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Friday, June 23, 2006

A swing and a miss

The scenario sounded so good: Smoke Laval out at LSU, Jim Wells from Alabama to LSU, John Cohen from Kentucky to Alabama. It sounded so good it never got past Laval out at LSU.

Wells says he is staying at Alabama. It's hard to blame Wells. Yes, he is a Bossier City native. Yes, he is a former LSU assistant. But at Alabama, Wells only has to live up to himself. He doesn't have to live up to Skip Bertman and some of the unrealistic expectations that have followed.

So Wells said no. Ole Miss' Mike Bianco is happy where he is, thank you. Vanderbilt's Tim Corbin said no thanks to a second interview? That's a quarter of the SEC telling the school with perhaps the conference's greatest baseball tradition, "No.''

What is going on here?

A lot of things. One, some coaches may be spooked by seeing a coach fired for not making the NCAA Tournament. Two, LSU's pay makes saying "no'' easier than you might think. Three, coaches in all sports are less apt to bounce around.

Remember during the football search there was a lot of talk about Butch Davis. It never materialized.

Hiring proven head coaches is a difficult task.

And it is why you need to have a good idea of who you can hire before you fire a coach. Because if you end up with a worse coach than what you had, why did you fire your coach anyway?


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