave the DesNews. They've been there for decades. Think of all the fresh new talent who haven't had a chance in the local market because of these few people's longevity. ;)

Where's Stockton ???
Bowling Green, OH

Oh for crying out loud Doug....why do you think the football is shaped the way it is??? Face it Doug... you don't have all the answers. Understandably Gary Anderson at his level wouldn't want to go to Colorado...that's a hopeless road to travel...and who in thier right mind wants to live in Berkeley...I was born near there and I can't stand the place. But Wisconsin is by far...a great opportunity. So why begrudge the fact that when a really decent offer did come Anderson took it. He's paid his dues...regardless of what you and others might think. Gary anderson doesn't owe you a plug nickle...period!!!

Kearns, UT

Oh come on. He stayed at SUU for like two weeks. The chasing of the almighty buck is the problem. People's egos are tied to money. The more they make, the better they feel. Football coaches at most institutions are public employees and shouldn't be paid more than the governor of the state that sponsors the institution. If they want to get rich, they can become the head coach in the NFL.

I used to have some respect for Anderson. Not any more. Is his life changed by making 2 million as opposed to 700K? What's he going to do with the extra money? Swim in it. I have the same problem with pro sports contracts. What was Michael Jordan going to do with 30 million a year? Spend more gambling? It is an ego thing. Barry Bonds juiced because he couldn't stand the thought that someone hit more home runs than he did. I guess these coaches can't stand the thought of someone getting paid more than them.

Zona Zone
Mesa, AZ

This just in. Wisconsin's football program is vastly superior to Utah State's in every way.

Billings, MT

Thanks, Doug, for saying what I feel yet I don't hear or read very often. Coaches jumping from school to school used to be a no no, but our permissive culture of anything goes now echoes "you can't blame them for leaving" or "you would leave too if you could triple your salary." For someone making $50K per year, who could make $100K or $150K, I agree with those statements. That is a life changing job decision. For someone making $500-750K, they are already in the top 1% of earners. Bumping up higher in that 1% bracket is not a life changer. It just pads their pockets. It's sad, it's wrong, and I thought Andersen was better than that. It saddens me that he's leaving and I think he'll ultimately regret his decision. I know all of us Aggie fans, and hopefully all college football fans, regret his decision to leave. Thank God for Stew Morrill and his desire to stay in Logan. HE is a great example and a great coach. Thanks, Stew. Glad we have you.

Holladay, UT

He left SUU because they would not pay his assistants more, even though he offered to raise the money himself. He knew Sitake and Roderick were too good of coaches to stick around when they were making $20,000 a year. This guy has battled for his assistants everywhere he has been - he is about a whole lot more than just taking care of himself.

North Logan, UT

Now we're talking about letting the players skip out. It's true most players come to a school because of the promises of the coaches and they get a raw deal when the coaches leave. But the problem is with the coaches leaving. They're under contract. They have an obligation and yet the schools won't hold them to that obligation because they'll never be able to find someone to replace them when their contracts do expire. If you or I sign a contract we can't simply change our mind because we find something better. Schools take a big risk when they hire a coach to a multi year contract. Coaches should be required to approach it in the same manner.

I Choose Freedom
Atlanta, GA

The more I see what has become of college football the more I admire Coach Edwards from BYU. He could have left and made a lot more money but he chose to stay. Today he has a comfortable lifestyle plus he has a stadium named after him and the admiration of everyone that has ever known him. He will be remembered as a great man long after he is gone and not just a good football coach that passed through the area on his way to some other place.

Contracts should bind both ways. Yes, a school can fire a coach but they have to buy out his contract. And yes, a coach should be able to leave when he wants but he should have to buy out the contract as well. After all, what are contracts for if they do not have any binding authority with penalties for breaking them?

To me, it is not so much that GA is leaving. It is all the posturing he did before he left. I thought Utah State finally had a coach with character in the mold of a Lavell Edwards. Guess not.

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